ESA Parent FAQs

Q Who is eligible for the program?

STEP 1: SPECIAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENT

Eligible students only include those who have a disability that requires special education services and has an individualized education plan (IEP), service plan (SP), or a choice special education plan.

STEP 2: INCOME REQUIREMENT

Families must meet the income requirement of 300% of the federal Free or Reduced-Price School Meals (FRL): 

Household Size Household Income
1 $71,484
2 $96,681
3 $121,878
4 $147,075
5 $172,272
6 $197,469
7 $222,666
8 $247,863
9 $273,060
10 $298,257

Q What can the INESA funds be used for?

Funds must be used for pre-approved educational purposes only. Qualified expenses include: 

  • Educational services 
  • Tuition and fees at an approved non-public school or select courses at a public school
  • Private tutoring
  • Paraprofessionals or educational aides
  • Services or therapies as prescribed by the student’s physician
  • Tuition and fees to attend training programs and camps focusing on vocational, academic, life, independence, or soft job skills.
  • Services contracted for and provided by the school corporation, charter, magnet, or non-public school, such as individual classes, extracurricular activities, or additional programs, resources, or staffing as part of the student’s individualized learning plan.
  • Fees for transportation to and from an approved provider
  • Fees for certain student assessments and examinations
  • Fees for the management of the INESA account

A complete list of services and providers is forthcoming, but will be located on the Treasurer of State’s website.

Q Can my child be enrolled at a public school and use the Education Scholarship Account?

No. INESAs cannot be used if a student is enrolled at a traditional public or public charter school. However, an INESA student can use funds to purchase services from a traditional public or public charter school, such as courses, if the school has applied to participate with the program. The INESA can be used to cover any tuition or fees associated with these courses.  

Q Are current non-public school students eligible?

Yes, current non-public school students can apply to participate in the INESA program as long as they meet the eligibility and income requirements. The non-public school that will be accepting payments through the INESA account must apply and be approved as a participating provider.

Q Is my child eligible if they are currently receiving an Indiana Choice Scholarship?

Students may not be awarded the Choice Scholarship and the Education Scholarship Account for the same school year. However, if your child is a current recipient of the Choice Scholarship Award, you may apply for the Educational Scholarship Account.  If approved, your child will forfeit the Choice Scholarship and be able to use funds through an INESA account to purchase educational services and fees.  You may continue to use these funds for tuition and fees at a qualified school.

Q What is the difference between the Indiana Choice Scholarship and the Indiana Education Scholarship Account Programs?

The Indiana Choice Scholarship can only be used to cover tuition and fees at non-public, voucher-accepting schools, whereas tuition and fees are just one type of qualified expense for an INESA student. Any remaining funds after the cost of tuition and fees can be used on any pre-approved educational expenses, such as therapies and services, for INESA students.

Furthermore, instead of using the INESA funds at a non-public school, parents can instead opt to completely customize their child’s education through the use of tutors, therapies, services, and other pre-approved educational expenses, as long as the parent of the eligible student uses part of the money in the account in the following areas of study: reading, grammar, mathematics, social studies or science, or other area as determined in the student’s IEP, service plan or choice special education plan.

Q Does every non-public school accept the INESA Program?

No. Only non-public schools that have applied to the Treasurer of State’s office to be an INESA-accepting school participate in the program. A complete list of approved schools are forthcoming, but will be located on the Treasurer of State’s website.

Q Is an INESA considered homeschooling?

No, a homeschool student and an INESA student are two separate and unique student types. For the INESA program, a parent must sign a contract with the state in order for their child to participate and can only purchase the preapproved items. INESA students are also required to take the statewide assessment.

Q What if my child's current provider is not an approved INESA provider?

If a parent would like to use INESA funds to make payments to a provider that is not currently on the pre-approved list, the provider must first apply and be approved to participate in the program.  Any services paid for prior to approval of the participating entity into the program will not be reimbursed.

Q How much funding will my student receive under the INESA program?

Students who participate in the program will receive 90% of their basic tuition support already allotted to the student by the state as well as 100% of special education dollars allotted to their student if the student chooses not to receive special education services from their local public school. This amount will vary by district and is based on your local public school district.

Q How will INESA money be distributed to families?

Scholarship funds will be deposited directly into each student’s INESA account in quarterly payments.  This account will be available to parents via a secure online portal, which they will use to make payments directly to providers from the student’s account. Debit cards are not used and funds are not deposited directly into personal bank accounts. Each family will have access to an account for each eligible student in their household.

Q How do I apply for the INESA Program?

Families can apply via the Treasurer of State’s online portal, which will be found on their website once it becomes available in early 2022. For now, parents can sign up on this webpage for news and updates as the program begins.

Q When is the deadline to apply for an Indiana Education Scholarship Account for the 2022-2023 school year?

Applications are not yet available, but will be due to the Treasurer of State by April 1, 2022. Applications, once available, will be able to be completed online via the Treasurer of State’s website.

Q Do I need to reapply every school year?

Yes. The INESA is awarded annually to a qualified student. A student must apply each year and must continue to meet the program’s requirements. This may include providing documentation for the eligibility requirements listed above. Preference for INESA accounts will be provided to students who were account holders the previous year.

In honor of National School Choice Week, Jan. 23 to Jan. 29, 2022, Institute for Quality Education is holding a story contest.

Three winners will be announced during National School Choice Week and receive a cash prize of $1,000.

We will also be awarding three $1000 prizes to the schools of the three winning stories.

Story submissions are due Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021.


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