Students First Educational Savings Account (ESA)

Apply for Students FIRST ESA

Program Overview

Parents who choose to enroll their eligible children in one of Iowa’s accredited nonpublic schools will receive an amount equal to the per pupil funding allocated to public school districts for the same budget school year. For the 2024-25 school year, the amount will be $7,826. Funds are held in an education savings account (ESA) to be used for tuition, fees, and other eligible qualified education expenses.

The state contracted with Odyssey for ESA program administration, including applications, financial transactions, compliance, fraud prevention and customer service. Odyssey securely administers funds and provides families with direct customer service and support.

Program Eligibility

Students First ESAs are awarded based on the following eligibility:

School Year 2024-25

  • A student that was approved and used an ESA in the 2023-24 school year

  • A student entering kindergarten at an Iowa accredited nonpublic school

  • A student that attended an Iowa public school in the prior year

  • A student enrolled in an accredited nonpublic school with a household income at or below 400% of the 2024 Federal Poverty Guidelines, $124,800 for a family of four

Tips for Returning Families

  • Applications: 

    • Annual ESA applications are required for all prospective ESA participants.

    • A student who was approved for and used an ESA in the 2023-24 school year is not subject to household income requirements for the 2024-25 school year. 

    • Open: April 16, 2024

    • Close: June 30, 2024 

  • Funding amount: 

    • The ESA amount for the 2024-25 school year will be $7,826. 

    • ESA funds for the 2024-25 school year will be available beginning July 15, 2024, or 30 days after the application is approved, whichever is later.

  • ESA Balance from prior year: Funds remaining in an ESA from a prior year are eligible to be used in another year the student is an ESA participant.

  • School of Choice: The ability to select the school your child plans to attend in the 2024-25 school year will be available in the Odyssey portal immediately after an application is approved.

Questions & Answers

Send your questions to or call 515-954-5652.