A grant is financial aid that does not have to be paid back.

Grants can come from federal, or state funds to undergraduate students who demonstrate a high financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

  • Federal Pell Grant

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    Federal Pell Grant is for undergraduates, seeking their first bachelor's degree, who demonstrate significant need. Pell grant awards are up to $6,095 per year. More information on the Pell Grant can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.

     

    Full Time

    Three-Quarter Time

    Half Time

    Less Than Half Time

    12 or more credit hours

    9-11 credit hours

    6-8 credit hours

    Less than 6 credit hours

    100% of Pell Grant

    75% of Pell Grant

    50% of Pell Grant

    25% of Pell Grant

     *Students with higher EFC’s may not be eligible for Pell at less than full time

    Lifetime Pell Grants Limits

    Students are limited to 12 semesters (or 600%) of Pell Grant eligibility during their lifetime. This change affects all students regardless of when or where they received their first Pell Grant. 

    You may view your percentage of Pell Grant used by logging into NSLDS. Your 'Lifetime Eligibility Used' percentage will be displayed in the 'Grants' section. 

  • State of Illinois Monetary Award Program

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    This is a grant for undergraduate Illinois residents who demonstrate financial need as determined by the information supplied on the FAFSA. Because MAP funding is historically insufficient to meet the demand, a suspension date is typically implemented a few months after the FAFSA application has been made available on October 1st. Students are encourage to complete the FAFSA application as close to the October 1st date as possible in order to be considered for eligibility.

    The State of Illinois MAP Grant is based on enrollment in 15 semester credit hours.  This means that you will get 100% of your MAP Grant if you are enrolled in 15 hours.  If you enroll in less than 15 hours, your MAP Grant will be prorated based on the number of hours for which you are enrolled.  For example:

                    Total semester MAP Grant: $2000

                    Number of semester hours: 10

                    Eligible MAP Grant award:  10/15 X $2000 = $1333.33


    More information on the MAP grant program and updates can be found on the Illinois Student Assistance Commission’s website.

    Retention of Illinois Students & Equity (RISE) Act and Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid

    The Retention of Illinois Students & Equity (RISE) Act allows eligible undocumented students and transgender students who are disqualified from federal financial aid to apply for all forms of state financial aid. The Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid provides pathways for these qualified students to apply for Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants, the state's largest need-based grant programs for low-income college students. 

  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

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    The Federal SEOG is awarded to high need students who also qualify for the Pell Grant. More information on the FSEOG can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.

  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant

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    This federal grant is available to undergraduate and graduate students who agree to serve for at least four years as full-time, highly qualified teachers in high-need fields in public or not-for-profit private elementary or secondary schools that serve students from low-income families. You should consider this grant only if you are committed to teaching a high-need subject in a designated low-income school. If the teaching requirement is not met, the grant will convert to an unsubsidized loan, which will have to be repaid with interest calculated back to the date the funds were disbursed. The TEACH grant maximum is $4,000 per year. More information on the TEACH grant can be found on the Federal Student Aid website.

     

    List of eligible TEACH programs.

  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

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    Like other federal grants, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants provide money to college or career school students to help pay their education expenses.

    It’s important to know that Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants have special eligibility criteria. You may be eligible to receive the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant if:

    • You are not eligible for a Federal Pell Grant on the basis of your Expected Family Contribution but
    • meet the remaining Federal Pell Grant eligibility requirements, and
    • your parent or guardian was a member of the U.S. armed forces and died as a result of military service performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after the events of 9/11, and
    • you were under 24 years old or enrolled in college at least part-time at the time of your parent’s or guardian’s death.

  • Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program

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     You may qualify if: 

    1. If you plan to teach at a nonprofit Illinois public, private, or parochial preschool, elementary school, or secondary school, for which the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has determined that no less than 30 percent of the enrolled students are African American/Black, Hispanic American, Asian American, or Native American. 
    2. And, if you are of African American/Black, Hispanic American, Asian American or Native American origin, then you may qualify for up to $5,000 per year as part of the Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program. Funds from this program may be used  to pay for tuition, fees and room and board, or commuter allowances, if applicable. This scholarship may be received for a maximum of the equivalent of four academic years (eight semesters or 12 quarters) of full-time enrollment.

