Can we receive STO financial aid award if my student has an Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA)?
The ESA statute (A.R.S. §15-2402(B)(3) requires that while a parent has a contract with the ESA program, a student cannot receive both ESA and STO money for the same period. The ESA program states that a student may utilize an STO scholarship up to the start of ESA funding. Funding from the ESA program is on a quarterly basis and begins in the quarter following acceptance to the program. Once ESA funding begins, any outstanding STO scholarship money must be refunded by the private school to the STO.
As of July 2021 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, must provide a copy of a letter from the ESA stating their ESA account is closed.
However, if your student is eligible to receive tax credit tuition awards through STO4KIDZ (K-12 Arizona private school and has a current, complete application on file, must apply annually) you can solicit Recommended Fund contributions while your student is on ESA. STO4KIDZ will award your student(s) a MULTI-YEAR Recommended Fund Tuition Aid which can be paid to your private school once you submit your cancellation of ESA contract documentation to STO4KIDZ. This allows you to solicit funds for a future higher tuition fee, such as high school.