Empower Illinois & Big Shoulders Tax Credit Scholarships

Please click on the link below for a video message from Cardinal Cupich.

Tax Credit Scholarships

Through the Invest in Kids Act, the state of Illinois has created a new way to fund scholarships for children from low-income households who want to attend private schools. The tax credit scholarships (TCS) offered through this program could cover up to 100 percent of tuition and fees for eligible students in grades K-8. Northside Catholic Academy is an eligible private school. Empower Illinois and Big Shoulders are both Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGO). Families apply directly to SGOs to obtain a TCS. 

Empower Illinois
  • Reservation Night: Wednesday, January 18th, 2023
  • Families may access the reservation form at 6:30 p.m. and must submit promptly at 7 p.m.
  • Similar to prior year, the Empower Illinois tax credit scholarship application is a two-step process.
  • To prepare yourself further for the Empower Illinois application or to learn more, please visit EmpowerIllinois.org.

CLICK HERE for more information regarding application.

Big Shoulders
  • STEP 1: Thursday, January 12th, 2023 at 8 a.m. Families may submit step 1 of the application at this time.  BSF will send Step 2 of the application to families as funds become available at the school of choice. 
  • For more information about the application process, please visit bigshouldersfundsgo.org.
  • Information is available in Spanish here https://www.bigshouldersfundsgo.org/soy-elegible.


Other Requirements

  • Families who wish to receive financial aid through NCA for the 2022-2023 school year should initially apply for a TCS.
  • Families who apply for a TCS may also apply to NCA's Guardian Angel Scholarship Fund. Please note GASF applications are due May 1.
  • New students must also apply for admissions to Northside Catholic Academy and be accepted in order to select NCA as your school of choice on the Invest in Kids Act and Big Shoulders TCS application.
  • More information is available on the Archdiocese of Chicago website.