The Episcopal School in North Philadelphia

Your Tax Dollars, Your Choice

This is your chance to receive a 90% tax credit while supporting the future of St. James School in an easy process.

By redirecting your state tax dollars to St. James School through Pennsylvania’s Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program (OSTC) and Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program (EITC), businesses and individuals have an opportunity to make a tremendous impact on the educational trajectory of children residing in the Allegheny West neighborhood of North Philadelphia. The OSTC and EITC programs allow you to invest in tomorrow. As a tuition-free school, you provide much needed scholarships so all our students in grades 4-8 can attend St. James School and receive the education they deserve.

Participating is simple. Commit to a two-year scholarship gift to St. James, and you receive a state tax credit of 90%. That’s It!

Contact Us to Get Started

Though the process is easy, it can be overwhelming to begin. We encourage you to give us a call and we can walk you through each step!

CALL 215-226-1276 x114 or

1. Check Your Eligibility

Any tax-paying business doing business in Pennsylvania.
Individuals who pay $3,500 or more in state taxes and are employees, owners, or shareholders of businesses authorized to operate in PA. This includes non-profit employees or retirees.

2. Join a SPE

Join a Special Purpose Entity (SPE) made up of a group of donors interested in diverting their state taxes to scholarships. It takes less than 10 minutes to fill out the paperwork.

3. Write a Check

Make a contribution of at least $3,500 to the SPE and commit to give the same amount the next year. 100% of your redirected state taxes provides scholarships of our students!

Frequently asked questions

Who is eligible to participate?

This program is available to both businesses and individuals alike. If you pay at least $3,500 in Pennsylvania state taxes, you most likely qualify.

For individuals, you must be an employee, owner, or shareholder of a business authorized to do business in Pennsylvania. This includes non-profit employees and retirees as long as you own stock in a business that operates in Pennsylvania.

You must commit to give the same amount for two years.

How do I apply? What is the process?
  • Step 1. Consult your tax advisor or accountant to confirm your eligibility.
  • Step 2. Determine your Pennsylvania tax liability for two years and the amount you want to redirect your taxes.
  • Step 3. Sign our SPE joinder agreement and reserve your spot as soon as possible! It’s first-come, first-served.
  • Step 4. Write a check to your SPE. (In your first year, you may be writing a check to a different SPE based on your participation amount and where there is room.)
  • Step 5. The SPE passes 100% of your contribution to St. James School, providing scholarships to students in North Philadelphia.
  • Step 6. Around February of the following year, you will receive a K-1 Statement for your Pennsylvania taxes that will include your 90% tax credit.
  • Step 7. If you are owed a refund due to overpayment, you will receive it the following fall. Please note, this is handled by a different department and refunds have been delayed.
  • Step 8. You will be notified to confirm your participation again either in the fall (if you signed up in the spring) or in the summer (if you signed up in the fall).
If I'm eligible, am I guaranteed a tax credit once I apply?

Tax credits are available on a first-come, first-served basis. This is a popular program that fills up fast! To make sure you receive a tax credit this year, submit your signed joinder as soon as possible and reserve your spot! Checks are due either in the spring or fall.

We recommend joining in the spring if you know your state tax liability at the beginning of the year and want to avoid paying your quarterly estimated taxes. Also, this is a more guaranteed time. You can also sign up in the fall, if you need a little more time, but know this is the more sought-after deadline. There may be a waiting list due to high demand so get in your joinder early.

    Will my entire contribution directly support St. James School?

    Yes! All you have to do is indicate on your joinder that you would like your contribution to go to “St. James School – Philadelphia.” (There are several St. James Schools in Pennsylvania.) Your redirected state taxes will be directly applied to student scholarships.

    Is the other 10% of my contribution tax deductible?

    Yes! If you itemize your deductions at tax time, the other 10% of your contribution qualifies as a federal charitable donation.

    What are Special Purpose Entities (SPEs)?

    Special Purpose Entities (SPEs) are used in Pennsylvania to aggregate contributions from individuals interested in the Education Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) or Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) programs. Individuals sign joinder agreements to participate in a SPE, and our partner, Central Pennsylvania Scholarship Fund (CPSF) makes it possible so you can receive the tax credit.

    What’s the difference between EITC and OSTC?
    The EITC program provides tuition assistance support to qualified students from low income households. The OSTC program is slightly more restrictive, in that the students must also live in school districts ranked in the bottom 15% in Pennsylvania.

    You do not have to worry about EITC or OSTC when applying. The tax benefits of both programs are exactly the same, and St. James School students qualify to receive both.

    Who is St. James School’s partner? Do they charge anything?

    We partner with an organization called Central Pennsylvania Scholarship Fund (CPSF) who receives the awards from the state, processes the paperwork for us, and passes 100% of the funds to us. They are CPAs who manage the SPEs and provide this service pro-bono. They also work with hundreds of schools across the state, and were vetted by our Finance Committee.

    CPSF will send your K-1 Statement in February and will also follow up with you regarding your next year’s participation.

    The program is increasingly popular so the sooner you reserve your spot by completing our joinder agreement, the better. They accept sign ups in the spring and fall.

    Should I fill out the joinder in full, even if I am uncertain about the amount that I will be paying in PA state taxes?

    Yes, by filling out the joinder, you are essentially reserving your tax credit. It is possible to adjust the amount listed on your joinder before you need to write a check. For assistance, contact Martha Heuser at mheuser@stjamesphila.org or 215-226-1276 x114.

