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Program Eligibility & Restrictions

Program Eligibility

There are four different scholarships funded by four different tax credits programs. Open the links below to learn more about the programs and the specific eligibility requirements of each.

Original Tax Credit

Original Tax Credit Scholarships: are funded through the Original Tax Credit Law, A.R.S. 43-1089. Any child who attends private school grades K-12 (or a preschooler with disabilities) in the state of Arizona will qualify for this tax credit scholarship.

Switcher (Overflow/PLUS) Tax Credit

Switcher (Overflow/PLUS) Tax Credit Scholarships: are funded by the Switcher Tax Credit Law, A.R.S 43-1089.03. To be eligible for this tax credit scholarship, your child need only meet just one of the following prerequisites:

  • Your child attended an Arizona public or charter school as a full-time student for at least 90 days, or a full semester in the prior school year and transferred to a private school. A Public School Verification Form should be completed to submit with the application.
  • Your child is enrolling or currently enrolled in private school kindergarten.
  • Your child is a dependent of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces who is stationed in Arizona under military orders. A copy of the military orders is required.
  • Your child previously received a Switcher or Corporate scholarship and has attended private School continuously since. New applicants should complete a Scholarship Verification Form or provide an STO Award Letter specifying the scholarship type to submit with the application.
Or
New for the 2021/2022 academic school year, just one of the following prerequisites that have been added this year to include these student categories:
  • Your child was homeschooled before transferring directly to an Arizona private school. A Transfer Student Verification Form should be completed to submit with proof of homeschooling. 
  • Your child moved to Arizona from another state or country and transferred directly to an Arizona private school. A Transfer Student Verification Form should be completed to submit with proof of your move.
  • Your child 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. A Transfer Student Verification Form should be completed to submit with proof of ESA cancellation/withdrawal.

Low-Income Corporate Tax Credit

Low-Income Corporate Tax Credit Scholarships: are funded by the Corporate Low-Income Tax Credit Law, A.R.S. 43-1183. To be eligible for this tax credit, your child must meet both criteria A and B below:

A

Your household must be considered low income. A family is considered low income if total household income is 185% or less of the income level set by the USDA’s Federal Reduced Lunch guidelines. Please refer to the chart below to see if you fall into this category.

Federal Reduced Price Lunch Guidelines 2021-2022 School Year Income Maximums for AZ Low-Income Corporate Tax Credit Scholarships
HOUSEHOLD SIZE ANNUAL GROSS INCOME
(185% of poverty level)
ANNUAL GROSS INCOME
(185% of Amount in Column 2)
1 $23,828 $44,082
2 $32,227 $59,620
3 $40,626 $75,158
4 $49,025 $90,696
5 $57,424 $106,234
6 $65,823 $121,773
7 $74,222 $137,311
8 $82,621 $151,849
Each Additional Person $8,399 $15,538
If your household income is less than the listed amount (in purple) for your household size, your child should meet this criterion.
B

Your child then needs to fall under one of the following four categories:

  1. Switcher: Your child qualifies as Switcher if they meet one of the following prerequisites:
    • Your child attended an Arizona public or charter school as a full-time student for at least 90 days, or a full semester, in the prior school year, and transferred to a private school.
    • Your child was homeschooled and transferred directly to an Arizona private school.
    • Your child moved to Arizona from another state or country and transferred directly to an Arizona private school.
    • Your child has directly exited the ESA (Empowerment Scholarship Account) to participate in the tuition tax credit program.
    • Your child is enrolling or currently enrolled in kindergarten.
    • Your child is a dependent of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces who is stationed on Arizona under military orders.
    • Your child previously received a Switcher or Corporate scholarship and has attended private School continuously since.
  2. Kindergarteners (or Preschoolers with disabilities):
  3. Any child entering kindergarten into an Arizona private school will qualify. Preschoolers with disabilities will also qualify if their school provides services for their disability.

  4. Military: Your child is the dependents of a member of the U.S Armed Forces, stationed in Arizona pursuant to military orders.
  5. Previous Scholarships: Your child has previously received a scholarship (in the prior school year) from any of the tax Credit scholarship programs (Original, Switcher, or Corporate (Low-Income or Disabled/Displaced) and have continued in private school since receiving the award.

Disabled/Displaced (Lexie’s Law) Tax Credit

Disabled/Displaced Tax Credit Scholarships: are funded by the Displaced Students or Students with Disabilities Tax Credit Law (Lexie’s Law), A.R.S. 43-1184. To be eligible for this tax credit your child must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Disabled:
    Children who are identified as having a disability under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, or by a school district, must provide a copy of either an IEP, 504 plan, or MET issued by an Arizona public school. This document does not have to be current to qualify. However, it does need to be submitted with your child’s application.
  • Displaced:
    Children who are (or have been) placed in the Arizona foster care system at any time before graduating high school. For children who qualify under this provision, a Displaced Verification Form should be completed to submit with the application.

Eligibility Restrictions

The statutes governing Arizona’s tax credit programs for individuals allow donor recommendations. APSTO welcomes donor recommendations and considers them a priority when awarding scholarships. Although the program regulations allow donor recommendations, there are some rules governing this giving scenario that you should be aware of.

“As described by the State of Arizona, “A school tuition organization cannot award, restrict, or reserve scholarships solely on the basis of donor recommendation. A taxpayer may not claim a tax credit if the taxpayer agrees to swap donations with another taxpayer to benefit either taxpayer’s own dependent.”

  • Parent Contributions Recommending their Student is Strictly Prohibited: A parent or guardian may NOT make a tax credit donation recommending their own child. In divorce situations, this restriction includes the non-custodial parent even if the child is not being claimed as a dependent.
  • Donation Swapping is Strictly Prohibited: Parents may not organize a giving arrangement with another parent (or parents) to recommend each other’s student.
  • Early Starting Kindergarten Students: If the student is not age 5 by January 1st of their kindergarten school year, the student is not eligible to participate in any of the tax credit programs for that academic year.
  • Break in Continuous Enrollment: Switcher (Overflow/PLUS) and Corporate Credit Program Eligibility requires continuous private school enrollment for eligible students. If a student withdraws from the private school for a Public, Charter, or Home-school educational option, prior Switcher and Corporate program eligibility will be forfeited. If the student returns to the private school, it may take several years to re-establish eligibility in these programs. See Continuous Enrollment for more details.
  • Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) Recipients: A student that receives ESA money from the Arizona Department of Education is not eligible for tuition tax credit awards. See ESA-STO Eligibility.
  • Preschool Students: Preschool tuition does not qualify for the Private School Tuition Tax Credit Programs. However, a pre-kindergarten student may participate in this program up to one-year prior the student attending a kindergarten program at a qualified school. See New Student Information.
  • 2022-2023 Transfer Students: Only currently enrolled participating private school students are eligible for the Private School Tuition Tax Credit Programs. However, if the student will be transferring to a participating private school in the 2022-2023 school year, the student can participate in the tax credit programs with APSTO the current school year for funding in the next school year. See New Student Information.

If you have additional questions in this regard, please contact us. We are always here to help.

Questions? Call 480-256-1001 or email info@APSTO.org