Fast Facts: Education Freedom Scholarships

“All students should have the freedom to pursue an education that develops their talents, unleashes their unique potential, and prepares them for a successful life.”

Secretary Betsy DeVos

A Historic Investment in America’s Students

  • Education Freedom Scholarships will provide for a $5 billion annual federal tax credit for voluntary donations to state-based scholarship programs.
  • This proposal would empower students and families to choose the best educational setting for them – regardless of where they live, how much they make, and how they learn.
  • Families receive and control the use of scholarships for their child’s elementary and secondary education, which may include career and technical education, apprenticeships, and dual and concurrent enrollment.
  • Privately funded scholarships improve the educational experiences of students across the country, without taking a single dollar away from public schools and the students who attend them.
  • Individual and business taxpayers nationwide contribute to student scholarships through state- identified Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs). Such contributions are eligible to receive a non-refundable, dollar-for-dollar federal tax credit, but no contributor will be allowed a total tax benefit greater than the amount of their contribution.

A Locally-Driven and Customizable Approach

  • This proposal gives those closest to students the freedom to decide what’s best for them. No family is forced to accept a scholarship, no taxpayer is forced to contribute, no organization is forced to participate, and no state is forced to participate.
  • Each participating state will determine how it will structure its program, including eligible students, education providers, and education expenses.
  • Some of the ways states can expand students’ access to educational opportunities include:
    • Advanced, remedial, and elective courses;
    • Apprenticeships and industry certifications;
    • Concurrent and dual enrollment;
    • Private and home education;
    • Special education services and therapies;
    • Transportation to education providers outside of a family’s zoned school;
    • Tutoring, especially for students in low‐performing schools; and
    • Summer and afterschool education programs.
  • This is not a new federal program. The proposal establishes a federal tax credit to support state-designed and controlled programs.