Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program

For Families: 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:

For Donors: Already reserved your tax credit through MyTax Illinois? Click HERE to make your contribution online, or mail with your Contribution Authorization Certification and Designation Form to Big Shoulders Fund (212 W. Van Buren St., Suite 900, Chicago, IL, 60607).

The Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program, made possible by the Illinois Invest in Kids Act, provides donors a unique opportunity to contribute to scholarships that help 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 has been approved by the Illinois Department of Revenue to participate as a Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO) through this program, which means your donations can support Big Shoulders Fund.

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.

For more information about how to reserve your tax credit and contribute to the Big Shoulders Fund SGO, please review the following documents or visit

If you need assistance making your contribution you can contact us at or 312.751.8337.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Steps to Reserve a Tax Credit

Designation Form