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Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation to help manage, distribute tax credit scholarships through MOScholars program

Hundreds of families in St. Louis and surrounding areas interested in Catholic education already have applied for a new scholarship program made possible under a Missouri law passed last year.

“All that remains is the funding to make these mission-critical scholarships happen,” said Julie Soffner, executive director of the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation.

The MOScholars tax credit scholarship program was created by a Missouri law passed in August 2021. Individuals and businesses may receive 100% tax credits for contributions made to the designated educational assistance organization in their area.

More specifically, an individual or company will receive 100% tax credits up to 50% of their Missouri state tax liability each year. A minimum of $500 must be contributed to qualify. The private contributions will fund MOScholars scholarships allocated across Missouri for new, incoming families who desire a Catholic or private education.

The Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation was one of six nonprofit organizations chosen as educational assistance organizations to manage and distribute scholarship funds. The foundation will grant annual scholarships of up to $6,375 to eligible students, prioritizing students from low-income families or with special needs. Scholarships will be offered starting with the 2022-23 school year.

“As Catholic donors, we are called to serve the most vulnerable among us,” Soffner said. “MOScholars aligns perfectly with our decades-strong mission at TTEF — educating children who need us most. Our mission not only remains the same, it actually expands in scope with the addition of this new program. MOScholars allows TTEF to serve even more students in financial need, while also adding scholarships for students with special needs.”

Donors should first consult with a tax advisor before reserving tax credits through the MOScholars online portal, which opened in July and is administered by the state Treasurer’s Office. After making a tax credit reservation, donors have 30 days to make their tax credit-eligible contribution to the Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation.

The MOScholars program is open to any elementary or secondary school student who who resides St. Louis City, or St. Louis, St. Charles or Jefferson counties, and meets either income or IEP eligibility requirements.

Students with special needs must have an approved Individualized Education Plan (IEP) to apply. Also eligible are students who live in a household whose total annual income does not exceed 100% of the free and reduced lunch rate; and attended a public school as a full-time student for at least one semester during the previous 12 months. Income eligible students who are entering kindergarten or first grade may also apply.

The program does not reduce the funding received by a student’s resident school district, as it is privately funded by individual and corporate donors.

TTEF will continue to offer its existing elementary-school scholarship programs. The MOScholars program will allow TTEF to expand its scholarship commitment from kindergarten through 12th grade, in partnership with the state Treasurer’s Office, Soffner noted.

TTEF also administers a number of scholarship programs with partners such as the Archdiocesan Office of Catholic Education and Formation, Beyond Sunday (elementary and high school) through the Roman Catholic Foundation of Eastern Missouri, and a number of private scholarship programs.

“The Today and Tomorrow Educational Foundation is proud to partner with many Catholic ministries in our archdiocese, and we are thankful to our donors for being the hands and feet of Jesus with their time and treasure committed to Catholic causes,” Soffner said. “I am most excited that the MOScholars 100% tax credit program allows our existing, selfless donors to do even more good for God’s children, at no additional cost to them.”

To learn more about the MOScholars program and how to apply for a tax credit, see ttef-stl.org/moscholars. For additional details on the program from the state Treasurer’s Office, see treasurer.mo.gov/MOScholars/.

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