ESA Provider FAQs

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

Q What type of service providers can participate in the program?

  • Schools
  • An individual tutor or tutoring agency
  • An individual or entity that provides services to a student with a disability as part of their individualized education program or service plan
  • An individual or entity that offers a course or program to an eligible student
  • Entities that provide student assessments

Q How do I become a pre-approved ESA service provider? Are there requirements?

Potential service providers must submit an application to the Treasurer of State’s office. Each applicant may be asked to provide proof of accreditation, licensure, certification, or any other supporting documentation.

Applications are forthcoming, but once available will be able to be completed online. For now, service providers can sign up on this webpage for news and updates as the program begins.

Q How are INESA providers paid for services and fees?

INESA account holders will have access to their grant-funded account via an online portal through which they can research, select, and make payments directly to approved service providers. INESA providers must provide a receipt to the parent of an eligible student for each qualified expense charged for education or related service.

Q Do schools need to apply to participate in the program?

Yes, similar to the Choice Scholarship program, schools need to apply to be considered a participating vendor in the INESA program. Schools will need to follow the same application process as other potential service providers.

Q Which school types are eligible to be an ESA service provider?

All school types can provide services, such as a course for INESA students to take, however, only non-public schools can enroll INESA students within their school full-time. 

A qualified non-public school is accredited by either the state board or a national or regional accreditation agency that is recognized by the state board. Qualified schools who enroll participating students and accept fees from student accounts must administer a statewide assessment, unless otherwise prescribed by the participating student’s IEP, service plan or choice special education plan.

Q If I am already participating in the Choice Scholarship Program, do I also need to apply to the INESA Program? What is the difference between the two programs?

Yes. Any non-public schools that may already be participating in the Choice Scholarship Program will need to apply to become a participating entity in the INESA Program.

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.

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.

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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