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February 24, 2021

Contact: Andrew Hansen

Twelve diocesan schools can receive $15,000 in scholarships from matching donor

Donation also offers 75 percent tax credit

Springfield - Student demand for Illinois’ tax credit scholarships is at an all-time high. This school year, 481 students in 30 schools across the Catholic Diocese of Springfield in Illinois received a scholarship to attend Catholic school thanks to about $1.4 million in donations.

The tax credit scholarship program, part of Illinois’ Invest in Kids Act, provides students the opportunity to attend a school of their choice, despite financial challenges. Donors to the scholarship program receive a 75 percent state income credit on their donation.

Now, a generous Catholic couple from Chicago are committing to match dollar for dollar what is donated to 12 schools in the diocese, up to $15,000 per school. Donors must get their donation in by March 31.

The 12 schools are:

  1. Quincy Notre Dame High School (Quincy)
  2. St. Peter School (Quincy)
  3. Routt Catholic High School (Jacksonville)
  4. St. Patrick Catholic School (Springfield)
  5. St. Francis/Holy Ghost School (Jerseyville)
  6. Our Lady of Lourdes School (Decatur)
  7. St. Patrick School (Decatur)
  8. Sacred Heart-Griffin High School (Springfield)
  9. Blessed Sacrament School (Springfield)
  10. St. Ambrose School (Godfrey)
  11. Ss. Peter and Paul School (Collinsville)
  12. St. Mary School (Taylorville) 

These schools were selected by the Diocese of Springfield and Empower Illinois, an organization that runs the scholarship program, for participation in the match.

“Matching gifts are a great opportunity to grow community involvement and support a greater number of students,” said Empower Illinois Regional Director, Bobby Sylvester. “We are excited to announce that more schools than ever are eligible to participate in this year’s match.”

Donations must be made to the school through Empower Illinois before March 31 to be eligible for the match. Go to empowerillinois.org and click on donate. This page will walk an individual through what he or she must do to make a donation and to ensure he or she receives a tax credit. Donors need an account on mytax.illinois.gov before applying for a tax credit, and this can take up to 10 days and involves a mailed letter containing your account pin, so act sooner rather than later.

If a school is not on this list, an individual can still receive a 75 percent tax credit and a donor’s school and students there still receive the major benefit of their generosity. For example, if an individual donor contributes $1,000, he or she will receive a state tax credit of $750. Individual donors can direct their donations to a school or subset of schools of their choice.

Empower Illinois reports when families were asked, “Why do you want to send your child to a school of your choice and apply for a scholarship?”:

  • 74 percent of families were seeking a school with higher academic quality.
  • 62 percent of families were seeking a school with character/values instruction.
  • 55 percent of families were seeking a safer school.

For applicants seeking a scholarship for next school year, visit empowerillinois.org


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