More than 29K Iowa Families Apply For Private School Aid

Elementary age students seated at desks in classroom, with hands raised to answer their teacher's question

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(Des Moines, IA) -- More than 29-thousand students have applied for funding thru the state's new Education Savings Account program. The state says nearly 17,500 applications have been approved so far. Sixty-percent are for students already attending private school whose families qualify based on income. Eligible families can get more than $7,000 to be applied for a private school education thru the program. The deadline to apply was June 30th. The state has a month to process the applications.

ESA approved families must also separately apply to the accredited private school of their choice and, if accepted, update their ESA account indicating the school their child plans to attend. Then, the school is able to invoice the family for tuition and fees through their ESA account. Once parents approve the payment, funds are transferred from the ESA account and payment is made to the school. ESA funds remain in the state’s possession until a student’s parent or guardian approves payment to the school.  


Approved ESA accounts may be funded as soon as July 15. The first payment from an ESA must be used for tuition and fees to an Iowa accredited private school.   

 If a student is approved for an ESA but does not attend an accredited private school by September 30, the ESA account will be closed for the school year. The funds remain with the state and are returned to the general fund.  

 The final number of ESA program participants and other program details will not be available until certified school enrollment numbers are finalized later this fall. 

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