. UPDATE: Applications for Invest in Kids Scholarships through Empower Illinois have been delayed following the technical glitch on January 31. We are still waiting a new time and date when these applications will reopen. Check out the latest information at: https://empowerillinois.org/students/
Grace Christian Academy is excited to be part of the new Invest in Kids Tax Credit Scholarship program. This program allows children from low and middle income families to apply for scholarships that will cover up to 100% of the costs to attend Grace! These scholarships are given out on a first-come, first-served basis with priority given to students from low-income families (under 185% of the poverty level) and families that live in particular focus districts.
This is the first year that the State of Illinois has approved this program so it is still a work in progress! Organizations have completed their applications to become "Scholarship Granting Organizations" (SGOs). Empower Illinois is the SGO which CLEF has selected for to support Lutheran schools in the Chicago area, including Grace Christian Academy! Beginning January 2, SGO's across the state began collecting scholarship funds from donors. Donors, once approved by the state of Illinois, can receive 75% of their donation back in the form of an Illinois tax credit (up to $75 million in credits statewide). The funds will then be distributed to low and middle income students in the form of scholarships based on the order their applications are received as well as the priority level they have based on income or other factors. Families are welcome to apply to multiple SGO's to increase their chances of securing a scholarship (however, they can only accept one scholarship per child).
Next Steps: APPLY! We encourage all families currently at Grace or interested in Grace to apply for these scholarship funds on DAY ONE! We will post as soon as we have the new opening date and time! The earlier you apply, the better chance you will have of securing funds that will ensure you have access to quality, Christian education. You must have access to a scanner in order to submit the required documents online. You will need your 2016 tax return as proof of income, your driver's license or a utility bill as proof of address, and your child's birth certificate or passport as prove of your child's age (for Kindergarten and first grade)! The full list of acceptable documents can be found at empowerillinois.org/how-do-i-apply/ Please contact Karen Crowder with any questions or for assistance with the application process.
Tuition and Financial Aid Overview
Grace Christian Academy relies on monthly tuition, fundraising efforts, and generous donations from friends and alumni to pay its teachers and other bills. Therefore, enrolled students are required to make monthly tuition payments as well as pay some one-time fees such as registration and graduation. However, financial assistance is available. We strive to do whatever it takes to ensure that financial situations do not prevent children from being part of Grace.
Families make ten monthly payments (September through June) based on their income and the number of children they enroll. Families also agree to participate in candy sales as part of school fundraisers (or make an equal contribution). Families that do not apply for financial aid still may benefit from the subsidies provided by Grace’s generous donors and grants (the remaining cost beyond full price tuition). Families making less than 400% of the poverty line generally qualify for additional assistance. After both subsidies and/or financial aid, most families at Grace pay the following:
1 Student: $1500 - $3750 ($150-$375/month)
2 Students: $2250 - $5250 ($225-$525/month)
3 Students: $3000 - $6500 ($300-$650/month)
4 Students: $4000 - $7500 ($400-$750/month)
These tuition amounts are heavily discounted from the full cost to educate a student at Grace thanks to the support of churches, individual donors, alumni, and other foundations. Grace is committed to providing reduced costs to every student who enrolls. Please contact us to fill out financial aid and confirm an exact tuition amount for your family.
Grace Christian Academy is committed to helping as many children as possible receive a quality, Christian education. We know that even with Grace subsidies, our yearly tuition is out of reach for most of the families we serve which is why 86% of our families receive some type of financial assistance! Families receiving financial assistance typically pay between $150-350/month for 1 student. The cost per student may be lower for families with additional children. You may download a financial aid form below or pick one up in the school office. Families are also encouraged to explore their eligibility for Action for Children (see below in DHS) to further reduce their costs.
DHS currently helps low-income parents with the cost of full or partial day childcare during the time the parents are at work or in-school. This covers full-day early childhood programs for children through age 5 and partial day coverage that covers extended care costs for children up to age 13. DHS assigns each family a monthly co-pay based on income which typically lowers your costs to a monthly rate anywhere between $20-220/month per family. Please contact us for more details or explore the DHS website at actforchildren.org