Friday, June 28, 2019


In this update:

  • Legislative Update
  • From Our Heart
  • Scholarship Disbursement

Our program continues to grow with nearly 3,000 students applying for scholarships for this coming school year!

Legislative Update 

On the legislative front, the Senate went on their mid-session break without taking up the House-passed bill that would raise our cap from $12 million to $20 million. When legislators return to Columbia in January, we will be pushing for passage of that bill. As a matter of fact, we believe there should be no cap, allowing us to raise unlimited funds that can be distributed for your children each year based on the support and generosity of South Carolina’s taxpayers.

It’s important to note that we do not see opposition from any member of the SC House or Senate, but like most issues, ours was crowded out among the fights over education reform, the Santee Cooper discussion and other legislative battles that ran the clock out.


Applications Close July 1

Our second round of applications has been open the entire month of June. This round will be closing July 1 at 5:00pm. 


From Our Heart

Everyone on the Exceptional SC team loves serving you and your students! Your stories and commitment to your children are heartwarming and inspiring to us all. 

You are the ultimate warriors in doing all you can and controlling what you can control while seeking to fix those things that you cannot control. 

One thing none of us can control is the IRS. 

Many of you may have heard that our program, and the several dozen similar ones across the US, have been dealing with changes in the tax law and a new regulation that the IRS has written affecting the way some donors receive their tax credits. 

We are not a government program, and we have to raise 100% of the funds you receive for scholarships for your students.

Our Board has visited BOTH of our US Senators and EVERY single one of our seven US Congressmen to discuss the issue. We have made phone calls expressing our concerns, and I even personally appeared to give testimony about Exceptional SC to the IRS and the Office of Management and Budget at the White House.

The Federal government has been working to clarify their ruling, but the long and short of it is that donors and their CPA’s are still working to determine how a donation to Exceptional SC affects them personally. Indecision by the IRS has created a hesitancy among CPA’s that is just now clearing up. While our program, like others across the nation, has seen a slowing of donations as this gets sorted out, we are fully confident that we will raise ALL of the money needed to fund scholarships.

The only adjustments we may see are in the timing of our scholarship disbursements. 

It is true that the actions taken by some states to create “tax avoidance schemes” caused the IRS to develop new regulations in regard to State and Local Taxes (known as SALT). That has slowed our rate of giving this year, but we anticipated that slow down and began fundraising earlier this year. Because of that, we have more money in the bank today for scholarships than we did at this point last year.

While it has always been our plan to promote beyond individual donations to corporate and business giving, like most other states, we wanted to ensure the smoothest transition into that model. 

Last year, we had over $17 million in attempted donations, and due to the $12 million cap, we had to deny nearly $5 million in donations. Keep in mind that almost 99% of those donations last year were by individuals.

In contrast, Georgia and Florida have MUCH larger caps but raise ALL of their donations through large corporations. Their tax structures are very different than ours, but with time to promote to businesses, we believe that our program has a much larger capacity for giving through small business owners and business donations. 

I returned to Washington this past week and met with both of our US Senators and their staffs. They both fully understand the impact of the IRS ruling and are willing to work with the appropriate agencies to address the situation.

We would very much like for you to call both Senator Lindsey Graham’s and Senator Tim Scott’s offices to let them know you care about how this situation is handled. I want to emphasize that BOTH of our senators are supportive and when you call, please…

  • thank them for their help

  • tell them that your child is a part of the Exceptional SC program, and

  • let them know the only fair way to handle this is for programs like Exceptional SC, which existed long before tax reform, to be grandfathered in and not subjected to the SALT limits.

Their office numbers are below for your reference. 

Senator Lindsey Graham Office: (202) 224- 5972
Senator Tim Scott: Office: (202) 224-6121


Scholarship Disbursements for 2019-2020

As we have in the past, we will send scholarship notifications to you prior to the start of the school year.

In the meanwhile, if you have friends or family who are small business owners who would like to receive a state tax credit on their next quarterly business taxes, please forward them a link to


Important Contact Information to Remember

As always please do not hesitate to contact the following with any specific questions or concern:


Application or Donation Questions


Technical Application Questions (TADS)


Tax Credit Questions (SCDOR)


Chad Connelly
Executive Director


Tom Persons
Chairman of the Board

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