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Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program


In 1996, in anticipation of the day when Georgia lawmakers might adopt a tuition tax credit program that would provide taxpayers with an income tax credit for contributing to K-12 private school scholarship programs, Georgia Community Foundation registered the service mark "GOAL- Greater Opportunities for Access to Learning."

In doing so, the GCF Board exhibited remarkable foresight and leadership.

In 2008, the Georgia General Assembly passed and Governor Sonny Perdue signed into law, HB 1133, legislation that permits Georgia taxpayers to receive a state income tax credit for amounts contributed to qualified student scholarship organizations ("SSOs"). The scholarships are awarded to students who are enrolled in a Georgia secondary or primary public school or who are eligible to enroll in a kindergarten or pre-kindergarten program. Recipient students use their GOAL Scholarships to attend the private K-12 schools of their parents’ choice.

Under this new law, a SSO is required to obligate at least 90% of its revenues for scholarships. Therefore, GCF, which has other revenues not dedicated to scholarships, could not operate a SSO. As a result, Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program, Inc., with a Board comprised of all but one member of the GCF Board and Gerard Robinson and Allen Hughes, submitted notice to the Georgia Department of Education of its participation as an SSO under HB 1133. On June 26, 2008, the Georgia Department of Education recognized the Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program, Inc., a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, as a SSO that is approved to accept contributions and offer scholarships to students to attend private K-12 schools in Georgia.

During 2016:

  • 9,953 Georgia taxpayers contributed a total of $16,196,791 to GOAL (this number is after DOR proration of $53.36%, due to overwhelming taxpayer demand).
  • Of the 2016 contributons, 54% came from individuals, 34% came from individual owners of pass-through businesses, and 12% came from corporations.
  • Since the inception of the program in 2008, GOAL has received $118,698,395 in contributions, which represents an estimated 32% of the approximately $327.9 million contributed statewide under the K-12 tuition tax credit program.
  • Through 2016, GOAL has awarded 25,448 scholarships worth $93.5 million to 11,230 students, with an additional $24.8 million being obligated and reserved for the funding of multi-year scholarships that have been awarded or for the awarding of future scholarships.
  • The average value of the scholarship awarded to each student has been $3,675, with the balance of tuition costs being paid by scholarship families together with other financial aid provided by the participating private schools.
  • Since inception, the average adjusted gross income ("AGI") of the scholarship recipient families (as adjusted for family size) has been $26,483.
  • GOAL has awarded over 50% of its scholarships to families with an AGI of less than $24,000 and 90% of its scholarships to families with an AGI of less than $48,000.
  • 44% of GOAL scholarship awards have been provided to minority recipients.
  • GOAL has awarded 3,004 scholarships in north Georgia; 9,652 scholarships in metro Atlanta; 6,386 scholarships in central Georgia; and 6,406 scholarships in south Georgia.

There are 133 qualified private schools throughout Georgia who participate in GOAL.

GCF is proud to have provided the vision for K-12 tuition tax credits in Georgia and to have served as the "incubator" for Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program, Inc.

For details about GOAL, please visit the GOAL website at