Do you think Thunderbird Adventist Academy should exist as an educational option?

Are you an Arizona Resident?

The Arizona conference has 12,000 constituents. If half of these individuals contributed $500 a year, we could more than double our enrollment and each student could pay a negligible amount for tuition.

Even better, thanks to the Arizona tax credit program, those donations need not cost the donor anything. If Arizona taxes are withheld from your paycheck and you don't receive a refund for every penny witheld, or you pay State taxes at the end of the year, you can redirect as much as $2,000 of those funds toward student tuition at Thunderbird.

If you don't contribute tax credit funds because you think others are, and you think that Thunderbird should continue operations, it's time to start. This is an amazing program, but the total amount of tax credit funds Thunderbird currently receives would not pay the tuition of even thirty students. This means that fewer than 150 couples are contributing, if all of them give the maximum. It may seem intimidating, but the contribution process is simple.

  • Go to the Arizona Adventist Scholarship page and under the Suggested School Name select "Thunderbird Adventist Academy." 
  • You can contribute over $1,000 under the "original" program (see the AZDOR guide for the related form #323 here) and over $1,000 under the "switcher" program (see the AZDOR guide for the related form #348 here) for students who were previously in public school. If you need assistance understanding the details, you can always call us at (480) 948-3300, or the State helpline at (800) 352-4090.
  • Claim the amount contributed as a charitable contribution on your Federal tax return.
  • If you are an Arizona resident Turbo Tax will ask you if you contributed funds for this purpose and prompt you for the amount. On a paper Arizona form 140 return you will enter the amount you contributed on Form 301 and enter the amount from Form 301 on Form 140 line 50.

If you're worried about the deductibility of a contribution, look at line 58 of last year's return. You could contribute that amount up to roughly $2,000 at no cost to yourself. Or don't contribute the full amount this year. Decide on an amount you would be willing to contribute to Thunderbird, even if it's only $5. Contribute through the website, and see how it affects your taxes, then determine if you want to increase your contribution next year. Contributions can be made until April 14 and still apply to your prior year Arizona tax bill, so there's time even if you don't make a contribution by January 1st. Perhaps more importantly, these credits have a five year rollover provision. So if you contribute more than you need pay in taxes, you have five additional years to use the remaining credit.

Many of the families sending students to Thunderbird cannot afford the full price of tuition, as evidenced by the fact that roughly 98% of our students receive some form of financial aid. We cannot grow the enrollment of our school to a financially sustainable level without more financial assistance for students that cannot pay full price, and you can provide that assistance at no cost to yourself. Every dollar helps, so don't feel that you have to contribute the maximum amount. Keeping Thunderbird Academy as an option for your family down the road, or for other families who see it as the best fit for their children, requires everyone's involvement and support. Please call us at (480) 948-3300 if you have questions or need additional information.