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Home School Choice Scholarships

School Choice Scholarships

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Illinois has a new school choice/tax credit scholarship program!

Invest In Kids

Recent legislation in Illinois established a tax credit scholarship program that will enable certain Illinois students from families with limited financial resources to attend Faith Lutheran School and other non-public schools. Beginning with the 2018-19 school year, scholarships for K-8th grade students will be awarded covering 100%, 75%, or 50% of Faith's total tuition and fees. To be eligible for the scholarships, federal adjusted gross income must be below 300% of the federal poverty level—currently $73,800 for a family of four.

These scholarships will be funded through individual and corporate donor contributions made to independent scholarship granting organizations (SGOs) by Illinois taxpayers who will be awarded an Illinois income tax credit (not just a deduction) in an amount equal to 75% of their donation

Many details regarding the tax credit scholarship program are yet to come from the State of Illinois; we will update this webpage as such information is published. It is our hope and prayer that this scholarship program will be a great blessing to many, enabling our school ministry to reach many more students with the saving message of Jesus Christ and lessening the financial burden of families seeking a Christ-centered education for their children.

Please share this wonderful news with friends and family who may be potential donors or scholarship recipients.

Contact the school office at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone 847-395-1660 to learn more.

Important Information for Student Families and Donors

Because the school choice/tax credit scholarship program is new to Illinois and being implemented quickly, many details affecting both student families and donors are yet unknown; we will update this webpage as such information is published. With that said, we encourage all eligible students to apply for the scholarships awarded through this program.

Based upon the experience of similar scholarship programs in other states, and because both scholarships and tax credits are awarded on a first come, first served basis, Faith encourages students and donors to file applications as early as possible..

Common Questions

Student Family Benefits

Am I eligible for a scholarship?

Eligible students are K - 8th-grade students of a household whose federal adjusted gross income does not exceed 300% of the federal poverty level. For families of four, these thresholds are $45,510 for a 100% scholarship, $61,500 for a 75% scholarship and $73,800 for a 50% scholarship.

VIEW COMPREHENSIVE HOUSEHOLD INCOME LEVEL AND TAX CREDIT SCHOLARSHIP ELIGIBILITY TABLES

Who are the scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs)?

A Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO) is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is not operated by any given school. An SGO serves in the following ways: (1) the SGO receives contributions from donors, (2) the SGO receives and processes scholarship applications from students/families, and (3) the SGO awards scholarships to eligible students. The list of approved SGOs published by the State of Illinois is found here.

How do I apply?

Families must submit an application for a scholarship for the upcoming school year directly to each SGO, beginning when its application process opens. No application deadline has been established, but families should apply as early as possible since scholarships will be awarded on a first come, first served basis.

The following approved SGOs will receive individual and/or corporate donations and award Faith-eligible scholarships. In order to maximize the chance of being awarded a scholarship, families are encouraged to apply to each SGO, although only one scholarship may be accepted per student.

Documents (PDF-version, if applying online) commonly required to complete each application:

  • Student's birth certificate or passport
  • Proof of residency (utility bill or driver's license)
  • 2016 federal tax return

Is priority given to certain students?

Prior to April 1, 2018, priority in scholarship awards will be given to:

  • Siblings of scholarship students
  • Students who reside in a FOCUS DISTRICT*
  • Students from households below 185% of the federal poverty level ($45,510 for family of four)

Beginning in 2019 and each year thereafter, priority will also be given to renewals of previous year scholarship recipients, so applications should be filed as soon as possible in January 2018 in order to ensure scholarship awards in future years.

* Local focus districts are currently found in the Round Lake and Waukegan school districts.

How much are scholarships and when are they awarded?

Scholarships covering 100%, 75%, or 50% (depending on household income) of Faith Lutheran School's total annual tuition and fees will be awarded and paid directly from the SGO to Faith. For families of four, these federal adjusted gross income thresholds are $45,510 for a 100% scholarship, $61,500 for a 75% scholarship and $73,800 for a 50% scholarship.

SGOs must process applications received before April 1 of each year within 10 business days of receipt, and thereafter notify families regarding scholarship awards. There is currently no processing deadline established for applications received after April 1.

Donor Benefits

Will I get a tax credit for donating?

On a first come, first served basis, Illinois individual and corporate taxpayers/donors will be awarded an Illinois income tax credit (not just a deduction) in an amount of 75% of their qualified contribution (not to exceed $1 million per taxpayer, per year). Any tax credit amount that exceeds the donor's tax liability for the year may be carried forward and applied to tax liability in the subsequent five taxable years; however, no credit can be taken for any qualified contribution for which the donor claims a federal income tax deduction (i.e., no "double-dipping" on an SGO contribution as an Illinois tax credit and a federal charitable tax deduction).

View further explanation from Department of Revenue

Example: A taxpayer/donor makes a qualified contribution of $10,000 to an approved SGO. The taxpayer will be eligible to claim a $7,500 tax credit.

How do I Donate?

Step 1 (REGISTER): Critical - as soon as possible. Since the State of Illinois has capped the number of available tax credits for the scholarship program (equivalent to scholarships in the amount of $100 million in Illinois and $23 million in Faith Lutheran School region - SEE CURRENT SCHOLARSHIP FUND CONTRIBUTION/TAX CREDIT AVAILABILITY) — each donation/contribution must be reserved in advance through MYTAX.ILLINOIS.GOV. Because the initial MyTax Illinois enrollment process can take up to 10 days and involves a mailed pin number/letter ID, Faith encourages anyone considering making a donation to complete this process as soon as possible. The process for requesting the mailed pin number is as follows: (1) Click on the "Individuals" button near the top of MYTAX.ILLINOIS.GOV; (2) click on the "Request a Letter ID" link; and (3) follow the prompts to complete the request. Once the Letter ID is received, each potential donor should complete the MyTax Illinois ONLINE ACCOUNT enrollment process.

Step 2 (RESERVE): Beginning at 8:00 am on January 2, 2018, each donor reserves the amount of their donation through MYTAX.ILLINOIS.GOV. (The website navigation is as follows: (1) Log into your MYTAX.ILLINOIS.GOV account with your username and password; (2) click on the "Individual" link in your account list at the bottom; (3) click on the "Contribute to Invest in Kids" link in the right-hand column; and (4) then follow the prompts to complete the tax credit reservation.) Approval is granted automatically as long as the tax credit caps have not been met. Faith's donors should choose: (1) Region 2 - Northern Counties (as the Region) and (2) Empower Illinois or any other SGO that the donor prefers (as the Scholarship Granting Organization). Once approved, donors are issued a Contribution Authorization Certificate (CAC) by the department.

Step 3 (DONATE): Within 60 days of the donation reservation, the donor must provide a copy of this CAC, along with the full contribution, to EMPOWER ILLINOIS (or other designated SGO and direct/empower the SGO to use the contribution for "Faith Evangelical Lutheran (School Antioch)" (Region 2) scholarships. The SGO will issue the donor a Certificate of Receipt (COR) within 30 days of receiving the contribution. The donor will then use that COR for annual tax-filing purposes.

More Information

PRELIMINARY GUIDANCE ON INVEST IN KIDS ACT (INCLUDING INFORMATIONAL BULLETINS AND FAQS)

INVEST IN KIDS OVERVIEW, AS PUBLISHED BY THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 February 2018 15:19  

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