Invest in Kids

Tax Credit Scholarship

Costa families have a new and historic opportunity to benefit from the Illinois tax-credit scholarship program formed under the Invest in Kids Act (IIK) (Public Act 100-0465). This new program offers access to a quality education for low-income and working-class students at Costa Catholic Academy that may have had difficulty affording a Catholic education previously. By applying for these scholarships, families are HELPING Costa Academy but allowing us to shift our dollars from scholarships towards other growth initiatives, educational advancement and capital projects. Individual or business taxpayers can earn a 75% tax credit on their contribution to this historic program and have an opportunity to impact Catholic schools and families in a big way!

We're always here to help and to answer questions you may have!


Joe Buresh, Principal jburesh@costa-galesburg.net  (309) 344-3151
Mark Tressell, Business Manager  mtressell@costa-galesburg.net   (309) 344-2491

For Costa Families (Apply starting January 24, 2018. Scholarships to be awarded February 1, 2018): Students from low-income households K-12 can apply for scholarships for the 2018/2019 school year beginning January 24, 2018 and they will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis, so do not delay in applying.

Your family could receive a scholarship that covers 50-100% of tuition and eligible fees for the next school year!  An eligible student is a member of a household whose federal adjusted gross income the year before he or she initially receives a scholarship under this program, as determined by the Department, does not exceed 300% of the federal poverty level and, once the child receives a scholarship, does not exceed 400% of the federal poverty level (see included chart). *Students could be awarded up to the amounts outlined above if funds are available via the scholarship program.

From January 24 to April 1, priority will be given to students who received a scholarship during the previous school year, who are members of a household whose income falls in line with the chart provided in this brochure, who reside within an under-performing focus district, and, who are siblings of students currently receiving a scholarship. After April 1, all other qualifying students will be able to receive scholarships. All students who receive scholarships will be required to take the state assessment. Gifted, ESL or special needs’ students may be able to get higher scholarship. Eligibility to receive a scholarship is based on your family’s household income.
Ready to apply?  Families will need to have digital copies of:

  • A copy of your family’s 2016 federal tax return. If the family did not file a 2016 tax return, please visit Empower Illinois here.
  • Proof of Illinois residency (i.e. current driver’s license or state ID, or current utility bill)
  • A birth certificate, federal or state ID, or passport for your student(s)
  • The student’s prior semester report card (unless beginning school for the first time)  

We're here to help! Costa will offer opportunities for families to walk through the application together with our staff.  This will help ensure that families have an opportunity to apply for the scholarship correctly, and on time. To RSVP for an opportunity to apply with aid of your school, please contact Mark Tressell today at mtressell@costa-galesburg.net or (309) 344-2491

For Those Who Would Like To Contribute To The Program

You may begin contributing January 1, 2018. Sign Up Now!

Individual and business taxpayers can receive a tax credit in the amount of 75% of your total qualified contribution to this historic  program! 

To participate, you must have a registered MyTax Illinois account for filing either individual income tax or business income tax in order to apply for approval to make a contribution. Beginning January 2, 2018, MyTax Illinois will begin accepting applications from individuals and businesses for the 2018 tax year who wish to participate in this program.  

To apply, individuals and businesses must report their intention to make an authorized contribution to an approved Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGO). You are encouraged to create a MyTax Illinois account as soon as possible to avoid any processing delays when the application system goes live.  Please note that the SGOs will manage distribution of scholarship awards, not the State of Illinois, nor the Diocese of Peoria.

  • You must request approval to make a contribution and receive the income tax credit prior to making your contribution. Approval to contribute will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis in a geographically proportionate manner based on enrollment in recognized non-public schools in Illinois. Donors must contact the Illinois Department of Revenue no later than January 1, 2018 in order to be eligible for the tax credit.
  • Approval is granted automatically as long as the regional and statewide thresholds have not been met. Up to $75 million in tax credits will be awarded per calendar year, beginning in 2018 for taxes filed in 2019, but please do not delay in requesting approval.
  • For the purpose of awarding credits, Illinois will be divided into five regions. Contributing taxpayers will be required to select the region, SGO, and amount they wish to contribute. We are Region 3, the North Central Counties.
  • Once your application has been submitted, and the Illinois Department of Revenue confirms that credits are available, they will issue you a Contribution Authorization Certificate (CAC). The CAC will be issued electronically to your MyTax Illinois account within three business days of approval of your application
  • You must make your contribution to the Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO) within 60 days after issuance of the CAC. You must also provide a copy of the CAC to the SGO. Within 30 days of receiving your contribution, the SGO will issue you a Certificate of Receipt (COR) through your MyTax Illinois account.
  • An individual taxpayer may specify Costa Catholic Academy (as part of Region 3) as the school he or she wishes his or her contribution to benefit.
  • Approved credits may be claimed beginning with the filing of your 2018 income tax return. You cannot take a tax credit under this Act if you claimed any portion of this contribution as a federal income tax deduction.
  • Individuals who are married and filing a joint return are considered one taxpayer for purposes of making qualified contributions.
  • If you don’t use all of your income tax credit, you cannot receive a refund. However, any credit amount that exceeds your tax liability for the year may be carried forward and applied to your tax liability in the subsequent five taxable years. Credits carried forward do not require additional approval. Credits are applied to the earliest year for which there is a tax liability. Credits cannot be carried back to a prior tax year.
  • Donations by individuals are capped at $1 million.
  • The credit is non-refundable, but it can be carried forward for five years.
  • Please note: To make a new Invest in Kids contribution, you must apply each year.


For Those Who Would Like To Help Us Promote This Opportunity

We have brochures available in the Business Office. Our brochure for donors is available to download here. Our brochure for families is available to download here.  This Illinois State Tax Credit program is a wonderful opportunity for individuals or businesses to support Catholic education at Costa Academy and to also benefit from a 75% tax credit on their contribution - a truly historic day for our families and supporters!