In 2017, bipartisan lawmakers passed the Invest in Kids Act. This historic law – the first of its kind in Illinois – transforms lives by providing up to $100 million in scholarships for kids from low-income and working-class families in Illinois. Scholarships are funded through private donations to Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs), like Empower Illinois, who then administer the application and scholarship process.
The Tax Credit Scholarship for K-12 students will cover up to 100% of private school tuition up to a maximum of the average Illinois cost to educate, which is roughly $13,000. Students with unique learning needs, including those who are gifted, English language learners, or those with special education qualifications, may be eligible to receive larger scholarships — up to double— roughly $26,000. Tax Credit Scholarships are need-based and do not take academic performance into consideration.
Why Do Families Apply For A Scholarship with Empower Illinois?
73.8% of families were seeking a school with higher academic quality
62.2% of families were seeking a school with character/values instruction
54.6% of families were seeking a safer school
Students Apply – Low-income and working-class families within 300% of the Federal Poverty Level apply for a scholarship to a private K-12 school of their choice. The application is a two-step process. First, reserve your place in line by completing a brief online form. After reserving your place in line, you will be able to complete the full application. Your place in line can increase your chances of receiving a scholarship but it is not a guarantee.
Donors Give – Individual and corporate donors make contributions to qualified scholarship granting organizations who then fund a scholarship. In turn, donors are eligible to receive a 75% state tax credit.
Scholarships Are Awarded & Lives Are Changed – Scholarships are awarded to families who meet the income requirements, based on available funds at their school of choice.