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Invest in Kids Scholarship Opportunity

Two years ago, the state of Illinois passed the Invest in Kids Act, allowing taxpayers to redirect their Illinois tax payments to contribute to scholarships for the school(s) of their choice.

 Scholarships are funded by individuals and businesses who contribute to a Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO) in return for a 75% state tax credit. 

Chicago West Side Christian School families have benefited greatly from this program, and we are excited about the impact it is has made on providing access for lower-income families to participate in Christian education at CWSCS.


Because the current COVID-19 crisis is impacting many of our school’s families as parents are laid off from work, we want to increase the amount of Invest In Kids scholarships we can offer for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year to give those families hope and assurance that their children will be able to continue to attend CWSCS.  Our goal is to increase Invest In Kids funding from $200,000 to $300,000 to meet that need.


Year 1

  • $68,000 in donations to the Children’s Tuition Fund (approved Scholarship Granting Organization)

  • 16 students received 50–100% scholarship support

Year 2

  • $200,000  in donations to the Children’s Tuition Fund and the Bright Promise Fund

  • 48 students have received  50–100% scholarship support, including eight newly enrolled students

The scholarships go to students whose families meet low income thresholds — students who are having difficulty affording a Christian school or who might otherwise not have the opportunity to attend a Christian school. To fund those scholarships, the program allows taxpayers to reserve and receive tax credits of up to $1,000,000.

Questions?  Call Mary Post at 773-542-0665

How to contribute to the Invest In Kids Program

Here is an example of how the program works: A person has $5,000 in tax liability to the state of Illinois and has $5,000 withheld throughout the year from paychecks. This person chooses to contribute $6,667 to the Children’s Tuition Fund of Illinois which will reserve $5,000 in tax credits. The person will receive a $5,000 refund when he/she files taxes in recognition of his/her withholding and reserved tax credits. A self-employed person who pays estimated taxes quarterly will be able to use credits to lower his/her quarterly payments.


2.  Steps to complete application:
  1. Log into your account

  2. Click on Accounts

  3. Click on the link for Individual 

  4. Go to  I Want To... on the right side of screen

  5. Click on I want to contribute to Invest in Kids

  6. Choose Regions 1 Cook County

  7. Choose a Scholarship Granting Organization

  8. Choose either Children’s Tuition Fund of Illinois or Bright Promise Fund.

  9. Contribution Pledge: Put in the amount you want to pledge (note that you will receive a 75% credit on your Illinois taxes for your contribution.)

  10. Confirm amount

  11. Check authorization, put in email and click submit

  12. You will be requested to verify your password

  13. You will receive a printable confirmation. Your Contribution Authorization Certificate will be available on your MyTaxIllinois account within 3 business days. You will have 60 days after receiving this certificate to send your contribution to the Scholarship Granting Organization you have chosen. Please note that the check cannot be written to our school but must go through the SGO

If you chose to contribute through The Children’s Tuition Fund of Illinois: 

  • Go to

  • Complete the form. Direct your contribution to Children’s Tuition Fund of IL and scan your Contribution Authorization Certificate. Choose Chicago West Side Christian School, Chicago as your Designated School.

  • You will be given several options for payment methods (direct debit, credit card, check)

If you chose to contribute through the Bright Promise Fund:

Contact Rosanna Farquhar at (312) 392-0953 or for assistance in completing your contribution


1.  Steps to begin: 

Go to  Go to Individuals, click on Invest in Kids Program (under Miscellaneous). Request an ID number if you do not already have one.  If you are new to, you will receive your ID number in 7-10 days and can then complete setting up your account with the instructions below.

If you already have an ID number, you can log in and complete your application.

Unlike voucher programs in some states, scholarships to non-public schools in Illinois will only be available if contributors give and funds are available for the SGO to award.


We are excited to participate in this tax-credit program that has the potential to provide great benefit to many children. We encourage you to set up an account ASAP. If you are interested in learning more about either contributing or applying, please contact Mary Post ( or 773-542-0665.