Rhode Island

Tax Credits for Contributions to Scholarship Organizations

  • Tax-Credit Scholarship
  • Enacted 2006
  • Launched 2007

Rhode Island’s tax-credit scholarship program offers a 75 percent tax credit to businesses that donate to scholarship-granting organizations (SGOs) or 90 percent if donated for two consecutive years and the second year’s donation is worth at least 80 percent of the first year’s donation. SGOs are non-profits that offer private school scholarships of varying amounts to students from low-income households. Learn more about this tax-credit scholarship program’s funding, eligibility, regulations, and governing statutes on this page.

We do not administer this program. 

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  • 470

    Students Participating (2022)

  • 34%

    of Families with Children Income-eligible Statewide

  • 7

    Scholarship Organizations (2022)

  • 51

    Schools Participating (2022)

  • $2,890

    Average Scholarship Value (2022)

  • 16%

    Value as a Percentage of Public School Per-student Spending

Rhode Island’s Tax Credits for Contributions to Scholarship Organizations Participation

Students Participating
Calendar Year

Student Funding

Scholarships are funded by donations to scholarship-granting organizations. Businesses may receive tax credits for donations to Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs). Those committing to donate for two consecutive years with the second year’s donation equal to or exceeding 80 percent of the first year’s donation may receive 90 percent credits. Otherwise, tax credits are worth 75 percent of donations to SGOs. Rhode Island allocates $1.6 million for tax credits meant for SGO donations. SGOs determine scholarship amounts.

(Last updated December 18, 2023) 

Student Eligibility

Students must have family incomes at or below 250 percent of the poverty level ($75,000 for a family of four in 2023–24).

(Last updated December 18, 2023) 

EdChoice Expert Feedback

Rhode Island’s tax-credit scholarship program helps hundreds of students access schools that are the right fit for them, but policymakers could do more to expand educational opportunity.

Eligibility for the scholarships is limited to 250 percent of the federal poverty line ($75,000). Roughly one-third of Rhode Island students are eligible for a scholarship and less than 1 percent of students statewide actually use a scholarship.

The average scholarship size is about $2,900, which is only about 16 percent of the average expenditure per student at Rhode Island’s district schools. Tax credits are worth 75 percent of the value of the contributions to scholarship organizations (or 90% for two-year contribution commitments), and only $1.6 million in tax credits are available annually, which is equivalent to only 0.06 percent of Rhode Island’s total K–12 revenue.

To expand access to educational choice, Rhode Island policymakers should dramatically increase the available tax credits and expand eligibility to all students (prioritizing scholarships based on need). The program could also be converted into an education savings account to ensure that all students have access to the education that’s the right fit for them, whether private school or a customized course of education.

Rhode Island’s scholarship program generally avoids unnecessary and counterproductive regulations.

(Last updated December 18, 2023) 

Rules and Regulations

  • Income Limit: 250 percent x Poverty
  • Prior Year Public School Requirement: None
  • Geographic Limit: Statewide
  • Enrollment Cap: None
  • Scholarship Cap: None
  • Testing Mandates: None
  • Credit Value: 75 percent / 90 percent
  • Credit Cap: $100,000
  • Budget Cap: $1.6 million

SGO Requirements:

  • Use at least 90 percent of contributions for scholarships
  • Provide annual report to the state detailing number and value of scholarships awarded, ZIP Codes of recipients and criteria used to award scholarships

(Last updated December 18, 2023) 

Governing Statutes

44 R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 62-1 through 62-7

(Last updated December 18, 2023)