Nearly 300 D.C. kids have been awarded scholarships by the Children and Youth Investment Trust Corp., the quasi city agency that doles out city grants to local non-profits.

The trust announced this week that 299 children are getting new scholarships for the 2012-13 school year through the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program. The program gives federally funded scholarships to young people from low-income families who attend participating private schools in the District.

Recipients will receive awards up to $12,205 for high school and up to $8,136 for elementary or middle school to pay for tuition and fees at participating schools. The total being given out won't be determined until the school year.

"Not every student who is awarded a scholarship will use it, therefore we won't have actual enrollment numbers until we issue the first checks for the program in October to know who actually used their scholarship," said Ed Davies, vice president of external affairs for the trust.

More than 1,300 children applied for new scholarships, and 505 eligible students were entered into a lottery. Three-quarters of the scholarship winners previously attended a public or public charter school designated as "in need of improvement."

The scholarships cover most or all educational expenses, and the program is open to students from District families that receive food stamps or earn less than 185 percent of the poverty level ($42,643 for a family of four in 2012).

The trust, which was formed to benefit city kids, came under fire this year when former Councilman Harry Thomas Jr. admitted to using the corporation to steer grant money into his own pocket. After securing Thomas' guilty plea to stealing more than $353,000 from the city, federal prosecutors said they were still investigating the trust.