Program Eligibility & Restrictions
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
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:
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
||ANNUAL GROSS INCOME
(185% of poverty level)
|ANNUAL GROSS INCOME
(185% of Amount in Column 2)
|Each Additional Person
If your household income is less than
the listed amount (in purple) for your household
size, your child should meet this criterion.
Your child then needs to fall under one of the
following four categories:
- Switcher: Your child qualifies as Switcher if they meet one of the
Kindergarteners (or Preschoolers with disabilities):
- 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
- 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.
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.
Your child is the dependents of a member of the U.S Armed Forces, stationed in Arizona
pursuant to military orders.
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:
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
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.
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