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Parent FAQ

Who should apply?

Anyone who has a child attending private school (grades K-12) in the state of Arizona should participate in this wonderful tax scholarship program.

How to Apply

We're here to help you every step of the way. There are three ways to apply:

1
Apply online. Once you apply and create your Parent Portal account, you will be able to:
  • Edit or update you application
  • Be notified about award decisions
  • View award history
  • Re-apply each year 
  • Access APSTO's valuable custom resources.
2
Apply offline, print our Scholarship Application form. Submit the completed application to us by mail, fax 480-256-1002, or email info@APSTO.org.
3
Pre-apply if your child will start attending private school as a new student in the 2022-2023 school year. This is the perfect time to plan ahead, please click this helpful link for New Student Information to learn more.

What are the application deadlines?

Unlike most STO’s, we don’t have application deadlines. State law requires you to fill out a new scholarship application every year for your child but it is never too late to apply with APSTO.

How often do you award scholarships?

We award scholarships on a monthly basis.

How are scholarships determined and awarded?

Our Board of Directors and Award Committee base our decisions upon the following criteria:

  • Financial Need
  • Donor Recommendations
  • A narrative provided by parents on the application.

Are there any application fees to apply?

No, APSTO does not charge application fees.

Are there any limits to the amount of scholarship awards my child can receive in a given year?

You can be awarded up to the full amount of your child’s annual tuition.

Are there any caps on annual household income to apply?

APSTO does not have some of the income caps other STO’s operate under, so even if your family is blessed with higher income you can still participate in the tax scholarship programs.

What kind of scholarships are available to my child?

There are four different scholarships funded by four different tax credits. Open the links below to learn more about each scholarship.

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.

How do I know which scholarships my child will qualify for?

We will take care of that for you. Once APSTO receives your completed application, we can determine which scholarships state laws allow your child to receive. We will send an email (usually 3-5 business days) confirming the scholarships your child is eligible for. In the meantime, you will be able to login to the Parent Portal to view this yourself. Here is a link STO Credits At-A-Glance to help you determine in advance what your child might qualify.

What documentation will I need to provide?

All applications require varying supporting documentation. For your convenience all documentation requirements will be listed within the application. Familiarizing yourself with these documents in advance will make the application process easier. You can do this by visiting our Scholarship Program page. You will have the option to upload your documentation when you complete your application or you may upload these documents at a later date by logging in to the Parent Portal.

What is a Parent Portal?

When you fill out your application, you will also be creating a Parent Portal account. You will be able to login to your account to update your application if there are changes that need to be made, upload any required documentation, and re-apply each school year. The Parent Portal has valuable tools such as custom brochures and donation pages to assist you in sharing this program with family and friends. You will also be able to see the scholarships your child qualifies for or has been awarded throughout the year. It will also indicate any documents you might need to upload to your child’s file as well as those you have uploaded.

Do you accept supporting documentation from other STO’s?

Yes, at APSTO, we go out of our way to accommodate our parents. We understand this can be a cumbersome process when applying, and we are happy to make this easier for you when we can.

Can my child receive funds from more than one STO?

Yes, we encourage you to apply for any opportunities available to you.

Can my homeschooled child receive scholarship awards?

Unfortunately, your child must be enrolled in a private school full-time in order to receive scholarship awards from an STO.

If my child is receiving Empowerment scholarship money (ESA) from the Arizona Department of Education, can they also receive scholarships from APSTO?

The ESA statue (A.R.S. 15-2402 (B)(3)) requires that if you have a contract with the ESA program, your child cannot accept ESA and STO money for the same period. If you choose to end the ESA contract during the school year, there is no conflict if your child receives an STO scholarship for the remainder of the academic year.

What happens if my child leaves private school?

Your school is required to refund the unused, prorated funds back to APSTO. Those funds can then be used to help scholarship children most in need.

What happens if my child transfers to another private school?

As long as the new school is a qualified private school in the state of Arizona, the unused portion of the award will follow your child. Otherwise, the scholarship amount would be returned to APSTO to award children most in need. See our list of Approved Schools. If your school is not on the list, contact us, it does not necessarily mean they are not a qualified school.

Are multi-year scholarships awarded?

In the event that you are able to solicit more recommended funds than needed for the current school year, those funds will remain with the student for the following school year.

Are scholarships awarded to families?

Per the Arizona Department of Revenue, scholarship awards are only given to individual students. There are no family accounts. These awards are non-transferable, even within the same family.

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