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How to Use NH EFA for homeschooling

How to Use NH EFA for homeschooling

Last updated: June 14, 2024

IMPORTANT: To receive FULL funding for 2024/2025 your application needs to be completed by Monday, July 15, 2024. Applications after this date will receive reduced funding for the school year.

If you’re a resident of New Hampshire, and you have students in grades K-12, the State of New Hampshire will provide you with $3,700 or more per child to use for their education. This money is available to homeschool families.

The program is called the New Hampshire Education Freedom Act and is funded with state tax dollars. Since homeschool parents in NH have been faithfully paying their taxes for many years, we see this as a way for NH families to receive some of their own tax dollars back to use in homeschooling.

Compass Classroom is now a ClassWallet vendor with the NH EFA, which means you can use your ESA funds to purchase our video courses, books, subscriptions, and online classes.

If you have already set up the NH EFA for your kids, scroll down to the bottom of this article to learn exactly how to use the funds with Compass Classroom.

If, however, you aren’t sure how to access your funds, we will step you through the process. The following article explains:

We have tried to simplify and summarize the material available on the New Hampshire EFA site, but if you’d like to consult the actual site for additional questions, you can do that here or access their FAQ pages. They also have a 2023-24 Parent Handbook in PDF that is worth downloading.

What is the New Hampshire EFA?

New Hampshire’s Education Freedom Act allows parents to access tax funds through grants to use towards educational resources and materials.

The New Hampshire Department of Education’s website explains: “Education Freedom Accounts allow eligible New Hampshire students to direct state funded per-pupil education adequacy grants toward select educational programming of their choice for a variety of learning experiences.” EFA funding can be used to pay private school tuition, for curriculum, home education, tutoring and more.”

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How much money comes in a NH EFA?

Families who meet the income threshold (350% of the poverty level) receive a minimum of $3,700 per student grades K-12. This amount can increase significantly if the student is also eligible for free/reduced lunches and/or special education needs. You can find more detailed information in this fact sheet:

Download the full chart for specifics.

The state pays the funds into accounts on a quarterly schedule. For instance, if you’re awarded $3700, then the account will receive a percentage of that each quarter.

The quarterly payment schedule is as follows:

  • September: 20% ($740 in our example)
  • November: 20% (ex. $740)
  • January: 30% (ex. $1,110)
  • April: 30% (ex. $1,110)

What happens to funds that aren’t spent?  Funds do not expire and can accumulate from year to year.  This is great news, since it means you can save some money for larger expenses, if necessary.

Furthermore, EFA funds are not considered taxable income. This is important to remember when tax seasons comes around.

It’s important to realize, however, that EFA funds are not money that a parent can directly withdraw and use to pay for education. Instead, parents must use a special online company called “ClassWallet” that acts as an intermediary to pay vendors or provide reimbursements to parents. We will explain more about that below after first talking about what you can pay for with an EFA.

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What can I pay for with the NH EFA?

There is wide latitude for using the NH EFA grant funds. Acceptable educational expenses include:

  • Textbooks, curriculum,and instructional materials
  • Tuition for co-ops and online learning
  • Computer equipment and educational software
  • Educational services and therapies

  • Tuition and fees at a non-public/private school
  • Tuition and fees for non-public online learning programs
  • Tutoring services provided by an individual or a tutoring facility
  • Services contracted for and provided by a district public school, chartered public school, public academy, or independent school, including, but not limited to, individual classes and curricular activities and programs
  • Textbooks, curriculum, or other instructional materials, including, but not limited to, any supplemental materials or associated online instruction required by either a curriculum or an education service provider
  • Computer hardware, Internet connectivity, or other technological services and devices that are primarily used to help meet an EFA student’s educational needs
  • Educational software and applications
  • School uniforms
  • Fees for nationally standardized assessments, advanced placement examinations, examinations related to college or university admission or awarding of credits, and tuition and/or fees for preparatory courses for such exams.
  • Tuition and fees for summer education programs and specialized education programs
  • Tuition, fees, instructional materials, and examination fees at a career or technical school
  • Educational services and therapies, including, but not limited to, occupational, behavioral, physical, speech-language, and audiology therapies
  • Tuition and fees at an institution of higher education
  • Fees for transportation paid to a fee-for-service transportation provider for the student to travel to and from an education service provider
  • Any other educational expense approved by the scholarship organization that is consistent with the EFA act

As for those things that require documentation, these are items which are not obviously educational but which can be used for education within a particular context. When properly employed (as a homeschool parent understands), this can extend to many things within a homeschool environment.

Download the parent handbook and refer to pages 20-23 for a full list of allowable expenses

The good news is that everything Compass Classroom offers, from video courses to textbooks to subscriptions to live classes, are covered under the New Hampshire EFA.

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How Do I Sign Up for a NH EFA?

IMPORTANT: To receive FULL funding for 2024/2025 your application needs to be completed by Monday, July 15, 2024. Applications after this date will receive reduced funding for the school year. 

Families who choose to participate in NH EFA will need to complete an application and provide supporting materials. Supporting materials include tax return statements.

Step 1: Apply for the Scholarship

Follow this link to the NH Department of Education’s Children’s Scholarship Fund Website:

Scholarship Fund website

If you are new to the NH EFA program, select “New Families.” This will take you to an online application. You will need to provide the following:

  • Create an account and password
  • Information about you, the parent
  • Information about your child(ren)
  • Your household financial information

Note: you will have to provide documentation if you want to receive additional funds related to income. This documentation must be in PDF format.

