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School Choice... Student Success!

Applicant FAQ’s

  1. How much of a contribution goes to scholarships?
    IBE awards a minimum of 92% of all tax credit donations to students.
  2. How does IBE account for the 8 percent retained?
    IBE must pay for all operational, administrative, and promotional expenses out of the 8 percent retained. Those expenses include, but are not limited to:
    • Credit card services: Banks charge approximately 2.5 % of all donations made by credit card. IBE pays those fees as a service to our donors.
    • Banking services
    • Office and program management for all four of the Arizona state tax credit programs.
    • Data base management to integrate donations with correct donor; correct tax credit program; scholarship recipients; and schools attended by recipients.
    • Communication with recipient families; receipts issues to donors; verification reports sent to schools; financial disbursals of scholarships made to schools for awarded students monthly (for individual awards) or twice-annually (for Financial Aid/FNB/ or Corporate awards)
    • Production of brochures, fact sheets, applications, donation envelopes, training materials, and other support material for families and donors.
    • Scholarship Application processing / assessing / awarding / and subsequent 5-step communication process
    • Marketing and Public Relations
    • Present personally-structured education programs for schools and parents
    • Office building, utilities, insurances, phones, copying, postage, etc.
    • Salaries, wages, benefits
    • Transportation (to schools, State Capitol, community outreach events, etc.)
    • Website and social media upkeep
  3. Is IBE audited by an independent CPA?
    Yes, the IBE Board of Trustees began requiring an independent audit every year since 2002…eight years before the AZ Department of Revenue began requiring them.
  4. Does IBE require a copy of my federal tax forms?
    No, these are not required. Applicants must fill out a “Total Household Income Form” similar to that used for the Federal free and reduced lunch program. This form is provided as part of the application.
  5. How frequently does IBE disburse scholarships to the schools on behalf of their students?
    A distinction of IBE is our focused attention on the financial needs of the students. Once a student is in our system as being eligible for scholarships, there are two separate programs, hence, payments that could occur:
    • "Recommended" scholarship donations are contributions where the donor recommends a specific student. If the scholarship committee determines that these monies are to be awarded to the recommended student, then the scholarship is sent to the school monthly.
    • Financial Need-Based awards are determined by our Scholarship Committee and the awards are disbursed to the school on behalf of the student twice per year. The first is made in July or August for the first semester, and the second is made at the beginning of the second semester in early January.
    No payments are sent during the summer month of June. (IBE office policy) No payments will be sent for past or future school years (Arizona state law). Payments will be sent July-May for the current school year only.
  6. How will I know how much money my child has been awarded?
    As part of the registration process, you will create an online file with a secure username and password so you can monitor your child's awards and disbursals to their school. If you wish to thank anonymous donors please send a pre-stamped thank you card or letter to IBE and we will forward your message on to the donor.
  7. Do I need to re-apply for a scholarship every year?
    Yes, the law requires us to have a completed application on file for every school year. The best time frame for re-application is January – March of each year. This is an important accountability measure to verify school attendance and financial situation. Once you have applied online once, re-applying is an easy “update” process. You are also welcome to fill out a paper application.
  8. If a friend donates, and recommends my child – will my child receive that donation?
    While there is no guarantee, if the scholarship committee awards a scholarship to your child, you will be notified through your IBE file within two weeks.
    Notice (A.R.S 43-1603): A school tuition organization cannot award, restrict, or reserve scholarships based 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 taxpayer’s own dependent.
  9. May we contribute to both the public and private school tax credit programs?
    Yes, you sure can! In fact, you may also donate to the Working Poor (with a listing of over 200 charity options).
  10. Is a donation to IBE eligible for a Federal charitable deduction?
    In most cases, yes. We are a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. However, you should check with your tax consultant for advice pertaining to your situation.
  11. Can a business donate to the AZ Tax Credit Program?
    Absolutely! Check out our Donor page for Corporate donors! It is located as a drop-down under the Donor tab.
  12. May my employer match my donation?
    Yes!
  13. May I have my contribution set up as an automatic deduction?
    Yes! It only takes five minutes! Just call or visit the IBE business office and we will take it from there.
  14. Can I receive multiple scholarships at once?
    Yes, you may! You may apply for as many scholarships as you are eligible for through IBE and other organizations, with one exception. You may not receive funding from a School Tuition Organization (STO) and Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA), through the Arizona Department of Education, at the same time.
  15. 2015-16 fiscal year scholarships awarded by demographics.

    185% of federal reduced lunch program guidelines
    Original Scholarships PLUS Scholarships Corporate Scholarships Disabled/Displaced Scholarships
    Dollars Awarded $3,862,045.19 $2,051,746.49  $699,944.03 $90,057.45
    Percentage Awarded 41% 52% 100% 52%

    186% - 342% of federal reduced lunch program guidelines
    Original Scholarships PLUS Scholarships Disabled/Displaced Scholarships
    Dollars Awarded $3,187,316.65 $1,110,733.40 $52,945.00 
    Percentage Awarded 34% 28% 31%