Ohio ACE | Frequently Asked Questions

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General Questions

Qualified Education Service Providers (QESP)

Schools and Districts as Qualified Education Service Providers


General Questions

    What is the Afterschool Child Enrichment (ACE) Educational Savings Account program?
    The ACE Educational Savings Account program provides qualifying families with a $500 credit that can be used to pay for a variety of enrichment activities that will accelerate learning for students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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    How can students use the ACE funding?
    These funds can be used for:
    • Before- or after-school educational programs;
      • An educational program means a class, workshop or educational experience to develop knowledge, understanding and skills relevant to the student’s individual learning needs.
    • Day camps, including camps for academics, music and arts;
    • Tuition for learning extension centers;
      • A learning extension center is a faith-based or community or other public site that provides physical space to allow workstations for students where educational support is provided in a supervised setting.
    • Tuition for learning pods;
      • A learning pod is a small group of students receiving instruction from an educator.
    • The purchase of curriculum and material for home-school families;
    • Educational, learning or study skills services;
    • Field trips to historical landmarks, museums, science centers and theaters – including admission, exhibit and program fees;
    • Language classes;
    • Musical instrument lessons;
    • Tutoring.

    These funds cannot be used for the purchase of electronic devices.
     

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    Which students are eligible to receive ACE funds?
    • The ACE Educational Savings Account program is available to any student between the ages of 6 and 18 years old whose family income is at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty level. Qualifying children include those who attend any Ohio public or nonpublic school or are home educated by their parents and have been excused from the compulsory attendance law for the purpose of home instruction.
    • Parents submit an online application including income documentation to the Ohio Department of Education.
      • The Ohio Department of Education completes the income verification process and determines program eligibility for all applicants.
      • Eligible applicant information is shared with Merit International, Inc.
      • Merit International, Inc. will provide eligible families with their savings accounts and a marketplace to purchase allowable services and materials.

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Qualified Education Service Providers (QESP)

    Who is Merit International, Inc. and why are they contacting me?
    • The Ohio Afterschool Child Enrichment (ACE) Educational Savings Account program provides funds to a student’s parent or guardian to use on various enrichment and educational activities. The program is being offered through a contract between Merit International, Inc. and the Ohio Department of Education.  
    • Merit International, Inc. may contact you to determine your interest in applying to be a Qualified Education Service Provider (QESP).

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    Who is eligible to be a Qualified Education Service Provider (QESP)?
    If your organization offers a qualifying program or service under the Ohio Revised Code, you may apply to be listed as a Qualified Education Service Provider (QESP). Your organization will be listed in the Merit International online Marketplace, where parents can search for your organization and the services you provide. 

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    What do I need to provide in the QESP application?
    Before completing an application, please note that you will need to submit information about yourself and your organization, including:


    Personal Information Required: 

    • Full contact information for yourself and your organization; 
    • Your government-issued ID (state-issued driver’s license or state-issued identification); and
    • Proof of employment (signed letter on organization’s letterhead).


    Organization Information Required: 

    • Your organization's license number, 501c3 number or TIN; 
    • A description of your organization and the services it provides;
    • The services permitted under the ACE program your organization will provide, a description of each and how the services will be delivered including face-to-face or live online delivery;
    • Grade levels to be served in the ACE program;
    • The region(s) your organization will serve in the ACE program;
    • Customer invoicing information;
    • Price range of services; and
    • Your organization’s logo (not required).

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Schools and Districts as Qualified Education Service Providers

    As a QESP, what services can schools and districts provide?
    • The services provided by a school or district must be supplemental to the services the entity is required to provide by statute and administrative rule.
    • Entities cannot charge for existing activities or services provided to students during the regularly scheduled school day.
    • The entity cannot charge for services for which it is already receiving funding.
    • If the entity has already committed to using state, local or federal funds for services allowed in the ACE program, the entity cannot charge ACE Educational Savings Accounts for those services.

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    How will you get paid for services if you are a QESP?
    Under the program, participating families will receive up to $500 per student to spend on afterschool programs and services. Parents can choose to pay you directly for services and submit receipts to Ohio ACE for reimbursement or submit your invoice for services to Ohio ACE for direct payment to you. Either way, you'll be helping Ohio families use their educational savings account to help further a child's education.

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Last Modified: 4/11/2022 7:15:06 AM