If you have already used NH EFA, select “Returning Families” and follow the prompts to verify and update your already recorded information.

IMPORTANT: Your application must be complete and all supporting documentation must be uploaded in order to be verified for funding. Photos of documents will not be accepted. You must provide pdf versions of all documentation.

Once you have completed the application, you will be prompted to complete an attestation of the requirements of the EFA program. This includes submitting an annual record of educational attainment. More information on this can be found in the parent handbook, pages 14-15.

Download the parent handbook

Once a student is deemed eligible, parents will receive an email notification from NH DOE.

How Do I Use my EFA with ClassWallet?

As we explained above, ClassWallet is the financial management platform for the NH EFA program. It’s run by a different company that provides educational services to many different states.

In New Hampshire, once your student has been approved for EFA grant funds, ClassWallet will create an EFA account for them on their platform. They will do this for each eligible student in your family. Parents will then receive a “Welcome” email from ClassWallet with step-by-step instructions on how to log in and access EFA funds. 

ClassWallet is an approval-based system. This means parents do not need to pay for materials or products out-of-pocket.  Instead, parents may submit an invoice for tuition or purchase materials from an online marketplace with approved vendors. 

There are three ways to use your EFA funds via ClassWallet:

  1. ClassWallet Marketplace: This is an online marketplace for purchasing items with a limited number of approved vendors. This is basically an ecommerce store built into the ClassWallet system. Visit the New Hampshire Marketplace.(Note: Compass Classroom is not yet in the Marketplace). Here is a link to a YouTube video that explains this process.
  2. ClassWallet Direct Pay Vendors: (Note: Compass Classroom is a Direct Pay Vendor) These are companies which are registered with the NH EFA system and so can be paid directly with your EFA funds. You do this by going to the vendor’s website, adding the products you want to your cart, then taking a screenshot of the cart or getting an EFA approved invoice from that company (We show exactly how to do this in the next step below).
  3. ClassWallet Reimbursements: This is for use with companies who are not registered with the NH EFA. You can link your bank account to the ClassWallet site, then make a purchase using your own money. You then upload the paid invoices to the ClassWallet site, they review them, then reimburse you via your bank account.

Once you have selected your vendor of materials and products, or followed the prompts to submit the invoice through ClassWallet, you will receive an email from either the vendor with shipping estimates, or from NH EFA confirming that approval.

EFA transactions are reviewed and approved (or denied) and payments to vendors are made from ClassWallet directly to the vendor for the products or services indicated on the invoice. 

Important Note: ClassWallet will not accept any hand-written receipts.

Download Classwallet information for New Hampshire

Homeschool parents should learn how to use all three methods, since homeschooling often requires different approaches for each child.

Here’s a short video that shows what the Dashboard looks like.

How do I use ClassWallet to purchase Compass Classroom products?

Compass Classroom is a registered vendor with the NH EFA, so you can use the “Pay Vendor” button on your dashboard to easily pay for our products. You can purchase anything we sell with the New Hampshire EFA, you just need to follow these steps.

  1. Shop on Compass Classroom for all the products you want, then add all of them to your cart.
  2. View Cart, then start the checkout process.
  3. If you are a returning customer, click the button to login. Otherwise, fill out your name and shipping address.
  4. You will next see a button you can click that reads “This is an EFA Order”. You can click on this to add in your student’s name and information.
  5. Under the payment section, instead of putting in your credit card info, click on the button that reads “Pay by Check or EFA/ClassWallet” This will generate an automatic invoice that will be emailed to you which you can then use in the DirectPay system. Here’s what it looks like on our site:

You will receive an email invoice that also includes a PDF copy of the same invoice. Save this PDF invoice to your computer.

You will next need to log in to ClassWallet: Go to NH EFA Portal, and go to the Dashboard.

  1. Click on Pay Vendor in the bottom right corner.
  2. Search for “Compass Classroom” in the list of Vendors, then select it.
  3. Upload the PDF receipt of your Compass Classroom order.
  4. Choose to pay with your available funds.
  5. Select the appropriate educational category.
  6. You can add optional comments, then review your order and submit it.

That’s it! We will receive notification that NH EFA has paid for your products, we will match it to your invoice, then ship them directly to you. Please note that It could take up to a week for them to process your payment. Once we receive payment, however, we will ship immediately. If online courses were part of your order, access will be added to your Compass Classroom account when we receive notification that NH EFA has paid. You will receive a welcom email from Compass Classroom for each course that you purchased.

Here’s a helpful video that shows how the process actually works:

What Can I Buy from Compass Classroom?

Compass Classroom has been developing video courses and curriculum materials for homeschool families since 2010. We provide comprehensive, self-guided, flexible courses in multiple subjects. Our goal is to make homeschooling easy for parents, enjoyable to students, and effective for learning.

We specialize in self-paced, user-guided video courses with accompanying textbooks and materials, as well as online teacher guidance. We provide courses for upper elementary to high school, including the following subjects: History, Economics, Literature, Science, Latin, Vocabulary, Calculus, Philosophy, Music, Grammar, Writing.

To see everything we offer, you can click SHOP in the menu above, click the button either to see all our products, or to view our catalog.

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Here are a list of useful links, email, and phone number for the New Hampshire EFA.

New Hampshire Empowerment Scholarship Account Website

2023-24 Parents Guide PDF

Approximate* Annual EFA Funding 2023-2024 school year

Login to Classwallet

NH Classwallet information

Classwallet tutorials

How to contact the New Hampshire Empowerment Scholarship Program:

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