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Personal Income Tax Credits AVAILABLE NOW!

We are currently waiting for news of additional personal income tax credit scholarships available for qualified taxpayers who want to save 90% dollar for dollar on their PA personal income tax liability AND funnel the full amount of the tax liability to support academic excellence and life-transforming outcomes for Cornerstone Prep students. YOU CAN redirect your personal income tax to fund what is important to you! Submit a letter of intent now to be on a waiting list for these valuable credits when they become available!  For more information and to check status of available credits, call us at (412) 466-1919 or email


Supporters- when you join us, you personally maximize outcomes for all Cornerstone students and you personally benefit by paying LESS STATE INCOME TAXES. Your savings become scholarships for lower to moderate income students, increasing "funded" financial aid dollars that pay for everything tuition pays for. You essentially enable more students to attend Cornerstone and equip Cornerstone to improve programs, staffing, facilities, and equipment.

  • Some students live in the boundaries of the state's lowest performing schools, and desire a safe, more challenging academic setting where they can excel.
  • Other income qualified students excel best in schools with specific programs, learning styles, and school cultures that are more compatible with their needs.

How it works

Federal charitable contribution benefits vary by taxpayer. Consult your tax professional for specific guidance. For a sample to see the potential difference between a taxpayer who itemizes deductions and one who does not Click here


1. Determine your contribution amount

  • Estimate your 2019 PA income tax liability (what you owe). If you expect income similar to 2018, use the amount on your last tax return (PA 40, line 12). The minimum tax liability to participate in this program is $1,000/year for 2 years.
  • Calculate an estimated amount to contribute. To receive maximum benefit multiply your tax liability X 111%. Contributions must be between $1,000 and 111% of  your tax liability.
  • If unsure of your estimated PA tax amount, please consult your tax professional for advice.

2. Reserve your tax credits

  • Send an email to or call us at (412) 466-1919. Tell us you want to participate and we will send the electronic enrollment request form (Joinder) and simple instructions about how to reserve and use your credits.
  • When you fill out the joinder, you designate Cornerstone Prep to receive your scholarships on your enrollment form and tell us if you prefer your contribution to remain anonymous.
  • Approved/completed Joinders are sent  to ACSI's Children's Tuition Fund (CTF) for final approval and processing, and CTF staff will inform you of your credit reservation. CTF is an experienced, approved scholarship granting organization, whose role is to manage the organizational and financial responsibilities of the Special Purpose Entities (SPE's) that are available to us.

3. Submit your pledged contribution before the deadline.

Make your donation securely online by ACH or by check, for processing. Check with us for the absolute deadline when new credits become available. Check mailing instructions are sent via email with your Joinder.

What's Next?

  • CTF mails state and federal K1 forms to contributors.
  • Contributors submit the K1 with 2019 tax returns and request a refund of prepaid Pennsylvania taxes, if applicable.
  • First year contributors are automatically enrolled for the same amount of tax credits for the following year.

For general questions, call us at (412)466-1919, or email

For more specific questions about our program, or to reserve larger blocks of available credits, please call Cindi McCall, Cornerstone's Executive Director, at (412)466-1919, or email

Catherine Long, the Children's Tuition Fund Specialist is also available to help with your questions at (717)285-3022, or email

For specific financial advice, please refer to your tax or accounting professional.





A few years ago the Pennsylvania Legislature approved adding Pass­Through Entities as a way for business people to come together to fund what's important to them. For instance, if a company was owned by three individuals, the company as a whole may decide against donating the amount of its state tax liability to private schools. However, utilizing a Pass-Through Entity, one or two of the owners could donate their share of the company's state tax liability. The same would be true of partners in a law firm, accounting firm, etc. Employees of businesses can also become members of a Pass-Through Entity.


  • Tax eligibility- Single taxpayers or a married couple who owe at least $1,000 in PA income taxes from all sources, and who are able to make the minimum contribution of $1,000 by October 15 and the same amount next year for 2020. (All PA taxable income including pass-through income is eligible). (If there is a problem with the 2nd year contribution speak to Catherine Long from ACSI about that.)
  • Employment requirement: Single persons or a married couple may participate if at least one is employed by a Company: Corporation, S-corp, or LLC (Not a non-profit organization, a government employer, or a sole proprietor).
  • An exception to the employer requirement: Persons who own a dividend-paying stock in a Pennsylvania company are considered shareholder-owners in the company and therefore eligible to participate.
  • Questions about anything- ASK us!



This program is for individual taxpayers (or married couples) to participate for a 2-year period using personal income tax credits that allow you to re-direct your state tax liability to scholarships for needy children.

In the past, only corporations could take advantage of this great opportunity. A few years ago, the Pennsylvania Legislature passed a bill that included a new means of participation: Pass-Through Entities. Special Purpose Entities (SPE's) are the means by which individuals can easily become part of a corporate structure and take advantage of the Tax Credits program.

All income generally considered as Pennsylvania taxable income for a single person, or a married couple, including pass through income is included.

HOWEVER- We can help you apply for your C or S-corporation, or LLC. 

Some companies prefer to maximize their tax benefits and charitable giving by participating as both a business and an SPE for personal tax credits.



Purpose of organization:

  • Special Purpose Entities exist only to be scholarship granting organizations.
  • Cornerstone Prep's primary mission is to provide scholarships to income-qualified students enrolled at Cornerstone. Our service area contains thousands of students in the state's lowest 15% schools- below basic proficiency in mathematics and reading/language arts based on standardized test scores. (Clairton, Duquesne, McKeesport, Steel Valley, South Allegheny, East Allegheny, Woodland Hills, Pittsburgh City Schools, and Monessen)

How to designate or split designations:

  • When a contributor completes the enrollment agreement (joinder), they designate the school(s) they prefer, indicate % if splitting designations, or check undesignated. (Do not check that box.) Write in Cornerstone Prep and other ACSI schools if you like.  Indicate amount for each school or %.

On the contrary. Pennsylvania's tax credit scholarship programs are a TRIPLE WIN with bipartisan support, since program inception in 2001. Tax credits have consistently benefited students with a choice, saved money for all taxpayers and public school districts. School choice has even helped reduce the classroom sizes in public schools.

Click for latest results 

The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development notifies the managers of Special Purpose Entities when new credits become available and we can begin enrolling members in the group. These credits are very competitive and only available for brief windows of time. Please call Cindi McCall to discuss at (412) 466-1919.

The DCED authorizes short-term opportunities for enrollment in special purpose entities participating in Pennsylvania's Educational Improvement Tax Credit Scholarship programs for their first year. We are very grateful for every opportunity, and for the supporters and advocates of these school choice initiatives in the PA House, Senate, and the Governor's office since program inception in 2001. 

Cornerstone's opportunity and challenge is to support students by enrolling members in our own and other SPE's during the up to 60-day windows of opportunity given by the DCED. That makes a HUGE difference for students in our service area and the schools who enroll them.

ACSI/CTF acts as the administrator of the Cornerstone Prep EITC Scholarship Supporters, LLC and several ACSI SPE's. ACSI works with Cornerstone in the enrollment process for new members, therefore CTF staff require a few days to process enrollment applications and payments prior to the DCED deadline. We also work with oher organizations to maximize scholarships for our students. Please keep us informed if you are working to make the deadline, so we can help.