An ESA (education savings account) is a state-supervised spending account for parents containing a student’s educational funds in grades K-12. Parents are responsible for managing the student’s funds which may be used to cover tuition, fees, and other qualified education expenses at accredited private schools in Iowa.
Who is Eligible?
Year 1: School Year 2023-24
- All entering kindergarten students
- All students previously enrolled in a public school
- A student enrolled in a private school with a household income at or below 300% of the 2023 Federal Poverty Guidelines, $90,000 for a family of four
Parents who choose to enroll their eligible children in an accredited private school will receive an amount equal to the per pupil funding allocated to public school districts for the same budget school year. For the 23-24 school year this amount is estimated to be $7,598 per student. The funds will be deposited into an education savings account (ESA)
The ESA amount exceeds the cost of SCS student tuition!
How do I Apply?
The application process will open on May 31. We will send an announcement when the online application is ready to access on the Students First ESA webpage.
- Application Instructions
- Application Overview Training – Sign up for a parent/guardian webinar that will provide an overview of the Students First Education Savings Account (ESA) application platform and process, including eligibility criteria, required documentation, the verification/approval process, and more.
Applications will be due on June 30, 2023, for the 2023-2024 school year. You will need to have an acceptance document from private school verifying students enrollment.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity, contact the school or click here to start your enrollment today!!!
New Release Details
- The State of Iowa has contracted with Odyssey to execute ESAs. Odyssey currently handles the Arizona ESAs.
- The household income limit for ESAs is based on your Iowa net income. This can be found on line 26 of your 2022 Iowa 1040.
- Must be an Iowa resident.
- Student must be enrolled at a full-time status at an accredited Iowa non-public school.
- The ESA application will open in May 31 and must be submitted by June 30. Families must apply every year.
- The ESA application should take no more than 10-15 minutes.
- Parents will receive one of the following statuses: Approved, Denied or More Information is Requested.
- ESA fund disbursement for approved applications will be available July 15 with a second deposit occurring prior to the second semester.
- Applications are valid for one year; a family must apply annually to remain eligible for the program.
Guidance from IDOE website:
ESA funds are not available to pay for preschool tuition. ESA funds must be used for kindergarten through 12th grade education at an accredited private (nonpublic) school in Iowa. Students must be enrolled full time.
Once an ESA account is established for a student, funds will be deposited in the account each year as long as they are enrolled in an accredited private school and until the student graduates from high school or turns 20 years of age. Families are required to apply annually to remain in the program.
All students who currently attend a public school or are homeschooled and choose to enroll in an accredited private school for the 2023-2024 school year are eligible regardless of household income.
Income eligibility will be determined using the current year’s federal poverty level (FPL) guidelines. For the 23-24 school year, families making at or below 300% FPL will be eligible to receive an ESA for their children who currently attend an accredited private school. The following school year, families making at or below 400% FPL will be eligible.
The ESA application process will require proof of income for families whose children are currently enrolled in an accredited private school and applying for an ESA in the 23/24 or 24/25 school years.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. My income is under 300% of the federal poverty level. Can I apply for both ESA money and Financial Aid?
A. Yes, families who are under 300% of the federal poverty level can apply for both ESA funds and financial aid through LOG-STO or TRIP.
- LOG-STO tuition assistance deadline has passed for the 23-24 school year, but will be available again next spring for the following school year.
Q. Can I apply for an ESA or financial aid for a TK (transitional kindergarten)?
A. ESAs and the above financial aid option are only available for K-12 students enrolled at 75% time of full-time. Our TK program operates as a Pre-K program and does not meet the guidelines of full-time enrollment.
Q. Where can I find out more details about ESAs?
A. SCS will continue to share important details and deadlines with families, but you can learn more about ESAs through the Iowa Department of Education website.