Tuition Donation Credit Program
- Tax-Credit Scholarship
- Enacted 2012
- Launched 2012
Louisiana’s Tuition Donation Credit Program is designed to encourage donors to contribute to school tuition organizations (STOs) that help students from low-income households access the private learning options best suited to their needs. Learn more about the program details on this page, including eligibility, funding, regulations, legal history and more.
We do not administer this program.
Participating Students (2018–19)
of Families with Children Income-eligible Statewide
Scholarship Organizations (2018–19)
Participating Schools (2018–19)
Average Scholarship Value (2019-20)
Value as a Percentage of Public School Per-student Spending
Louisiana’s Tuition Donation Credit Program Participation
For students in grades K–8, scholarships can be worth up to 80 percent of the state average Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) funding per pupil for the previous year ($4,4436 in 2020–21). For grades 9–12, scholarships can be worth up to 90 percent of that same figure ($4,991 in 2020–21).
Students must come from families whose household income is less than 250 percent of the federal poverty line ($65,500 for a family of four in 2020–21). Additionally, they either must be entering kindergarten, have attended a public school in both semesters during the previous school year or have previously received a scholarship. Students who received a voucher under the Louisiana Scholarship Program in the previous school year are also eligible.
EdChoice Expert Feedback
Louisiana’s tax-credit scholarship program helps thousands of low-income 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 250 percent of the federal poverty line ($64,375 for a family of four in 2019–20). About 46 percent of Louisiana students are eligible for a scholarship but only 1.0 percent of students participate in one of Louisiana’s private educational choice options (including the Louisiana Scholarship Program and the School Choice Program for Certain Students with Exceptionalities).
The average scholarship size is about $3,000, which is only about 24 percent of the average expenditure per student at Louisiana’s district schools.
In order to expand access to educational choice, Louisiana policymakers should increase the voucher amounts to be comparable with the per-pupil spending at district schools and expand eligibility to all students. 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.
Louisiana’s tax-credit scholarship program has some unnecessary and counterproductive regulations. For example, the program requires scholarship students in certain grades to take the state’s standardized test. Instead of mandating a single test, policymakers should allow parents and schools to choose from a variety of nationally norm-referenced tests. Policymakers should also amend the program so that it no longer interferes with schools’ admissions standards.
Rules and Regulations
- Income Limit: 250 percent x Poverty
- Prior Year Public School Requirement: Yes
- Geographic Limit: Statewide
- Enrollment Cap: None
- Scholarship Cap: $4,436 (K–8), $4,991 (9–12)
- Testing Mandates: State
- Credit Value: 100 percent
- Per Donor Credit Cap: None
- Budget Cap: None
- Use at least 95 percent of contributions for scholarships
- Conduct background checks on its employees and board members
- Pay out at least 75 percent of all funds from donations annually
- Report annually to the state:
- Total number and dollar amount of contributions received
- Total number and dollar amount of scholarships awarded
- Total amount expended on administrative costs
- Tuition and fee amounts published by participating schools
- Information on contributions made by each contributor
- Financial information report by a certified public accountant
No legal challenges have been filed against the program.
Tuition Donation Credit Program State Groups
That Support School Choice
The Louisiana Federation for Children is affiliated with American Federation for Children. This organization seeks to empower families, especially lower-income families, with the freedom to choose the best K–12 education for their children.