- The student must reside in Arizona and be eligible for an STO scholarship.
- For Kinder through 12th grade students and preschool students with disabilities (must have and IEP or MET from an Arizona public school) attending a qualified non-governmental school in Arizona on a full time basis. A.R.S. §§ 43-1601
- Arizona requires that children must be 5 as of September 1 to be eligible for a scholarship, though a school district governing board may allow admitting children into kindergarten who will reach the age 5 by January 1. Proof that a public school governing board would accept the student turning 5 between September 2 and January 1 will be required to consider these students for a scholarship.
- A new scholarship application must be submitted each school year. Available from February 1 to January 31.
- Scholarships must be used solely for tuition expenses during the current academic school year only.
- Scholarships are awarded based on financial need and the availability of funds contributed to Yuma’s Education Scholarship Fund for Kids, Inc.
- No scholarship cap
- STO cannot award scholarships solely on the basis of donor recommendations
- STO scholarships for students to attend qualifying private schools utilizing hybrid options of instructions is permissible during the 2020/21 academic year.
Original Scholarship Prerequisites
Switcher Scholarship Prerequisites
- The student must have attended a public school as a full-time student or attended a public school program that offers services to students with disabilities for at least 90 days of the prior year and transferred from the public school to a qualified private school. Arizona Public School Verification Form must be completed; OR
- Is enrolling or currently enrolled in a private school kindergarten; OR
- The student is enrolling or currently enrolled in a qualified private school preschool program for students with disabilities (preschool students must have an IEP or MET from an Arizona public school, a 504 plan does not meet the requirements); OR
- The student received a scholarship from the Switcher program under one of the above criteria in a prior year and the child continued to attend a private school in subsequent years; OR
- The student received a Low-Income Corporate scholarship or a Disabled/Displaced Corporate scholarship in a prior year and the child continued to attend a private school in subsequent years. A Previous Award Verification Form must be completed if the scholarship was awarded by a scholarship organization other than YES Fund for Kids.
- Beginning with the 2021/2022 academic year, eligibility has been expanded to include students who are homeschooled before enrolling in a qualified school. For verification purposes the application should include a copy of the applicable county homeschool withdrawal form/discontinuation form.
- Beginning with the 2021/2022 academic year, eligibility has been expanded to include students who moved to Arizona from out of state before enrolling in a qualified school. For verification purposes the application should include a copy of the out of state school enrollment/withdrawal document.
- Beginning with the 2021/2022 academic year, eligibility has been expanded to include students that participated in the Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program and did not renew the account or accept the scholarship in order to accept an STO scholarship. A copy of a letter from the ESA stating the ESA account has been closed is required.
- If a student dis-enrolls from a private school, the scholarship prerequisites will start again when the student re enrolls in a private school.
- If a student separates from the private school to homeschool for a semester or the year, the student will be required to meet the applicable STO scholarship prerequisites in order to be eligible for an STO scholarship when they return to private school.
*YES Fund for Kids may only provide scholarships for students who meet the above guidelines. The intent of the private school tax credit program is to provide financial assistance to those students seeking school choice. According to the Arizona Department of Revenue, if the child is not eligible to be in public school, then they are not eligible for a scholarship. A student may receive awards from more than one school tuition organization in a school year, but keep in mind that this decreases the amount of scholarship funds available for other students in financial need.
Financial Need Determination
YES Fund for Kids will use the Income Eligibility Guideline requirements established under the National School Lunch and Child Nutrition Acts for Free and Reduced Lunches according to USDA, shown in the table on the Low Income Corporate page of this website. Federal income tax form 1040 pages 1 & 2 must be submitted to further verify information and financial need. Priority will be given to students and siblings of students on the YES Fund for Kids wait list. Recommendations are allowed and considered for both the Original and Switcher tax credit programs, but the student must meet the guidelines and prerequisites to be awarded a scholarship. Scholarship awards will be made as funds are available under each of the different scholarship types, depending on the individual student’s eligibility. It is not necessary to submit an application for each scholarship type. Submitting multiple scholarship applications for the same student will only delay the scholarship process.
UPCOMING SCHOOL YEAR
Communicate with Others
It is vital to the programs existence that parents understand the source of scholarship funds. The Arizona Individual Private School Tuition Tax Credit program gives parents the unique opportunity to raise support for their child’s education. With some effort and planning, parents can reduce their child’s tuition to almost nothing. If just 2 married donors maximized control of their taxes and each make $2,269 tax credit contributions and recommend your child, at least 96% or $4,356 can be awarded to him/her as a tuition scholarship. The Tax Credit is a way of re-directing tax dollars that will otherwise go to the state to satisfy the donors tax liability. See our Parent application guide for the steps to follow to ensure funds are available for applicants. Applicants may also be paying Arizona state taxes and therefore should give back to the program so that additional resources are available to the many applicants we have each year.
Empowerment Savings Accounts
If you have a child with special needs and you are seeking additional education choices, this may be a better option for your child. Students with an Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) may not receive a scholarship from a school tuition organization (STO) pursuant to title 43 A.R.S. § 15-2402. For more information regarding ESA, please visit the Arizona Department of Education website.