Big Shoulders Fund & Empower IL Scholarships

Big Shoulders Fund Tax Credit Scholarship Application Tool Kit
The Big Shoulders Fund Tax Credit Scholarship Application, made possible by the Illinois Invest in Kids Act, opens next week Tuesday, January 12 at 8 a.m.
Linked here is a coy of the Application Tool Kit that was sent to past applicants today. This is also available on our website, and includes how to videos, a copy of the application, school list, application day cheat sheet, and more.
Check out the Application Tool Kit here: Tool Kit
If you are able, we also ask that you delay the start of any e-learning on the morning of January 12th to allow applicants the highest internet speeds while applying. Most applicants obtain their timestamp by 8:10 a.m.
On application day, you may use our School Hotline if you need to reach a Big Shoulders Fund staff member:
School Hotline: 312.374.5670
Families may use the following numbers to reach our staff:
Tax Credit Scholarship Hotline: 312.544.8687
Main Line: 312.751.8337
Spanish Hotline: 312.566.4401
We will email a direct link to the application to schools and past applicants on January 11th. You will also be able to find the application link on our SGO website and social media sites.
Application Step 2: After application day we will start reaching out to families with early time stamps to complete Step Two of the application by submitting their documents. Please remind families to save our email addresses, and and regularly check their email. Applicants have 10 days to complete Step Two of the application once it is requested. The completion of Step Two is not a guarantee of a scholarship, but does move them one step closer. 
Learn more at Big Shoulders Fund
Empower Illinois Tax Credit Scholarships
As a reminder, reservations for a 2021-2022 Empower Illinois tax credit scholarship will open on Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Like last year, the application process will include two steps: a reservation and an application.
Families should visit to find the reservation page link. Families do not make their tax credit scholarship reservations by logging into their EmpowerXChange portal. 

The reservation form will be available at 6:30pm to give families time to enter their information before submission at 7pm. More information about preparing for reservation night can be found on our website under, "How Do I Apply."

Families who have previously completed a tax credit scholarship application through the EmpowerXChange portal should use the same email address when making their reservation. 
2021-2022 Application
The 2021-2022 scholarship application will be available on Friday, January 15. Families who have completed their reservation by noon on Thursday, January 14 will receive an email from Empower Illinois on Friday morning notifying them the application is live. If families complete their reservation after noon on Thursday, they will receive their invitation to complete the application within 48 hours. 
Application Previews and Guides
• Preview of the reservation and application pages in both English and Spanish
• Step-by-step application instructions in both English and Spanish
• COVID-19 Income Documentation in both English and Spanish
• COVID-19 Income Documentation: Cheat Sheet in both English and Spanish
• 2020 Income Documentation Scenarios in both English and Spanish