May 18, 2015
A Brief Walk-through
ACSTO's mission is to serve our partner schools by providing tuition scholarships for their students. If your child(ren) are enrolled, or hope to enroll, at one of our private Christian partner schools, and need assistance with the expense of tuition, we invite you to take a brief look at how scholarships work.
The goal of the tuition tax credit program is to help make private schooling affordable. The tax credit program invites taxpayers to donate, receive a credit, and the money is used to fund scholarship awards. There is no cap on how much a student can receive as a scholarship, but the amount that can be used is limited to the cost of tuition.
The tax credit law specifies that scholarships may only be used for qualified K-12 private schools, and more specifically, ACSTO only grants awards to private Christian schools that have partnered with us (click here for a list).
Your student(s) must have a current and completed ACSTO scholarship application, and be currently enrolled (or in the enrollment process) at the school listed on the application, in order to be considered for an award. Only one application is required per award year, though a separate application is required for each student you wish to be considered for an award. We require a new application for each award year, which ends on April 30 when all applications expire (regardless of when we received them), and a new application for the new school year becomes available.
ACSTO makes awards three times per award year: Summer Award Cycle (June-July), Fall Award Cycle (Oct-Nov), and Spring Award Cycle (March-April). Review our Award Year Timeline for more details and deadlines.
There are no family accounts - every student is considered separately during the award process. Scholarship awards are student-specific and can only pay for tuition due for that student. Scholarships are non-transferable.
All scholarship money available to award is funded by generous taxpayers who donate what they can. In return, these taxpayers are able to claim a tax credit for 100% of what they donated, up to the maximums allowed or their income tax liability, whichever is less.
What is more, these donors are allowed to make student recommendations on their donation. It doesn't guarantee that the student they name will receive a scholarship, but it will be considered by our selection committees as one of the factors they use to make their award decisions. Ultimately, our selection committees have complete discretion regarding all scholarship awards. The three factors they consider are as follows (in no particular order):
The narrative provided by the parents;
The financial circumstances of the student's family;
Recommendations concerning the student.
The fact that donors can make recommendations is a huge motivation for parents to seek out Arizona taxpayers who are willing to make a donation and recommend the parent's child as a potential recipient.
Next, visit our Scholarship Opportunities page for more information about the two types of scholarships available from ACSTO.