Tax Credit Scholarships

Through the Illinois Invest in Kids Act, Tax Credit Scholarship Program, financial aid is available to help children grades K-12 from low-income homes attend an archdiocesan Catholic school. 

Donors fund the scholarship and in return receive a 75% credit on their donation when filing their Illinois state income taxes. They can choose the Catholic school that receives their donation. The scholarships cover up to 100% of tuition and eligible fees for one year and are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis (subject to availability).

You must reapply for a Tax Credit Scholarship each school year.

Families must apply for Tax Credit Scholarships through a scholarship granting organization (SGO), which distributes the scholarships. The Archdiocese of Chicago works with two SGOs: Empower Illinois and Big Shoulders Fund.


K-12 students, whose families earn up to 300% of the federal income poverty level, are eligible to receive a Tax Credit Scholarship. Returning scholarship recipients can make up to 400% of the federal poverty level. Please see the income chart below to determine if your family is eligible for a Tax Credit Scholarship.

2021 Federal Poverty Guidelines
Persons in
2 $32,227 $43,550 $52,260 $69,680
3 $40,626 $54,900 $65,880 $87,840
4 $49,025 $66,250 $79,500 $106,000
5 $57,424 $77,600 $93,120 $124,160
6 $65,823 $88,950 $106,740 $142,320
7 $74,222 $100,300 $120,360 $160,480
8 $82,621 $111,650 $133,980 $178,640

Families may submit an application to one or both SGOs. Listed below is an overview of their application processes and key dates. Please visit their websites for more detailed information.

Empower Illinois Application Process and Key Dates

2023/24 Reservation Night: Wednesday, January 18th, 2023

Families may access the reservation form at 6:30 p.m. and must submit promptly at 7 p.m.

Similar to prior year, the Empower Illinois tax credit scholarship application is a two-step process.

To prepare yourself further for the Empower Illinois application or to learn more, please visit

Big Shoulders Fund SGO Application Process and Key Dates

2023/24 Big Shoulders Application

STEP 1: Thursday, January 12th, 2023 at 8 a.m.
Families may submit step 1 of the application at this time.  BSF will send Step 2 of the application to families as funds become available at the school of choice. 

For more information about the application process, please visit

Information is available in Spanish by going to