Applicant FAQ’s

  1. What grade/age does my student need to be to receive a scholarship?

    IBE can scholarship students, grades K-12 and disabled preschoolers with an Arizona public school IEP or MET. Kindergarten students must be 5 by December 31st in order to receive scholarships.

  2. How do I receive a scholarship?

    To be considered for a scholarship all families must first complete an application. Please take a few moments to register online at, after which you may complete the application.

  3. What type of scholarships are available?
    IBE offers multiple types of scholarships.
    • Original Individual
    • PLUS/Switcher
    • Corporate Low Income
    • Corporate Disabled/Displaced

    To review eligibility criteria for each of these programs, please visit our page here.

  4. How often do I need to complete an application?

    Once every school year.

  5. When are the applications due?

    Applications are typically released in January for the following school year and are generally due in April; the firm deadline for applications will be included with each application.

  6. Is there a cost for applying?


  7. Does IBE require any supporting documentation with my application?

    Yes, applications require varying supporting documentation. All documentation requirements will be listed within the application.

  8. What qualifies me for financial aid?
    There is no set criteria for qualifying a family for financial aid; however, when reviewing applications for financial aid our scholarship committee considers the following:
    • Income of the family
    • Cost of tuition at the private school attending
    • Number of children attending private school
    • Letter of extenuating circumstances/hardships
  9. Are there any scholarships other than those for financial aid?

    IBE has a “Recommended Fund” program where applicant families may solicit friends and family members to donate through IBE and recommend their child as the recipient of their donation. Donors may give under the Original Individual program and PLUS/Switcher program to those who meet the eligibility criteria. Donors may contribute the following:

    Original Individual PLUS
    2019 Single filers maximum donation: $569
    2019 Married filing jointly maximum donation: $1,138
    2019 Single filers maximum donation: $566
    2019 Married filing jointly maximum donation: $1,131
    By law, you may only donate to PLUS if you have fulfilled your Original donation for that tax year.

    While IBE is required by law to consider factors other than the recommendation of the donor, IBE does its best to honor the wishes of the donor.

    * Notice: A.RS. 43-1603: A school tuition organization cannot award, restrict or reserve scholarships bases solely on a donor’s recommendation. A taxpayer may not claim a tax credit if the taxpayer agrees to swap donations with another taxpayer to benefit either taxpayers own dependent.

  10. If a friend or family member donates, how much of the donation might my child receive?

    IBE awards 92% of all donations as scholarships. If a donation is made under the PLUS/Switcher program, that child must meet at least one of the following criteria to be eligible to receive that donation:

    • Entering Kindergarten
    • Transferring from an Arizona public or charter school after at least 90 days of attendance
    • Previously received a PLUS/Switcher, Low-Income Corporate or Disabled/Displaced Corporate in a prior year and continued to attend private school
    • Is a dependent of a member of the armed forces stationed in Arizona on orders
    • Is a disabled preschooler with a public school IEP or MET enrolled in a qualified private preschool
  11. Can I donate to my own child?

    Unfortunately, no. Donors may not recommend their own dependent as a recipient.

  12. How does IBE account for the 8% retained?
    IBE must pay for all operational and administrative expenses out the 8%. These expenses include, but are not limited to:
    • Salaries and benefits
    • Office building, utilities, supplies, etc.
    • Database management
    • Banking services
    • Credit card fees
    • Marketing materials(brochures, donation envelopes, etc.)
    • IBE continuously looks for opportunities to award additional scholarships out of our administrative expenses
  13. Is there any limit to the amount of scholarships I can receive?

    Absolutely not. All families should apply for all scholarship programs they are eligible for. Families have the possibility to be awarded through multiple programs for the same school year. In addition, families may apply to other School Tuition Organizations (STO’s) for additional assistance, if needed. Families may use Recommended Funds to bridge any gaps left after financial aid scholarships are awarded.

  14. What happens if my child leaves private school?

    Your school is required to refund IBE a prorated amount of funds. Those funds are then used to scholarship a child in need. Please call our office to inform us if you choose to withdraw from private school.

  15. What happens if my child switches to a different private school?

    Any Recommended Funds may follow your child to the new school; however, financial aid scholarships will be remain with the school. Please call our office to inform us if you choose to switch to a different private school.

  16. Are multi-year scholarships awarded?

    In the event that you are able to solicit more Recommended Funds than what is needed for the current school year, those funds will remain with the student for the following school year. Financial aid scholarships are awarded each school year. In the event that your child does not need the full amount awarded the excess scholarship will be returned to IBE for re-award to another student in need.

  17. How often are scholarships disbursed?

    Payments for Recommended Funds are offered to the school each month, provided a family’s application is up-to-date. Any donations received, regardless of donation date, will be offered during our monthly payment cycle for the current school year. The school will accept any and all funds available up to your family’s annual tuition obligation. Financial aid payments are sent at the beginning of the school year, or shortly after the scholarship is awarded (for any late awards given).

  18. What are IBE scholarships eligible to be used for?

    IBE scholarships can pay for tuition costs only.

  19. Can IBE pay for tuition from a prior school year?

    No. Per Arizona state law, IBE is unable to pay for prior school year's tuition.

  20. Is IBE audited?

    Yes. The law requires IBE to have an independent audit completed. However, the IBE Board of Trustees has required an independent audit be completed every year since 2002.

  21. 2017-18 fiscal year scholarships awarded by demographics.

    185% of federal reduced lunch program guidelines
    Original Scholarships PLUS Scholarships Corporate Scholarships Disabled/Displaced Scholarships
    Dollars Awarded $1,525,387.00 $842,344.00 $207,046.00 $49,882.00
    Percentage Awarded 13% 15% 39% 23%

    186% - 342% of federal reduced lunch program guidelines
    Original Scholarships PLUS Scholarships Corporate Scholarships Disabled/Displaced Scholarships
    Dollars Awarded $2,684,660.00 $1,292,625.00 $317,402.00 $65,304.00
    Percentage Awarded 22% 23% 61% 30%