Polygence blog / Education and College Admissions

How Can I Spend My ESA Money? The Virginia K12 Learning Acceleration Grants

4 minute read

Updated April 13, 2024

Many Virginia parents qualify for state grants that support furthering education for students. Qualifying students and families may not be aware that there are financial assistance options available for them. This post explores the essential aspects of Virginia's K-12 Learning Acceleration Grants, focusing on what they are, the Education Scholarship Account (ESA), eligibility criteria, grant amounts, spending guidelines, and considerations for optimal utilization.

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Education Scholarship Account (ESA) 

Education Scholarship Accounts help families save money on tutoring, homeschooling, or other educational resources with government scholarship funds. ESA funds can often be spent on virtual learning, homeschool, private school, tutoring, community college, higher education, and additional educational resources or materials.

What is the Virginia K-12 Learning Acceleration Grant?

The Virginia K-12 Learning Acceleration Grant is a program designed to provide financial support to Virginia families seeking tutoring and educational services for their school-age children. The state grant, totaling $30 million, aims to mitigate the learning loss experienced during the pandemic and empower students to overcome educational challenges. 

Eligibility and Grant Amounts

Unlike many states that limit funds to specific groups, Virginia's program is inclusive, available to all school-age students who have not graduated. This includes families with children attending public schools, charter schools, private schools, or homeschools.

Eligibility and Grant Amounts infographic

Parents can apply for either a $1,500 K-12 grant or a $3,000 income-qualified K-12 grant for each school-age child residing in Virginia. To apply for a $3,000 K-12 Learning Acceleration Grant, parents must provide proof that their family income does not exceed 300% of the Federal Poverty Guideline. The grants are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis, and the application process involves submitting necessary documents, ensuring the child's Virginia residency, school-age status, and non-graduation.

Where can I spend my ESA money? 

When deciding how to allocate grant funds for qualifying students, parents should consider the unique needs and preferences of their child. The flexibility of the program allows for diverse educational experiences, from 1-on-1 tutoring to small group classes, both in-person and virtual. Parents are encouraged to explore the wide range of possibilities and seek services tailored to their child's academic goals and interests. Here is a list of potential areas where you can spend this money:

  • Summer Camps 

  • Learning Courses and Workshops

  • 1on1 Tutoring 

  • School Supplies

  • Assistive technology, such as laptops, tablets, or software that can aid in learning.

  • Education organizations and individualized research opportunities, such as Polygence

Polygence: Helping Students Find their Passion 

Individualized, one-on-one educational opportunities such as Polygence play a pivotal role in enhancing the educational journey for eligible students. By tailoring research experiences to individual interests and goals, these programs foster a sense of ownership and autonomy in learning. The personalized mentorship provided by experts not only guides students through their chosen subjects but also opens avenues for interdisciplinary exploration, promoting creativity and a holistic understanding. The flexibility of one-on-one settings allows students to work at their own pace, cultivating a deeper connection to the material. Additionally, the emphasis on real-world applications and global collaboration instills a practical dimension to education, preparing students not only for academic success but also for the challenges and opportunities of an interconnected global landscape. Overall, individualized educational opportunities contribute to skill development, portfolio building, and a transformative learning experience that goes beyond traditional classroom settings.

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Financial Assistance 

If your family has a student who needs support for their education, discover some of the options the state of Virginia offers. Grant money and scholarships are viable options for investing in your child's education. Check if your family has an eligible student or qualifies for income-based assistance for any of the available programs in Virginia. For more information, we've provided some additional resources below.

Helpful Resources

Use Your ESA Funds to Find Your Passion

Polygence pairs you with an expert mentor in your area of passion. Together, you work to create a high quality research project that is uniquely your own.