The Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) programs allow both Pennsylvania individual taxpayers and Pennsylvania business owners to support private schools, such as Shipley, a recognized 501(c)(3) organization, via scholarship funds, instead of directing their tax dollars to Harrisburg. At Shipley, nearly $1.7 million or 22% of the tuition assistance available to students in the 2021-2022 school year was funded through EITC and OSTC. Donors participated either directly through their PA businesses or as individual taxpayers through a Special Purpose Entity, such as BLOCS, the Central PA Scholarship Fund, or PA Education Partnership.

1) JOIN AN SPE: The process starts when you join a Special Purpose Entity (SPE). Shipley has worked with BLOCS, Central PA Scholarship Fund, and PA Education Partnership, to name a few.

2) MAKE YOUR DONATION: The SPE will ask that you make a commitment for two years, based on your PA personal tax liability. The SPE will then make a donation to Shipley, less any fee, which is typically a percentage of the donation.

3) RECEIVE YOUR CREDIT: The SPE will issue you a credit (90% of your donation, for a two-year commitment) for your PA state taxes. You may also qualify for a credit on your federal taxes

List of 5 frequently asked questions.

  • Q. What is the difference between EITC and OSTC?

    Both programs support qualified students from low-income households and the tax benefit to the donor is identical. The OSTC program is slightly more restrictive, as the dollars can only support students from specific low-performing schools and no student may receive more than $8,500 in OSTC funding in a given year.
  • Q. I don’t own a Pennsylvania business. Can I still participate?

    It is possible, depending upon your specific financial circumstances. While the tax benefit for individuals is similar to businesses, the application process is different. For more information, contact Josie Burri, 610-581-4650,
  • Q. What happens after I submit my application?

    The Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) will send an approval letter to businesses that have been awarded credits. The timing of these letters varies year to year, but they generally arrive between October and December. If Shipley is aware that you have made an application, we will let you know if we have any general updates from DCED.

    If you receive an approval letter from DCED, your business has 60 days to send a contribution to Shipley. We, in turn, will promptly issue a gift acknowledgement letter to your business, as the gift receipt must be submitted to DCED within 90 days of the original approval letter. Once DCED has received a copy of Shipley’s acknowledgement letter, your business will receive the tax credits described in your approval letter.
  • Q. How do these programs work?

    Tax credits are available on a first-come, first-serve basis for contributions to schools such as Shipley that provide financial aid to students. Credits are applied against the tax liability for the tax year in which the contribution is made and are equal to 75% of the contribution, up to a maximum of $750,000 per year. Tax credits are increased to 90% for two-year commitments.
  • Q. How do businesses participate in EITC and OSTC?

    Applications from businesses who are already in the program will be accepted online beginning May 15. Online applications from businesses new to the program will be accepted beginning July 1. If you are applying for the first time, it is imperative that your application is submitted on July 1 as EITC tax credits (which are more flexible for Shipley) are offered on a “first come, first serve” basis and are used up almost immediately. The aforementioned dates are adjusted to the next business day if they fall on a weekend.

List of 1 members.

  • Photo of Josephine Burri

    Josephine Burri 

    Director of Philanthropy
    Phone/Extension: 610-581-4650
The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.