    As part of the application process, you must agree to the terms and conditions that are outlined in the application's Teaching Agreement/Promissory Note (available for 2017-18 academic year and later via the Program Requirements page). By receiving this scholarship, you must teach in Illinois. If this teaching commitment is not fulfilled, the scholarship converts to a loan, and you must repay the entire amount plus interest.

     

    Eligibility

    NOTE: Effective beginning with the 2020-21 academic year, the Retention of Illinois Students & Equity (RISE) Act allows eligible Illinois undocumented students and transgender students who are disqualified from federal financial aid to apply for all forms of state financial aid. Further details are provided in the Pathway to Apply for ISAC Programs section of the RISE Act page. 

    To be eligible, you must:

    • be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen or meet the “undocumented student” criteria of the RISE Act
    • be a resident of Illinois
    • be a minority student of either African American/Black, Hispanic American, Asian American or Native American origin
    • be a high school graduate or hold a General Educational Development (GED) certificate
    • be enrolled or accepted for enrollment on at least a half-time basis as an undergraduate or graduate student
    • be enrolled or accepted for enrollment at an Illinois institution of higher education in a course of study which, upon completion, qualifies you to be licensed as a preschool, elementary or secondary school teacher by the Illinois State Board of Education, including alternative teacher licensure
    • have earned a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale if enrolled at the sophomore, junior, senior or graduate level
    • maintain satisfactory academic progress as determined by your college
    • comply with federal Selective Service registration requirements (see the note at the top of this section for possible exceptions)
    • complete the application process by:
      • submitting a fully-completed Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program application, which includes the Teaching Agreement/Promissory Note (in order to receive priority consideration for an award, the complete application must be received at ISAC on or before the March 1 immediately preceding the academic year for which the scholarship is requested),
      • being certified as meeting eligibility requirements by the college at which you will use the scholarship, and
      • accepting the scholarship (if one is offered) 
    • sign the application's Teaching Agreement/Promissory Note promising to fulfill the teaching commitment or repay funds received plus interest
      • the teaching commitment for this program must be fulfilled at a nonprofit Illinois public, private, or parochial preschool, elementary school, or secondary school, for which the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has determined that no less than 30 percent of the enrolled students are African American/Black, Asian American, Hispanic American, or Native American
      • the percentage of an Illinois school's enrolled students meeting minority status requirements can be found at ISBE's eReport Card Public Site by using the "Search: School, District, and State Report Cards" function to locate a specific school and then clicking on that school's name. 
    • not be in default on any student loan, nor owe a refund on any state or federal grant. If you are in default, you may re-establish your eligibility.
    • not have previously received funds from the MTI Scholarship Program for the equivalent of four academic years, which is the program maximum
    • not receive funds from the Illinois Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver (SETTW) Program or the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Program during the same term(s) for which you receive funds from the MTI Scholarship Program

    How to apply:

    The Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program Application/Teaching Agreement/Promissory Note, which must be submitted each academic year in order to apply for the MTI Scholarship, is currently available online via the Program Applications & Status Checks area of the ISAC Student Portal. After entering and submitting your data, follow the on-screen instructions to print the completed application, sign it, and mail it to ISAC.

     Important: please note that the application is not complete until the Application/Teaching Agreement/Promissory Note, with an original ink signature, is received at ISAC.

    If you are unable to access the online application, you may instead download and print a PDF version and submit the completed application to ISAC.

  • Illinois Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver (SETTW) Program

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    If you are a teacher or an academically talented student pursuing a career in special education, you may be eligible for the Illinois Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver Program if you teach at one of the following Illinois schools that has been approved by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE):

    • a nonprofit public, private or parochial preschool, or
    • a nonprofit public, private or parochial elementary school, or
    • a nonprofit public, private or parochial secondary school.

