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How it Works

Ohio ACE + Merit

ACE Hero

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 and Workforce.

Here's how it works for parents, guardians, students, and service providers.

Step 1

Parents and guardians can apply through the Ohio Department of Education and Workforce for a $1,000 educational savings account to be used to pay for goods (Homeschool only) or services that provide their student with an academic opportunity to make up for a learning loss that occurred due to Covid-19. Must meet eligibility requirements based on residency, income, or government social program participation.

oh ace Parents and Guardians1

Step 2

Qualifying parents and guardians will receive an email from Merit International, Inc. notifying them of their award, and inviting them to accept their digital access credential, or “merit.” This credential will be used as the login for the Ohio ACE app.
Password Key

Step 3

Organizations offering approved programs or services can apply to become a Qualified Educational Service Provider. Once verified by Merit, the organization will be listed in the Ohio ACE Education Marketplace.
oh ace Service Providers

Step 4

Parents and guardians can browse the Ohio ACE Education Marketplace to see relevant service providers by category, grade, and location. These organizations have been verified as offering approved programs and services.
oh ace Program participants

Step 5

Parents and guardians use Merit’s Ohio ACE app on the web, or for Android or iOS to submit claims* and check the balance of their educational savings accounts.
Mobile Phone 2

Step 6

Parents will receive an email notifying them when a claim has been approved or rejected. 
Email Action Clock

Step 7

Once a claim is approved, payment will be made either to the parent/guardian or the Qualified Educational Service Provider, depending on what payor the parent/guardian selects during the submission of the claim. Claims submitted through the app may take 6-8 weeks for payment to be issued.
Cash Payment Coin

Step 8

The student’s educational savings account balance will reflect the reimbursement.
Saving Piggy Dollars-1

*ACE Extension Announcement

Great news! Families who have been awarded funds from the Afterschool Child Enrichment Education Savings Account program (ACE) have more time to spend their money. The deadline for families to spend funds was previously July 1, 2024 and has now been extended to September 1, 2025. Please note, that the ACE program is fully subscribed, and no more accounts may be awarded. The extension applies to families with existing accounts only.

If you have questions or need help submitting a claim for reimbursement, please use the Help Center