School Tuition Organization

A School Tuition Organization is a charitable organization that is governed by its own board of directors and receives voluntary cash contributions from Iowa taxpayers. The STO distributes at least 90% of those funds in the form of needs-based tuition assistance to eligible families who attend accredited nonpublic schools represented by the School Tuition Organization.

Des Moines Christian School is represented by the Heart of Iowa STO. The Iowa tax credit for donations to the STO is equal to 75% of the donation. A portion of the contribution is also eligible for a federal tax deduction when the donor itemizes on their federal return. Use this form to contribute to the Heart of Iowa STO and designate your donation to Des Moines Christian School.  

Tax credits are limited each calendar year. Contact Jill Van Houweling at (515) 252-2497 for additional information.


Student Tuition Organization FAQs

Q: How many STOs are there in the State of Iowa?
A: There are 12 STOs in Iowa.

Q: Which schools are represented in the Heart of Iowa School Tuition Organization?
A: There are 12 schools represented in the Heart of Iowa STO including the following: Ames Christian School,  Ankeny Christian Academy,  Cedar Valley Christian School,  Des Moines Christian School, Grand View Christian School, Heartland Christian School, Isaac Newton Christian Academy, Marshalltown Christian School, Morning Star Academy,  Mt. Olive Lutheran School,  Pella Christian Grade School, and  Waterloo Christian School.

Q: What is the total dollar amount of tax credits that can be issued statewide by all of the approved School Tuition Organizations?
A: Statewide, tax credits equaling $15 million can be issued each year.

Q: How much is the tax credit? 
A: The Iowa tax credit is equal to 75% of the donation. A portion of the contribution is also eligible for a federal tax deduction when the donor itemizes on their federal return. Donors should consult their tax advisor for specific federal tax implications.

Q: Who may contribute to a STO?
A: Individual taxpayers, C corporations, S-corp, LLC, partnerships, estates and trusts can contribute to the STO and are then eligible for the tax credit.

Q: Is there a limit on the size of individual gifts accepted by the Heart of Iowa Tuition Organization?
A: There are no limits for contributions to the STO except up to the amount of tax credits available each year.

Q: What is the annual fundraising goal?
A: The amount of tax credits vary each year and is based on the prorated percentage of certified enrollment in our schools compared to the certified enrollment in the other school tuition organizations in Iowa. The Heart of Iowa fundraising goal for 2020 is $2,347,598. DMC’s portion of this goal is $694,163.

Q: Who is eligible to apply for STO tuition assistance?
A: Students in K-12 grades are eligible.
Income eligibility is determined by the Iowa Department of Revenue and is dependent on income levels for your household size.
Income eligibility for 2020 is based on line 9 of your Federal 1040.
Income on line 9 must be less than four times poverty for your household size.
Awards are not the same for each eligible student.

 Household Size

 Max Income for 20-21 School Year
2021 Federal 1040 Tax Return Line 9

2 $73,240
3 $92,120
4 $111,000
5 $129,880
6 $148,760
7  $167,640
8 $186,520
Each Additional Person +$18,880