    This program will exempt you from paying tuition and mandatory fees at an eligible institution for up to four calendar years, provided you have not yet obtained an initial licensure in any area of special education. Mandatory fees are those assessed by a college to every full-time student for each term. Examples include fees for activities, facility operations, grants, health, registration, technology, transportation and others. The college determines fees that are considered mandatory.

    By receiving the tuition waiver, you must teach in Illinois in the field of special education. If this teaching commitment is not fulfilled, the amount of benefits received converts to a loan, and you must repay the entire amount plus interest. It is recommended that you monitor your college billing statements to keep track of the amount waived, in the unlikely event the tuition waiver converts to a loan. You can estimate the loan payments by accessing the Monthly Payment Estimates Calculator on this website. 

    SETTW recipients, including those who are pursuing or have secured a position as a Speech-Language Pathologist, should take note that in order to fulfill the teaching requirements, their position must be that of a “teacher”, as certified by their employing school official.  A “teacher” is defined as a person who provides direct classroom-type teaching or classroom-type teaching in a non-classroom setting.

    Accordingly, only if a Speech-Language Pathologist’s teaching position meets the above definition, and is certified as such by the school official, would the position be considered as fulfilling the SETTW teaching requirements.

     

    Eligibility

    NOTE: Effective beginning with the 2020-21 academic year, the Retention of Illinois Students & Equity (RISE) Act allows eligible Illinois undocumented students and transgender students who are disqualified from federal financial aid to apply for all forms of state financial aid. Further details are provided in the Pathway to Apply for ISAC Programs section of the RISE Act page.

    To be eligible, you must:

    • Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen or meet the “undocumented student” criteria of the RISE Act
    • Be an Illinois resident
    • Meet one of the following conditions: you are a high school graduate; or you are scheduled to graduate from an approved high school by the end of the academic year in which the award is made and you performed in the upper half of your graduating class according to performance-based academic data provided by the high school; or you hold a valid teaching license that is not in the discipline of special education
    • Be enrolled, or accepted for enrollment, at one of the eligible public four-year colleges in Illinois (providing the institution offers a concentration in Special Education) as an undergraduate or graduate student seeking initial licensure in any area of special education
    • Be enrolled in a program of special education within 10 days after the beginning of the term for which the waiver was initially awarded
    • Not at any time have received cumulative Illinois Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver benefits that equal or exceed the program maximum of four calendar years (note that, once you obtain an initial licensure in any area of special education, you are no longer eligible for this program regardless of how many years you have used the waiver)
    • Complete the application process by:
      • submitting a fully-completed Illinois Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver Program application, which includes the Teaching Agreement/Master Promissory Note (in order to receive priority consideration for an award, the complete application must be received at ISAC on or before the March 1 immediately preceding the academic year for which the tuition waiver is requested),
      • being certified as meeting eligibility requirements by the college at which you will use the tuition waiver, and
      • accepting the tuition waiver (if one is offered)*
    • Sign the application's Teaching Agreement/Master Promissory Note promising to fulfill the teaching commitment or repay funds received plus interest
    • Maintain satisfactory academic progress as determined by your college
    • Remain in attendance at the college on a continuous basis for up to four years (unless granted an approved leave of absence, in which case the course of study must be completed within six years)
    • Not be in default on any student loan, nor owe a refund on any state or federal grant. If you are in default, you may re-establish your eligibility.
    • Comply with federal Selective Service registration requirements (see the note at the top of this section for possible exceptions) 
    • Not receive funds from the Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program or the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Program during the same term(s) for which you receive funds from the Illinois SETTW Program.

    How to Apply:

    The Illinois Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver (SETTW) Program Application/Teaching Agreement/Promissory Note is available online via the Program Applications & Status Checks area of the ISAC Student Portal. After entering and submitting your data, follow the on-screen instructions to print the completed application, sign it, and mail it to ISAC. Important: please note that the application is not complete until the Application/Teaching Agreement/Promissory Note, with an original ink signature, is received at ISAC.