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Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program
Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program

Here’s a way to direct your Illinois tax dollars to help provide scholarships to students at De La Salle Institute. The new Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program provides donors a unique opportunity to contribute to scholarships that help families send their children to a private school — while the donor receives a tax credit from the State of Illinois.

The program enables individuals and corporations to reserve Illinois income tax credits based on contributions made to Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs), such as Big Shoulders Fund, HighSight and Empower Illinois. The organizations then provide scholarships for eligible students to attend private schools. Taxpayers may apply 75 percent of the total contributed as a tax credit against their Illinois income tax bill. For example, a taxpayer making a $1,000 qualified contribution would be awarded a $750 tax credit. The credits are capped at $1 million per taxpayer per year.

As an Illinois citizen, you can help change the life of a young person by contributing to an SGO. You can designate a De La Salle student to receive a scholarship. Big Shoulders Fund, HighSight and Empower Illinois have all been approved by the Illinois Department of Revenue to participate as SGOs for this new tax credit program. For more information about how to reserve your tax credit and make a contribution to an SGO: please contact Big Shoulders Fund at, HighSight Scholars at or Empower Illinois at

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Can I designate my contribution to particular schools or particular students?
    Individual taxpayers can direct their contributions to a particular school, but cannot reserve it for a specific student or group of students. Corporations may not put restrictions on their contributions.

  • Is any portion of my contribution deductible for federal income tax purposes?
    No, you cannot use an Illinois tax credit if you are claiming any part of the scholarship contribution as a federal income tax deduction.

  • Why should I consider donating in this way?
    In general, for each $1,000 donation, you are awarded a $750 tax credit. You otherwise would be paying the $750 to the state, so your out-of-pocket difference is $250. But Big Shoulders Fund, and the children receiving the scholarships, would get the benefit of the full $1,000, multiplying your $250 gift for an immediate 300 percent return on your investment. Through your contribution, many more children will have the opportunity to pursue an education at their school of choice. You should consult your tax adviser for specific information about possible tax benefits based on your personal tax situation.

  • Do I have to sign up every year?
    Yes. You will have to apply for a new tax credit in January each year. What if I don't use up my Illinois tax credit in one year? Barring changes to the current law, you can carry the credit forward and apply it to your Illinois tax liability for the subsequent five taxable years.