Scholarships for Oklahoma Students
The Opportunity Scholarship Fund is a Scholarship Granting Organization that provides scholarships to Oklahoma K-12 students to attend accredited private schools in our state. Once a student has received a scholarship, that student and his or her siblings remain eligible until high school graduation or age 21.
1. A student must be a legal resident of the United States, live in Oklahoma, and have been accepted by an accredited Oklahoma private school for the 2015-16 school year.
2. A student must meet ONE of the following three criteria: Live in a family within the Adjusted Gross Income guidelines OR; attend, or live in the attendance zone, of a public school designated as “in need of improvement” by the State Board of Education OR; attended an Oklahoma public school with an individualized education program (IEP).
Choice for Oklahoma Families
Every child is different and not every school is right for every child. This is the importance of choice, particularly for lower and middle income families. “The issue is not about public versus private schools. It is about finding the place where every single student learns the best”.
Scholarships may be worth up to $5,000, or 80% of the average per-pupil expenditure in the assigned public school district, whichever is greater. For students with special needs who attend a public school with an IEP, the scholarship is worth up to $25,000.
Benefits for Oklahoma Donors
In 2011, the Oklahoma legislature authorized generous tax credits for donors to Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs) like Opportunity Scholarship Fund. These SGOs are not-for-profit entities that must expend at least 90% of their revenues on private school scholarships.
All donors are eligible for Oklahoma tax credits of 50% of the annual donation amount.
Effective January 1, 2016, donors who pledge in writing to give the same amount over two years will receive a 75% tax credit for both years. All donations receive a written receipt letter.
Regardless of donation amount or tax credit percentage, annual Oklahoma tax credits may not exceed $1,000 for individuals; $2,000 for families filing jointly; and $100,000 for eligible business entities. “Pass-through” business entities (partnerships, subchapter S corporations and limited liability companies that flows the business financial activity to the owners’ individual tax returns) are not subject to the tax credit limitations of $1,000/$2,000 for individual and married filing jointly returns.