Dear Parents,

With great anticipation, we are looking forward to the opening of applications for STC awards for the 22-23 school year (next year).

To apply for an STC award, parents need to follow a very specific process. Eligibility is based on income and family size. Please see the grids below, as well as the special edition of STC-Bytz being sent home with your child(ren) for more details.

Submit your 2020 tax return as proof of income. If you only qualify using 2021 income or 2021 income will qualify you for a larger scholarship, file taxes and submit your return ASAP.


Scholarships to JDBY-YTT students have been awarded through two Scholarship Granting Organizations (“SGO’s”):

1. Empower Illinois
2. Big Shoulders Fund

This year, we once again anticipate much hatzlacha with this program b’ezras Hashem through BOTH of those SGO’s.

JDBY-YTT STRONGLY encourages all eligible families to apply to BOTH SGO’s
January 12th @ 7:00pm: Empower Illinois
January 13th @ 8:00am: Big Shoulders Fund

No event

There will be no large-scale in-person STC reservation/application events. Families are encouraged to do their reservation and application from home.

Scholarships are awarded in computer-generated timestamp order, making it urgent that parents apply as quickly as possible when the application goes “live”. Reservations are timestamped to the 10,000th of a second. For this reason, it is recommended applicants:

• Are ready 30 minutes before the actual reservation time
• Use a computer with a wired Ethernet connection to high-speed internet
• Turn off ALL other devices connected to the internet
• Enable autofill for as many of the fields as possible

Please provide an email address that is checked regularly.

If you need to whitelist the websites due to filters, hopefully whitelisting these sites give you access to the applications:


Some important clarification of terminology:

1. Reservation – This is a short form you submit. When you complete that form, that’s when you get your timestamp
2. Application – When you answer questions about family income, child info, school attending, etc.
3. Documentation – When you upload proof of income and any other required documents

Empower Illinois: January 12th @ 6:30pm the Reservation opens, and it goes live at 7:00pm. Application and Documentation both need to be completed after you receive a link in an email from Empower Illinois, likely coming on or around Friday January 14th. Please complete the Application and Documentation by January 27th.
Big Shoulders Fund: January 13th @ 8:00am is the Reservation and Application. Documentation will be requested by email at a later date.

Important info to have on hand

Please prepare the following information:

  1. All legal names and birthdates of the students you’ll be applying for. This only includes children entering Pre1A/K through 12th grade during the 22-23 school year (next year). One application for all kids in all schools
  2. Number of people in your household – If applying using 2020 income, enter the number of people who were in your household in 2020, not 2021.
  3. Your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) from 2020 Federal tax return Form 1040, line 11).
  4. If you plan to use 2021 income, have your final 2021 paystubs available, and use your 2021 household size. Please also explain in the “Comments/Other Information” section of the Big Shoulders Fund application that 2021 was lower than 2020.
  5. The public school district you live in. (All those who live in Chicago are in the focus school district “City of Chicago SD 299”).
• For Big Shoulders Fund: All students entering Pre1A/K through 8th grade should be listed as attending Joan Dachs Bais Yaakov. This applies to both boys and girls
• For Empower Illinois:
* All GIRLS entering Pre1A/K through 8th grade should be listed as attending Joan Dachs Bais Yaakov
* All BOYS entering Pre1A/K through 8th grade should be listed as attending Yeshivas Tiferes Tzvi
• Students entering Nursery in 22-23 are not eligible to receive STC awards
• Students currently in 8th grade will not be attending JDBY-YTT during 22-23.
• A student is eligible up to 400% FPL if they received an STC award in any previous year. If you’re asked to upload proof of scholarship, you can create a pdf of your award notification email and upload it.
• For Big Shoulders Fund, your tax return is not sufficient proof of IL residency even if it shows your current address. You will need to upload another form of proof of address such as driver license, utility bill, etc.

Thank you to Rabbi Moshe Wolf from Cheder Lubavitch Hebrew Day School for creating and sharing the step-by-step instruction video for the Empower application with us, as well as the link below to the Big Shoulders mock application. The links can be found below.
If you have any questions, feel free to reply to this email or call Rabbi Sammy Joseph at ext. 680.


Empower Illinois 2022 Application Tutorial