Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program

Updated FEBRUARY 23, 2018

Application Process Opens Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 7:00 p.m.

Empower Illinois scholarship applications will be available through Click here for a helpful video tutorial on how to apply, including steps on how to reserve your place in line on Feb. 27 for the first-come, first-served scholarships.

The Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program

The new Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program allows individuals and corporations to donate to a Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO) and receive a credit on their Illinois state taxes in return. An SGO is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, approved by the IL Department of Revenue, whose primary aim is to give scholarships to qualifying students.

The SGO that the Archdiocese of Chicago has recommended our families and benefactors work with is Empower Illinois. Their website is Through this website Families and Donors can get important information on taking advantage of this opportunity.

A full Q&A for this program can be found by clicking here.

Below are some of the most common questions being asked at this time.

Who qualifies for these scholarships?

Students whose families earn 300% of the federal poverty level or less ($73,800 for a family of four) qualify, and priority is given to students who are members of a household whose previous year’s total annual income does not exceed 185% of the federal poverty level ($45,510 for a family of four).

As this is the first time Illinois has had a program such as this, there are many unknowns as far as how many Saint Viator High School students will apply and be awarded this Tax Credit Scholarship. Saint Viator is reviewing and updating our registration and financial aid policies to encourage as many students as possible to apply for the Tax Credit Scholarship Program.

Prospective Family Timeline for Applying

After donations are received in January, Empower Illinois will begin accepting student scholarship applications. The prospective date to apply for one of these scholarships currently is January 31, 2018. Families should be prepared with the following documentation when applying:

  • Copy of 2016 federal tax return, 1099, W-2, or year-end pay stubs
  • Verification of Illinois residence (utility bill, driver’s license etc.)


  • Student’s prior semester report card*
  • If available, letter of acceptance or enrollment at an eligible school*

*Optional at time of application but will be required prior to the student receiving scholarship dollars

Prospective families can click this link to get more updated information from Empower Illinois.

Prospective Tax Credit Scholarship Donors, Click Here