Through the “Invest in Kids Act,” Illinois children from low-income households who want to attend private schools will have access to new scholarships. The scholarships offered through this program could cover up to 100 percent of tuition and eligible fees for next school year*. Below is more information about how to apply and details on eligibility requirements.
Tax credit scholarships: Students from low-income households in grades K-12 have the opportunity to receive tax credit scholarships for the 2018/19 school year. These scholarships are funded by donors who receive a credit on their Illinois state income tax as a result of their donation.
Application process: You will need to apply for tax credit scholarships through a scholarship granting organization (SGO), which will manage this process, instead of the Archdiocese or your school directly. There are several SGOs in Illinois. The Archdiocese of Chicago is working with two SGOs: Empower Illinois and Big Shoulders Fund.
The application process with Empower Illinois will be completed online at www.empowerillinois.org. The application process will open January 24, 2018.
The application process with Big Shoulders Fund will be completed online at www.bigshouldersfundsgo.org. The application process will open the second half of January 2018. The exact date is TBD.
What you need to apply: Based on what we know today, families will need the following documents in order to apply for a tax credit scholarship:
- 2016 tax return
- Proof of residency (i.e. driver’s license or state ID)
- Birth certificate, federal/state ID or passport for student
- If available, a letter of acceptance or enrollment at an eligible, participating, non-public school
Note: There may be changes to this list as the application process is finalized by the SGOs. We will provide updates as they are available.
Help applying: You will be able to get help applying for the scholarship in-person at a variety of events in your community in the coming months. The Archdiocese will share the dates and locations of these events as these details are finalized. For families whose first language is not English, we will have in-person resources available to help you through the application process.
Application deadline: The deadline for submitting applications is still being determined. Scholarships will be awarded on a first come, first served basis, so it is very important that when the application process begins, you apply early.
How to qualify
: Eligibility to receive a scholarship is based on your family’s household income. For example, a student could receive a scholarship if his/her family income is less than $73,800 a year for a family of four. See chart below for more information on eligibility for tax credit scholarships or click here
Scholarship amount: Your family could receive a scholarship that covers up to 100 percent of tuition and eligible fees for next school year.
See the chart below that shows how much you could receive to cover tuition based on your income for a family of four.
Household Income Per Year (Family of Four)
Eligible Scholarship Amount
Less than $45,510
100 percent of tuition
75 percent of tuition
50 percent of tuition
*Scholarships may NOT exceed $12,973, the 2018/19 statewide average public school cost for K-12 students.
For additional information, please see the Tax Credit Scholarships, Donating to a Tax Credit Scholarship, Frequently Asked Questions, Tax Credit Scholarship Eligibility, and More Information pages.
Revised date: December 15, 2017