Can costs for expenses be split between students?

Costs for scholarship expenses may not be split between students. If an item or activity is being purchased that will be used by more than one scholarship student (i.e. a Lego set or family pass to the museum), the account holder will need to select one student's account to withdraw the funds from. 

Will there be any difference in funding for families choosing to homeschool and families who want to attend a micro school or private school?

No. Each student, whether they are homeschooled or attend a private or micro school, will receive the $8000 UFA scholarship award.

Do students need to follow a schedule of classes and is funding divided between those classes?

Parents can choose the classes, textbooks, curricula, or other instructional materials that best meets the needs of their student(s). There is no requirement to follow a schedule of classes, unless you choose to contract with a private school, which agreement is between you and that provider. Scholarship funding can be used to pay a qualifying provider for attendance to their school, for online courses, or to spend in the marketplace for the curriculum of the parent's and student's choice. Funding can be used for any approved educational expense.

Can you provide examples on what scholarship funds may cover?

ACE Scholarships desires to empower parents in their educational choices for their students.  It would be impossible to create an exhaustive list of all expenditures that might be incurred in the education of a scholarship student.  What we do provide approved examples you may consider that could be funded with your Utah Fits All Scholarship funds, as well as a few that are expressly prohibited, according to the language of the law that created the program (Utah Code Annotated 53F-6 Part 4). You can find this list in the 2024-2025 Family Handbook in Appendix A on our website, ufascholarship.com. 

If you do not see an item you are considering, or that fits naturally in one of the categories, or if you are concerned about whether something will be approved, please feel free to reach out to ask. If it is an expense that can legitimately be tied to the education of your child, and it is not expressly prohibited by the law, it is likely to be approved. 

When will money be disbursed to UFA families?

Funds will be disbursed Wednesday of the first full week in August. For the 2024-25 school year, that will be August 7, 2024. 

The fiscal year begins July 1, 2024, therefore any awarded family (or waitlisted family) should retain receipts from education related expenses. Awarded scholarship students may submit receipts dated as early as July 1 for reimbursement if the expenses are approved. 

How can I access the UFA scholarship funds if my student is approved?

Once approved, all scholarship students will have a scholarship account created for them. ClassWallet is our digital wallet platform. Families of scholarship students will have single sign on capability to access ClassWallet through the ACE Access Portal. This means the parent needs only one username and password to log into ACE Access, then may simply click a link to seamlessly transition to ClassWallet. Once in ClassWallet, the accountholder can view each student’s balance, view previous purchases, select providers to initiate a payment and more. Separate accounts are created for all students, even students who reside in the same house. Families may toggle easily between scholarship students while logged onto the platform. The digital wallet is where parents will upload invoices, initiate payments to approved vendors, request reimbursements and shop the digital marketplace for goods and services using their student’s funds. 

What may UFA scholarship funds be used for?

A scholarship expense is an expense that a parent or scholarship student incurs in the education of the scholarship student for a service or goods that a qualifying provider provides. The following list describes the approved expense categories. The Utah Fits All Family Handbook has a full list of approved and prohibited expenses in Appendix A. Families are encouraged to reach out to an ACE customer service representative if they have questions about individual purchases. 

  • tuition and fees of a qualifying provider
  • fees and instructional materials at a technical college
  • tutoring services
  • fees for after-school or summer education programs
  • textbooks, curricula, or other instructional materials, including any supplemental materials or associated online instruction that a curriculum or a qualifying provider recommends
  • educational software and applications
  • supplies or other equipment related to a scholarship student's educational needs
  • computer hardware or other technological devices that are intended primarily for a scholarship student's educational needs
  • fees for the following examinations, or for a preparation course for the following examinations, that the program manager approves: 
    • a national norm-referenced or standardized assessment 
    • an advanced placement examination, or another similar assessment
    • a state-recognized industry certification examination
    • an examination related to college or university admission
  • educational services for students with disabilities from a licensed or accredited practitioner or provider, including occupational, behavioral, physical, audiology, or speech-language therapies
  • contracted services that the program manager approves and that an LEA provides, including individual classes, after-school tutoring services, transportation, or fees or costs associated with participation in extracurricular activities
  • ride fees or fares for a fee-for-service transportation provider to transport the scholarship student to and from a qualifying provider, not to exceed $750 in a given school year
  • expenses related to extracurricular activities, field trips, educational supplements, and other educational experiences

Please keep in mind that this list is not inclusive of all allowable categories and expenses, and will include any other expense for a good or service that a parent or scholarship student incurs in the education of the scholarship student and the program manager approves. Details about a pre-approval process, where families may confirm the qualification of any scholarship expenses prior to purchase, are forthcoming. 

How can I use UFA funds to purchase goods and services?

Parents have the opportunity to utilize the digital wallet platform a few different ways. The first is DirectPay, which means that parents select from a list of qualifying providers who have applied and been approved to accept funds as payment for scholarship expenses. The payment is initiated when the parent uploads the invoice from the provider, and finalized when a program specialist approves the purchase. 

Secondly, parents can shop from a curated marketplace of vendors. Some are big box stores we are all familiar with like Staples, Office Max, and Michaels and vendors that provide services or materials like online tutoring or science kits. By curating the marketplace, parents will only see items or services that are approved based on the legislation. For instance, they wouldn’t see any of the food items Staples has to offer. 

Lastly, if parents do not see an item or service on the marketplace, they may seek reimbursement by purchasing it with their own funds and submitting the receipt to be repaid from the scholarship fund. Parents may ask for pre-approval by submitting a ticket to our customer service team, describing the item and its relation to their child’s education. This allows a program specialist to provide written clarification for a parent on whether an expense would be approved before they purchase it. We are continuously working on creating guidance documents to inform and provide examples of what qualified expenses are and will release them as soon as possible.

