More than 9,900 Iowa students have already applied for state’s new Education Savings Account program

Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 12:15 PM CDT
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) - More than 9,900 students across Iowa have already applied for the state’s new Students First Education Savings Account program since applications opened on Wednesday.

Odyssey, the company behind the technology platform handling the applications, reported the program has had 9,907 applicants as of 11 a.m. on Friday, June 2.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed the Students First Act into law earlier this year. Under the law, state funding can be given to eligible students who go to private schools starting next school year. The money can be used for things like tuition, textbooks and tutoring.

“On average, one application was submitted every 12 seconds in the first 24 hours,” Joe Connor, a former teacher and the CEO and founder of Odyssey, said in a press release. “We are committed to working closely with the Governor’s office, Iowa Department of Education, Iowa Department of Revenue, and Iowa Office of the Chief Information Officer to ensure the quick and accurate distribution of funds to families, and real-time insight into the program’s effectiveness to ensure it continues to deliver on behalf of Iowans.”

The launch of the program in Iowa also marked the first time in the U.S. an ESA program used an automated approval process for applicants.

The automation made it possible to verify applicants’ residency, income and identification within seconds rather than weeks.

Iowans have until the end of June to apply.

For more information, including how to apply, click here.