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Education Student Accounts (ESA+) Program

In November 2021 the NC General Assembly made changes to K12 funding Programs that impact the current school year (2021-22) and the upcoming school year (2022-23).

*Please note: We are experiencing an unprecedented number of calls and emails about the ESA+ program and will respond as quickly as possible. In the meantime, please see the following information to learn more about the program and how to apply.



Beginning with the 2022-2023 school year, the Disabilities Grant and Education Savings Account (ESA) programs will be combined Into the Education Student Accounts (ESA+) program.

The ESA+ program provides scholarships in the amount of up to $9,000 a year, and to cover expenses related to educating a child with a disability* in a participating nonpublic (private or home) school. Students with certain designated disabilities may be eligible to receive $17,000 a year.

  • Covers tuition and fees at participating schools
  • No out-of-pocket expenses (provides families with an electronic debit account)
  • Funds can be used for expenses such as speech or occupational therapy, tutoring services, curriculum, and educational technology

*A student who has an eligibility determination from 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.

Important Dates

  • Renewing students – Respond to renewal offer in MyPortal beginning approximately January 24, 2022.
  • New students – Application opens March 1, 2022. The priority deadline is April 1. The application may remain open after April 1, subject to the availability of funds.

How to Apply

*Please note: families of current students do not need to apply as new students. Students who have received funding from the Disabilities Grant or ESA programs will renew into the new ESA+ program (families will receive a notification in mid-January).

Step 1: Review the Program Eligibility Requirements

Step 2: Set up a MyPortal Account

Step 3: Apply on MyPortal

Need More Information?

Frequently Asked Questions


Program Eligibility Requirements

List of Participating Nonpublic Schools

Choosing a School

Documentation of a Disability

School Choice Deadlines

List of Qualified Expenses

Continuing Eligibility Form

Educational Technology Guidelines

K12 Program Comparison


January 14 webinar for current & renewing ESA families


Slide Presentation

Frequently Asked Questions for current families


January 28 webinar for new applicants


Slide Presentation

Frequently Asked Questions for new applicants



Video: Getting Started With MyPortal



Additional Questions?

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

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

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.

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.