UPDATE: Empower Illinois Scholarship Application Opens Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 7:00 p.m. From Empower Illinois regarding the tax credit scholarships:

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.
  1. 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.


K-12 students from low-income families are eligible to receive a Tax Credit Scholarship.* Scholarship award amounts will follow the below income guidelines. Plato families are encouraged to apply for the Invest in Kids Scholarship through Empower Illinois.
*Tax Credit Scholarships are need-based and do not take academic performance into consideration. Plato Academy is not involved in the scholarship process in any way other than providing the necessary acceptance letter.

Empower Illinois scholarship applications will be available to students and families through EmpowerIllinois.org starting February 27 at 7 p.m. The application is online only and is available in English and Spanish.

Application Checklist
To apply, you’ll need:
  • Proof of income, such as the first two pages of your 1040.
  • Proof of Illinois residency, such as a copy of a residential lease in the parent/guardian’s name.
  • Documentation of the student’s age (ONLY IF student is entering kindergarten or first grade), such as a copy of the student’s birth certificate.
  • Acceptance letter. You do not need to submit an enrollment or acceptance letter from the private school you wish to attend but it will be required before any scholarships funds are distributed.