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"Invest in Kids Act"

Tax Credit Scholarships

Scholarship Information

Through the “Invest in Kids Act,” Illinois children from low-income families who choose to attend private schools, such as St. Walter Catholic School, will have access to new scholarships. The scholarships offered through this program have the potential to cover up to 100 percent of tuition and eligible fees for low income students in grades K-12 for the 2019/20 school year.

If your family is currently receiving a Tax Credit Scholarship, you MUST REAPPLY.

Scholarships are awarded on a first come, first serve basis, so it is very important to apply early. Tax Credit Scholarships are need based and do not take academic performance into consideration. And, students already receiving scholarships from other school programs are still encouraged to apply for a tax credit scholarship.

Interested in Becoming a Donor?

Invest in Kids provides Illinois state income tax credits to individuals and corporations who contribute money to an approved Scholarship Granting Organization, like St. Walter Catholic School – Chicago.

Families of K-12 students can apply for tax credit scholarships

In order to qualify for tax credits, families must earn less than 300 percent of the federal poverty level (or $73,800 for a family of four). In the first months of the scholarships, priority will be given to students who are higher poverty or who reside in districts with “Focus” public schools. The bill includes a tiered system for scholarship awards, based upon the income of the family. More details can be found on the Empower Illinois’ website under Do I Qualify?

Along with a valid email address, you need proof of Illinois residency and your adjusted gross income to apply for tax credit scholarships. Choose your most recent household and income documents from the same year to use throughout your application.

 

Proof of Illinois Residence (one of the following for the household):

  • Illinois driver’s license with current address
  • Illinois identification card (issued by the Secretary of State) with current address
  • Utility bill with name and current address
  • Statement of benefits from WIC or SNAP with name and current address
  • W-2 or 1099 with name and current address
  • Residential lease (current address) in the parent’s name
  • Federal Form 1040 with name and current address

 

Adjusted Gross Income (one of the following for the household):

  • Federal tax return, pages 1 and 2**
  • W-2 • 1099(s)
  • Year-end pay stub
  • Letter, on company letterhead, from employer(s) indicating cash wages paid.

**If your federal tax return is not available to you and you receive WIC or SNAP benefits, you may submit your statement of WIC and SNAP benefits.

 

The Empower Illinois tax credit scholarship application is a two-step process:

 

Step 1: On Tuesday, January 15, 2019 at 7 p.m., you will complete a brief reservation form on Empower Illinois’ website – EmpowerIllinois.org – that timestamps your reservation. This is a critical step as your timestamp matters and may impact your chances of receiving a scholarship. You will want to complete this form promptly at 7 p.m. Minutes matter.

The reservation form will ask you for the following information:

  • Parent name
  • Contact information – address, phone number, email address
  • Child(ren) name(s)

***Please note: All children you would like to apply for need to be listed on the reservation form. If you do not add a child on the initial reservation but you would like to apply for a tax credit scholarship for that child, you will be required to complete a second reservation and therefore any additional children will receive a separate time stamp.

 

Step 2: Beginning on or about Friday, January 18, 2019, you may complete the full scholarship application through the Empower Illinois online student portal. You will receive instructions via email about setting up your student portal after your reservation has been completed (step 1). Empower Illinois will begin awarding scholarships on Monday, January 28, 2019. Scholarship awards are subject to the availability of funds at your school of choice. We recommend you submit your application before Monday, January 28 to increase your chances of receiving a scholarship.

Please note: The Empower Illinois application will be available in English, Spanish and Polish.

 

* The St. Walter Catholic School admission process is separate from the scholarship process. A scholarship does not guarantee admittance.

You may come into school any time prior to January 15, during school hours, to scan your documents onto a flash drive to assist with completing your application. Please call ahead so we can make the copy machine available to you.

The Computer Lab at school will be available for families who need to use a computer to complete either the Empower Illinois or Big Shoulder application. Once again, please call the school office to reserve a computer.