    Can I adjust the amount listed on my joinder once a new calendar year begins?

    We hope that individuals will make at least a two-year commitment to support student scholarships at St. James School, but there is no term limit and you can continue for however long you wish to participate. You will be reminded to reapply in the fall (if you signed up in the spring) or in the summer (if you signed up in the fall), at which point you can adjust your contribution amount. Look for paperwork from our partner, CPSF.

    Over 100 donors

    currently participate

    All 85 students

    are eligible to receive scholarships

    90% tax credit

    = you give a dime, St. James School receives a dollar

    < 10 minutes

    to complete a joinder application

    Don’t miss the opportunity to participate with over 100 fellow donors by providing scholarships to every St. James student!

    “The program is remarkable. It allows us to support a wonderful school in a financially advantageous way. You can direct 90% of the money you would otherwise pay to the state in income taxes to St. James. It really is a no-brainer!”

    Jeffrey & Gillian Waldron, St. James School Supporters

    By God’s Grace, we were blessed with the resources to support the St. James School, which holds such a special place in our hearts: the school’s founding principles, their dedication to the entire student’s family, their commitment to the spiritual life of the neighborhood, their interest in students’ lives well after graduation — not to mention the enduring influence of the inimitable Audrey Evans — are each so meaningful to us.

    So, giving by way of the tax-credit program was an easy decision for us to have made. After all, who wouldn’t want to direct their tax dollars to students who are eager to learn but lacking the resources to do so?

    And the process itself was also so easy. Working with the St. James School’s scholarship partner couldn’t have been simpler, and we were able to also make just a one-year rather than two-year commitment. It’s a time-tested program, we know it works, and we’ve been thrilled with its results.”

    David & Laura Thayer, St. James School Supporters

    Thank you donors!

    Betsy & Jay Aikens
    The Rev. Frank Allen & Dr. Amy Allen
    Anonymous (2)
    Theresa & Jay Baldwin
    Andy & Jane Balsan
    Steve & Elizabeth Bitterman
    John & Lisa Black
    Stephane Bouvel
    Andrew & Susanna Brown
    Richard & Cindy Buchanan
    David Carlson
    Joan Carter & John Aglialoro
    Mary & Edward Cloues
    Susan & Mike Damiano
    Matthew & Paul Dayton-Welch
    Al & Gail Deana
    Julia & Darrell DeMoss
    David & Susie Demski
    Jon Jay & Margaret DeTemple
    Tom & Molly Duffy
    Erin & David Dugery
    Mary Dugery
    Peter & Kay Dugery
    Louise Dunn & Scott Kozin, MD
    Matt & Lori Espe
    Festlen, LLC
    Shelly & Scot Fisher
    Gordon & Patricia Fowler
    Dina & Jim Gibson
    John & Franny Glomb
    Larry Goldberg
    Matthew Hammer
    Jessica T. Harper & Christopher Zafiriou
    John & Helena Heywood
    Kevin & Pam Hicks
    Craig Hoffman
    Kirk & Nanci Hoffman
    Peter & Allyson Hotz
    Bob & Mary Garrett Itin
    Bob & Laine Jacoby
    Kenneth & Lorraine Jones
    Roger & Chrisy Jones
    David Kasievich & The Rev. Andrew Kellner
    Robert & Melissa Kathol
    Eileen & Mathew Kraut
    Michael & Susan Lastowski
    Betsy & Bob Legnini
    Tim & Lauren Leithead
    Bill & Rhonda Levy
    Ellie Lloyd
    Steven Lloyd
    Tom Lloyd
    Bill & Jan Lutz
    Dr. Chiduzie Madubata
    Suzanne Matlock
    Michael & Diane Mayer
    Jamie & Meg McLane
    Joe & Deedee McPeak
    Rich & Pam Merriman
    Warren Meyer & Angela Raymond
    Kathryn & Mark Miani
    Francie Middleton & Michael Fields
    Bill & Karen Mignucci
    Ned Miller & Carol Kangas
    Scott & Karen Moon
    Susan O’Hagan Marley & Bob Marley
    Evans Pancoast
    Faith & Bill Parshall
    Philadelphia Insurance Company
    David & Urszula Pollard
    Rafael & Christie Porrata-Doria
    Mark Quigley
    Drs. Corinna Franklin & Rey Ramirez
    Steve & Beth Ramsey
    William Rapp
    Lois Redmond
    Barbara Reeves-Cohen
    Mike & M.L. Riley
    Allyson & Steve Ross
    Susannah Rouse
    Michael Rubin
    Karl & Katherine Schoettle
    John & Linda Scuteri
    Joe & Julie Sheehan
    Laura & Thomas Sibson
    Cathy & Bill Siegl
    Richard & Elizabeth Smith
    Max & Lauren Snyder
    Tom Tarantino & Barbara Scott
    Laura & David Thayer
    Jay & Jo Ann Townsend
    Drew & Annie Ulichney
    Joe & Laney Vogt
    Jeffrey & Gillian Waldron
    Mariellen & Mark Weaver
    Tina & Todd Whitlow
    Doug & Ann Wilkerson
    David & Christine Williams
    Robert Williams
    Lee Wolfe
    Gerard & Elizabeth Yarnall
    Mims Zabriskie
    Tom & Susan Zug
    Peter & Kim Zuleba

    Tax credits are available on a first-come, first-serve basis

    Apply early to make sure you receive your tax credit and to make sure St. james can benefit from this fantastic program!