Brother Rice vice president calls state's tax credit scholarships a win-win program
Kevin Larson, vice president of Brother Rice Catholic High School, sees the Illinois' tax credit scholarship program as a win-win situation for everyone involved.
“It benefits the student and their family. We would like to think we’ve got a first-rate high school education opportunity,” Larson told the South Cook News, referring to the scholarship program that makes it easier for qualified students to attend the private school through the use of public funds.
As for the school, Larson added, “it’s always a good ... to have more young men being guided by the terrific faculty and staff that we have here. We’re very proud of the way we prepare young men at a collegiate level and for life. How we prepare young men is certainly a cut above.”
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the scholarships are available to students from K-12 on a first-come, first-served basis with as much as $100 million in funding being available through donations.
Though income guidelines make a family of four earning $73,800 eligible, priority will be given to families earning just 185 percent of the poverty level, or $45,510 for four.
All students qualify for up $13,000 each and as earlier of this month $38 million had been pledged to the fund. Students can apply to as many organizations as they like but can only accept one scholarship.
“Frankly, we’ve been priced out of the reach of a number of families,” Larson said. “We’re very hopeful with the system of new scholarship some of those families will take a second look at schools like Brother Rice.”
To be eligible, a school must be private and charge tuition. Several scholarship granting organizations have been approved by the Illinois Department of Revenue to accept donations, among them Empower Illinois and the Big Shoulders Fund.
“We’ve notified the organizations we will welcome the students they grant scholarships too,” Larson said. “We will begin accepting applications on Jan. 22 and promise a quick turnaround. Families will have a clear understanding of rather their student qualifies.”