Tax Credit Scholarship Program

The State of Illinois has created a new way to fund scholarships for children who choose to attend Catholic schools through the “Invest in Kids Act.” Scholarships offered through this program have the potential to cover up to 100 percent of tuition and eligible charges for next school year at Joliet Catholic Academy. 

The Empower Illinois Scholarship Granting Organization website ( is now operational, but is no longer accepting student applications for the 2018-2019 school year. Donors are still able to claim a tax credit to fund scholarships until December 31, 2018 for the 2018-2019 school year. Check back for more information on scholarship application deadlines for the 2019-2020 school year.

In August 2017, with bipartisan support, the Illinois House and Senate passed a comprehensive education funding bill which was signed into law by the Governor. The bill included a new five-year program for Tax Credit Scholarships (TCS) for students in private schools that will create more equity in school funding throughout Illinois.  Below is a FAQ with information to date.  Updated information will be posted as it becomes available.

Visit for up-to-date details, or contact JCA Director of Admissions Mr. Ryan Quigley at or 815.741.0500, ext. 214 with questions.

Interested Donors

Dear JCA Families and Friends,

The Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program is still very new and because of this we have had several people ask how donating to this scholarship, in the benefit of Joliet Catholic Academy, would be different than gifting directly to JCA. I thought it would be appropriate to answer these questions by giving examples to help you see the benefits of gifting to the Tax Credit Scholarship program.

For example, if someone in the 25% tax bracket gives a $1,000 gift to JCA, the donor would receive a 25% deduction or $250 off their taxes. If the same person donates $1,000 to JCA through the Tax Credit Program, they would receive 75 cents on the dollar tax credit, a credit of $750 on their State income taxes.

You can see that the additional $500 off your Illinois state income taxes is a great way to save money on your taxes and give an opportunity for low income families to receive an education from Joliet Catholic Academy.

With an Illinois income tax increase from 3.75% to 4.95%, Illinoisans that make $100,000 would pay $4,950 instead of the $3,750 they paid last year. With this being said, donating to a cause you believe in, which would make-up some of the $1,200 additional tax dollars, is a win-win.

Here is a further example regarding a corporation donation. According to the Tax Credit Scholarship Program, corporations cannot gift directly to a specific school like individual taxpayers, however, they can gift to specific regions; JCA is in Region 3. The funds would be distributed throughout that particular region for scholarship.

For example, if a corporation is taxed at 21% and they gift $10,000 to JCA, a deduction of $2,100 would be made on their taxes. If they made a gift to Region 3 through the Tax Credit Scholarship, they would receive $7,500 credit towards their Illinois income taxes. This would be an additional $5,400 in tax savings.

Please know that this program greatly helps Catholic education. I urge you to ask your tax advisors about the Tax Credit Scholarship Program and how it could help you save more money. Donations must be made by December 31, 2018 for scholarships awarded during the 2018-2019 school year.

John Horn
Director of Development
Joliet Catholic Academy / 815.741.0500

Donor Process

Individual and corporate donors can reserve tax credits through by following these steps:​​

1. Create a MyTax Illinois account on Anyone applying for a scholarship tax credit is required to have an account. If you do not have one, the first step is requesting a Letter ID from the Illinois Department of Revenue (this can take up to 10 days).​

2. Apply for a tax credit on Donors will need to provide the following information:
​- Region to which he/she plans to donate​
– Name of SGO to which he/she plans to donate (the Joliet Diocese is partnering with Empower Illinois)​
– Amount he/she plans to donate​Donate to the SGO within 60 days of receiving your application approval and the Contribution Authorization        Certificate.​

3. Designate the donation to Joliet Catholic Academy​
– Provide certificate from the SGO to use tax credit when filing a 2018 return in2019.​

​Visit for more information on the donor process.

Additional Links:

Apply for Tax Credit Scholarship

Tax Credit Scholarship Program FAQs

Donor Bulletin

Donor Registration Instructions

Parent Brochure

JCA Donor Postcard

Application Checklist and Details

Application Checklist and Details – Spanish

Illinois Department of Revenue Invest in Kids Act

How do I know if my family is financially eligible? Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program

  • Use the following chart of estimated household incomes to see if you’re eligible. These estimates are based on the 2017 Federal Poverty Guidelines.

Household Size

185% or less of poverty level qualifies for $12,973 toward JCA tuition 186% – 250% of poverty level qualifies for $9,729.75 toward JCA tuition 251% – 300% of poverty level qualifies for $6,486.50 toward JCA tuition
2 $30,044 $30,045 – $40,600 $40,601 – $48,720
3 $37,777 $37,778 – $51,050 $51,051 – $61,260
4 $45,510 $45,511 – $61,500 $61,501 – $73,800
5 $53,243 $53,244 – $71,950 $71,951 – $86,340
6 $60,976 $60,977 – $82,400 $82,401 – $98,880
7 $68,709 $68,710 – $92,850 $92, 851 – $111,420
8 $76,442 $76,443-$103,300 $103,301-$123,960

*Note: If more than eight people in your household, add $4,180 for each additional person.

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