Tax Credit for Low-Income Students Scholarship Program

  • Tax-Credit Scholarship
  • Enacted 2014
  • Launched 2015

Kansas offers tax credits to individuals and businesses supporting scholarship-granting organizations (SGOs), nonprofits that provide private school scholarships to students from low-income families. This is Kansas’ first school choice program. Learn more about the program’s details on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations, and more. 

We do not administer this program.

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  • 1,340

    Students Participating (2022-23)

  • 34%

    of Families Eligible Statewide

  • 9

    Participating Scholarship Organizations (2022-23)

  • 88

    Participating Schools (2022-23)

  • $3,199

    Average Scholarship Value (2022–23)

  • 25%

    Value as a Percentage of Public School Per-student Spending

Kansas’s Tax Credit for Low Income Students Scholarship Program Participation

Students Participating
School Year Ending

Student Funding

Each SGO determines the amount of the scholarships it distributes, but no scholarship amount can exceed the cost of tuition, fees, expenses, and transportation by a qualified school. The maximum scholarship amount is $8,000.  

(Last updated December 18, 2023) 

Student Eligibility

Children are eligible to receive scholarships if their family income does not exceed 100 percent of the qualifying amount for the free or reduced-price lunch program ($55,500 for a family of four in 2023–2024). Children must be between ages 5 and 21 to participate. In addition, children must have been enrolled in any public school the previous school year, unless the child is younger than 6. 

(Last updated December 18, 2023) 

EdChoice Expert Feedback

Kansas’ tax-credit scholarship program helps over a thousand students access schools that are the right fit for them, but policymakers could do much more to expand educational opportunity. 

Eligibility for the scholarships is limited to students from families earning up to 250 percent of the federal poverty line, making it one of the most restrictive educational choice programs in the nation. Nearly 25 percent of Kansas families are income-eligible for a scholarship and less than 1percent of students statewide actually use a scholarship.  

The average scholarship size is roughly $3,200, which is about a quarter of the average expenditure per student at Kansas’ district schools, but the cap on scholarship values is significantly higher ($8,000). Tax credits are worth only 75 percent of the value of the contributions to scholarship organizations. Policymakers should consider raising the credit value to make it easier for SGOs to raise money and distribute scholarships. Additionally, only $10 million in tax credits are available annually, which is equivalent to only 0.15 percent of Kansas’ total K–12 revenue.  

To expand access to educational choice, Kansas 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. 

Kansas’ tax-credit scholarship program generally avoids unnecessary and counterproductive regulations. 

(Last updated December 18, 2023) 

Rules and Regulations

  • Income Limit: 250 percent x Poverty
  • Prior Year Public School Requirement: Yes
  • Geographic Limit: None
  • Enrollment Cap: None
  • Scholarship Cap: $8,000
  • Testing Mandates: None
  • Credit Value: 70 percent
  • Per Donor Credit Cap: $500,000
  • Total Tax Credit Cap: $10 million

(Last updated December 18, 2023) 

SGO Requirements

  • Use at least 90 percent of contributions for scholarships within 36 months of receiving the contributions
  • Issue a receipt prescribed by the Secretary of Revenue to any contributing taxpayer
  • Receive written verification from the state board of education that a student is eligible prior to awarding an educational scholarship to students previously enrolled in a public school
  • Report to the state board of education all students that receive a scholarship
  • Provide the state board of education a surety bond or financial information demonstrating the SGO’s ability to pay the amount expected to be received during the school year if the SGO exceeds $50,000 in donations
  • Ensure that qualified schools that receive scholarships are in compliance with the requirements of the program
  • Have its accounts examined and audited by a certified public accountant at the end of the calendar year for verification that the education scholarships that were awarded were distributed to eligible students and file a copy of the audit with the state board of education
  • Submit annually to the state (via a report approved by a certified public accountant):
    • Names and addresses of eligible students receiving an educational scholarship by the SGO
    • Total number and dollar amount of contributions received during the preceding 12-month period
    • Total number and dollar amount of educational scholarships awarded the preceding 12-month period to eligible students

(Last updated December 18 2023) 

Governing Statutes

K.S.A. §§ 72-4531 through 4357

(Last updated December 18, 2023)