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Education Savings Account (ESA)


Two programs are available to meet the financial needs of students with disabilities: The Disabilities Grant and the Education Savings Account (ESA). Families can apply for more than one program. View a side by side comparison and requirements for each program

The ESA provides up to $9,000 per year for students with disabilities who enroll in a participating nonpublic (private or home) school.

  • Covers tuition and fees
  • Covers expenses related to educating a child with a disability
  • No out-of-pocket expenses (provides families with an electronic debit account to pay tuition and expenses)

Funds can be used for school tuition, as well as for expenses such as speech or occupational therapy, tutoring services, and educational technology.

Before You Apply

A child must have a North Carolina Individualized Education Program (IEP) dated within the last three years. A current Eligibility Determination form (DEC3 or ECATS) is the form to submit with an application.

Multiple Programs

To participate in both the Disabilities Grant and the Education Savings Account programs, students must meet the requirements for each and have one of the following primary or secondary disabilities listed on their Eligibility Determination form:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Deaf/Blindness
  • Developmental Delay
  • Deafness or Hearing Impairment
  • Intellectual Disability (moderate or severe)
  • Multiple Disabilities
  • Visual Impairment

Need More Information?

Choose from one of the following:


Learn how to apply

New Scholarship Families

Find out next steps after you receive an award

Current Scholarship Families

Download forms and get help managing your account

School Personnel

Register a school or manage an existing program

ESA Data




Video: Getting Started With MyPortal



Additional Questions?

1-855-330-3955 (K12 Program staff toll-free)

1-855-763-5333 (Login Help toll-free)

Did you Know?

Parents of children with disabilities may have another option to help save and pay for education expenses at K12 schools through the use of an NC ABLE Account. The NC ABLE Program allows eligible individuals the opportunity to save and fund a variety of qualified disability expenses, including certain education expenses.  The NC ABLE Program is overseen by the Department of the State Treasurer and additional information can be found here.

Nonpublic Schools and Special Education

Children who are placed in a nonpublic school by their parents do not have a right to receive all of the special education and related services that they would receive if enrolled in the public schools. Likewise, a private school does not have a legal obligation to provide special education and related services to students with disabilities. Parents are encouraged to select a nonpublic school carefully and to establish a plan prior to enrollment which meets their child’s educational needs.