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Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship

List of 1 news stories.

  • Invest in Kids: Illinois Tax Credit and Scholarship Opportunity

    In August 2017, Illinois Public Act 100-0465 created the Invest in Kids Act (35 ILCS 40/1). This Act has several potential implications for current students and donors.

    The Invest in Kids Act allows income tax credits for taxpayers who make authorized contributions to a Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO). The SGOs, in turn, provide scholarships for eligible Illinois students to attend non-public schools in Illinois. Many details about the program and application process are still being finalized, but we can share the following details.
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Information for Students

ALERT: The Empower Illinois application for the Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship will be available beginning Tuesday, February 27, at 7:00 p.m. Please visit the Empower Illinois website for additional information and updates.

Updated: 2/22/2018 11:00 a.m.


List of 9 items.

  • What is the Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program?

    In August, 2017, the Illinois legislature passed the new Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program bill, Invest in Kids. This scholarship program awards income based scholarships to students in grades K-12 whose families earn 300% of the federal poverty level or less ($73,800 for a family of four). Loyola Academy is participating in this program.
  • Do I qualify for a Tax Credit Scholarship?

    Students in grades K-12 whose families earn 300% of the federal poverty level or less ($73,800 for a family of four)could qualify. Click here to see a eligibility chart.
  • Do I need to apply for the Tax Credit Scholarship?

    To be eligible for Loyola Academy financial aid, all students who meet the criteria for this scholarship will need to complete the tax credit scholarship application in addition to the Loyola Academy financial aid applications.

    The application process for the Tax Credit Scholarship begins January 31, 2018, at 12:00 p.m.
  • How do I apply for the Tax Credit Scholarship?

    To apply for a tax credit scholarship, you will need to apply to a Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO)—a separate organization that is responsible for receiving and processing scholarship applications as well as distributing the scholarships to eligible students. There will likely be several SGOs in Illinois. Loyola Academy and the Archdiocese of Chicago have chosen Empower Illinois as its preferred SGO. You are, of course, free to apply to any SGO or multiple SGOs, and I encourage you to do so.

    Below is the information for Empower Illinois.

    Website: empowerillinois.org
    Revised Student Applications Begins: February 27, 2018
    Required Information to Complete Application:
    • Copy of 2016 or 2017 federal 1040 tax return
    • If a family did not file a 2016 or 2017 tax return, a 1099, W-2 or year-end pay stub showing the annualized income may be submitted
    • Verification of Illinois residence (utility bill, driver's license, etc.)
    • Documentation of student age (birth certificate, federal/state ID or passport)
    • Student's prior semester report card
    • If available, letter of acceptance or enrollment at an eligible school
    The new application will require a two-step process:
    1. Reserve: On Tuesday, February 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.
    2. 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 three days to complete the application and submit all required documents. Please check your email regularly so as not to miss this three day application window.
    Tax Credit Scholarships will be awarded on a first come, first served basis. Therefore, it is imperative that if you meet the criteria, you complete the first step as early as possible.
  • How do I apply for Loyola Academy financial aid?

    Applications for financial aid offered through Loyola Academy will be available in mid January 31, 2018.
  • If I do not quality for the Tax Credit Scholarship, could I still receive financial aid from Loyola Academy?

    If you do not qualify for a tax credit scholarship, you can still apply for financial aid offered through Loyola Academy.
  • Once I receive my application email, how can I tell if my documents have been uploaded and how do I reset my password.

    These are the two most common questions received on the Empower Illinois scholarship hotline, s a special “Account Assistance” page has been added to the Empower Illinois website.
  • I completed the first step and reserved my place in line, when will I receive my application email?

    It may take several weeks to receive an email invitation to begin your scholarship application. Even though you haven’t received an email, as long as you received a confirmation number when making your reservation, your place in line has been saved and scholarships will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis subject to the availability of funds. If you received your reservation number but has misplaced it, your place in line is still secure. If Empower Illinois sees an application email bounce back, Empower Illinois will follow up with you via other means.
  • Who should I contact for more information?

    Since this is a new program, details are still being finalized. More information about this scholarship program can be found on our website or at the Illinois Department of Revenue’s website or at the Empower Illinois website.

