Monday, December 17, 2012

Empowerment Scholarships

The Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) is a scholarship established to provide an education for "qualified students," and must include reading, grammar, mathematics, social studies and science. ESA 2013-2014 applications are now available.  If you have a child with special needs and are interested in additional education options, assistance may be available through an Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA). The Empowerment Scholarship Account law went into effect on July 20, 2011.

A qualified student must be an Arizona resident who is identified as having a disability either by a Section 504 Plan or deemed eligible to receive special education services by a school district. Also, your child must have done one of the following:

  • Attended public school full-time for the first 100 days during the prior school year
  • Received a scholarship from a Student Tuition Organization that receives contributions to provide scholarships to students with disabilities pursuant to ARS 43-1505
  • Received an Empowerment Scholarship Account in the prior year
Prior to receipt of funding, parents must agree to provide an education in at least reading, grammar, mathematics, social studies and science. Furthermore, parents must not enroll the child in a school district or charter school, and release the school district from all obligations to educate the qualified student. Finally, parents must agree not to accept a scholarship from a School Tuition Organization.
Upon completion of the
application and other required forms, the state treasurer will deposit 90% of the state support level each individual student would have received into an Empowerment Scholarship Account. The amount varies by student and school district.

ESA funds can be used for the following:

  • Tuition and fees at a private school
  • An online learning program serving preschool through secondary school students
  • Educational therapies or services from a licensed or accredited practitioner
  • Tutoring services
  • Curriculum
  • Fees for standardized testing, Advanced Placement exams, or any exam related to postsecondary admissions
  • Contributions to a qualified College Saving Plan (529 Plan)
  • Tuition or fees at an eligible postsecondary institution
  • Bank fees charged for the management of the ESA
ESA 2013-2014 New Applicants
ESA staff  will begin accepting applications for the 2013-2014 school year beginning January 1-May 1, 2013. (Do not submit your application until January 1, 2013.)
ESA enrollment for 2013-2014 school year will only be offered one time.
The application process time is January 1-May 1, 2013 by 3pm.
The sooner that you submit your application along with required documents, the sooner ESA Staff will send out your Award Letter with the total award amount for 2013-2014 school year and your quarterly disbursement. 
Visit for the information you need to determine if your child is qualified for the ESA and how to apply.

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