How to Apply

Families interested in sending their child to one of our schools may be eligible to take part in one of our many scholarship programs. Please contact the principal of your local Big Shoulders Fund school to discuss your scholarship eligibility and the application process for these programs.

Traditional Big Shoulders Fund Scholarship

For over 30 years, we have been providing our traditional, privately funded group of programs to families. There are a wide variety of scholarships available with differing requirements. You can only apply for these scholarships through one of our Big Shoulders Fund supported schools.

Step 1: Contact the principal of your local Big Shoulders Fund school to discuss your scholarship eligibility and the application process.

Step 2: Your Big Shoulders Fund school principal will apply on your behalf.

Step 3: Families receiving scholarships will be notified by the school. Big Shoulders Fund directs all communication about privately funded scholarships to school administrators.

Big Shoulders Fund Tax Credit Scholarship

Big Shoulders Fund is approved to operate as a Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO) under the recently passed Illinois Invest in Kids Act. This new Tax Credit Scholarship Program provides an additional source of funding for scholarships that can benefit eligible students enrolled in, or applying to, qualified non-public schools, including the schools traditionally supported by Big Shoulders Fund.

Families apply directly to SGOs to obtain a tax credit scholarship. Scholarships are determined solely based on eligibility and family income as defined by the Invest in Kids Act. Payments are made to the scholarship recipients’ schools on their behalf.

Please visit for more information about eligibility requirements and the application process.

The Big Shoulders Fund Tax Credit Scholarship Program application, made possible by Illinois’ Invest in Kids Act, opened in January 2019. The Program allows donors to restrict their contribution to a particular school or subset of schools. Big Shoulders Fund currently has some remaining restricted funding available for a few schools for whom we do not have any eligible applicants. Due to this remaining donor-restricted funding, we have re-opened the tax credit scholarship application for a limited time.

Applicants are awarded in date-time stamp order. Therefore, unless your school or Big Shoulders Fund has specifically contacted you, there most likely is no current funding available for your school or we already have eligible applicants for your school and we encourage you to contact your school for other scholarship opportunities.

Link to application: