FAQs 2017-08-02T00:09:49+00:00

FAQs

Who should apply? 2017-08-02T18:23:09+00:00

Anyone who has a child enrolled in an Arizona private school. Do not let your current income situation discourage you from applying. There are several different private school state tax scholarship programs and your family will qualify for one of them.

Also, parents should apply if your child is in Kindergarten or transferring from an Arizona public school to an Arizona private school. “Switcher” credits are available for students in their first year of private school and are necessary prerequisites if you wish to continue to receive them in future years.   These Switcher scholarships are above and beyond the Original scholarship offered to every student.

Are there any students who are not eligible to receive School Tuition Organization (STO) scholarships? 2017-08-02T18:22:49+00:00

Some scholarships are awarded based on need and additional criteria. Not every student is eligible for that type of scholarship.

In addition, Arizona offers ESA or Empowerment Scholarships.   Students cannot accept both ESA and STO scholarship awards in the same year.   More information about empowerment scholarships can be found at www.azed.gov/esa

 

 

Are there application deadlines? 2017-08-02T18:22:11+00:00

ADFM awards scholarships twice a year but accepts applications throughout the year. Our scholarship awards are based on your application, so please complete your application as far in advance of the school year you are applying for as possible. We will work as quickly as we can to accommodate all students so it is never a wrong time to apply.

Are there different types of scholarships? 2017-08-02T18:21:45+00:00

Yes. ADFM provides three types of scholarships. Each scholarship is funded by a different tax credit:

1) The Individual Income Tax Credit Scholarship Program – This is funded by Individual AZ Taxpayer contributions and most children in private school can receive this scholarship award.

2) The Switcher Individual Income Tax Credit Scholarship Program known as the Overflow/PLUS (Switcher) tax credit scholarship – Student eligibility guidelines for scholarship award include:

  • Must enroll in or currently be enrolled in a private school Kindergarten, OR Must have attended a Arizona Public School, full time, for at least 90 days of the prior fiscal year and then transferred to a private school, OR Received a switcher scholarship in a prior school year and remained in private school in subsequent years, OR Received a low-income corporate scholarship or disabled/displaced scholarship in a prior year and continued to attend private school in subsequent years.

3) The Corporate Low Income Tax Credit Scholarship – This scholarship has a yearly maximum amount and students must qualify according to the guidelines and other requirements to receive low income corporate scholarships.

We will determine the type of scholarships your child is eligible to receive and communicate that immediately after our determination is made.

What factors influence scholarship awards? 2017-08-02T18:21:13+00:00

Needs-based scholarships – Are awarded based on an objective set of criteria so that we make awards based on the student’s actual situation and commitment to success. We consider a myriad of factors in order to award scholarships including but not only family income, the school, the student is attending and other programs the family or student may participate in.

Recommendations – We cannot use a recommendation as the sole criteria for an award but the personal recommendation is important. This award is not based on income but rather on aggregate recommended donations for your student, so often, families who receive more dollars donated in their name will often receive larger scholarships.

Not every student qualifies for or receives every type of scholarship.   The following may help applicants better understand the award process:

  • Individual Private School Tax Credit Scholarships
  • K-12 students attending a qualified private school.
  • Switcher / Overflow Scholarships
  • Enrolling in or currently enrolled in a private school Kindergarten, OR attended a Arizona Public School, full time, for at least 90 days of the prior school year and then transferred to a private school, OR previously received a switcher scholarship in a prior school year and remained in private school in subsequent years, OR Previously received a low-income corporate scholarship or disabled/displaced scholarship in a prior year and continued to attend private school in subsequent years.
  • Low Income Corporate Scholarships
  • Family income must be below the numbers indicated in the chart below AND meet one of the following:
  • Enrolling in or currently enrolled in a private school Kindergarten, OR attended a Arizona Public School, full time, for at least 90 days of the prior fiscal year and then transferred to a private school, OR received a switcher scholarship in a prior school year and remained in private school in subsequent years, OR received a low-income corporate, switcher or original scholarship in a prior year and continued to attend private school in subsequent years.

Household Size           Income level

1                                    $40,659

2                                   $54,828

3                                   $68,998

4                                   $83,167

5                                   $97,336

6                                   $111,505

7                                   $125,709

8                                   $139,947

Each additional         $14,238

How do I determine which scholarship to apply for? 2017-08-02T18:18:54+00:00

We do that for you. Simply fill out our scholarship application completely.

Upon receipt of your application we will determine which scholarships state laws will allow your child to receive. We may however need additional information so please look and reply to our subsequent email.

You will receive a confirmation once your completed application is logged into the system. Please review it carefully for accuracy.

Will my child receive all of the money that is donated when our family is recommended? 2017-08-02T18:25:27+00:00

To answer that question we need to take a moment to describe the overall process:

Full Funding:
In order to meet the need of all the students that apply, we must have the funds. We need your help to do that. We can work to maximize your award if you can spread the word about A Degree For Me. Please reach out to your contacts and encourage them to redirect their tax dollars to A Degree For Me and recommend your child for those funds. Even if you are not recommending a student, please share your support for the Tax Credit Program so we can make sure students with need can attend the school they choose.

Awards from Funds Without Recommendation:
When awards are made to A Degree For Me without recommendation we share with our partner schools. You can find those listed in the drop-down or on the attached PDF. We also consider other factors including family income and program compatibility and performance. Other considerations also come into play.

Funds that are donated without any recommendation are awarded to applicants from that school with the primary considerations being family income and participation in the programs we offer.

Awards from Recommended Funds:
Some of the donations we receive are accompanied by a student recommendation.The law prevents us from using that recommendation as the only criteria for awarding scholarships but we do use it as one of the primary criteria.

Donations from individuals fund two different types of scholarships. Donations coming in from married couples during the 2017 tax year are allocated as follows:
– Married Couple Donations 2017 – The first $1,092 of each donation must be used for Original Scholarship Awards. Any amount over $1,092 must be used for Switcher Scholarships.
– Single Person Donations 2017 – The first $546 must be used for Original Scholarship awards, with any amount over going towards Switcher scholarships.

Funds that cannot be used by your family will be used to support other families at your school.

No less than 90% of the donations we receive are distributed in the form of scholarship awards. Up to 10% of donations may be used to cover overhead expenses. We are continually working to keep our expenses low so we can support as many schools and students as possible.

How can I maximize the scholarship awards my child receives? 2017-08-02T18:14:20+00:00

You can begin by filling out the application; fully and completely. Then consider the following:

Be An Advocate
Talk to your contacts and friends and suggest that they donate their tax dollars and recommend your child. Recommendations aren’t the only criteria but they are big. The more donations the more money we can award in scholarships.

Married couples can donate $2,177.00 and singles can donate up to $1,089. Just a couple of donations you can make a big difference your child’s tuition expenditures.

Ask About Company Contributions
Ask if your company would consider donating. These are slightly different donations and entail different stipulations regarding distribution so call us to discuss if you feel your corporation might be interested in donating.

Use Our Materials
We have materials and strategies that you can use and that may significantly increase donations.

What basic tax credit knowledge must I have to talk with people? 2017-08-02T18:12:12+00:00

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Tax Credit versus Tax Donation – Donations a non-profit can be taken as a federal tax deduction. The deduction lowers their taxable income by the amount donated. This is a dollar-for- dollar tax credit and it reduces what a person actually pays in taxes. A tax credit is much better than a tax deduction.

2. Know The Limits – In 2017 (for the 2017 tax year) married couples could donate up to $2,177, and singles could donate up to $1,089. These are maximums, we will always accept less.

3. Know the Deadline – Donors have until April 15 th (the income tax filing deadline) to donate in order to take credit for it in the previous year’s taxes.

4. Tax Liability – Some employees don’t have a tax liability (debt) to the state for a variety of reasons but most do. Others overpay and get a refund each year. This does not affect their refund or liability. It merely offsets their tax liability when they file their taxes.

5. The Public School Tax Credit – Is approximately $400.00 and this is not part of that program. The state offers several different tax credits and they can participate in as many as possible until they max out their liability.

6. The Public Private School Debate – Public school advocates contend that this program takes money
away from the public schools. This program supplements the public schools by helping kids with the will
find their way into private schools and out of the public school system. It provides students with the
desire or the need for programs offered by private schools to address those needs. It is a fact that if all
of the private school students flowed back into the public school system the state system could not
handle it. This program saves the state money which is one of several reasons that it expands every
year.

How is my donation distributed? 2017-08-02T18:10:37+00:00

The state tax credit law allows individual donors to recommend a student or school for a tuition scholarship. We use your recommendation as one of the primary factors we use for granting scholarships. However, by state law we can’t use it as the only factor

Also state law requires that certain amounts from each donation be used for different types of scholarships. Those amounts depend on the amount of your donation and the situation of the child you are donating to. Student qualifications vary as do the portion of the funds donated to them.

For the 2017 tax year, you can donate up to $2,177 as a married couple filing jointly, $1,089 as a single.

You receive a dollar-for- dollar tax credit against your Arizona State Tax liability.

