What is the “Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit” Program?
The Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit program (OSTC) enables eligible students residing within the boundaries of a low-achieving public elementary or high school to apply for a scholarship to attend another public or non-public school. “Low-achieving” is defined as ranking in the bottom 15% for combined math and reading scores on the previous school year’s PSSA.
How much OSTC funding will SJV receive?
Funding amount will be undetermined and will vary from school to school. Opportunity scholarships are funded by businesses making contributions to scholarship organizations in exchange for a tax credit. Even if a student is eligible for a scholarship, that scholarship is contingent upon funds being available.
How does this affect St. John Vianney Regional School?
SJV is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to enroll students who receive Opportunity Scholarships in the 2015/2016 school year.
Is my designated public school low-achieving?
To view the list of low-achieving public schools, visit the Department of Education’s website at
www.education.state.pa.us and click on the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program icon. Refer to the “List of Low-Achieving Schools” pdf.
Am I eligible? What if we already attend SJV?
If and when any Opportunity Scholarships are available at SJV, students who live within the boundaries of a low-achieving public school, as determined by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, are eligible to receive a scholarship. This includes families who are already attending SJV.
What are the requirements of an OSTC scholarship?
The scholarship can only be used for tuition costs and school-related fees. The amount of scholarship may not exceed the SJV tuition rate. Scholarship funds received by a parent are not considered taxable income.
What are the income requirements?
For 2016 - 2017 applications, household income may not exceed $75,000 for two person household plus $15,000 for each additional household member. A ‘household’ per the DCED (PA Department of Community & Economic Development), is anything from one parent and one child to parents, children and any other person residing in the home. If that person is over 18, we need to have income verification from that person and it counts toward the total household income for (Earned Income Tax Credit) EITC/OSTC purposes. By law, priority for Opportunity Scholarships must be given to families whose household income is at or below 185% of federal poverty level (approx. $43,000 for a family of 4.)
How do I apply?
Parents must fill out an OSTC Application Form available starting in March 2015. OSTC applications must be submitted by the required due date for consideration.
Can we apply for the 2016-2017 school year?
Yes! OSTC funding is currently available for the current year to any child in 1st Grade through 7th Grade that would be transferring from a public school on the "Low Achieving" List. Specific guidelines apply.
Is SJV required to accept any student who is eligible for an OSTC scholarship?
No. SJV’s admission process will remain the same regardless of a student’s eligibility in the OSTC program. Prospective students will participate in the required testing to determine acceptance into St. John Vianney Regional School. SJV’s quality academic standards will not be compromised.
For more information regarding the OSTC Program, please contact the Main Office at 610-435-8981 x 4