Mississippi Valley School Tuition Organization
In 2014, Rivermont was invited to join the Mississippi Valley School Tuition Organization (MVSTO). The Iowa Educational Opportunities Act, signed into law in 2006, allows Iowa taxpayers to contribute to non-public school tuition organizations in exchange for state income tax credits. This means supporters of Rivermont who make gifts for tuition assistance through the MVSTO receive a 65% state income tax credit on the amount of their gift in addition to qualifying for a charitable contribution deduction for the full amount of their gift on their federal tax return.
Rivermont’s tuition assistance program ensures the Rivermont Experience is accessible to families of all economic backgrounds and that our student body remains diverse. Gifts through the MVSTO strengthen our tuition assistance program and make a Rivermont education available to all deserving students.
Click here to download a MVSTO donation form and follow the directions to mail your gift directly to the MVSTO.
MVSTO Frequently Asked Questions
What is a School Tuition Organization?
A school tuition organization is a Section 501(c)(3) charitable organization representing two or more accredited non-public schools that receive contributions from Iowa taxpayers and allocates those contributions in the form of tuition grants to eligible students. STO grants give the gift of school choice to families who otherwise could not afford the tuition at a non-public school.
Participating schools in the Mississippi Valley School Tuition Organization (MVSTO) include Rivermont Collegiate, All Saints Catholic School, Assumption High School, John F. Kennedy Catholic School, Lourdes Catholic School, and St. Paul the Apostle School.
What are the tax benefits of making a STO contribution?
A STO contribution earns the donor a 65% Iowa state income tax credit on the amount of the gift. In addition, the donor may claim the entire amount of their gift as a charitable contribution deduction on their federal tax return. Therefore, those paying both state and federal taxes will receive more than 65% of their contribution back. For example, a donor giving $1,000 to the MVSTO will receive an Iowa tax credit certificate for $650 and the entire amount of their gift may be used as a charitable deduction on their federal tax return. It is recommended that you contact your tax advisor with specific questions regarding your taxes.
Who may receive tuition grants?
Iowa law restricts tuition grants to students living in households with income that does not exceed three times the federal poverty guideline based on family size. A STO may set additional eligibility requirements.
Who may contribute to the MVSTO?
Any taxpayer may contribute to Rivermont through the MVSTO. However, only individuals, corporations, partnerships, estates, and trusts that pay Iowa income tax are eligible for the MVSTO credit.
How do I restrict my gift to the MVSTO to Rivermont and not another school?
Subject to limits imposed by the State of Iowa, a donor may restrict their gift to one or more schools in the MVSTO. To ensure your gift benefits Rivermont students, use the gift form available on our website (hard copies are also available on campus) and be sure to check “Please restrict my gift to Rivermont.”
Is there a limit on the size of gifts made to the MVSTO?
No – there are no limits on individual gifts. However, there is a cap on how many total tax credits Rivermont may give each year based on enrollment. For this reason, donors should act early in the year.
Is there a difference between a tax credit and a tax deduction?
A state tax credit is taken directly off the amount owed in state taxes. A federal tax deduction simply reduces the overall amount of income on which tax is computed. It is recommended that you contact your tax advisor with specific questions regarding your taxes.
How can I get more information?
Have a question that wasn’t answered here? Give us a call at (563) 359-1366, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.