The Georgia Promise Scholarship Act

  • Education Savings Account (ESA)
  • Enacted 2024
  • Launched 2025

The Georgia Promise Scholarship Act is a limited eligibility, wide-use education savings account program prioritizing low- and middle- income students in low-performing schools. Families in Georgia will have access to the state portion of funding to direct toward a customized education.

We do not administer this program.

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  • 3rd

    Georgia’s third educational choice program

  • $6500

    Initial account value

  • 25%

    Scholarships will be available to students in the bottom performing 25% of schools

  • 44%

    Account Value as a Percentage of Public School Per-student Spending

Student Funding

Student ESA accounts will be initially funded with an annual maximum of $6,500 in 2025 disbursed in quarterly payments. This amount may be adjusted in the future based upon changes to the funding formula base or upon adjustments to the annual appropriation.

A student cannot participate in the Scholarship program and receive a scholarship or benefit under the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Act, or any other scholarship or benefit during the participation. Neither the student nor the parent may benefit or receive a scholarship, tuition grant, or other assistance from a student scholarship organization during program participation.

A reoccurring appropriation is provided for the program each fiscal year to not exceed 1% of the total appropriation for the Quality Basic Education Program, Georgia’s education formula, from the previous year’s General Appropriations Act. This amounts to approximately $141 million for the program’s first year in 2025. Unless a future legislative body renews the program, it expires in 10 years.

(Last updated May 24, 2024)

Student Eligibility

To qualify, a student’s parents must reside in the State of Georgia for a minimum of one year, excluding parents on active-duty military service stationed in Georgia within the previous year. A student must reside in the attendance zone of a “low-performing” school, rated a D or F school from the state’s Department of Education, the bottom 25% of Georgia’s public schools. The student must currently be enrolled in a Georgia public school and continuously enrolled for two consecutive enrollment counts. A child is qualified for the program if other program requirements are met and eligible to enroll in a qualified public kindergarten program based upon residency. Once eligible, a child remains eligible through 12th grade graduation. Students are not required to enroll in a nonpublic school to participate.

A student cannot be enrolled in a local public school, local charter school, or state charter school while participating in the program. A student is ineligible if they are not a US citizen or permanent resident, has not complied with the US Selective Service System requirements for registration if applicable to the student, is in default or owes a refund, either unpaid, on a federal Title IV loan or a State of Georgia loan or financial aid program, has been convicted of a felony offense for involving marijuana, a controlled substance, or a dangerous drug from conviction until the next academic term, is incarcerated, or enrolled in a school operated by the Department of Juvenile Justice. A student’s family income cannot exceed 400% of the federal poverty level ($124,800 for a family of 4 in 2024). If appropriations exceed those needed to meet the demand for students below 400% FPL, and a student is eligible if they are participating in the program or submitted an on-time application in either of the two quarterly application deadlines immediately preceding July 1 and the family’s income exceeds 400% FPL, however, prior program participants shall be prioritized.

(Last updated May 24, 2024)

EdChoice Expert Feedback

A program’s universality is measured on three points: Student eligibility, funding amount and source, and use of funds. Eligibility and funding amount and source have been explained above. Here, we explain how funds for this program may be used.

Families are able to expend funds on one or more qualified education expenses, including: tuition, fees and required textbooks for eligible course and career, technical and ag education courses at a participating school, accredited community college, postsecondary school, or nonpublic online program; tutoring from a certified educator; curriculum and required supplemental materials; certain therapies from a physician or license therapist, including occupational, behavioral, physical, or speech-language therapies; up to $500 annually on fee-for-service transportation for travel to or from a participating school or service provider; account management fees; other authorized expenses approved by the State Board of Education or the Georgia education savings authority; and individual education expenses authorized by a majority of the parent review committee. The program will not rely on reimbursement but may allow for reimbursement or preapproval of some out-of-pocket expenses. Unused funds, up to 50% of the total deposited for the current school year shall roll over to the following school year; however, after two years of inactivity, an account’s funds will return to the state general fund and the account will be closed. A partial payment of tuition prior to the start of the academic year, if required to reserve space by a nonpublic school, of up to $1,000, deducted from total account funds, is authorized.

(Last updated May 24, 2024)

Rules and Regulations

• Income Limit: 400% FPL
• Prior year public school requirement: Yes, two consecutive enrollment counts.
• Geographic limit: Statewide
• Enrollment Cap: By appropriation, $141M provides approximately 21,692 scholarships
• Account Value: $6500, or 44% of the per-pupil expenditure
• Testing Mandates: Statewide or National
• Budget Cap: $141 Million

Parent Requirements:

• Submit an application by the deadline.
• Only use funds for qualified expenses under statute
• United States citizen or legal resident
• Not to enroll the student in a local school system school, local charter school, state charter school, or completion special school while participating in the program.
• Accept full financial responsibility for the education of the participating student.
• Comply fully with the participating school or service provider’s rules and policies.
• Sign an agreement to provide an education in at least reading, grammar, mathematics, social studies, and science.

School Requirements:

• Demonstrate fiscal soundness by submitting a financial information report or at least one school year of operation
• Insured and sufficient capital or credit to operate
• Submit annual reports of attendance rates, dates of enrollment, amount of account funds
• Beginning the fourth year, submit on-time graduation rates
• Comply with anti-discrimination provisions of 42 U.S.C. Section 2000d
• Comply with all health and safety laws or codes that apply to private schools
• Be located in Georgia apply to the education savings authority to participate and accept funds
• Comply with all provisions of Code Section 20-2-690 and other state laws applicable to private schools

SGO Requirements:

(Last updated May 24, 2024)

Governing Statutes

The statute may be accessed here.

(Last updated May 24, 2024)