Tax Credit Scholarship Program

Illinois residents can re-direct their state income tax liability into scholarships for students at
Peoria Notre Dame through the Illinois Invest in Kids Act. Scholarships are funded through
donations to Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs) such as Empower IL which also
administers the application and awarding process. Donations to the scholarship program are then
eligible for a 75% state income tax credit. Find out more below.

In 2017, bipartisan lawmakers passed the Illinois Invest in Kids Act. This historic law transforms
lives by providing up to $100 million in scholarships for students from low-income and working-
class families throughout the state.

The program is similar to a 4-to-1 match on a donation. For every $1,000 donated to the SGO,
the donor will receive a $750 income tax credit when filing their IL state taxes. The net donation
to the individual is only $250 and yet Peoria Notre Dame will receive nearly $1,000.00.

While there are several SGOs available, all the Catholic dioceses in IL prefer donors and
schools use Empower IL. Individuals choosing to participate in the program can select the
school they wish to receive the funds. Peoria Notre Dame was able to fund 15 students for the
2021-2022 school year. Unfortunately, the need has always outweighed the availability of
dollars as 82 of the 97 students applying for scholarships through Empower IL were wait-listed.
If you have a source of taxable income from the state of Illinois (this excludes retirement
income), then this program could reduce your tax bill to zero AND you would be helping a
family who otherwise might not be able to enjoy a Catholic high school experience at Peoria
Notre Dame.

If you have any questions, please contact Cindy Dermody, Director of Advancement at or (309) 691-8741.