ESA Program & AZTO Awards
Since 2004, AZTO continues to support families in making a Christian Education an affordable option. Recently, Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program is universally available to all K-12 students in Arizona. Here is what you need to know regarding AZTO’s tuition tax credit program and the ESA program.
- Annual Participation is Recommended. Whether you choose ESA or STO participation, it is best that your student stays with that program the entire academic school year. Many challenges come into play with attempting to transition between quarters. AZTO management strongly suggests annual participation.
- Parents may choose for their student to participate with ESA or AZTO scholarships, but NOT concurrently during the same period. If you decide to move to the ESA program or back to AZTO from ESA, please notify AZTO. It is the parent’s responsibility to report any eligibility changes to AZTO at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Exiting ESA. The Arizona Department of Education recently announced that students exiting the ESA program to participate with STO awards must have a closed ESA account status prior to receiving STO awards. As such, AZTO is requiring families to provide a copy of the “ESA Application Closed Confirmation” email generated by the Arizona Department of Education for students exiting ESA and moving to STO awards. The email notice is generated when a parent closes their student’s ESA account. An annual AZTO student application is also required.
- Held AZTO Awards. AZTO will hold pending awards for students that move to the ESA program. If a parent closes their student’s ESA contract before the start of the 23/24 school year, the student may receive an AZTO award in the 23/24 school year. An annual application is required along with proof of the canceled ESA contract from th Arizona Department of Education. AZTO may hold pending awards up to three school years, provided the family applies to AZTO annually and communicates this request.
- Both programs are student specific. Consideration is unique for each student. For example, if you have two students attending a private school, it may be financially wise to have an ESA contract for one student and, at the same time, have the other student funded by AZTO awards. Another aspect to consider is Low-Income Corporate tax credit eligibility, as eligible students can receive significant tax credit awards. Each family needs to understand its unique situation.
- Donors. Arizona taxpayers have a choice in where their tax dollars are sent. Please continue to make your annual tax credit donation to AZTO. Recommended donations for current ESA students will be accepted for potential use in another school year. You may also consider making a recommended donation for a non-ESA student or a school scholarship fund. AZTO helps thousands of students afford a Christian education each school year and benefits Arizona donors. A win-win!
- School communication. Your child’s school finance team will be a helpful resource in determining which program best fits your family. Additionally, your school may require a copy of your student’s ESA contract if your student becomes an ESA participant.
- Questions. Feel free to call us if you would like to talk over what program best suits your family. Phone: 602-295-3033