Arizona Tuition Connection
You know just what you want in an education for your child, and you scour websites to find just
the right one. You find some great possibilities.
Then you click on the pages about admissions, see the price of tuition and think you need a Plan
B. You’ll never be able to afford the annual fee.
Don’t give up.
Enter Arizona Tuition Connection, which teaches families about Arizona’s state-tax credit
program, designed to help parents to pay for private school.
“There are a lot of misunderstandings and misconceptions about the private school tax-credit program,” said Tim Kuhn, executive director. “So we spend time with families, educating and hand-holding them, getting them to understand how their family can participate and benefit.
We also provide the tools families need to be successful. Tools such as brochures, video and custom landing pages specifically for the families.”
Arizona Tuition Connection is an approved Student Tuition Organization, which is allowed to accept funds through the tax-credit program and administer scholarships.
Approved by the state Legislature in 1997, the Arizona Private School Tax Credit Law works like this: An Arizona taxpayer allocates up to an allowed amount of state taxes to an approved organization to help pay a child’s tuition. The donor receives a dollar-for-dollar tax credit on his return.
So, for example, consider a taxpayer who has a tax liability of $1,225 and didn’t pay any taxes to the state during the year. If he makes a $500 contribution earmarked for tuition, he will owe the state only $725 — not $1,225.
Confused? Don’t be. Kuhn and his group can help.
“We are an organization, run by parents who have their kids in private schools,” Kuhn said. “We have experience from all sides of the tuition tax-credit process, so we can provide you first-hand knowledge to allow you to maximize your scholarship awards, no matter what the family’s financial situation.”
The organization needs to educate parents about the program, but also the community.
“What we need is for people to donate or redirect their tax dollars to this program,” he said. “Any Arizona resident with a tax liability can donate their Arizona state tax liability to this program and recommend those funds go to a private school or a student attending a private school,” he said. “The donation is a dollar-for-dollar tax credit off of the donors’ state taxes, so it costs the donor nothing but can make an incredible difference to a school in their community.
“S-Corporations and C-Corporations also can donate their taxes and take it as a dollar-for-dollar tax credit off of their state taxes. It is a great way for a business to support the community without it affecting their bottom line or other charitable-giving campaigns.”
Kuhn said those diverted taxes turn into scholarships that are available for all families with kids in private schools. All families can take part, no matter what their income level. He said the organization works with all private schools, and it’s very possible to get all of a student’s tuition covered for a school year.
Kuhn said he founded Arizona Tuition Connection when he saw how many parents at his daughter’s school didn’t understand how the program could benefit them.
“The organizations that were out there were making it more complicated for them instead of helping them,” he said. “There was a need in the community for an organization that would provide great customer service and support to make what some parents assumed to be a complicated process simple. We do hundreds of trainings and events in the community to help families understand the process and apply for these tax-credit funds.”
Arizona Tuition Connection awarded its first scholarships in 2013. For the 2017-18 school year, it expects to administer $20 million in awards, he said.
It’s gratifying to see how the organization can assists parents and children, he said. “We help families go to the school that meets their family’s needs or desires,” Kuhn said. “So if they have a child that would be better served at a school to help students with ADHD, dyslexia, anxiety, learning disabilities, we can help those families get the scholarship funding they need to go to these schools. Sometimes tuition at these type of schools can be over $20,000 per year.
“Or if going to a school with religious education or a certain teaching method is important to a family, we can help with the tuition at these schools. The tax-credit program opens the doors for families at many schools that might not otherwise be available to them.”
For more information, visit www.arizonatuitionconnection.com or call (480) 409-4106.