Donors couldn’t give tax-deductible gifts to the university itself to help with capital campaigns or for university initiatives.Most of the large gifts to the university recently, like a 0,000 gift from the Sargant Foundation in December and a

Donors couldn’t give tax-deductible gifts to the university itself to help with capital campaigns or for university initiatives.Most of the large gifts to the university recently, like a $500,000 gift from the Sargant Foundation in December and a $1 million anonymous gift announced last November, went toward its BJU Scholarship Fund, a nonprofit entity of the university.

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Donors couldn’t give tax-deductible gifts to the university itself to help with capital campaigns or for university initiatives.

Most of the large gifts to the university recently, like a $500,000 gift from the Sargant Foundation in December and a $1 million anonymous gift announced last November, went toward its BJU Scholarship Fund, a nonprofit entity of the university.

million anonymous gift announced last November, went toward its BJU Scholarship Fund, a nonprofit entity of the university.

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Last May 5, the Board of Trustees approved the final plan for pursuing tax exemption and the administration has been working to implement it since then.

At the same time, the university has been seeking regional accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

The university is now listed as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit on the IRS website, said Michael Dobzinski, IRS spokesman.

What it means Until now, if members of the community or alumni wanted to donate to the university, their gifts were only tax deductible if they gave to certain nonprofit arms of the university, such as its scholarship fund, art museum or athletic foundation.

In 2008, past President Stephen Jones, great-grandson of evangelist and university founder Bob Jones, apologized for BJU’s past racial discrimination.

But the university hadn’t sought to reinstate its tax-exempt status until 2014 after Steve Pettit took over as the school’s fifth president in its 90-year history.“Organizing as a tax-exempt entity is something BJU has needed to do for quite some time,” Pettit said.

The First Amendment gives Bob Jones University the freedom to create policies and guidelines under which we operate. Bob Jones University is a 73-year-old institution grounded in academic excellence and Biblical doctrine.

Our impeccable and respected academic credentials are the envy of many in the academic world.

The change levels the playing field between the university and other sister institutions when applying for grants, he said. Department of Education has targeted for-profit colleges with added oversight in recent years and fined several for-profit networks of colleges under the Obama administration, which resulted in colleges like Corinthian College and ITT Technical Institute closing down.

It also moves BJU from a for-profit college to a nonprofit classification with the U. Department of Education, “which is frequently perceived more favorably by the public,” Page said. And though the university operates debt-free and doesn’t plan to take on debt, it could potentially save through lower interest rates if it chose to take on debt, Page said.

That existing nonprofit was called Bob Jones Elementary School, Inc. The restructuring came after “consultation with legal counsel and accountants with many years of experience in assisting tax exempt organizations—as well as input from members of the BJU community and our congressional delegation,” Pettit said.