Nevada Educational Choice Scholarship Program
- Individual Tax Credit/Deduction
- Enacted 2015
- Launched 2015
Nevada’s Educational Choice Scholarship allows corporations to claim a 100 percent tax credit for contributions to approved scholarship-granting organizations (SGOs), nonprofits that provide private school scholarships, counted against the Modified Business Tax. Taxpayers may carry forward a tax credit under this program for five years. The total amount of tax credits awarded statewide is $11.4 million in 2020–21. The SGOs then provide private school scholarships to families who meet the income requirements. Learn more about the program’s funding, eligibility and regulations on this page.
We do not administer this program.
of Families with Children Income-eligible Statewide
Students Participating (Fall 2020)
Participating Schools (Fall 2020)
Scholarship-granting Organizations (Fall 2020)
Average Scholarship Award (Fall 2020)
Average Value as a Percentage of Public School Per-student Spending
Nevada’s Educational Choice Scholarship Program Participation
Scholarship amounts are determined by SGOs. The maximum scholarship is worth $8,469 in 2020–21, a limit that increases by the Consumer Price Index increase each year.
All students that receive scholarships under this program must come from families whose household incomes are at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty line ($78,600 for a family of four in 2020–21).
EdChoice Expert Feedback
Nevada’s tax-credit scholarship program helps thousands of students access schools that are the right fit for them, but policymakers could do more to expand educational opportunity.
Eligibility for the scholarships is limited to 300 percent of the federal poverty line. Only 503 percent of Nevada students are eligible for a scholarship and less than 0.1 percent of students statewide actually use a scholarship.
The average scholarship size is about $6,400, which is about 59 percent of the average expenditure per student at Nevada’s district schools, though the cap on scholarship values is significantly higher (about $8,450) and automatically increases with the Consumer Price Index. Tax credits are worth 100 percent of the value of the contributions to scholarship organizations, but only $11.4 million in tax credits are available annually, which is equivalent to only 0.23 percent of Nevada’s K–12 revenue. Nevada deserves credit for having an “escalator” that automatically increases the cap over time, but it has a long way to go before it meets demand.
In order to expand access to educational choice, Nevada policymakers should dramatically increase the available tax credits and expand eligibility to all students (prioritizing scholarships based on need). The program could also be converted into an education savings account to ensure that all students have access to the education that’s the right fit for them, whether private school or a customized course of education.
Nevada’s scholarship program avoids unnecessary and counterproductive regulations.
Rules and Regulations
- Income Limit: 300 percent Poverty
- Prior Year Public School Requirement: None
- Geographic Limit: Statewide
- Enrollment Cap: None
- Scholarship Cap: $8,469
- Testing Mandates: National
- Credit Value: 100%
- Per Donor Credit Cap: None
- Budget Cap: $11.4 million
- Must be a certified 501(c)3 nonprofit organization
- May not own or operate any private school in the state
- May not spend more than 5 percent of its donations on the administration of the fund
- May not limit gifts to a single school
- May not limit gifts to specific pupils
- Must keep records pursuant to the educational environment of the student
On May 5, 2020, the District Court in Clark County, Nevada, ruled against parents who sought relief from legislation that removed the escalator clause in Nevada’s tax-credit scholarship program, thereby reducing the number of scholarships that will be available for students to attend the school of their parents’ choice. In Morency v. State, District Court, Clark County, Nevada, Case no. A-19-800267-C (2019). Although Nevada’s constitution requires a supermajority vote of the legislature to pass bills that increase revenue, and the bill in question was passed with a simple majority, the court held that tax credits that are frozen or repealed do not require a supermajority vote for passage even though the effect would be to raise revenue. This case has been appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court. Pending.