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report offers data on the successful FOURTH year of the Tax Credit Scholarship Program


March 8, 2022 (CHICAGO)Empower Illinois is excited to release its year four impact report, which details the organization’s success and highlights the undeniable need for the Tax Credit Scholarship Program in Illinois. Empower Illinois awarded a record-high 6,197 scholarships to kids from low-income and middle-class families across the state, raising over $48.3 million dollars, and securing a one-year extension to the Tax Credit Scholarship Program’s sunset.

“Empower Illinois awarded more scholarships and raised more money in 2021 than any year to date,” said Anthony Holter, President of Empower Illinois. “We are extremely grateful to partner with dedicated schools, families, and donors who helped us achieve these record-breaking numbers.”

The Year Four Impact Report highlights the significant demand for the program and breaks down scholarship applicant and awardee data by region. Key findings in the report include:


Scholarship data: 
  • Empower Illinois awarded 6,197 scholarships in 2021.
  • It would require more than $196,634,000 to award a scholarship to each of the 29,821 students in line for the 2021-2022 school year.
  • The average scholarship amount was $6,600.
  • 73 schools raised enough funds to award their entire waitlist, and 226 schools increased the number of students receiving an award.


Awardee demographics: 
  • 67% percent of scholarship recipients qualify for the Federal free or reduced-price meal program.
  • One in nine scholarship recipients is a unique learner (IEP, gifted, or English language learner).
  • The average family household income of a scholarship recipient is $43,357, or 165 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.


Donation analysis:
  • Since the Tax Credit Scholarship Program began, the program has raised over $250 million statewide, including $180 million raised by Empower Illinois, to support education options for low-income and working-class families.
  • The average donation to Empower Illinois is $11,017, and the most common donation is $1,000.
  • 82% of donors indicated the Tax Credit Scholarship Program allowed them to increase their donations to schools, and 93% said they planned to give again.


The fifth year of the program is underway, with 25,000 students already in line for a Fall 2022-Spring 2023 scholarship. To read the full report visit:

About Empower Illinois

Empower Illinois is a statewide education policy nonprofit and Scholarship Granting Organization created to serve Illinois’ children through the state’s tax credit scholarship program. Empower Illinois’ mission is to expand quality education options for low-income and working-class families of Illinois. Illinois’ Invest in Kids Tax Credit Scholarship Program was created in 2017 to benefit children whose educational options are limited by household income or ZIP Code. Empower Illinois serves as a conduit for processing donations, scholarship awards and program compliance for approximately 91 percent of all recognized private schools in Illinois.

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