Education Freedom Account Program
- Education Savings Account (ESA)
- Enacted 2021
- Launched 2021
The Education Freedom Account (EFA) Program allows students in low- and middle-income households to receive education savings accounts that can be used for private school tuition, tutoring, textbooks, curriculum, educational therapies and other education-related expenses. Learn more about how the program works on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations and more.
We do not administer this program.
America’s Eighth Publicly Funded Education Savings Account Program
Students Participating (Fall 2021)
of Families with Children Income-Eligible Statewide
Projected ESA Award Amount (Fall 2021)
Average Account Value as a Percentage of Public School Per-Student Spending (Fall 2021)
Enrollment in New Hampshire’s Education Freedom Account Program was 1,635 in Fall 2021
The commissioner of the department of education shall transfer to the scholarship organization the per-pupil adequate education grant amount under RSA 198:40-a, plus any differentiated aid that would have been provided to a public school for that eligible student. The transfers shall be made in accordance with the distribution of adequate education grants under RSA 198:42. On average the adequate education grant plus differentiated aid equals about $4,600.
A child must be a resident of New Hampshire and eligible to enroll in a public elementary or secondary school. Additionally, their annual household income at the time of application for the program must be less than or equal to 300 percent of the federal poverty level ($79,500 for a family of four in 2021-22) as updated annually in the Federal Register by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. No income threshold need be met in subsequent years, provided the student otherwise qualifies. No prior public enrollment is required.
EdChoice Expert Feedback
New Hampshire’s ESA program has the potential to help thousands of students access the learning environments that are the right fit for them, but policymakers could do more to expand educational opportunity.
Eligibility for the ESAs is limited to 300 percent of the federal poverty line. Only 31 percent of New Hampshire students are eligible for a scholarship and only 0.4 percent of students statewide actually use one of the existing choice policies in New Hampshire (tax-credit scholarships or town tuitioning vouchers).
The average ESA value is projected to be about $4,600, which is about 23 percent of the average expenditure per student at New Hampshire’s district schools.
New Hampshire’s ESA program deserves credit for being the second-most expansive in the nation in terms of eligibility. The program also avoids unnecessarily burdensome regulations.
In order to expand access to educational choice, New Hampshire policymakers should expand eligibility to all students.
Rules and Regulations
- Income Limit: 300% of the household federal poverty guidelines.
- Prior Year Public School Requirement: None
- Geographic Limit: Statewide
- Enrollment Cap: None
- Account Cap: Amount equal to adequate education grants, plus any differentiated aid that would have been provided to a public school
- Testing Mandates: A qualifying student must choose between the following educational attainment options:
- a standardized norm-referenced achievement test,
- statewide student assessment test, or
- maintaining a portfolio of student progress managed by a certified teacher or teacher currently teaching in a nonpublic school.
- To provide an education for the eligible student in the core knowledge domains that include science, mathematics, language, government, history, health, reading, writing, spelling, the history of the constitutions of New Hampshire and the United States, and an exposure to and appreciation of art and music
- Not to enroll the eligible student as a full-time student in their resident district public school while participating in the EFA program
- To provide an annual record of educational attainment by having the student complete one of the following:
- a nationally standardized norm-referenced achievement test
- statewide student assessment test
- the maintenance of a portfolio recording student progress managed by a certified teacher or teacher currently teaching in a nonpublic school
- To use the funds in the EFA only for qualifying expenses to educate the eligible student as established by the EFA program
- To comply with the rules and requirements of the EFA program
Will provide when available.
No legal challenges have been filed against this program.
Education Freedom Account Program State Groups
That Support School Choice
Children’s Scholarship Fund New Hampshire provides scholarships to empower low-income New Hampshire families to choose the schools that best fit their children’s needs, regardless of their income or ZIP Code.