Support MPA with a Tax Credit Scholarships Donation

Coming Soon, January 1, 2018

In August 2017, the Illinois House and Senate passed an education funding bill that was signed into law by the governor. The law includes a provision for tax credit scholarships, which provide strong incentives for donors to support non-public school scholarships for low-income students in the state. Illinois students from low-income families may use these new scholarships to attend a non-public school of their choice such as Morgan Park Academy.

Please review the Frequently Asked Questions below that provide an overview of the scholarships, including important information for donors. 
All tax credit scholarship donors need to have an account on before applying for a tax credit.  This process can take up to 10 days and involves a mailed pin number. We encourage anyone considering making a donation to sign up at as soon as possible. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Below please find an overview of the scholarships, including important information for donors and scholarship-eligible families. These Frequently Asked Questions are available as a downloadable document in English and Spanish 


How much of a tax credit do individuals and/or corporations receive?
Individuals and corporations that donate to SGOs may receive a credit off their Illinois state taxes equal to 75 percent of the donation.

Do I need to do anything to receive my tax credit?
All tax credit scholarship donors need to have an account on before applying for a tax credit.  This process can take up to 10 days and involves a mailed pin number.  We encourage anyone considering making a donation to sign up at as soon as possible.

Who can I contact if I am interested in making a donation or learning more about donations?

For more information on making a donation or if you have any questions regarding the donation process, please contact Vincent Hermosilla

How much money can be donated to an SGO for tax credit scholarships?
Tax credits are capped at $1 million per taxpayer per year. Total tax credits are capped at $75 million per year statewide, which equates to $100 million in donations and scholarships.

Can donations be directed to a certain school or individual?
Individuals may direct donations to a particular school or subset of schools, but NOT to an individual student or group of students. Corporate donors cannot restrict their donations at all. 

How do individuals direct their donations to a certain school or subset of schools?
The process for reserving tax credits and designating a particular school or subset of schools is still being finalized by the Illinois Department of Revenue and the SGOs. Further information will be made available when these processes have been published.

What is the process for making a donation?
Beginning January 2, 2018, donors can indicate the amount they want to donate and reserve the corresponding tax credits through the Illinois Department of Revenue’s website. The Department of Revenue will grant tax credits on a first come first served basis. Donating individuals and corporations then have 60 days from the date they receive the credit authorization certificate to donate that indicated amount to the SGO of their choice.
After donating, the individual or corporation receives a receipt from the SGO, indicating the donation was made, which then generates the corresponding tax credit. If a donor fails to make all or a portion of a donation payment to the SGO by the deadline, they shall not be entitled to a certificate of receipt for that portion of the donation not made.

Scholarship Granting Organizations

No. MPA is not an SGO. MPA is not able to be an SGO as we operate schools that participate in the tax credit scholarship program.

What are the SGOs in Illinois? Are there any in place?
The SGOs in Illinois are still being established. There will likely be several SGOs, all of which may operate independently. MPA has made the decision to participate with the other two SGOs.

Current SGOs for MPA's region are Empower Illinois and Big Shoulders.

We will share more information on this SGO and others in Illinois in the coming weeks.

What are tax credit scholarships?
Tax credit scholarships provide an Illinois state income tax credit (not just a deduction, like with other charitable contributions) to individuals and corporations that contribute money to a non-profit Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO - Current SGOs for MPA's region are Empower Illinois and Big Shoulders). That SGO then awards scholarships to eligible students from low-income families.

What is a Scholarship Granting Organization?

A Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO) is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is responsible for the following, among other things:
• Receiving donations from individuals and corporations;
• Receiving and processing scholarship applications from students/families; and
• Distributing scholarships to eligible students/families in accordance with the law.
SGOs must determine whether students meet the income eligibility requirements to receive a scholarship and must distribute scholarships to eligible students on a first-come, first-serve basis. SGOs must honor restrictions placed on donations from individuals, if any.

Current SGOs for MPA's region are Empower Illinois and Big Shoulders.

When are the scholarships available?

Donors may make contributions starting January 2, 2018 and families can apply for scholarships beginning January 24, 2018. The initial scholarships will apply to the 2018/19 school year, and the program will continue for at least five years (based on the current law).

Who is eligible to receive a scholarship?

Students from families with limited financial resources are eligible to receive a tax credit scholarship.

To be considered for a scholarship, students must be from a household with income below 300 percent of the federal poverty level ($73,800 for family of four).
However, prior to April 1, 2018 priority will be given to:
  • Students from households that are below 185 percent of the federal poverty level ($45,510 for family of four).
  • Students who reside in a “focus district” (explained below).
  • Siblings of scholarship students.
Beginning in 2019, priority will also be given to renewals of previous year scholarship recipients.

What age students are eligible for tax credit scholarships?
Scholarships are available for eligible students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

What is a “focus district?”
Focus districts are public school districts which have a school that: (1) has one or more subgroups in which the average student performance is at or below the state average for the lowest 10 percent of student performance in that subgroup or (2) has an average graduation rate of less than 60 percent and has not been identified for priority. A list of focus districts can be found here

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