Time to Apply

OCCF to Award $2.5 Million in College Scholarships

 If you have participated in little league, junior high or high school football, there might be a college scholarship waiting for you. If you are a band student, from a single-parent home, a swimmer or the first in your family to attend college, there could be scholarships for you too.

The Oklahoma City Community Foundation has scholarships for classical literature majors and Spanish majors, architecture majors, engineering majors and many more. In fact, the Community Foundation awards millions of dollars in scholarships to hundreds of Oklahoma students each year.

“We have the largest privately funded scholarship program in the state,” said Nancy B. Anthony, president of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation. “This spring, we will grant $2.5 million in scholarships to about 800 high school seniors who will attend colleges and universities across the state and around the country this fall.”

There are 200 scholarship opportunities available at occf.academicworks.com and the free application process is open now. Deadlines vary, depending on the scholarship and the first will be Feb. 1 with subsequent deadlines extending into the spring.

Established by many different benefactors, the scholarships target a variety of students with an array of social, geographical, and academic backgrounds. Not all the scholarships require the highest level of academic achievement. A GPA around 3.0 is good enough in many cases as long as students show they are well rounded and work hard.

Not every OCCF scholarship a high school senior might see is a perfect fit, but if they keep looking, they are likely to find one or two that were made just for them. The online application system even helps filter scholarships with criteria that matches the student. Some scholarships are worth $1,000 while many are worth $2,000, and they can range as high as $10,000 and $20,000. Last year, the average scholarship award was $3,100 per student.

“Last year was difficult for all of us,” Anthony said. “The coronavirus has discouraged college attendance across the country, but we all have hope for a better 2021 and, thanks to our many contributors, these scholarships will help students to move past the pandemic and get back to pursuing their dreams.”   

 Applications will be evaluated this spring and most scholarship winners will be notified by June.

Tax-Law Changes for 2021

What you Need to Know to Maximize Charitable Tax Deductions This Year!

Happy New Year! I can’t begin to describe how elated I am that 2020 is behind us, and I remain optimistic that 2021 brings with it some kind of return to normalcy. 

Whatever happens, we do know that a new year brings new tax rules. So what is it you need to know when it comes to charitable tax deductions this year?

On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. The Act included several provisions, but for charitable giving, it meant an extension of the CARES Act deductions for charitable contributions…with a few modifications:

  • Non-itemizers can continue to take advantage of an above-the-line deduction for charitable contributions. For 2021, however, the limit has increased from $300 to $600 for married couples filing jointly. 
  • Itemizers may continue to deduct 100% of their adjusted gross income for cash gifts to qualified nonprofits. 
  • For corporations, the adjusted gross income limit will remain at 25% of taxable income rather than reverting back to the 10% limitation.

Note: Donor advised funds and private foundations are excluded.

What this means for your clients wishing to take advantage of giving opportunities at OCCF:

Any field of interest fund, charitable organization endowment fund or scholarship fund is eligible under this extended provision. If there is not an existing fund that meets their giving criteria, we are happy to establish a new fund specifically designed to meet their needs. Give me a call at (405) 606-2914 or send me an email, I’d be happy to help!

Joe Carter, Vice President of Development