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Frequently Asked Questions

From Donors

  • What is the deadline to apply for the 2019 Tax Credit?
    December 31, 2018

  • When will Pay it Forward Scholarships submit my Tax Credit request?
    Pay it Forward will submit 2019 tax credit requests on Wednesday, January 2, 2019. This is first day the Georgia Department of Revenue allows requests to be submitted.

  • How will I know if my 2019 Tax Credit request is approved?
    According to Georgia law, the Department of Revenue has 30 days to approve your request once it has been submitted. Currently, we have found the Department of Revenue is providing approval within approximately 2-3 weeks. Georgia taxpayers are notified by letter from the DOR that their tax credit has been approved. Pay it Forward is also notified of the taxpayers' approval and we send out emails with approval information as soon as we receive that information from the DOR.

  • When and where do I send my donation check?
    Please mail your check to:
    Pay it Forward Scholarships
    615 Oak St Suite F
    Gainesville, GA 30501

    Donations are due January-March 15, 2019

  • Who do I make my donation check payable to?
    Make your check payable to: Pay it Forward Scholarships

  • Can I make my donation by credit card?
    Yes. Just click on "Pay Now with Credit Card" from the Donate page.

  • Is there a processing fee if funds are donated using a credit card?
    Yes, PayPal, the credit card service we use, charges a small processing fee of 2.2% of the total transaction for the convenience of using your credit card for your tax credit donation. The fee is deducted from your donation, reducing the amount that is sent to the school. If you wish to avoid this processing fee then you can write a check and mail it to our office.

  • How do I get a receipt for tax purposes?
    Pay it Forward Scholarships provides the Georgia Form IT-QEE-SSO1 to taxpayers who made a contribution to our student scholarship organization. This receipt/form is emailed to taxpayers by January 31st for the previous year's donations. If a 2018 receipt is needed prior to January 31, 2019 please send an email as directed below.

    If you made a donation in a previous tax year, and need a duplicate copy emailed, please send an email to laura@payitforwardscholarships.com.



  • Do I get a state tax credit AND a federal charitable deduction?
    Yes. Both taxing entities want to give you an incentive to donate. In this case, the incentive is so large, you can end up making money by donating.

  • What if I just moved to Georgia?
    If you have never filed a tax return with the State of Georgia, and you want to take advantage of the tax credit, you must call the Taxpayer Services Call Center at 1-877-423-6711 to get registered, receive a web logon and a temporary password for Georgia Tax Center.

  • As a donor, can I designate a student?
    No. Georgia law is very clear that anyone making a donation cannot designate or suggest a student or they will lose their tax benefits.
    In fact, according to the law (HB 283, section 33A, Line 1125), Any school or SSO that even represents that a donation will go to a particular student is illegal and subject to penalties.
    See the link at the bottom of this page entitled "HB 283 excerpt, Schools Represent Scholarship" for more information.

  • When are the scholarships distributed?
    Pay it Forward Scholarships distribute scholarships annually in April. That way, they can be used for the current school year or the following school year. Parents should also check with the school where applying about when tuition is due in reference to when the scholarships are distributed. Some schools have chosen to implement a process where they credit the student's account the following year based on the scholarship being distributed in April.

  • What percentage of your scholarships help low income children?
    Just over 50% of our scholarships helped low income families last year.

  • Will the school I designate know that I have made a pledge and/or donation?
    Not unless you specifically give Pay it Forward Scholarships permission by checking "YES" on the tax credit application to discuss your pledge/donation with the school.

  • Does the school I designate have to do anything to receive scholarship funds?
    No. Pay it Forward Scholarships does all the scholarship administration. When the school receives the scholarship check, the parent will go to the school and endorse the check and it is applied to the student's account.

  • What if the school I want to designate is not on the GA Dept of Education list?
    No problem. Just apply and mark "I don't see my school" then send us an email via the contact page and give us the school's contact information including the school's name, address, contact person, email address, and phone number. We will contact the school, and submit a request for the school to be added to the Georgia Department of Education list.

  • Is there a separate application I need to complete if I want to apply for a scholarship for my child?
    Yes! If you have already applied for the tax credit and you wish to apply for a scholarship for your child you will need to complete the online scholarship application found on the Scholarship page. Once approved your child will receive an equal share of the scholarship funds donated to their school.

  • What percent of my donation goes to the school?
    92% of your tax credit donation goes to the school designated. The state of Georgia limits student scholarship organizations, like Pay it Forward, to a maximum of 8% of each donation that we are allowed to keep to cover administrative costs.(Note: This amount recently changed from 10% to 8% in 2018 legislation and will take effect in 2019.)

From Parents (and/or Guardians)

  • What is the deadline to apply for a scholarship?
    The deadline to apply for the 2019 scholarship distribution is December 31, 2018.

  • How do I know if my student is approved for scholarships?
    Your student is automatically approved once you complete the application process. We will review and audit the application and contact you if we have a question about your student's eligibility. Otherwise, your child is approved!

  • Are there income limitations for scholarships?
    Yes. We put caps on the scholarship amount your child is eligible to receive based on your household income: Under $30,000 equals a maximum scholarship amount of 100% of tuition and fees. $30,000 - $60,000 equals a max scholarship amount of 90% of tuition and fees. Above $60,000 equals a maximum scholarship amount of 80% of tuition and fees.

