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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Minard Run Oil Contribution
Benefits Bradford Area High School Students

Minard Run Oil Co. has made a $25,000 contribution to the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford to benefit high school students in the region who are taking classes through the university.

The contribution is made possible through a tax credit program offered by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

Pitt-Bradford has two kinds of programs in which students can earn both high school and college credits for the same course, Bridges and College in the High School. Both programs will benefit from Minard Run’s contribution.

In the Bridges program, high school students attend Pitt-Bradford classes with regular college students. In College in the High School, which is offered in 12 school districts throughout the region, qualified teachers teach Pitt-Bradford courses during regular school time, and students are able to earn college credit.

The additional funding provided through Minard Run and other local businesses has allowed Pitt-Bradford to reduce its cost to students from a regular cost of $125 to $25 this year for College in the High School.

For the Bridges program, a student’s share of the cost for a three-credit course has been reduced from about $530 to $250, and his or her school district’s portion of $530 has been eliminated.

Unlike the Advanced Placement exam, which requires that students make a final score on an AP test at the end of the semester or year, College in the High School students follow the same syllabus as the students at Pitt-Bradford, cover the same material and take the same final exam. Students have the added benefit of studying a semester’s worth of college material over the course of an entire academic year.

Currently, 30 students are enrolled in the Bridges program and 466 in College in the High School. Courses offered range from first-year math and composition to more specialized first-year courses such as petroleum technology, cinema, geography, Spanish, accounting, sociology and more.

Minard Run made its contribution through a special state program that allows it to receive tax credits for its gift. Companies have to pre-qualify with the state on a strict schedule, as did Pitt-Bradford.

Interested businesses that must pay certain types of taxes in the state of Pennsylvania may qualify to redirect up to $300,000 of their PA tax liability to an approved Educational Improvement Organization such as Pitt-Bradford. The taxes include Corporate Net Income Tax, Capital Stock Franchise Tax, Bank and Trust Company Shares Tax, Title Insurance Company Shares Tax, Insurance Premiums Tax, Mutual Thrift Institutions Tax and some Subchapter S-corporations.

For more information on whether a business may qualify for the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program, contact Rick Esch, vice president of business affairs at Pitt-Bradford, at (814)362-0992 or esch@pitt.edu.

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