Indiana’s tax-credit scholarship program was enacted in 2009 and launched in 2010 to help low- and middle-income families access the right school for their children’s needs. Learn more about the program’s details on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations, legal history and more.
8,501 scholarships awarded (2016–17)
49 percent of families with children income-eligible statewide
6 scholarship organizations awarding scholarships (2016–17)
327 schools participating (2015–16)
Average scholarship value: $1,978 (2016–17)
Value as a percentage of public school per-student spending: 20 percent
Indiana’s School Scholarship Tax Credit program allows individuals and corporations to claim a 50 percent tax credit for contributions to approved scholarship-granting organizations (SGOs), nonprofits that provide private school scholarships. There is no limit on the dollar amount of the tax credit that can be claimed, although the total amount of tax credits awarded statewide is limited to $9.5 million.
Scholarship amounts are determined by SGOs.
Children are eligible to receive scholarships if their family income does not exceed 200 percent of the guidelines needed to qualify for the free and reduced-price lunch program ($91,020 for a family of four in 2017–18). Children must be between ages 5 and 22 to participate. Current private school students can qualify.
The eligibility restrictions on Indiana’s tax-credit scholarship program adversely affect the ability of middle- and upper-income families to use choice in education. That income limit should be increased. Additionally, the total cap on credits restricts the overall amount of money following students. Recent expansion makes current private school parents eligible for the scholarship regardless of whether they previously attended a public school. That helps families who have sacrificed to give their children a better education but were not previously enrolled in the public schools. With that increase, however, Indiana will need to raise the cap on available tax credits to compensate for the additional demand.
Ind. Code §§ 6-3.1-30.5 and 20-51-1 through 3
No legal challenges have been filed against the program.
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