State of Georgia Qualified Education Expense
Tax Credit Program Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Qualified Education Expense Program?
The Qualified Education Expense program is a tax credit that allows Georgia taxpayers to direct a portion of their Georgia state income taxes to help students attend schools like Whitefield Academy.
How does the tax credit program work?
The Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) oversees this program. Individual schools partner with student scholarship organizations (SSO) to administer the program. Whitefield Academy has chosen Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program as our SSO. More information about Georgia GOAL can be found on their website at
What does a tax credit look like?
A tax credit is significantly more beneficial than a deduction because it reduces your Georgia state taxes dollar-for-dollar versus a deduction, which reduces the total taxable income on which taxes are calculated.
Who is eligible to receive Qualified Education Expense monies?
Qualifying students are qualified financial aid recipients who are coming from either a Georgia public school or entering kindergarten.
My child is already at Whitefield Academy, why should I participate?
One of Whitefield Academy’s core values is an enrollment that reflects the racial, ethnic, and economic diversity within the body of Christ. This program is just one of the ways that we are seeking to fulfill that core value.
Are there other benefits for me?
In addition to the state tax credit you receive, amounts contributed to Georgia GOAL are considered a charitable deduction for federal income tax purposes. There may be additional tax benefits for individuals filing Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). Consult your tax advisor.
If I participate in the tax credit program, does this count as my gift to the Annual Fund?
No, participation in the tax credit program does not substitute for a gift to the Annual Fund. They are entirely separate entities. With the tax credit, you are only directing where money you are already paying to the state of Georgia is going. A gift to the Annual Fund helps cover the 10% of the budget expenses that tuition does not cover.
Why do I have to “apply” to participate in the program?
There is an annual cap for this program by law. Georgia GOAL has well over 120 participating schools and there are almost 40 other SSOs in the state of Georgia. The allowable funds are depleted long before the end of the calendar year.
How much do I contribute?
Married couples who file jointly can contribute up to $2,500; individuals can contribute up to $1,000. Shareholders of “S” corporations and members of LLCs and LLPs may contribute up to $10,000.
Can my company participate?
Yes. “C” corporations can contribute up to 75% of their Georgia income tax liability. Shareholders of “S” corporations and members of LLCs and LLPs are subject to the individual tax credit limitations. If you have questions regarding corporate participation, we will gladly connect you with the experts at our SSO.
Has Whitefield changed the admission criteria to accommodate students who qualify for this program?
No. Admission standards will not be relaxed. All recipients must complete our regular application for admission and apply for financial aid. Acceptance for admission will be based on the current standards and criteria for admission to our school. Exceptions will not be made for applicants who are eligible for this program. The program simply allows families with qualified students who had not previously been able to attend our school due to monetary constraints to do so.
Response to the negative press?
There has been some negative press related to this tax credit, due mostly in part to the lack of transparency (i.e., not publishing contribution and award results) among some of the SSOs. Georgia GOAL maintains a strong commitment to transparency. We encourage you to check out GOAL’s website (
), especially their most current annual report. Other issues involve some schools allowing (even encouraging) current students to withdraw and enroll in a public school for a day to become “eligible” and some SSOs allowing people to designate individuals (even their own child) as recipients. Both of these issues are not ethical and do not follow the intent of the law that provides for this tax credit. Whitefield Academy and Georgia GOAL do not allow for either of these situations.