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new process for applying for a tax credit scholarship through empower illinois

Empower Illinois has announced a NEW process for applying. Please carefully read the entire message HERE.  

The Empower Illinois Website has also been updated with new information. Please visit HERE. 


In the fall of 2017, the Illinois legislature passed the Invest in Kids Act which provides a 75% Illinois state tax credit for donors who contribute toward scholarships for students from Kindergarten through Senior year in high school. The scholarships would cover tuition and certain applicable fees, paid directly to the private school of choice for an Illinois student/family, if the family qualifies. Scholarships can potentially cover 50%, 75% or even 100% of tuition, depending on the adjusted gross income and size of the family.  

Contributions from donors will be made through qualified Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs), and the scholarships will be awarded through the SGOs, as well. 

The Archdiocese of Chicago Office of Catholic Schools has contracted with Empower Illinois to be the SGO of choice for all of our Catholic Schools.  Big Shoulders Fund is also a qualified SGO and, as an applicant, you are encouraged to put in an application through BOTH SGOs.  



Whether you are currently a Pope Francis Global Academy family who qualifies, or a family who is interested in a Catholic education at Pope Francis, or any Catholic elementary or high school, but have not been able to afford it, you may qualify for a scholarship of up to 100% coverage of tuition!  These scholarships will be very limited based on the interest of so many families state-wide, and will be awarded first come, first served to qualified applicants by the Scholarship Granting Organizations. 

The new Empower Illinois application, which is completely online, is a two step process. CLICK HERE TO VISIT THEIR WEBSITE. 



While bigger donors gain a bigger tax benefit from contributing to our scholarships, even more humble contributions from individuals  can really maximize their contribution to a specific school (hopefully, Pope Francis Global Academy) by donating into this scholarship fund.  Most of the funding at this point has been through smaller, individual donations.

For example, if you were to donate $1,000 and ear mark it to Pope Francis Global Academy, $750 of that money would be eligible for a full tax credit for your 2018-19 tax year  (info per the Tax Policy Center/Brookings Institute: "Tax credits are subtracted not from taxable income, but directly from a person’s tax liability; they therefore reduce taxes dollar for dollar. As a result, credits have the same value for everyone who can claim their full value.") Read more HERE.  Instead of paying $750 that you owe in taxes to the state of Illinois, you would be funding $1,000 worth of scholarships to Pope Francis Global Academy!

Talk to your tax preparer about the value of this type of contribution TODAY! While there is a cap on how much can be donated into this fund, they haven't reached the cap, so it's worth looking into. 

HERE is a good explanation of how it all works. 


More information can be found at, , and at