Questions and Answers for Families Applying for Illinois Tax Credit Scholarships
Families will be able to apply through the SGO of choice, Empower Illinois, through their online application. The application will be open soon.
What is the IL Tax Credit Scholarship Program?
The State of Illinois recently passed the Invest in Kids Act to help provide families funding to attend the school of their choice. Scholarships offered through this program may cover a significant amount of tuition for next school year.
Who qualifies for the Tax Credit Scholarship?
Students from low-income families are eligible to receive an IL Tax Credit Scholarship.
From January 31, 2018, through April 2018 priority will be given to students who:
- whose family’s income does not exceed 185% of the federal poverty level
- whose families reside in a focus district. (https://www.isbe.net/documents/sos-focus-schools-fy16.pdf)
After April 1, 2018, other qualifying students will be considered for scholarships up to 300% of Federal Poverty Level. The Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO) will make these determinations.
What is an SGO?
An SGO is a Scholarship Granting Organization approved by the State of Illinois to accept donations and distribute scholarships set up on the Invest in Kids Act. The SGO that Providence Catholic will be using is Empower Illinois www.empowerillinois.org
Federal Poverty Level Chart
What steps do I need to take to participate in this program?
Families can apply starting February 27, 2018, through the SGO of choice, Empower Illinois https://empowerillinois.org/students/. Families will be notified of their scholarship application status by Empower Illinois.Award notifications will be sent to families beginning in February until the funds are fully distributed. Funds will be for the 2018-19 school year and will be sent directly to the school.
The new application will be available through the Empower Illinois website. It will be a two-step process
- Reserve: On Feb. 27 at 7:00 p.m. families will complete a brief online form containing name and contact information, child name and preferred school. This will time stamp your application for the first-come, first-served scholarships.
- Apply: After reserving your place in line, families will be emailed a unique link and use their reservation code to complete the application. Applications will be sent on a rolling basis, over the course of a few weeks. After receiving the application email, families will have 3 days to complete the application and submit all required documents.
The goal with this two-step process is to make it easier for families and provide more time to ensure your application is accurate and complete. The school admission process is separate from the IL Tax Credit Scholarship process. An IL Tax Credit Scholarship does not guarantee admission.
Providence Catholic continues to offer scholarships funded through the school and the Catholic Education Foundation for the Diocese of Joliet. This is a separate application process for families https://www.providencecatholic.org/admissions/financial-aid-scholarships/.
Since this is a new program for the State of Illinois, the Diocese of Joliet will continue to update its website www.weteachmore.org as new information is released.
Benefactors interested in learning more about how they can receive an IL State Tax Credit read more here