Applications

How to Apply

The Tennessee Education Savings Account (ESA) student application for the 2024-25 school year opens February 1, 2024

If you wish to download, print, complete, and mail a paper application or submit it in person, you may do so by following the directions below.

Alternative Application Submission

The standard submission of the application for the 2024-25 school year is via the online application. If you wish to download, print, complete, and mail your applica􀆟on or submit it in person, you may do so by comple􀆟ng the applica􀆟on linked here and attaching copies of your documentation. Please send to the following address:

ESA Program c/o TDOE

Andrew Johnson Tower, 10th Floor

710 James Robertson Parkway

Nashville, TN 37243

Important Application Dates

  • February 1, 2024: Student application opens for 2024-25 school year.
  • May 1, 2024: Priority deadline for 2024-25 student application.For Online Application Click Here
  • August 1, 2024: Student application closes for fall 2024 enrollment.
  • August 2, 2024: Student application opens for winter 2025 enrollment.
  • January 2, 2025: Student application closes for 2024-25.

* Please note, the priority deadline for the 2024-25 student application of May 1, 2024, will be used in the event a lottery becomes necessary. Any applications received after this date will be evaluated on a first come, first served basis.

Application Review Process

Upon receipt of an application, a confirmation email will be sent. Application review can take up to 30 days based on volume received. Families can review the status of their application by logging into the online application webpage. Upon review, families will receive an email with a decision and next steps.

Note, your child must meet all student eligibility requirements of the ESA Program to receive approval. Some applicants may receive conditional approval due to enrollment eligibility. Conditional approval will be finalized by June 2024.

Applicants that are denied may appeal their decision within 10 business days. Further appeal guidance can be found here.

Program Eligibility Guidelines

A student is eligible to receive an ESA if they meet all of the following criteria:

1.  Is a Tennessee resident; and

2.  Is zoned to attend a school in the Achievement School District, Hamilton County Schools, Memphis-Shelby County Schools, or Metro Nashville Public Schools; and

3.  Is a member of a household with an annual income for the previous year that does not exceed twice the federal income eligibility guidelines for free lunch; and

4.  Meets at least one of the following requirements:

  • The student was previously enrolled in and attended a Tennessee public school for the one (1) full school year immediately preceding the school year for which the student receives an education savings account;
  • The student is eligible for the first time to enroll in a Tennessee school;
  • The student received an education savings account in the previous school year;
  • The student was enrolled in and attended a Tennessee public school for one (1) full school year in the 2019-20, 2020-21, or 2021-22 school year; or
  • The student was eligible for the first time to enroll in a Tennessee public school in the 2019-20, 2020-21, or 2021-22 school year.

To be eligible for the ESA Program, the student must be zoned to attend a school in one of the following districts:

  • Achievement School District
  • Hamilton County Schools
  • Memphis-Shelby County Schools
  • Metro Nashville Public Schools

Documentation submitted for proof of residency must:

  1. Include an address zoned for one of the school districts listed above, and;
  2. Address must match on all documentation submitted; and
  3. Have the name of the parent and/or guardian listed within the documentation.

Options for showing proof of residency:

ISSUED WITHIN THE LAST 90 DAYS

  • Utility Bills or Connection Notices
    • Home or Mobile Phone, Water, Gas, Electric, Internet, Cable, Waste Collection
  • Installment Loan Statement
    • Automobile, Mortgage, Personal, Student, Bank
  • Insurance Bill or Policy
    • Homeowner’s, Renter’s, Automobile, Life, Health Insurance
  • Affidavit of Residence
    • Landlord affidavit of residence signed and notarized, employer verification of resident address on company letterhead (signed), employer verification of resident address without letterhead (signed and notarized). Note: any affidavit of residence or verification without letterhead must be notarized.
  • Fiscal Documentation
    • Bank statement, employment check stub, W-2
  • Agency Documentation
    • Social Security, Disability, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Public Assistance / Government Benefits
  • Court Documentation

ISSUED WITHIN THE LAST 365 DAYS

  • Vehicle Registration or Title
    • Current Tennessee Vehicle Registration, Certificate of Vehicle Title
  • Rental or Mortgage Contract
    • Deed of Sale for Property, Mortgage Contract, Rental or Lease Agreement (signed by landlord and resident) Note: any handwritten contracts or agreements must be notarized
  • Tennessee Voter Registration Card
  • Tax Documentation
    • 2023 IRS Tax Return (Form 1040), Real Estate Tax Receipt, Personal Property Tax Receipt

CURRENT, NON-EXPIRED

  • Tennessee Identification Cards
    • Driver License, Identification License or Card, Handgun Carry Permit

To be eligible for the ESA Program, a family’s annual household income must not exceed twice the limit for federal free  lunch.

Options for showing proof of income are limited to the following:

1.  Federal tax return (Form 1040, most recent for 2023) - a W-2 is not sufficient as it may not be reflective of your total income, nor does it include household size. Note: Individuals listed on the 1040 are considered household members, and the total income (line 9) is the amount used for calculating income eligibility with household size. The applicant child should be listed as a dependent;

OR

2.  Tennessee Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) most recent benefits statement or letter of eligibility dated within the past 12 months;

OR

3.  TennCare benefits that are currently active for the child on the application, including a card or verification letter;

OR

4.  Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) most recent benefit statement or letter of eligibility indicating the student as a recipient dated within the past 12 months.

U.S. Department of Agriculture of Income Eligibility Guidelines
Household Size Twice the Federal Free Lunch Income Guidelines
2 $51,272
3 $64,636
4 $78,000
5 $91,364
6 $104,728
7 $118,092

Note: Above are the qualifications for the 2023–24 school year. The USDA has not released the updated guidelines for the 2024–25 school year. Historically, guidelines are updated annually by March.

To be eligible for the ESA Program, the student must meet one of the following requirements:

  • The student is entering kindergarten for the first time or entered kindergarten during one of the following school years (age 5 by August 15 of the year listed). Note: If the child is turning 5 between August 15 and September 30, a letter of admission from the director of a school is required and should accompany the application. The letter must indicate that through testing and evaluation, the child was found sufficiently mature emotionally and academically to enter kindergarten
    • 2019–20 school year
    • 2020–21 school year
    • 2021–22 school year
    • 2024–25 school year

OR

1. The student has recently moved to Tennessee, or moved to Tennessee during the following school years:

2019–20 school year

2020–21 school year

2021–22 school year

OR

2. The student attended a Tennessee public school for a full year in one of the following school years:

2019–20 school year

2020–21 school year

2021–22 school year

2023–24 school year

OR

3. Student received an ESA award during the 2023-24 school year.

Options for showing proof of enrollment eligibility are only required for students that have moved to Tennessee.

Application Support

For application assistance, please contact the ESA Team in one of the following ways: