Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program

A way to provide funding to eligible students who reside within the boundaries of a low-achieving school.

The Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program (OSTC) allows businesses to contribute to an opportunity scholarship to provide funding to eligible students who reside within the attendance boundaries of a low-achieving school. A low-achieving school is defined as a public elementary or secondary school in Pennsylvania ranking in the bottom 15 percent of its designation, based on combined math and reading scores on the most recent PSSA results available on the Pennsylvania's Department of Education's website. Eligible students may include children residing within the boundaries of a low-achieving school who attend a low-achieving school, are enrolled in a non-public school, were previously home-schooled or previously attended a charter or cyber charter school. 

As with the EITC program, companies can claim the credit against corporate net income tax, capital stock and franchise tax, bank and trust company shares tax, title insurance companies shares tax, insurance premiums tax, mutual thrift institutions tax and personal income tax.

Businesses wanting to participate in the OSTC program should apply online at www.newpa.com. Parents and families wanting more information on this program can contact their local school to ask if it is participating in the OSTC program or go to the DCED (Department of Community and Economic Development) website. The maximum amount of tax credits that a business can claim is $750,000. 

First-year businesses can apply at the beginning of July each year. Applications for the second year of a two-year commitment will be accepted at the beginning of May. Businesses completing a two-year commitment and wishing to renew another two-year commitment also may apply at the beginning of May. As with the EITC program, applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. 

For more information, please visit www.newpa.com/ostc.