    Tax Credit Scholarship Application questions should be directed to the Empower Illinois Scholarship Hotline at 855.318.1222 (English) or 612.548.3337 (Spanish). If you have any additional questions, please contact our Director of Tuition and Financial Aid Julia Biasco at jbiasco@loy.org or 847.920.2424.

For more information, please contact

List of 1 members.

  • Ms. Julia Biasco 

    Director of Tuition and Financial Aid
    (847) 920-2427

Information for Donors

Beginning January 2, 2018, at 8:00 a.m., donors can indicate the amount they wish to donate and reserve the corresponding tax credit. The Illinois Department of Revenue will grant tax credits on a first-come, first-served basis. Based on the experience of similar programs in other states, tax credits are claimed very quickly. We suggest you plan on making your tax credit reservation as close to 8:00 a.m. as possible on January 2, 2018.

List of 7 items.

  • What is the Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program and should I donate?

    In August, 2017, the Illinois legislature passed the new Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program bill, Invest in Kids, which allows for a 75% income tax credit for individuals and corporations who make authorized contributions to a Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO). A SGO is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization approved by the Illinois Department of Revenue. The primary goal of an SGO is to award scholarships to qualifying students. If desired, an individual may elect to direct their contribution to Loyola Academy.

    We strongly encourage you to meet with your personal tax professional to see whether making a gift to an SGO or directly to Loyola Academy stands to make the greatest impact for you and our needy families. However, the most efficient and flexible means by which you can impact Loyola Academy students is by making a gift directly to Loyola Academy.
  • Actions required to participate in the Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program

    • A taxpayer must have a “My Tax Illinois” account for filing income to apply for the credit. If you do not currently have an account, we encourage you to do that as soon as possible before December 31, 2017, at https://mytax.illinois.gov/. This process can take up to ten days and involves a mailed PIN number.
      Instructions to Request Letter ID
      Instructions to Activate Account
    • Please notify us of your intent—complete this Commitment form to help us plan for the 2018–19 school year.
    • Beginning January 2, 2018, at 8:00 a.m., donors can indicate the amount they wish to donate and reserve the corresponding tax credit. The Illinois Department of Revenue will grant tax credits on a first-come, first-served basis. Based on the experience of similar programs in other states, tax credits are claimed very quickly. We suggest you plan on making your tax credit reservation as close to 8:00 a.m. as possible on January 2, 2018.
    • Donors have 60 days from the date they receive their credit authorization certificate to donate that indicated amount to the SGO of their choice.
    • Please use the Empower Illinois SGO as the primary giving vehicle when designating your gift to Loyola Academy.
    • Loyola Academy suggests consulting your personal tax professional about the implications, advantages and process of donating to this scholarship program.
  • What is Empower Illinois?

    Empower Illinois is the preferred Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO) if you are planning to designate a gift to Loyola Academy. Additional information will be available on the Empower Illinois website in mid-December. Information will include resources for schools and partner organizations as well as functionality for donors and students, including FAQs and how-to tutorials.
  • Who benefits from these scholarships?

    Students whose household income is below 300 percent of the federal poverty level ($73,800 for a family of four) are eligible to receive a scholarship. Prior to April 1, 2018, a priority will be given to students whose household falls below 185 percent of the federal poverty level ($45,510 for a family of four). It is important to know that this year Loyola has granted $1.6 million in financial aid to families whose household income is below 300 percent of the federal poverty level.
  • Can I contribute stock or securities?

    Yes. However, the SGO must liquidate the stock or securities and issue a COR to the taxpayer within 30 days of the receipt of authorized contribution as required by Section 1000.500(c) for the net amount realized by the SGO from the sale of the stock or securities.
  • What if I am currently supporting Loyola Academy with a scholarship?

    Gifts to the Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program cannot be credited toward an existing pledge. This is due to a number of federal and state tax guidelines. All gifts made through this new tax credit program must be new gifts.
  • Who should I contact for more information?

    Since this is a new program, details are still being finalized. More information about this scholarship program can be found on our website or at the Illinois Department of Revenue’s website or at the Empower Illinois website (which will be available in the middle of December).

    If you have any follow up questions, please contact Vice President for Advancement Bob Miller at 847.920.2428 or bmiller@loy.org.

For more information, please contact

List of 1 members.

  • Mr. Robert Miller 

    Vice President for Advancement
    (847) 920-2428

Page Updated as of 2/22/2018

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