Tuition Assistance » Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship-Donor Information

Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship-Donor Information

Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program

Governor Rauner signed into law the “Invest in Kids Act” on August 31, 2017 and became effective on January 1, 2018. 
  • Simply stated, the law provides an incentive for individual and corporate donors to support nonpublic school scholarships for qualifying families.
  • Donors receive a credit (not deduction) on their Illinois Income Tax Return equal to 75% of money contributed to the scholarships.
  • Individual donors may direct their donations to a particular school (Holy Family Catholic Academy). Corporations cannot designate their donations.
  • The funds for this program cannot exceed $100 million in donations ($75 million in Illinois income tax credits) and is scheduled to be effective for 5 years.
The Invest in Kids Act called for the creation of Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs), independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations that act as an intermediary between the donors, the state, the scholarship families and the schools. The SGO we use is Empower Illinois which is responsible for:
  • Receiving donations from individuals and corporations;
  • Receiving and processing scholarship applications from students/families; and
  • Distributing scholarships funds to schools--honoring designations of individual donors.
Donors: Please see Empower Illinois for details on how to effect your donation and reserve your 75% Illinois Income Tax credit.
Families seeking scholarship: Please see Empower Illinois to determine if you qualify.

UPDATE: 12/1/2018 New Matching Gift Opportunity

The Archdiocese just announced that a group of generous donors have agreed to pool their resources and offer a 2-for-1 matching gift program to schools in the Archdiocese. This match applies to donations of up to $100,000 per school and is effective for donations made to the Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program between December 1, 2018 and February 28, 2019.  

Donations completed before December 31, 2018 would be eligible for a 75% Illinois income tax credit on their 2018 tax return, filed in April, 2019. Donations completed in January and February would receive the credit for their 2019 tax return, filed in April 2020.  Please see FAQ's and detailed instructions on the steps needed to complete your donation.

For every dollar designated to a qualifying Catholic school through Empower Illinois between Dec. 1, 2018 and Feb. 28, 2019, the school will receive two dollars in matching funds. The donations are capped at $100,000 per school.
  • The program will end when all matching funds have been depleted or on Feb. 28, 2019, whichever comes first.
  • After April 1, 2019, any matching gift program funds that are not awarded to a designated Catholic school will be reallocated to low-income students at schools with unmet demand.