Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program

The Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program expired on December 31st, 2023. We are no longer taking contributions for the program.

The Illinois General Assembly failed to vote on or take any action to extend the Tax Credit Scholarship Program. Their inaction means the program expired on December 31, 2023. This result is extremely disappointing, most notably, for the more than 9,600 children across Illinois who now face the distress of possibly having to leave their best-fit school next school year. Also, there are over 25,000 students on waitlists anxiously hoping to receive this critical support – a Tax Credit Scholarship – enabling them to continue in their best fit school for the 2023-2024 school year. 

By donating, you have helped more deserving children benefit from this life changing program and helped schools prepare for increased financial assistance that will be needed next year. With your fearless support and encouragement, we will find the resources to meet the needs of families facing this injustice. Our goal is to keep these deserving children in Big Shoulders Fund schools, of whom nearly 3,500 are on the waiting list, so they can realize all the benefits of a quality, values-based education which data shows puts them on trajectories toward brighter futures and becoming good citizens.

The Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program, made possible by the Illinois Invest in Kids Act, provided donors a unique opportunity to contribute to scholarships that helped lower-income families send their children to private schools — while reducing their own tax bill on dollars otherwise owed to the state. Big Shoulders Fund was approved by the Illinois Department of Revenue to participate as a Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO) through this program.

The program enables individuals and corporations to reserve Illinois income tax credits based on contributions made to SGOs. The organizations then provide scholarships for eligible students to attend nonpublic schools, with priority given to low-income students. 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.

Program Overview

Frequently Asked Questions

TCS Impact Report