Frequently Asked Questions

Under the Georgia Tax Credit Scholarship Program, any company or individual that pays Georgia income tax is eligible to receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for approved donations to Arete Scholars. A C-corporation may redirect up to 75% of its entire Georgia income tax liability. Individual owners of S-corporations, LLCs, and partnerships may redirect up to $10,000 annually in exchange for a 100% tax credit.

By law, Arete may retain a small portion of each donation (usually 7-8%) to help defray program administrative expenses.

Georgia Tax Credit Scholarship Program

  • Is this for real? A company can redirect 75% of its total state tax liability to Arete to support low-income student scholarships?

    That is correct. The Georgia Private School Tax Credit law (O.C.G.A. § 20-2A-1 thru § 20-2A-7) allows individuals and corporations to receive tax credits for donations to Arete Scholars, a state-approved nonprofit. In turn, Arete provides K-12 scholarships that enable low-income students to attend the schools of their parents choice.

  • Why would the state do this?

    For several reasons. First, low-income students who begin attending private schools perform better academically, and graduate from high school at much higher rates than if they had stayed in their current schools. Second, the program results in significant savings to the taxpayer. For example, the cost-per-pupil in Atlanta Public Schools is about $13,000. By contrast, using tax credit donations, Arete pays a maximum of $4,000 per scholarship for students to attend a school that parents believe better meets learning needs. Everybody wins when you can obtain better academic results at a significantly lower cost.

  • Given private school tuition rates, is a $4,000 scholarship enough for low-income families?

    The average tuition for a private school in Georgia is around $9,000 per year. Most of these schools are deeply committed to both character development and academic achievement. Arete currently partners with a diverse range of over 100 excellent schools. A combination of parental contribution and school financial aid makes up the difference.

  • Who are your corporate partners?

    Our generous partners include companies of all sizes. Some of our larger supporters include Walgreens, Wells Fargo, Dollar General, Equifax, GAP, Sonic, and Waste Management.

  • Who is eligible to donate to Arete?

    Any company or individual that pays Georgia income tax is eligible to receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for donations to Arete. A C-corporation may contribute up to 75% of its Georgia state tax liability. Individual owners of S-corporations, LLCs, and partnerships may contribute up to $10,000 annually.

  • What is the process for making a donation and receiving a credit?

    Simply complete and submit the two-page tax credit pre-approval form required by the Georgia Department of Revenue. Arete will submit the form to the state on your behalf when the credit application process opens next in January. The Department of Revenue will provide notice of approval, usually within 15 days. Once you receive your approval, you'll have 60 days to fund your donation. Arete will issue a receipt for you to file with your Georgia return.

  • Does the tuition tax credit scholarship program take money from public schools?

    No. The program does not touch the education budget. Additionally, tuition tax credit scholarships guarantee savings to taxpayers by awarding amounts that are substantially less than the per student expense in public schools. These savings can remain invested in public schools.

  • Are there any downsides for me or my company getting involved?

    It is hard to see any. It is a budget-neutral transaction that can radically alter the lives of under-resourced children. Through this relatively simple step, corporations make a lasting, tangible difference in the lives of low-income families, help break generational cycles of poverty, and give thousands of children a brighter future.