Can tax dollars really transform into tuition?

Scholarship Granting Organizations are a lifeline to families trying to access school choice for their students.

It is very simple…yes!  Ohioans can now designate their tax dollars toward tuition assistance to students at the school that they choose.

HB110, Ohio’s biennial budget passed in July 2021, included a provision for the establishment of Scholarship Granting Organizations in the state.  Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGO) are separate 501c3 non-profit organizations that collect donations on behalf of their member schools solely for the purpose of providing scholarships to assist with the cost of tuition for students.  All Scholarship Granting Organizations are approved and certified through the state of Ohio Attorney General.

What makes a donation to an SGO so appealing is that donations can erase a donors Ohio tax liability up to $750 for an individual or $1500 for a married couple filing jointly.  In other words, those who choose to make donations can elect to have their tax dollars benefit Ohio students.

Donors who contribute more than the maximum tax credit or whose tax liability is less than the donation may use the balance as a donation on their federal tax return.

With the passage of HB33, Ohio’s biennial budget for FY2024-25, the state now allows donations to be made up to April 15th of each year to take advantage of the tax benefits for the prior year.  This works like the tax advantage for IRA contributions.

With the passage of Universal Choice in Ohio, some are wondering why there would still be a need for scholarships.  The answer is very simple.  Some families still need help with the cost of tuition.  It is important to note that while the per-student operating expenditure for traditional districts was $15,428 in 2023, the scholarship maximum is $6166 for K-8 and $8408 for K-12.  Participating provider schools agree to waive the difference between tuition and the scholarship amounts for low-income families, but it leaves the rest of Ohio families to fund that balance each year and for many, it is a struggle and sacrifice.  Additional assistance such as scholarships through an SGO can mean the difference between true school choice and being forced to choose an educational path that is not right for their student.

The laws governing SGO organizations require that most funds collected must be earmarked to assist low-income students…in other words, those that need the funds the most.  For participating schools, it is another resource they can use to help their families and students.  For donors, it is an easy and pain-free way to help Ohio students thrive in an environment that is best suited for their needs.  By making a donation to an SGO, Ohioans can truly change a life.

Every Child Every Family is a Scholarship Granting Organization which prioritizes scholarships for elementary, middle, and high school students in Ohio whose families meet income guidelines.  In 2023, ECEF collected over $1.1 million to benefit Ohio families and their students. To learn more or to make a donation, visit

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