What is Arizona Education First (AZEF)?

Arizona Education First was founded in 2014 as a Student Tuition Organization (STO) in the state of Arizona. Under federal law, AZEF is a tax-exempt 501 c(3) organization. Arizona Education First promotes education accessibility to all Arizona students by providing scholarships to students age five and older who are enrolled in qualifying schools throughout the state.

Is my student eligible for a scholarship?

Scholarships are available for students age five and older, attending a qualified private school in Arizona. Every Kindergarten-aged child is eligible; scholarships will be awarded based on financial need, recommendation from the school’s administration, parent’s participation in the school and the student’s experience.

When applying, is financial information required?

Yes. Financial information is required from all families participating in the Private School Tuition Tax Credit Program, as required by the State of Arizona guidelines. The application lists the documentation required.

How does AZEF raise funds?

Arizona Education First raises funds from both individual and corporate donors. Individual Arizona taxpayers are eligible to make a dollar for dollar credit off their state tax liability. Arizona corporations are also eligible to do so. For more information about donating, click here.

What factors are considered when awarding a scholarship?

Several factors are evaluated for the contributions. Such factors include, but are not limited to, family needs (i.e., financial, health, employment, etc.), recommendation for the participating school’s administration, parent’s participation in the school, and the student’s experience. All awards are distributed at the discretion of AZEF.

May I recommend a student with my donation?

While recommending a student is allowed, naming Arcadia Montessori as the recipient of your funds guarantees aid for all our eligible students. You may recommend any student that is not your legal dependent. Swapping donations with another taxpayer is prohibited. “Notice: A school tuition organization cannot award, restrict or reserve scholarships solely on the basis of a donor’s recommendation. A taxpayer may not claim a tax credit if the taxpayer agrees to swap donations with another taxpayer to the benefit of either taxpayer’s own dependent.”

Where can I find the scholarship application?

The application is available here.

How can I find out more information?

Visit Arizona Education First (AZEF) at

"It is the child who makes the man, and no man exists who was not made by the child he once was.”

-Maria Montessori

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