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WHAT ARE ESAs?

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is the ESA Program?

The Empowerment Scholarship Account program provides eligible students with 90% of their state allocated education funding. The student withdraws from the public school they are currently enrolled in, and the funds are used to provide their education directly, either in a private school, or through measures at home that can include individually tailored curricula, private tutors, and/or educational therapies.

 

How do students qualify for an ESA?

There are different categories through which students may qualify for an Empowerment Scholarship.

  • Preschool-12 students with disabilities (IEP/504)

  • Students living on Native American reservation lands

  • Students residing in the bounds of and attending a D or F rated school

  • Students with a parent who is active military or was killed in the line of duty

  • Students that are adopted from foster care

  • Siblings of and previous recipients of Empowerment Scholarships

These students must also have been a public school student for a minimum of the first 100 days of the school year prior to when their scholarship would be awarded, or the online equivalent to the 100 day requirement.

 

What do ESA students do for school?

The Empowerment Scholarship Account program provides eligible students with 90% of their state allocated education funding. The student withdraws from the public school they are currently enrolled in, and the funds are used to provide their education directly, either in a private school, or through measures at home that can include individually tailored curricula, private tutors, and/or educational therapies.

 
 

What can the ESA pay for?

Scholarship monies* can be used for a variety of educational solutions for students. This includes:

  • Tuition at a private school**

  • Curricula for schooling in the home

  • Reading books, including audiobooks

  • Educational subscription boxes (e.g. Bitsbox, Raddish Kids, Little Passports, etc.)

  • Online educational program subscriptions (e.g. Miacademy, Prodigy Math, Nessy Learning, etc.)

  • Tutoring and private classes for specific subjects

And for students that have learning or physical disabilities***, the scholarship monies can cover:

  • Educational therapies:

    • physical

    • occupational

    • vision

    • ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis)

    • and more

  • Paraprofessionals

  • Educational manipulatives 

*Amount is determined by a student's eligibility category. 

**Private school tuitions vary, as do policies of each school. ESA may not cover full tuition at every private school.

***Student must be qualified for ESA under their verified IEP or 504 plan.

How do I apply?

Applications for an ESA can be found here. Make sure to upload all necessary documentation correctly, as an application will be  outright rejected without proper documentation, and the department will not reach out otherwise. If you have any questions, please contact us through email or Facebook.

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