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Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program

In August 2017, with bipartisan support, the House and Senate passed a comprehensive education funding bill that was signed into law by the governor. The law includes a provision for tax credit scholarships, which provide strong incentives for donors to support non-public school scholarships for low-income students in the state. Illinois students from low-income families may use these new scholarships to attend a non-public school of their choice.
This legislation represents a major step forward that will help create more equity in school funding throughout Illinois, and for the first time provide real school choice for students and their families. Please review these Frequently Asked Questions that provide an overview of the scholarships, including important information for donors and scholarship-eligible families.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Illinois Scholarship Tax Credit Program?

  • The program allows individuals and corporations to donate to a Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO) and receive a credit on their State Income Tax return.
  • SGO’s will use the monies to grant scholarships to qualifying students.
  • Qualifying Students family income based on the following charts:

Chart 1: You could receive 100 percent of tuition and eligible fees if you fit the following:
Number of People Living in your Household Total Household income per year
2 $16,240 - $30,044
3 $20,420 - $37,777
4 $24,600 - $45,510
5 $28,780 - $53,243
6 $32,960 - $60,976
7 $37,140 - $68,709
8 $41,320 - $76,442

Chart 2: You could receive 75 percent of tuition and eligible fees if you fit the following:
Number of people living in your household Total Household income per year
2 $30,206 - $40,600
3 $37,981 - $51,050
4 $45,756 - $61,500
5 $53,531 - $71,950
6 $61,309 - $82,400
7 $69,080 - $92,850
8 $76,855 - $103,300

Chart 3: You could receive 50 percent of tuition and eligible fees if you fit the following:
Number of people living in your household Total household inome per year
2 $40,762 - $48,720
3 $51,254 - $61,260
4 $61,746 - $73,800
5 $72,238 - $86,340
6 $82,730 - $98,880
7 $93,221 - $111,420
8 $103,713 - $123,960

Student Process:

Mount Carmel will help eligible families with the application process. 

  • You will need to apply to a Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO), a separate organization that is responsible for receiving and processing scholarship applications.

Documents Needed in order to apply for a tax credit scholarship:

If you do not have all the documentation, you may upload at a later date.
Families will be required to provide the following information for all members living in the household.
  • Names
  • Addresses
  • Phone Numbers
  • Dates of Birth
  • Current School
  • School You Plan to Attend 
The following documents must be submitted electronically in individual files:
  • Form 1040 Federal Tax Return and all household members 18 years of age and older (first two pages only)
  • Parent/Guardian Driver’s License or State ID
  • Current Utility Bill
  • Student’s Birth Certificate, State ID or Driver’s License
  • Most Recent Report Card
  • Other documents may be required


Big Shoulders Fund

Big Shoulders Fund and Empower Illinois will be an SGO under this program. More information can be found here:


Important, detailed information including the application questions and documents needed may be found by clicking the links below:


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