MOScholars: Parents and Students


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MOScholars was established by the Missouri General Assembly in 2021 to provide educational opportunities and educational services to Missouri students and families. The program provides options for eligible families, allowing them to seek an array of alternative education services ranging from private schools to therapeutic education services.

The law provides state tax credits for contributions to approved, non-profit Educational Assistance Organizations (EAOs). These EAOs use the contributions to award scholarships to Missouri students with Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and students living in low-income households.

The Treasurer’s Office is currently in the process of certifying EAOs. Once they are selected, information about eligible schools and the scholarship application process will be made available.

Information about home schools can be found on the Schools page.

Per statute, a qualified student must be an elementary or secondary school student who is a Missouri resident and resides in a county with a charter form of government or a city with at least 30,000 residents. A list of these eligible counties and cities is available here.

Qualified students must also meet one of the following criteria:

  1. Have an approved “individualized education plan” developed under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The term “individualized education plan” means:
    1. An individualized education program (IEP) as defined in 20 U.S.C. §1414(d)(I)(A)(i); or
    2. An individual service plan (ISP) that is developed in cooperation with a local educational agency under the IDEA, specifically those provisions pertaining to parentally placed private school children found in 20 U.S.C. §1412(a)(10) and 34 CFR §300.132(b).
    Any IEP or ISP that is proffered for program eligibility must be dated within thirty-six months of the date of the student’s application to the program. Students with ISPs that are not developed under the IDEA are not eligible.
  2. Is a member of a household whose total annual income does not exceed an amount equal to 100% of the income standard used to qualify for free and reduced lunches, and meets at least one of the following:
    • Attended a public school as a full-time student for at least one semester during the previous twelve months; or
    • Is a child who is eligible to begin kindergarten or first grade.

If funding remains available after all students who meet these qualifications have been served, then the next category of qualified student is any student who:

  1. Is a member of a household whose total annual income does not exceed 200% of the standard used to qualify for free and reduced lunches and meets at least one of the following qualifications:
    • Attended a public school as a full-time student for at least one (1) semester during the previous twelve (12) months; or
    • Is a child who is eligible to begin kindergarten or first grade.

Income eligibility guidelines are determined annually by the federal government. You can find that information here.

Income Eligibility Guidelines image

Qualified students may receive scholarship funding up to the state adequacy target (SAT) as defined in section 163.011 and calculated by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).

For the 2022-2023 school year, the SAT is $6,375.

Per statute, scholarships will be awarded in the following order:

  • Qualified students who have an approved IEP or qualified students living in a household whose total annual income does not exceed an amount equal to 100% of the income standard used to qualify for free and reduced lunch;
  • Qualified students living in a household whose total income does not exceed an amount equal to 200% of the income standard used to qualify for free and reduced lunch.

Scholarships may be used on the following:

  • Tuition and fees at a qualified school;
  • Textbooks required by a qualified school;
  • Educational therapies or services from a licensed or accredited practitioner or provider including, but not limited to, licensed or accredited paraprofessionals or educational aides;
  • Tutoring services;
  • Curriculum;
  • Tuition or fees for a private, virtual school;
  • Fees for a nationally standardized norm-referenced achievement test, advanced placement examinations, international baccalaureate examinations, or any examinations related to college or university admission;
  • Fees for management of the Missouri Scholarship Account Program by firms selected by the education assistance organization;
  • Services provided by a public school including, but not limited to, individual classes and extracurricular programs;
  • Computer hardware or other technological devices that are used to help meet the qualified student’s educational needs and that are approved by an educational assistance organization;
  • Fees for summer education programs and specialized after-school education programs;
  • Transportation costs for mileage to and from a qualified school.

Scholarships may not be used on the following:

  • Consumable educational supplies included, but not limited to, pens, pencils, paper, markers;
  • Tuition at a private school outside the state of Missouri;
  • Payments or reimbursements to any person related within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity to a qualified student.
  • MOScholars was established by the Missouri General Assembly in 2021 to provide educational options to Missouri students and families. The law provides for state tax credits for contributions to approved, non-profit Education Assistance Organizations (EAOs). These EAOs use the contributions to award scholarships to eligible Missouri students.
  • MOScholars does not reduce the funding received by a student’s resident school district. Instead, student scholarships are funded with private donations leveraged by state tax credits.
  • Per statute, qualified students, in order of priority, are:
    • Any elementary or secondary school student who is a Missouri resident and resides in an eligible county or city (a county with a charter form of government or any city with at least 30,000 residents who:
      1. Has an approved "individualized education plan" (IEP) developed under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The term “individualized education plan” means:
        1. An individualized education program (IEP) as defined in 20 U.S.C. §1414(d)(I)(A)(i); or
        2. An individual service plan (ISP) that is developed in cooperation with a local educational agency under the IDEA, specifically those provisions pertaining to parentally placed private school children found in 20 U.S.C. §1412(a)(10) and 34 CFR §300.132(b).
        Any IEP or ISP that is proffered for program eligibility must be dated within thirty-six months of the date of the student’s application to the program. Students with ISPs that are not developed under the IDEA are not eligible. OR
      2. Lives in a household whose total annual income does not exceed 100% of the free and reduced lunch rate; and,
        • Attended a public school as a full-time student for at least one (1) semester during the previous twelve (12) months; or
        • Is a child who is eligible to begin kindergarten or first grade.
    • If funding remains available after all students who meet these qualifications have been served, then the next category of qualified student is any student who:
      1. Is a member of a household whose total annual income does not exceed 200% of the standard used to qualify for free and reduced lunches and meets at least one of the following qualifications:
        • Attended a public school as a full-time student for at least one (1) semester during the previous twelve (12) months; or
        • Is a child who is eligible to begin kindergarten or first grade.
  • Income standards for free and reduced lunch are issued by the federal government annually.
  • Eligible expenses include:
    • Tuition and fees at a qualified school;
    • Textbooks required by a qualified school;
    • Educational therapies or services from a licensed or accredited practitioner or provider including, but not limited to, licensed or accredited paraprofessionals or educational aides;
    • Tutoring services;
    • Curriculum;
    • Tuition or fees for a private, virtual school;
    • Fees for a nationally standardized norm-referenced achievement test, advanced placement examinations, international baccalaureate examinations, or any examinations related to college or university admission;
    • Fees for management of the Missouri Scholarship Account Program by firms selected by the education assistance organization;
    • Services provided by a public school including, but not limited to, individual classes and extracurricular programs;
    • Computer hardware or other technological devices that are used to help meet the qualified student’s educational needs and that are approved by an educational assistance organization;
    • Fees for summer education programs and specialized after-school education programs;
    • Transportation costs for mileage to and from a qualified school.
  • Scholarships may not be used on the following:
    • Consumable educational supplies included, but not limited to, pens, pencils, paper, markers
    • Tuition at a private school outside the state of Missouri
    • Payments or reimbursements to any person related within the third degree of consanguinity or affinity to a qualified student
  • This program is under development. Once it has launched, parents and students will apply through the certified EAO that is partnering with their school of choice.