Through the “Invest in Kids Act,” tax credit scholarships are available to Illinois children, in grades K-12, from low-income households who want to attend private schools. This program started during the 2018/19 school year and many families are benefiting. The scholarships are funded by donors who receive a 75 percent credit on their Illinois state income tax as a result of their donation. The scholarships offered through the program could cover up to 100 percent of tuition and eligible fees for one year and they are awarded on a first come, first served basis.
If you received a tax credit scholarship this year (2018/19 school year), you must reapply for a tax credit scholarship for next year (2019/20 school year). There is no priority given to students who have previously received this scholarship – so it is important to mark your calendars!
K-12 students with limited financial resources and income up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible to receive tax credit scholarships. Returning tax credit scholarship recipients can make up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level. Before April 1, 2019, priority will be given to students from each of the following categories:
- Members of a household whose previous’ year’s total annual income do not exceed 185 percent of the federal poverty level ($46,435 for a family of four); OR
- Reside within a focus district* OR
- Received a scholarship from a scholarship granting organization during the previous school year; OR
- Siblings of a current scholarship recipient.
After April 1, 2019, all other qualifying students will be considered for scholarships, subject to availability of funds.
*Focus districts are public school districts that have a school where at least one subgroup of students performs in the bottom 10 percent statewide or a graduation rate of less than 60 percent.
Information/Materials You Need to Apply
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**
- 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.
Valid Email Address (e.g. Gmail, Hotmail, AOL, etc.)