A 504 plan, which falls under civil-rights law, is a plan to allow students with disabilities to participate freely and safely in school to get the same opportunities as everyone else. An IEP, which falls under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, is much more concerned with actually providing educational services. Students eligible for an IEP, or Individualized Education Plan, make up a small subset of all students with disabilities. They require significant special help, and are more likely to work on their own level at their own pace.  Only certain disabilities are eligible for an IEP, and students who do not meet those classifications but still need some help to be able to participate fully in school would be candidates for a 504 plan.