Expenses may not be split between students. If a purchase is going to be used by more than one scholarship student, including an approved item or family pass to an approved location, the account holder must select which student's account to make the purchase from. 

For a list of examples of approved expenses see the Family Handbook Appendix A. 

I have two approved scholarship students. Can I combine their funds or transfer UFA funds from one account to the other?

No. Funds from each students account must remain separate from other accounts.  

Can I use my student’s scholarship funds to pay myself or a family member?

No. The parent of a scholarship student may not receive scholarship funds as payment for the parent's time spent educating their child. This rule extends to immediate family members as well (i.e. siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins). 

 

Can UFA Scholarship funds to pay for services from an eligible provider, or tuition at a private school out of state?

Yes. Qualifying providers are not limited to providers in the state of Utah. If you do not see your preferred provider or school on our list of approved qualifying providers, please contact us at info@ufascholarships.com to make a referral. The Utah Fits All Scholarship Team staff will contact the provider or school, offer program information and attempt to help them onboard as a qualifying provider, making DirectPay a payment option for families. 

 

Will Utah Fits All Scholarship funds need to be reported as taxable income?

No. Funds that ACE Scholarships disburses to a scholarship account on behalf of a scholarship student do not constitute state taxable income to the parent of the scholarship student.

 

Can an expense be denied?

Yes. If a program specialist determines that the expense does not meet the criteria for a scholarship expense, the expense may be denied. 

Expense denial may happen in the DirectPay process if an invoice includes an expense that is not an approved scholarship expense. For example, if a tuition invoice includes a late fee, or the invoice from a service provider includes an optional accessory like a t-shirt or hat that are not a required component of a student’s participation in the service, those items will need to be removed from the invoice before it may be approved. 

If a family is seeking reimbursement for an expense paid out of pocket, we encourage families to use our expense pre-approval process in order to make the transaction as simple as possible. An expense pre-approval ticket is submitted with the item, vendor, cost, reason for the purchase and relation to the student’s curriculum, and any links or other information that may be helpful for ACE to make a determination on the expense. Once pre-approval is confirmed by ACE, a family may purchase that item at that cost and must provide a receipt. A parent who plans to seek reimbursement for the purchase of an item or service that may not fall into a category of an allowable scholarship expense, and does not first gain pre-approval, risks their reimbursement request being denied. The receipt that is uploaded by the family may only include approved scholarship expenses. 

Ex:

A family requests pre-approval for a science kit, and the request is granted. While at the store, they also purchase crayons for which they did not seek pre-approval. The entire receipt would be APPROVED, since crayons are a scholarship expense. 

A family requests pre-approval for a science kit, and the request is granted. While at the store, they also purchase bananas for which they did not seek pre-approval. The entire receipt would be denied, since bananas are a scholarship expense. The bananas would need to be purchased on a separate transaction. 

What can I do if I don’t agree with an expense denial?

If a parent disagrees with an expense denial, they may follow the appeals process. The process will be explained, and a link will be provided in the email notification of the denial.

Here is an outline of the appeals process:

Step One:

1. Notice of expense denial, eligibility preference, or application denial, suspension, termination, and/ or removal shall be provided electronically by the UFA Program Manager.

2. An appeal shall be submitted by the scholarship parent to the UFA Program Manager within ten (10) business days of receipt of the notice of the expense denial or eligibility preference or application denial, suspension, termination, and/or removal.

a. To file an appeal, a scholarship student's parent shall complete an appeal form emailed to them in their denial notification, and provide the required information and documentation to verify eligibility or expense claims as required by the Utah Fits All Program manager.

b. Appeal forms submitted after the ten (10) business day deadline will not be processed and will receive a notification of a denied status.

c. Incomplete appeal forms, or appeal forms with vague language that does not clearly articulate the issue on an appeal will receive a notification and additional information may be required before submitting an appeal to the UFA Appeals Committee.

3. Appeals shall be reviewed by the UFA Appeals Committee and a decision shall be issued within thirty (30) calendar days.

a. The UFA Appeals Committee will include UFA scholarship parents as members of the committee.

b. The UFA Appeals committee will make determinations regarding eligible expenses and enrollment preference or eligibility or suspension or disqualification according to Utah Code 53F-6 Part 4 and their associated codes.

Step Two:

1. The scholarship parent shall be notified by the UFA Program Manager of the UFA Appeals Committee decision in step one (1) of the appeal process electronically within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt.

2. If the UFA Appeals committee reverses an administrative decision of the program manager on internal appeal, the program manager may not withhold scholarship funds or application approval for the scholarship student on account of the appealed administrative decision unless as the resolution of the internal appeal expressly allows.

 

 

What happens if I exhaust all of my child’s UFA funds before the end of the year?

We encourage maximum use of every child’s scholarship funds, since there will be no option to roll funds over into the following school year. If a parent exhausts their scholarship funds prior to the end of the school year, they must pay for education related goods and services by other means.  

Am I required to spend all of the funds each year?

No, though we encourage families to budget accordingly to maximize use of their scholarship award, as funds may not be rolled over from year to year. There must be a minimum of one transaction per student by December 1. If one transaction per student has not been completed by December 1, a Utah Fits All Scholarship Program staff member will reach out to the family to confirm their desire to continue participation in the program.  

Can I use ESA funds to pay for post secondary tuition for my child?

While tuition and fees at a technical college is an allowable scholarship expense, the student must remain K-12 eligible while they are taking classes. Students are no longer eligible for the Utah Fits All Scholarship when they graduate from high school or other secondary program, or if they turn 22 by September 2 of the upcoming school year. 

 

Can I use ESA funds to pay preschool tuition for my child?

No. ESA funds can only be used for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.