How To Prepare For The 2019 Tax Credit Scholarships

Within the next two weeks, Empower Illinois and Big Shoulders Fund will be open for applications for the Illinois Tax Credit Scholarships. The Invest in Kids tax credit scholarship program was created in Illinois to benefit children whose educational options are limited by household income. At St. Francis de Sales High School, we want to make sure that our families have all the information needed so that they are able to apply for the wonderful opportunity.

St. Francis de Sales will have space available for parents to come and apply for the scholarship. Doors will open 30 minutes before the application process for both Empower and Big Shoulders Fund. Below you will find a list of important dates, times, and a list of documents needed to help prepare you for the day of the application. Please note that for both Tax Credit Applications it is first come, first serve. We highly recommend that parents plan accordingly and apply ASAP so that they do not miss out.

Important Dates:

  • Empower Illinois - January 15th, 2019 at 7pm (doors will open at 6:30 pm at SFDS)

  • Big Shoulders Fund - January 22nd, 2019 at 8am (doors will 7:30 am at SFDS)

For more information on Big Shoulders Fund & Empower Illinois Tax Scholarship information, please click on the following links:

Big Shoulders Fund Tax Scholarship

Empower Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship

How to Apply:

Empower Illinois - Applicants can reserve their place in line beginning Tuesday January 15, at 7:00 p.m. You will complete a brief online form containing parent name, contact information, and child’s name. This will time stamp your application. After reserving your place in line, you can access the student application in your portal on Friday, January 18. We will begin awarding scholarships on January 28.

Big Shoulders Fund - Big Shoulders Fund will open its applicaiton on January 22nd at 8am. The following information will be required to apply: Household Information, Student Information, School Information. The exact questions and information requirements will be contained in the application.

Documents Needed :

Big Shoulders Fund

Household Information

  • Parent/Guardian contact information - PLEASE NOTE: an email address will be required.

  • Number in Household.

  • School District in which household resides.

  • Proof of Income (Please provide one of the following)

    » 2017 or 2018 1040(s) for all members of the Household

    » if not filing taxes – verified statement signed by parent/guardian (additional proof of income may be required).

  • Proof of Residency (Please provide one of the following) - ID, Utility bill, Lease, Deed or Paystub

Student Information

  • Student name and birth date

  • Grade for the 2019-2020 school year

  • siblings for which the household will apply under the tax credit scholarship program.

School Information

  • Identify the non-public school being selected by the student in the household.

  • Identify whether the student is already enrolled at the selected school.

Empower Illinois

  • Proof of Residency (Please provide one of the following)

    » Illinois driver’s license
    » Illinois identification card (issued by the Secretary of State)

    » Utility bill in the custodian’s name
    » Statement of benefits from WIC
    » Statement of benefits from SNAP
    » W-2
    » 1099
    » Residential lease in the parent/custodian’s name
    » Federal Tax Form 1040 with current address

  • Proof of Address (Please provide one fo the following)

    » Federal Tax Return, pages 1 & 2 (If your federal tax return is not available to you and you receive WIC or SNAP benefits, you may submit your statement of WIC or SNAP benefits.)

    » W-2
    » 1099/s
    » Year-end pay stub

    » Letter, on letterhead, from employer/s indicating cash wages paid