CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — An important deadline is looming for parents and students who want to apply for Hope Scholarships in West Virginia, and there are some important requirements to note.

The Hope Scholarship program is controversial. Critics say it pulls dollars out of the public school system, but the Legislature approved it and the State Supreme Court upheld it.

Now, the deadline to apply is this Monday, May 15.

Each student can get up to $4,500 in kindergarten to 12th grade. And so far, nearly 5,000 have applied.

Parents can get a proportional share of their school tax dollars and use it for private school or home school expenses. Supporters say it’s about school choice.

“What we’re doing is taking that portion of taxpayer dollars and allowing them to choose the best educational path for their children, whether that’s home school or a private school,” said Treasurer Riley Moore, (R) West Virginia.

Treasurer Moore added, “This is a program that is actually about students and their families and trying to maximize their educational outcomes. And we’ve got to understand that not everyone fits into one nice, neat box, right? Everyone has different needs and requirements in their education.”

Students who have the Hope Scholarship this school year must re-apply for the next, as it does not automatically renew. For more information, click here.

So far, more than 3,300 West Virginia students have been approved for the coming school year.

Decisions will be made in about 45 days.