Need to Update your application?

To change information on your application- i.e. email, address, DOB

To decline a Tax Credit Scholarship Award from Big Shoulders Fund

To request to transfer your award to another school

To remove yourself from the waitlist (e.g. you've received an award from another sgo) - 

Frequently Asked Questions - Applicants to the Big Shoulders Fund Tax Credit Scholarship

I received a scholarship award letter, but I entered the wrong school on the application OR I need to transfer schools.  How can I correct this?

Please contact us to inquire about transferring the scholarship to another school.  Please note that many awards are based on donations we received on behalf of this particular school or subset of schools and so your award may not be transferable to any other school. To begin the transfer process click this link.

I received a scholarship from more than one SGO. What should I do next/how do I decline the Big Shoulders Fund award?

You must choose which scholarship to utilize. You cannot use more than one Tax Credit Scholarship. If you choose to accept a scholarship from another SGO, please fill out this form. This will enable us to make more funding available to other families.

How were scholarship awards determined?

The Big Shoulders Fund is Scholarship Granting Organization in Region 1 and 2 in Illinois. We are required by law to implement this scholarship program in accordance with the Illinois Invest in Kids Act. As such, we are bound by the requirements of the program that indicate that all scholarships must be awarded on a first come first served basis to families that are eligible under the federal poverty income guidelines. Please see for more information about eligibility.

How many people applied? What are my chances of receiving a scholarship?

In less than two days, we received over 12,000 applications for the Tax Credit Scholarship. While we are incredibly excited about the number of people who are interested in a private education, the demand is greater than our funding potential for eligible students. We cannot provide specific information about your family’s chance of receiving a scholarship, but please understand that we can only provide scholarships based on the funding we’ve received and in many cases, the funding directed towards our Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO) was restricted to a particular school or a group of schools.

I can’t remember what I put on my application. I think I may have submitted something incorrectly. Can you look my application up?

In less than two days, we received over 12,000 applications for the Tax Credit Scholarship, so we cannot look up individual applications. If our processors determine that they need to follow up with you, they will contact you.

I haven’t received a response regarding the status of my application.

We have communicated with everyone regarding their status for a Tax Credit Scholarship. If you did not receive an email, you may have entered your contact information incorrectly.

Unfortunately, our office staff cannot access your individual application. Notification of scholarship awards will be emailed directly to the email address you provided on the application. Applicants who are receiving an award will also receive notification via postal mail (mailed to the home address provided on your application) in the next 2-3 weeks (in addition to the email notification).

Why did I receive a denial email for the Tax Credit Scholarship?

If you received a denial, it is because your income did not meet the guidelines, you did not provide the proper documentation, or you did not fill out the application correctly. We cannot access your family’s application to determine the reason for your denial.

Why I am waitlisted for the Tax Credit Scholarship?

The Tax Credit Scholarship is subject to the availability of funding. We currently are working to secure additional donors, but we received over 12,000 applications and will not be able to serve everyone. Here are a few options to consider if you were denied or waitlisted:

·        If you think that you are eligible for a Tax Credit Scholarship, please consider applying to another SGO. Here is the list of approved SGOs.

·        If you are interested in attending another school within the BSF network, you are invited to apply for our private scholarship program or contact the school of your choice directly for financial assistance.

·        If you are interested in a private school outside our network, please contact the school directly.

·        You can also apply again next year for the Tax Credit Scholarship.

When will I know if I am off the waitlist?

We will contact you with an award letter and email if your status changes. Please do not contact us regarding your waitlist status as we are not able to look up your application.

I applied early how can I be on the waitlist?

Please keep in mind that scholarship availability is based on funding and within the first two hours close to 8,000 applications were submitted. Each donor had the option to restrict funding to a certain group of schools or even individual schools. In some cases, the funding for your chosen school may have been very limited. For this reason, we have been encouraging all families to apply to multiple SGOs to increase their chances of receiving a Tax Credit Scholarship.

What number am I on the waitlist?

Unfortunately, due to the high volume of applicants, we cannot look up individual applications to determine where you fall on the waitlist.

I was denied or waitlisted but have a traditional Big Shoulders Fund Scholarship. What does this mean for my family?

If you are currently a Big Shoulders Fund Scholar and didn’t receive a Tax Credit Scholarship, there is no impact on your current scholar status. Please contact your school directly to see if you have a renewable scholarship or if you’ll need to apply again in the fall for our traditional scholarship program.

I received an award. What do I do next?

Congrats! An award letter will be arriving at your house in a few weeks. Please contact the school of your choice to gain acceptance and have them fill out your School Commitment form no later than June 1 , 2018.  Please review the Parent and Guardian Guidebook for more information.  Keep in mind that all Tax Credit scholarships are for the 2018-2019 school year.

I received a Tax Credit Scholarship but I also have a traditional Big Shoulders Fund Scholarship. What does this mean for my family?

You will need to choose which scholarship to accept. If you choose the Tax Credit Scholarship, you will not be eligible for a traditional funded Big Shoulders Fund scholarship.

I applied for the Tax Credit Scholarship for multiple children, but only one child received the scholarship. How is this possible when I submitted the application for them at the same time?

In some cases, families with multiple children may find that one child receives a Tax Credit Scholarship, while the other(s) do not. This is due to availability of funding.  We can only award scholarships as we receive funds from donors, and in some cases, donors may have restricted their funding to a particular school or schools.