Students First ESA FAQ
On January 24th, 2023 the Students First Act made state education funding available for K-12 students who choose to attend private schools. Parents who choose to enroll their eligible children in an accredited nonpublic school will receive an amount equal to the per pupil funding allocated to public school districts for the same budget school year. Funds will be deposited into an education savings account (ESA) to be used for tuition, fees, and other qualified education expenses as specified in the legislation.
We at Hillcrest Academy, are committed to keeping you informed regarding your ESA and we’d like to share the following:
- The application opens May 31 and closes June 30. There will be online training sessions designed for parents and guardians over the next several weeks to provide an overview of the ESA application platform and process, including eligibility criteria, required documentation and the verification and approval process. Registration for the training is available on the Students First ESA webpage.
- If you would like help completing your ESA application, we will have a couple of June dates and blocks of time for you to come in. Please sign up here.
- The company the state will be using is called Odyssey. We will share a link to the application once we get it.
- New families coming from a public school or homeschool setting will automatically qualify for the ESA.
- Current families will qualify based on income. On the 2022 Iowa 1040 tax form, line 26 (“Net Income”) will be used to identify household income to determine eligibility. (Column A + Column B = your total net income)
- Iowa residency will be based on the parent/guardian’s 2022 Iowa tax return. If the parent/guardian did not complete a 2022 Iowa tax return, additional documentation, such as a lease agreement or utility bill reflecting an Iowa residence, will be required.
- Families who don’t qualify for the ESA are still eligible for our financial aid assistance and should have already completed a financial aid application. Financial packages will be handed out after the ESA applications have been completed.
- The ESA funding for the 2023-24 school year will be $7,635. Half of the funds ($3,817.50) will be available to pay tuition and approved expenses that occur during the fall 2023 semester and the remaining half will be available for the spring 2024 semester.
If you still have questions, contact Theresa Blossom (email@example.com) or Rebecca Beachy Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org).