September 13, 2019


In this update:

  • Business Partnerships

  • Corporate Donations

  • Scholarship Update


Business Partnerships

This week, we announced with the SC Research Authority a new business-education partnership – “Exceptional Connections” – that unites South Carolina’s business community with more than 3,000 exceptional needs scholarship students and schools across the state.


At a formal announcement at the SC Governor’s mansion, Gov. Henry McMaster said of the partnership, “The funds, the schools, the businesses – when you bring them all together, the sky’s the limit.”

Read More About "Exceptional Connections"

Corporate Donations


Because of the IRS tax law changes we detailed in our recent newsletter, we have pivoted to a direct corporate fundraising appeal that is just now gaining steam. Our announcement with Gov. McMaster this week is an important part of our strategic outreach to the South Carolina business community. 


It has led us into donation conversations with some of the state’s largest companies who are JUST NOW learning about the tax credits that help your exceptional needs children attend the schools that best fit their learning styles. 

We are confident, like in other states, corporate donations and pledges will push us well beyond our $12 million cap and position us for future expansion – something Gov. McMaster fully supports.


In fact, Lou Kennedy, CEO of Nephron Pharmaceuticals, said, "I am an exceptional fan of Exceptional SC… and I encourage business owners in the state to taximize" – the opportunity for individuals and business to redirect their state tax dollars to Exceptional SC and receive dollar-for-dollar credits toward their South Carolina tax liability.


Scholarship Update

Despite the challenges from IRS regulation changes, we have already sent first semester checks to more than 70% of the schools – two weeks earlier than last year

If your school has not received scholarship funds yet, they are being processed now.

As we’ve covered in past newsletters, all incumbents will be funded first at 50% of their tuition up to $10,000. Students who were newly funded last year with our 2018-2019 one-time scholarships — what we term “new incumbents” — will be the next to be funded as soon as school verifications are completed. 

We have received more than 1150 new applications than we received last year. Just as in years past, we will distribute one-time scholarship funds to last year’s “new incumbents,” followed by this year’s new applicants once we know the exact amount of remaining monies to distribute.

Keep in mind, even though we had pledges of $17 million last year, we are still limited by our $12 million cap. The SC House of Representatives has expanded the cap to $20 million in a bill they passed last session. The Senate will take up that bill when they return to Columbia in January.


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

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