Education Savings Account application period opens for Iowa students

(ABC 6 News) – Parents and guardians of Iowa students can now apply for the state’s new Students First Education Savings Accounts.

Applications for the accounts opened Wednesday morning, and are part of the Students First Act signed into law this year by Governor Kim Reynolds.

The Students First Act will provide state funding for eligible students who attend accredited nonpublic schools starting in the 2023-2024 school year.  Students must be residents of Iowa and attend an accredited nonpublic school located in Iowa. 

All incoming kindergarteners and all K-12 students currently attending a public school who choose to enroll in an accredited nonpublic school for the 2023-2024 school year are eligible for the program regardless of income. 

The money can be used for things like tuition, textbooks, and tutoring.

“I believe education is the great equalizer, which is why it was so important to remove the boundaries that have existed between public and private schools for too long and to ensure families can send their children to the school of their choice,” Gov. Reynolds said in a statement. “Today, we’re changing the face of education in Iowa and influencing what it looks like nationwide.”

Students who attended an accredited nonpublic school at any time during the 2022-2023 school year are eligible for the 2023-2024 school year if their household income is at or below 300% of the 2023 Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Income eligibility will be automatically verified during the application process using the parent’s or guardian’s 2022 Iowa State Tax Return. If a parent did not file a 2022 tax return in Iowa, other documentation will be required to complete their application. 

Iowa Republicans, who hold wide majorities in the House and Senate, passed the bill in both the state Senate and House in January. It passed in the Senate with a 31 to 18 vote and in the Iowa House 54 to 45.

Applications are available in English and Spanish, and will be accepted until Friday, June 30.

For more information on how to apply, CLICK HERE.