  • How much will my student get in scholarships?
    Your approved student will receive an equal share of all of the scholarship funds collected for your school. In April, you can check out exactly how much your student receives with your private parent login on our website.

  • Does my child's school have to do anything?
    No. Pay it Forward Scholarships does all the scholarship administration. When the school receives the scholarship check, the parent will go to the school and endorse the check and it is applied to the student's account.

  • What if my school is not on the GA dept of Education list?
    No problem. Just apply and mark "I don't see my school" then send us an email via the contact page and give us the school's contact information including the school's name, address, contact person, email address, and phone number. We will contact the school, and submit a request for the school to be added to the Georgia Department of Education list.

  • What if my school uses a different Student Scholarship Organization?
    No problem at all. We encourage parents to try to maximize their scholarship resources, just like college, and layer scholarships from many SSOs.

  • What if my school says it won't accept scholarships from other SSOs?
    Just let them know that the Georgia Department of Education has ruled that your scholarship is your property and not the school's. You don't have to go through the school's financial aid to receive a Pay it Forward Scholarship.

  • When are the scholarships distributed?
    Pay it Forward Scholarships distribute scholarships annually in April. That way, they can be used for the current school year or the following school year.

  • Do I have to reapply for the scholarship each year?
    Yes, you will need to submit an updated scholarship application each year you wish for your child to receive a scholarship. Once your child is approved and receives a scholarship, he/she is eligible for their entire school career, and does not need to meet any additional eligibility requirements, however, we must have updated information on file each year.

From Schools Administrators

  • How can our school adminstrator schedule a FREE Workshop?
    Email: Laura@payitforwardscholarships.com. Schools need only to provide a classroom or meeting space. A Pay it Forward staff member will host the workshop, provide a presentation and allow time for questions & answers from attendees.

  • How can our school administrator see who has applied for a scholarship?
    Pay it Forward recommends that school administrators login several times throughout August-December to see the names of the students who have applied to receive a scholarship through our organization. Pay it Forward will also email the school in January once we have finished updating the list with all the applications received through the deadline of December 31st and request an official enrollment verification email be returned to our office. We prefer to do most of the enrollment verification during the fall so that there are only a few verifications we have to do come January/February for those who have applied at the end of the year.

  • How does our school administrator use the School Login portal?
    If you do not know your school's login and password, please email your request to: Laura@payitforwardscholarships so that we can provide your login information.

  • When will our school receive scholarship funds?
    Pay it Forward Scholarships distributes scholarships in April of each year. All 2018 scholarship distributions were mailed by 4/15/2018. The next distribution will occur in April 2019.

  • What is the deadline for a student to be included in the next scholarship distribution?
    Please apply by the deadline: December 31, 2018

  • When I login I see name of students that our school does not recognize. Who are these students?
    These are students who have indicated they are interested in attending your school. We have provided you with their parent's contact information (phone # and email), in case you have not received an application or heard from this parent. This allows you to follow up with the parent to see about setting up a tour or sending an application packet.

  • What do I do if a student no longer attends?
    Email Laura@payitforwardscholarships.com with this information so we can update our records.

  • What is the difference between the Likely Scholarship Amount, Potential Scholarship Amount, and the actual Distribution Amount?
    The likely to potential scholarship amount is a estimated "range" that we provide as a courtesy to the school and parents for planning purposes. This is our best estimate of what we expect to distribute based on the amount of pledges received and designated for your school and past pledge fulfillment. This is not a guaranteed amount, but we have found that most schools and parents want to know some kind of estimate for planning purposes and this helps to provide that. The distribution amount is what is actually distributed once funds are received, and equally divided among the approved students at the school.

  • Why is the actual Amount Distributed less than the estimated Likely-Potential Scholarship Range ?
    In most cases, if the amount distributed is less than the range that we have estimated, then not everyone who pledged to donate has fulfilled their pledge commitment with an actual donation.

  • How much of the donor's donation is passed onto the school designated?
    The school receives 92% of the tax credit donations designated to the school. The state of Georgia limits student scholarship organizations, like Pay it Forward, to a maximum of 8% of each donation that we are allowed to keep to cover administrative costs. (Note: This amount recently changed from 10% to 8% in 2018 legislation and will take effect in 2019.)

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Pay it Forward Scholarships, founded in 2010, is the largest, most effective and efficient scholarship organization in Georgia that distributes scholarships on an equal basis.

We are also the most transparent. After you are done reviewing our taxes, annual report or 501c3 certification, you can see a real time list of our Pledged, Collected and Distributed Scholarship amounts for every school. Each year, we pay out the entire balance of each schools scholarship fund. We don't invest someone else's donation or make a scholarship promise we can't keep. Everyone gets an equal scholarship.

We are led by a dedicated, independent board with a mission to provide as many students as possible with the opportunity to choose the best education that is right for them. 



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    Pay it Forward Scholarships   |   615 Oak Street, Suite F, Gainesville, GA 30501   |   770.534.3611   |   Tax ID # 27-5096979