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Empower Illinois reopens application process

February 28, 2018, Chicago, IL – Thousands of students and families throughout the state began the application process yesterday for K-12 private school scholarships. After just the first evening, Empower Illinois received applications on behalf of more than 33,000 Illinois students.

Tuesday evening marked the first day that students and families could submit their online applications to Empower Illinois to take advantage of the Invest in Kids Act. These scholarships cover up to 100% of private school tuition for low-income and working-class students throughout the state.

“Our mission is to provide as many students as possible with access to the school that best suits their needs,” said Myles Mendoza, Executive Director of Empower Illinois. “We knew demand was strong. Now that the system is operational, we will put every effort toward working with our network schools to raise the funds needed to meet this demand statewide.”

To date, the tax credit scholarship program has received over $45 million in pledged donations. Tax credits are reserved through the Illinois Department of Revenue and provide a 75% credit for each
donation. Donations are made to Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGO’s) throughout Illinois, including Empower Illinois.

Tuesday’s application served as step one of the new two-step system that was designed to make the process easier and less stressful for parents. The organization’s first attempt at releasing its
application failed when demand caused technology problems.

“The success of the Empower Illinois scholarship reservation process is a real win for families across Illinois,” said Dr. Jim Rigg, Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Archdiocese of Chicago. “I am thrilled by the evident high demand for scholarships. This clearly demonstrates the appeal of quality schools of choice.”

“People from across Illinois came together to make a real difference in the lives of our kids,” explained Scott Dabson, Director of Greater Rockford Area Lutheran Schools. “Our children are our future and we owe it to them to do everything we can to provide for a quality education.”

One mom on the Empower Facebook page noted ‘Thank you for this opportunity. Truly life changing.’

Empower Illinois scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis and those still interested in applying are encouraged to do so as soon as possible. The application can be found at

The Invest in Kids Act and subsequent tax credit scholarship program represents a major step forward in providing students the chance to get the quality education they need and deserve. The program was established as a bipartisan endeavor by Illinois lawmakers. Empower Illinois is committed to improving access to quality education for every child in every neighborhood.

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