We understand that one of your biggest concerns about securing a private, Christian education for your child is the cost of their tuition. Here at Grace Christian Schools, we’ve gone the extra mile to find the help you need to make it possible for you to join the GCS family. We work closely with agencies and organizations who believe in the value of school choice and Christian education, so that we can help make this investment more affordable for you. Here are some opportunities below:
Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA)
The Arizona Department of Education administers Arizona’s ESA (Empowerment Scholarship Account) program. In 2022, this program was adapted to expand eligibility to all Arizona students, with no restrictions or qualifications needed. ESA’s allow parents to purchase qualifying educational services, including private school tuition, thereby greatly reducing, and in some cases even eliminating, out-of-pocket costs to attend Grace Christian Schools.
Tax Credit Scholarships
At Grace Christian Schools, we are committed to helping parents become educated with Arizona’s tax credit scholarship program.
The state of Arizona allows private school students to apply for tax-credit scholarships from School Tuition Organizations (STOs) like those we partner with: Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization (ACSTO), Institute for Better Education (IBE), and School Choice Arizona. Grace Christian Schools strongly encourages all new and current students to apply for scholarships each year. Tax credit scholarships are awarded only to students who have completed our enrollment process. Organizations like ACSTO, IBE, and School Choice Arizona partner with Christian schools and families like you to make your dream of private Christian education a reality for your child.
There are three types of Tax Credit Scholarships:
Any student enrolled at Grace Christian Schools is eligible to apply.
Any student falling under any of the categories listed here under “Overflow Scholarships” may apply for Overflow Scholarships:
These awards have the same eligibility guidelines as the Overflow Scholarships, plus additional family income guidelines.
Donors (Individual Tax Credit Scholarships)
Donors participate by making a donation to a qualified STO and then claiming the appropriate tax credit when they file their Arizona state taxes. The dollar-for-dollar tax credit is used to offset the donor’s Arizona state tax liability and may be carried forward for up to five years. Many families work with family members, friends, neighbors, and coworkers to receive donations by recommending their children. Those who leverage this program the most successfully are those who spend time explaining the benefits of the program to others and asking them to participate. Click here to learn more.
Grace Christian Schools hosts informational meetings with representatives from ACSTO throughout the year so you can bring your friends and family members to hear about this amazing program. Call our office today to find out when our next meeting is scheduled: (520) 217-8077.
Donors (Corporate Scholarships)
AS A CORPORATION (C Corp, S Corp, or Insurance Company) YOU HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
You can give without it costing you more! You have the choice to donate what you would otherwise pay to the state in taxes. Click here to learn how.
You may recommend anyone who is not your child or dependent, but the selection committee retains complete discretion regarding all awards.
Parents cannot plan to donate to each other’s children; this is called swapping. The law states, “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.”
Individual Tax Credit Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I apply for a tuition scholarship?
Complete and submit the scholarship application on the STO website. Financial information and a narrative are required.
- What factors are considered in making scholarship awards?
The narrative provided by the parents, the financial circumstances of the family, and recommendations for the student are all considered.
- If my child has been recommended for a scholarship, do I still need to send in an application along with the financial information and narrative?
Yes, there must be a fully completed application for a student to be eligible for an award. This must be completed annually with all STOs you wish to participate in.
- Are scholarship awards made to individual students or families?
Awards are given to individual students only and cannot be applied to families. An award cannot be transferred to a different child, even within the same family.
- May a student receive awards from more than one STO?
Yes, you are able to receive awards from more than one STO.
- How do I talk to people to encourage them to make a donation?
Sample letters and talking points will help you get started in talking with potential donors.
Ways To Solicit Donations To Individual Tax Credit Program
Invite family, friends, and neighbors to participate in the unique school choice opportunity we have available in Arizona. If they already pay state income tax (taxes withheld from their paycheck), they can automatically redirect up to $2483 of their tax withholding if filing married or $1243 if filing single. They can make a donation directly to ACSTO and recommend your child(ren).
Click here for a sample letter. (link when document is updated)
Click here for some talking points to help you start a conversation. (link when document is updated)