Empower Illinois Hotline Hours

Here is more information regarding the call center's extended weekend hours. Please note the Spanish hotline number differs for Sunday.

Saturdays, March 17th and March 24th 
8am-12pm (central)

1-855-318-1222 (English)
1-612-548-3337 (Spanish)

Sundays, March 18th and March 25th
12-3pm (central)


1-855-318-1222 (English)
1-877-905-7837 (Spanish)

The scholarship hotline will be closed on Friday, March 30th and there will be no weekend coverage on March 31st or April 1st.

 

 

Please updated information below regarding Empower Illinois' Spanish hotline number and weekend hours.

Completion of Step Two: Empower Illinois Application

Many families have now received the email from Empower Illinois with a link to the Step Two: Application in TADS. Families have up to seven days from the date/time that the email was sent to complete their application. This includes uploading required documentation to verify income, residency, etc. We understand that there are a significant number of applications that have been completed, but documentation is not yet uploaded. Applications are NOT eligible to be considered for an award until the documentation is provided within the seven day window. Please convey this information to your families so they are aware of the requirement and its importance.
  

Spanish Screenshots of Empower Illinois Application
In addition to the screenshots previously provided in 
English and with Polish translation, we will provide you with screen shots in Spanish as soon as they are available.
 
Empower Illinois' Hotline
The hours for the Empower Illinois' hotline have changed:
Monday - Friday will be 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 10 will be 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Sunday, March 11 will be 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.


English Hotline 855.318.1222  
Spanish Hotline 612.548.3337 except on Sunday, March 11 it will be 877.905.7837

Archdiocese letter about Empower Illinois, Feb. 23, 2018

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TCS_Update_for_Families_February_2018-page-1

New Video from Empower Illinois Feb. 23, 2018

We received information from Empower Illinois, and they have posted a video on their website showing how to apply. The video is in English, and there is a link below it to a Spanish version.

You may view it here:  https://empowerillinois.org/students/how-do-i-apply/

Empower Illinois Update Feb. 20, 2018

We received the following information from Empower Illinois:

Empower Illinois Scholarship Application Opens Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 7:00 p.m.

We are pleased to announce the Empower Illinois scholarship application system will open on Tuesday, February 27 at 7:00 p.m. Our system has been enhanced to make it easier for families and to manage the demand expected for tax credit scholarships to private schools throughout Illinois.

The new application will be available through the Empower Illinois website. It will be a two-step process.
  1. Reserve: On Feb. 27 at 7:00 p.m. families will complete a brief online form containing name and contact information, child name and preferred school. This will time stamp your application for the first-come, first-served scholarships.
  2. Apply: After reserving your place in line, families will be emailed a unique link and use their reservation code to complete the application. Applications will be sent on a rolling basis, over the course of a few weeks. After receiving the application email, families will have 3 days to complete the application and submit all required documents.

Our goal with this two-step process is to make it easier for families and provide more time to ensure your application is accurate and complete.

We understand that as parents and guardians, your life is busy. That’s why the reservation system will be accessible from mobile devices as well. Everything you will need for the reservation step should be top of mind. Once you get your application link, please use a computer to submit the required documents and finish the application accurately, without rushing.

If a student has already received a scholarship award letter, they do not need to reserve or apply. However, all other students should reserve and apply through this system beginning Feb. 27, regardless of how far you may have gotten through our old application.

More information, including helpful documents, FAQs and instructions, can be found on our website.

We know your children only get one chance at a great education. We are grateful for your patience and trust as we work to improve access to quality education for every child, in every neighborhood.

Information for SJB Families about the Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program

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The State of Illinois recently passed the “Invest in Kids Act.” As part of the legislation, a new way to fund scholarships was established for children from qualifying households who choose to attend private schools.

The tax credit scholarships offered through this program could cover up to 100 percent of tuition and fees for eligible students. Details are in the chart below.

 

Annual Household Income*

Eligible Scholarship Amount

Less than $45,510

100 percent of tuition

$45,510 - $61,500

75 percent of tuition

$61,500 - $73,800

50 percent of tuition

* Family of four

For Scholarship Applicants

If you have previously considered sending your child to a Catholic school, this could be an opportunity for your family. If your family qualifies for Illinois’ All Kids medical insurance, free and reduced school lunch, or other assistance programs, you might qualify.

  • The tentative, expected date to access and submit scholarship applications is now January 31 at 12 pm for Empower Illinois, and January 22 at 8 am for Big Shoulders.
  • The details of the program are still being finalized, but we believe scholarships will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so it is important that families apply early.
  • You must apply through a Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO). There are now two SGO's in the Archdiocese of Chicago. There is Empower Illinois, which can be found at www.empowerillinois.org. There is also the Big Shoulders Fund at https://www.bigshouldersfundsgo.org/tax-credit-scholarships/.
  • Please visit both websites and subscribe to receive updates -- in the next few days we expect that the organizations may release a sample of the application.
  • Families may apply to both SGOs. At a later date, if they receive scholarships from both organizations, the family will be required to choose one.
  • In the lower right hand corner of the website there is a green button to translate into Spanish and Polish.
  • The Empower Illinois website lists the documents you will need to apply.
  • All dates and information will also be posted on www.archchicago.org/tcs

 

If you have children at more than one private school:

In the event that a family has a student in elementary school and in high school, they may apply for both students on the same application by adding a sibling. Simply add the sibling and select the school they attend. Questions relating to the non-SJB student should be direct to that child's school.

 

These are the documents that will be needed:

  • 2016 Federal tax return (if you do not have this, you may contact Empower Illinois through their website)
  • Proof of Illinois residency (such as current utility bill or current drivers' license)
  • Documentation of student age (such as copy of birth certificate, Federal or state ID, passport)
  • Letter of acceptance or enrollment at a non-public school (our school office can provide this)
  • Please check with both SGO organizations to see if they have additional requirements.

 

For Donors

Illinois taxpayers may also donate to the SGO and apply for the tax credit. Please use the Empower Illinois SGO as the primary giving vehicle when designating your gift to St. John Brebeuf School.

  • Visit www.empowerillinois.org and select “donors” for complete instructions.
  • St. John Brebeuf School suggests consulting your personal tax professional about the implications, advantages, and process of donating to this scholarship program.

If you have questions about applying or donating, please contact St. John Brebeuf School, phone 773-966-3266.

 

Frequently Asked Questions documents (please click below to see the documents):

Information

 


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