Fund Catholic education scholarships and receive a tax credit

Illinois’ tax credit scholarship program through the “Invest in Kids” Act provides strong incentives for donors to support non-public school scholarships for low-income students in the state.

Illinois students from low-income families may use these new scholarships to attend a non-public school of their choice, including the 50 Diocese of Joliet Catholic elementary and high schools.

The tax credit scholarship program provides donors a unique opportunity to fund scholarships for children who attend Illinois Catholic schools, while reducing their own tax bill on dollars otherwise owed to the state.

Scholarships offered through this program have the potential to cover up to 100% of tuition for a year at Diocese of Joliet Catholic Schools.

Not surprisingly, affordability is a major factor that keeps interested families from enrolling their children in Catholic schools, where the average tuition at the elementary level is nearly $5,000.

For donors, the Act provides a 75 percent Illinois state income tax credit for contributions made to a non-profit Scholarship Granting Organization. To take advantage of the tax credit, donors must first register on the Illinois Department of Revenue website at Donors then “pledge” to give a tax credit scholarship, up to a maximum of $1.3 million. When a contribution to the SGO has been processed, the donor will receive a state income tax credit – not a deduction- worth 75% of the contribution. This means if a donor contributes $10,000, he or she will receive a state tax credit of $7,500. Individual donors may direct their donations to a specific school or to the Diocese of Joliet, where it will go to students who need it most.

Thanks to donors contributing in 2021 through the Invest in Kids Act, more than 700 students have received a tax credit scholarship for the 2021-22 school year. However, the need far outweighs available scholarship funds. More than 1,000 students who applied for a scholarship to attend a Diocese of Joliet Catholic School did not receive funding.

Donors who would like to receive the tax credit for their 2021 taxes should begin the process prior to Dec. 15, 2021, to ensure they have enough time to make their gift by Dec. 31, 2021.

If you are interested in donating, please contact Jennifer Georgis with the Catholic Education Foundation at or 815-221-6131 for assistance.

Catholic Education Foundation : 815.221.6127 : 16555 Weber Road, Crest Hill, IL 60403: