Student Family Benefits
Am I eligible for a scholarship?
How do I apply?
Families must submit an application for a scholarship for the upcoming school year directly to EMPOWER ILLINOIS, beginning when its application process opens. Families should apply as early as possible since scholarships will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
Empower Illinois will receive individual and/or corporate donations and award St. John-eligible scholarships.
Please contact Peter Kolch, at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions as you apply through the application process.
How much are the scholarships and when are they awarded?
Scholarships covering 100%, 75%, or 50% (depending on household income) of St. John Lutheran School's total annual tuition and fees will be awarded and paid directly from Empower Illinois to St. John. For families of four, these federal adjusted gross income thresholds are (approximately) $49,025 for a 100% scholarship, $66,250 for a 75% scholarship, and $79,500 for a 50% scholarship.
Empower Illinois must process applications received before April 1st of each year within 10 business days of receipt, and thereafter notify families regarding scholarship awards. There is currently no processing deadline established for applications received after April 1st.
What is my impact?
As a donor, your contribution will bless families who desire a Christian education for their children but would not otherwise have the financial means to be able to attend St. John Lutheran School. The families who have received scholarships are so thankful to our donors for this life-changing opportunity.
Read what they have to say.
Will I get a tax credit for donating?
On a first come, first served basis, Illinois individual and corporate taxpayers/donors will be awarded an Illinois income tax credit (not just a deduction) in an amount of 75% of their qualified contribution (not to exceed $1 million per taxpayer, per year). Any tax credit amount that exceeds the donor's tax liability for the year may be carried forward and applied to tax liability in the subsequent five taxable years; however, no credit can be taken for any qualified contribution for which the donor claims a federal income tax deduction (i.e., no "double-dipping" on an Empower Illinois contribution as an Illinois tax credit and a federal charitable tax deduction). View further explanation from Department of Revenue
Example: A taxpayer/donor makes a qualified contribution of $10,000 to an approved SGO. The taxpayer will be eligible to claim a $7,500 tax credit.
How do I donate?
Step 1 (REGISTER): Since the State of Illinois has capped the number of available tax credits for the scholarship program (equivalent to scholarships in the amount of $100 million in Illinois and $23 million in St. John's region, each donation must be reserved in advance through mytax.illinois.gov. Because the initial MyTax Illinois enrollment process can take up to 10 days and involves a mailed pin number/letter ID, St. John encourages anyone considering making a donation to complete this process as soon as possible. To request the mailed pin number, visit mytax.illinois.gov. In the "Individuals" section, click on the link to "Request a Letter ID" and follow the prompts to complete the request. Once the Letter ID is received, each potential donor should complete the MyTax Illinois online account enrollment process.
Step 2 (RESERVE): Each donor reserves the amount of their donation through mytax.illinois.gov. To reserve a tax credit, log into your mytax.illinois.gov account. Under the "Summary" section, click on the "View more account options" link on the right. Under "Account Options" in the left column, click the link to "Contribute to Invest in Kids" and follow the prompts to complete the tax credit reservation. Approval is granted automatically as long as the tax credit caps have not been met. St. John's donors should choose Invest in Kids Region 2 - Northern Counties (as the Region) and Empower Illinois (as the Scholarship Granting Organization). Once approved, donors are issued a Contribution Authorization Certificate (CAC) by the department.
Step 3 (DONATE): Within 60 days of the donation reservation, the donor must provide a copy of this CAC, along with the full contribution, to Empower Illinois and direct Empower Illinois to use the contribution for "St. Johns Lutheran School - Libertyville" (Region 2) scholarships. Empower Illinois will issue the donor a Certificate of Receipt (COR) within 30 days of receiving the contribution. The donor will then use that COR for annual tax-filing purposes.
Invest in Kids Overview, as published by the Illinois Department of Revenue