Arete Scholars Fund

The Georgia Tax Credit for Private Schools program was created by the Georgia legislature in 2008. The program allows Georgia taxpayers who donate up to $2,500 (couples) or $1,000 (individuals) to private schools to receive a dollar-for-dollar state tax credit. Donors may designate a school to receive their donation. For more information on the program, visit the Department of Education's Web site.

Donations are made to Student Scholarship Organizations (SSOs), which then distribute the funds to partner schools. Oak Hill has elected to work with Arete Scholars Fund. The SSO program yielded more than $80,000 for scholarships in 2017, enabling Oak Hill to assist a number of families with tuition costs. The process involves two steps: pre-approval by the Georgia Department of Revenue, then the actual donation to Arete Scholars Fund.

  • What is a Student Scholarship Organization (SSO)?

    SSO’s are non profit 501(c)3 charitable organizations created to administer the funds contributed under the Georgia Private School Tax Credit Act and must allocate 90% of revenue for scholarships and tuition grants.

  • What is the Georgia Private School Tax Credit?

    The Georgia Private School Tax Credit is a law that allows people and companies paying Georgia Income Taxes to donate to private schools and receive dollar for dollar credit off of their Georgia Income Tax making the cost of the donation essentially zero. The donations can be made to a specific private school. The law allows up to $50 million per year in tax credits for donations to private schools.

  • What is the history and purpose of the new tuition tax credit legislation that gave rise to the Georgia Private School Tax Credit Program?

    In 2008, the Georgia General Assembly passed House Bill 1133 and Governor Sonny Perdue signed it into law. The new law provides for the creation of student scholarship organizations (“SSO’s”) that use Georgia income tax credit-eligible contributions to provide scholarships for eligible students to attend private schools. Apogee is one of the SSO’s created to implement the new law and has been selected by Oak Hill Classical to administer their donations under this program.

  • How can the Georgia Private School Tax Credit benefit my child in attending Oak Hill Classical School?

    Students entering K4, K5, or 1st grade, or who will be transferring from public schools, are eligible for SSO scholarships. The Oak Hill Classical administration makes scholarship awards based on family financial need. The funds will first be directed towards families that have applied for financial assistance through our third-party needs assessment organization (TADS). Any remaining scholarship funds will be distributed at the discretion of the board to other families in need.

  • What benefits are there for donors?

    Donors can designate Oak Hill Classical School to receive their scholarship donation. The board of Oak Hill Classical will use general scholarship funds received for tuition assistance. Donors may receive a federal deduction for their contribution in addition to the dollar for dollar state tax credit on their income tax return.

  • How do I make a donation to receive the dollar-for-dollar credit off my Georgia Income Taxes?

    Donors must work with a Georgia Department of Education (GADOE) approved Student Scholarship Organization (SSO) such as our partner, Apogee Scholarship Fund. Each approved SSO is a nonprofit 501(c) (3) charitable organization that manages the donations and scholarships/tuition grants under the Georgia Private School tax Credit law.

  • What’s next?
    • Upon receipt of your online application, Apogee will pre-verify the provided information for accuracy
    • On the first business day of 2018, Apogee will submit all received applications into the online GTC system for pre-approval
    • By mid-January, the Department of Revenue will mail pre-approval certificate letters confirming the amount of your approved request
    • From the date you receive the approval letter, you will have a maximum of 60 days to fund the tax credit.  Payment must be made within this 60 day time period or the tax credit will be void.
  • How much can I donate and still receive the dollar for dollar credit off my Georgia Income Taxes?

    An individual can donate up to $1,000.
    A married couple filing a joint return can donate up to $2,500.
    Married couples filing separately may donate up to $1,250 each.
    S-Corp/LLC/Partnerships – shareholders of an S-Corp, members of an LLC or partner in a Partnership can redirect up to $10,000.  (Note: $10,000 maximum encompasses individual applications max as well so if approved for $2,500 as a joint filer, maximum that can be requested is $7,500.)
    A C-corporation (C-corp) paying Georgia Income Tax may donate up to 75% of its GA tax liability.

  • If I overpay on my Georgia Income Tax and have made a donation, will I receive a refund including the donation?

    Yes, as long as your Georgia tax liability is greater than the donation amount. Before considering a donation to any SSO, we advise you contact your professional tax advisor to review the tax laws surrounding the Georgia Private School Tax Credit.

  • Who is eligible to receive a scholarship or tuition grant?

    Eligible student means a student who is a Georgia resident enrolled in a Georgia secondary or primary public school or eligible to enroll in a qualified kindergarten program or pre-kindergarten program.

  • How do I apply for a scholarship or tuition assistance?

    Families seeking tuition assistance at Oak Hill Classical School may contact the school office via phone (770.338.7945) or email for more information on the application process. Oak Hill Classical uses a third-party (TADS) to provide recommendations on tuition assistance. For more information, contact the school office.