Illinois Tax Credit and Scholarship
The Illinois Invest in Kids Act, recently passed by the Illinois state legislature, was designed to create a more equitable formula for school funding. It includes a provision that has the potential to provide increased scholarship funding for families who choose to enroll their children at private schools including Aqsa School. The provision allows individuals and corporations to donate to scholarship granting organizations (SGOs) and receive a 75% credit against their state taxes in return. The SGOs will then use the donated funds to grant scholarships to qualifying Illinois students to attend the private school of their choice.
Individuals may direct their donations to any private K-12 school in Illinois, including Aqsa School. However, they cannot direct their donation to a specific student. Corporate donations will be placed in a general scholarship fund to be divided among all families applying for a scholarship, including Aqsa families.
Donations are capped at $1 million per taxpayer per year. The total number of tax credits statewide is capped at $75 million per year (or $100 million in donations).
The Illinois Department of Revenue has approved the following Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs) for Region 1 (Aqsa's region). They include: Empower Illinois, Big Shoulders Fund and Highsight
The application for the Big Shoulders Fund SGO can be found at www.bigshouldersfund.tfaforms.net/97. Additional information is available on their website at www.bigshouldersfundsgo.org/apply including a “how to guide” for the Big Shoulders Application.
Note: The Big Shoulders application requires families to identify the school district in which they reside. If applicants cannot find their school district on the drop-down list, they should use 230. Families should then include their correct school district in the "Comments/Other Information" box toward the end of the application.
The Empower Illinois website contains important information about their application process, including a checklist of documents families will need to submit. Families seeking scholarships are encouraged to visit the Empower Illinois student portal at https://empowerillinois.org/students/
Families are encouraged to apply to multiple SGOs to increase their scholarship opportunities.
Information for Families
Tax Credit Scholarships have the potential to increase the scholarship funds available to Aqsa families beginning with the 2018-19 school year. While not all families will be eligible for the new scholarships, we want to make sure everyone is aware of the opportunity. It is important that families who do qualify for the scholarships fully understand the process before applications open since scholarships will be awarded on a first come, first served basis.
Tax Credit Scholarships have the potential to cover 50%, 75%, or 100% of tuition and eligible fees depending on household income.
Families are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Tax Credit Scholarship Program material in order to be fully prepared to take advantage of this exciting opportunity. Updated information will be posted on a regular basis.
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