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Education Scholarship Account

The Equal Opportunity for Students with Special Needs Act enacted by the Mississippi Legislature during the 2015 Session created the Education Scholarship Account (ESA) program (Senate Bill No. 2695). It is a program designed to give those parents with special needs children the option of withdrawing their child from the public school system and receiving a designated amount of funds to help defray the cost of private school tuition or other specific allowable activities to educate their child. The administration of this program has been designated to be performed by the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE).

Parents of current ESA participants do not need to reapply each year.

Understanding the ESA (Frequently Asked Questions)


ESA Application SY 2023-2024 

ESA Application Portal

ESA Application Portal 

The MDE is charged in the law with the responsibility of developing a standard application to be used to assess the eligibility of each applicant. This application is available here and also in each school district so every interested person will have the opportunity to apply.


ESA Guidance for Public Schools


Parent Responsibilities

For a student to be eligible to participate in the ESA program the parent must sign an agreement promising to adhere to statutory requirements. As part of the application process, parents are required to initial and sign the Parent/Guardian Application Responsibilities document that lists these requirements. This signed agreement will ensure that students are selected to participate whose parents are willing to abide by these requirements set forth by the law.


Allowable Expenses

Once the recipients of the program are chosen, they will be mailed an award packet. This packet will include an award letter and reimbursement request instructions. Since the law is very precise on the exact uses allowed for the ESA funds, the OSE has established a list of allowable activities that is available here and will also be given to each recipient of the ESA program in their award packet.


Participating Eligible Schools Assurances Form 2023-2024

Tuition at an eligible school is a permissible use of the ESA funds.


Mississippi Department of Education Duties

The law is very precise on the exact duties the MDE is required to perform. A list of these duties has been established and is available here. They will also be included in the award packet provided to the selected recipients of the ESA program.


2023-2024 Reimbursement Form


ESA Important Dates


Request Due to MDE

Disbursement Date

1st Quarter

August 31, 2023

September 29, 2023

2nd Quarter

November 30, 2023

December 18, 2023

3rd Quarter

February 28, 2024

March 29, 2024

4th Quarter

May 31, 2024

June 28, 2024



Report Education Scholarship Account (ESA) Fraud