If you donate the maximum amount it is allocated as follows:
Married: $1,092 (Original) + $1085 (Overflow/PLUS) = $2,177 total maximum
Single: $546 (Original) + $543 (Overflow/PLUS) = $1,089 total maximum

This is something we need to track on our end, but we will break this all out for you on the receipt we send you for your taxes.

If you have no Arizona income tax liability, you cannot take the credit, but ADFM will certainly tax a charitable donation.

The state allows an STO to keep up to 10% of each donation to cover expenses and overhead such as credit card charges, printing, and website and telephone costs.

How do I report a donation on my taxes? 2017-08-04T18:16:36+00:00

If you use a tax preparation service, their programs are set up for these types of tax credits.

If you do prepare your own taxes without using a computer program you will need to fill out a simple form.

Donations to A Degree For Me for the Original tax credit are filed using Arizona Form 323.

Donations made for the Overflow/ Switcher/PLUS tax credit are filed using Arizona Form 348.

Forms 323 and 348 are summarized on Form 301. All forms are available from the Arizona Department of Revenue (ADOR) at www.azdor.gov.

The information for these forms will be provided on the receipt you will receive upon completion of your donation.

Can parents donate to each other’s children? 2017-08-02T18:07:26+00:00

No. Whether intentional or not, this is called “swapping”. The law states, “A taxpayer may not claim a tax credit if the taxpayer agrees to swap donations with another taxpayer to benefit either taxpayer’s own dependent.”

Also, parents cannot donate and recommend their own children.

Must I fill out a donation form? 2017-08-02T18:06:42+00:00

Yes, state law requires that we collect a minimum amount of information with each donation.

Does this tax credit also apply to federal tax returns? 2017-08-02T18:05:40+00:00

This is a dollar-for- dollar reduction on your State taxes. Since A Degree For Me is a 501(c)3 you may also be able to claim it as a federal tax deduction. We recommend that you check with your tax professional.

Does A Degree For Me (ADFM) work with all students? 2017-08-02T17:53:33+00:00

Yes. We work with all eligible and recommended Arizona students grades K – 12?

Does ADFM work with all Arizona private schools? 2017-08-02T17:54:06+00:00

Yes. We intend to. We support all eligible Arizona private schools that are willing to work with us. We do not recommend schools based on their affiliations, curriculum or geography. We are constantly reaching out to private schools across the state to make a connection. If you do not see your school on our list or they do not currently work with us, let us know and we will reach out.

What are our Guiding Principles? 2017-08-02T17:54:52+00:00

These are the principles which guide our work:

We Believe:

  • Learning is a Lifelong Endeavor – To succeed means constantly “Leveling Up.”
  • A Lifelong Opportunity to Learn Provides a Lifelong Ability to Earn.
  • It takes a whole family working together to get a child through high school, into college and headed towards a career.
  • Every AZ Child Deserves the Chance to Earn a High School Diploma from the School of their Choice
  • Every AZ High School Graduate Deserves an Opportunity to Earn a College Degree or Learn a Trade or a Skill from the Institution of Their Choice.
  • A Solid Education Provides the Foundation for a Successful and Rewarding Career.  Careers Fulfill Dreams and Create Powerful Communities.
  • Arizona’s Private School Tuition Tax Credit and Corporate Income Tax Credit were created to support these principles. ADFM intends to use both of these Tuition Tax Credits to help all students achieve their learning and career goals.
  • ADFM will work with all approved schools; we will support any and all interested students and families and we will receive all qualified contributions.
  • At least 90% of all ITC Contributions will go to student scholarships.
  • At least 95% of all CTC contributions will go to student scholarships.
  • Students and families-in-need are our top priority.  We will provide services to help them succeed.
  • Every ADFM scholarship student will receive free access to and support from our Application Prep program.  Application Prep helps students and families prepare, plan and apply for College Admission and Financial Aid.  This support begins in the 9th Grade.
  • We will accomplish all of this and exceed the performance standards in the charitable giving industry by being 100% transparent, 100% of the time.
  • Use Eco and Socio-friendly marketing, communication and administrative methods.  No waste.  No Negativity.  Full transparency.  We’re helping design the future by empowering the next generation.

 

Does ADFM take recommendations? 2017-08-02T17:54:27+00:00

Yes. We work diligently to support the families with need we but we support the entire Tuition Tax Credit program and accept and distribute donations that come with a student recommendation.

Is there a cost to apply? 2017-08-02T17:56:01+00:00

Yes. We charge a nominal $7.00 fee for each Scholarship Application.