Applications for the 2024-25 school year are closed. Apply for the 2025-26 school year January 15 – March 15, 2025!


Questions about filling out your ESA application?

We have learned that particular ESA application questions asked in the FACTS portal may be confusing to some applicants. Here are some of the questions that may be unclear or confusing with our recommended advice for answering. Our advice should serve as a recommendation only and does not substitute for official guidance from FACTS, ClassWallet, or the South Carolina Department of Education. You can contact FACTS for questions about your specific application.


Do I have to have all of my income documentation in hand to submit my application before the March 15 deadline? 

No! You can submit your initial application without that proof of income information, and then you have an additional 4 weeks to provide those documents. Once you submit the application, you will be taken to your application profile, which will show what documents are still needed. You will also receive an email listing each document required. This email will contain the link to get you right back into your application summary page to upload documents.   


What if our household income was above 200% of the federal poverty line in 2022, but in 2023, our household income fell below that line? Can I still apply for ESTF for the 2024-25 school year, using my 2023 tax returns? 

Yes, you can submit your 2023 tax returns if you prefer. You should apply using the tax return that best represents your household income situation currently, here in 2024. If, for some reason, your application is denied for financial reasons and you feel it was not justified, the Department has a financial appeals process where you can submit more documentation to prove that you really within the income limits of the program. 


If I already have a FACTS account for some reason, do I have to create a new account to apply for ESTF funds? 

No, if you already have a FACTS user account, you can sign into that previous account and fill out the ESTF application that way. FACTS user accounts can be connected to multiple applications or products, so you can use your existing account for ESTFs.  


Do I need to sign up for multi-factor authentication for my FACTS account? 

No, you can skip that requirement if you would like. But, if you ever forget your password, multi-factor authentication can be helpful to get back into your account! 


When I am asked to enter the applicant’s name and details on the application, is that supposed to be for the child or for the parent? 

The applicant on the ESTF application is the parent’s information and is linked to the information entered on your FACTS user account.  


Am I required to list a co-applicant? If I am divorced, separated, or never married, do I have to include my child’s other parent? 

The Applicant and/or Co-Applicant (if applicable) will be the current legal guardian(s) of the student(s). This information is collected to match against documentation collected for eligibility confirmation. If Mom fills out the application and she is the custodial parent and divorced, she would just list herself on the application without a co-applicant. If both Mom and Dad live in the household, they would both be on the application.    


May I apply for ESTF funds for multiple children? How does that application work? 

Yes, you can complete one application for multiple children using the same FACTS account. Under the “student” application in the portal, there is an option to “add student,” so you can list all children in your family in the application. 


What is meant by “I/We confirm this student will not be enrolling full-time in a public school within their resident school district for the 2024-2025 school year?”   

Students enrolled full time in their residential public school district schools are not eligible to use ESTF funds. A student who receives the ESTF scholarship may not enroll full-time in their residential public school district and can instead use the scholarship funds for tuition at an independent school, an online school, etc.


Why does it ask if the student has a Medicaid card? 

If your child has a Medicaid card, that can be used in place of tax documents to verify your household income. However, it is not required that your child be on Medicaid to apply; you can use tax documents to verify your income instead. 


What non-taxable income must I include in my application?

In addition to the taxable income you would report on your tax return, you must also report the following non-taxable income in your ESTF application:

  • – Alimony received 
  • – Worker’s Compensation 
  • – Housing Allowance (Military, Religious, Parsonage, etc) 
  • – Tax-Exempt Interest 
  • – Other Nontaxable Income 


You will need documentation for these nontaxable forms of income. These amounts will be used to calculate your income eligibility for the program. Note that if you indicate that you did not file taxes in 2022, you will be required to provide other proof of your household income. 


DO NOT report the following non-taxable income: 

  • – Child Support 
  • – Veteran’s Payments 
  • – Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI)


How can I upload supporting documentation to the application? 

You can upload it as PDF file or an image taken with your phone/tablet. Your application is considered submitted, but not complete, until all the required supporting documents are uploaded. 


Still have questions? Check out our FAQs page and please reach out if you need assistance!

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