One of the many things I love about my job is answering phones and having the opportunity to talk with parents, schools and donors. It’s always the best when I can sense a lightbulb has been turned on, and another family, school or donor has a better understanding of how this complicated private school tax credit program works. Day in and day out, I am asked these five questions without fail. Maybe a couple of these are questions you have about private school tax credit scholarships, as well!
QUESTION 1: WHEN DO YOU AWARD SCHOLARSHIPS?
ANSWER 1: We award tuition scholarships every month. We call this award cycle our “monthly distribution.”
QUESTION 2: WHAT IS THE PROCESS OF THE MONTHLY DISTRIBUTION?
ANSWER 2: The monthly distribution process actually takes the entire month.
- The first week of the month we are busy putting together the list of student recipients and awarding scholarships.
- The second week of the month, we send out our distribution for our APESF administrators’ approval, and then we send it out for our school administrators’ approval. The school admin verifies if the student recipients are enrolled full time and that they still owe on their tuition.
- The third week of the month, after every school has approved of the scholarships, we write the checks to the schools and put them in the mail.
- The fourth week of the month, we send out official email notification of scholarships to recipients’ families on the last day of the month.
And then we start the process all over again!
QUESTION 3: DO I HAVE TO FILL OUT AN APPLICATION TO BE AWARDED A TAX CREDIT TUITION SCHOLARSHIP?
ANSWER 3: Yes, we require an application for each student one time per school year. Our application can only be submitted online, and it is open from March 1st to February 15th of the following year. Apply for scholarships in the 2018-19 school year here!
QUESTION 4: DO I MAKE TOO MUCH MONEY TO APPLY FOR A TAX CREDIT TUITION SCHOLARSHIP?
ANSWER 4: Most Arizona families are well within the income range to be awarded tuition scholarships. Applicable law requires us to consider household income when awarding scholarships, and there can be instances when families may not qualify due to their very high income. We encourage families who may not qualify for tuition scholarships to consider donating your tax liability and recommending a friend of your child.
QUESTION 5: WHAT IF YOU TRY TO AWARD MY STUDENT A SCHOLARSHIP, BUT HIS TUITION IS ALREADY PAID IN FULL?
ANSWER 5: The ADOR will not allow an STO to award scholarships that exceed tuition. If this is attempted, the school will deny the award, and then we take that scholarship and make it “payable” for the next school year.