Illinois Financial Aid
For information on the programs outlined below and all types of financial aid available to students in Illinois, including scholarships, grants, work-study, loans, and loan forgiveness programs, contact:
Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC)
1755 Lake Cook Road Deerfield, IL 60015
Note: The number of grants made through programs administered by ISAC, as well as the individual dollar amount awarded, are subject to sufficient annual appropriations by the Illinois General Assembly and the Governor.
For all ISAC programs, students are encouraged to file as early as possible as funding is limited.
Monetary Award Program (MAP)
Eligibility – based on financial need; legal residents of Illinois who attend or plan to attend an approved Illinois institution and enroll for at least 3 credit hours.
Award – determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); maximum of $5,340 per year.
Funds are limited. Students should apply as soon after October 1 as possible.
For updates and additional information, contact ISAC.
Dependents of Deceased Police/Fire/Correctional Officers
Eligibility – spouse or child of an Illinois police, fire or correctional officer who was killed or at least 90 percent disabled in the line of duty. Awardee must attend an approved college or school. Beneficiaries need not be residents of Illinois at time of enrollment.
Award – not to exceed the cost of tuition and fees at an approved two- or four-year school for a maximum of 8 semesters or 12 quarters.
Minority Teachers of Illinois
Eligibility – legal residents who are Black, Hispanic, Asian American or Native American undergraduates, enrolled at least half-time in an undergraduate or graduate teacher education program in an eligible Illinois college or university. Recipient must maintain a 2.5 GPA to remain eligible.
Award – up to $5,000 but not to exceed total educational costs when added to other financial assistance. Monies are available for up to 8 semesters or 12 quarters. Recipient must work for a designated period of time in a preschool, elementary, or secondary school in the state of Illinois that has at least a 30 percent minority enrollment.
Illinois Loan Repayment/Forgiveness Programs
(Illinois Teachers Loan Repayment Program, Nurse Educator Loan Repayment Program, John R. Justice Loan Forgiveness Program [for public defenders], Public Interest Attorney Loan Repayment Assistance Program and Veteran’s Home Nurse Loan Repayment Program)
Eligibility – Illinois students who have used Federal Stafford Loans to finance their education and who, in return for repayment of all or a portion of the loan amount, agree to work for a stipulated period of time in a designated occupation or area in the state of Illinois that has experienced a shortage of workers.
Award – varies, depending on the program to which student is applying.
Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver
Eligibility – legal residents who rank in the upper half of their high school graduating class and are accepted for enrollment at one of the eligible public four-year universities in a program conferring initial certification in any area of Special Education.
Award – tuition exemption at eligible institutions for up to four calendar years contingent on agreement to teach in Illinois for a designated period.
For an application and additional information, contact the college financial aid office, offices of Regional Superintendents of Education in Illinois, or ISAC.
Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois
Eligibility – academically talented high school students who want to pursue a career in teaching. Any Illinois high school student may be nominated by a teacher, counselor, principal, or other non-family adult. Students may also nominate themselves. A limited number of college sophomores in attendance at one of the participating Illinois colleges and universities that partner in the program are also eligible. These candidates must be nominated by the liaison of a participating university.
Award – up to $2,500 as a freshman or sophomore, and up to $5,000 as a junior or senior at one of the participating public or private universities across the state. Recipients also take part in the summer programs that include teaching internships and enhanced teacher preparation. Recipient is required to make a commitment to teach for five years in an Illinois school of need in return for aid received.
For an application and additional information, visit the Golden Apple Foundation Web site goldenapple.org, or call 312-407-0006; or contact ISAC.
Nursing Education Scholarship Program
The scholarship pays for coursework within the nursing curriculum for which the recipient is funded.
Eligibility – qualified individuals pursuing a certificate in practical nursing, an associates degree in nursing, a hospital-based diploma in nursing or a bachelor’s or graduate degree in nursing.
Award – Scholarship awards are distributed as follows: 40 percent for students pursuing a baccalaureate degree in nursing; 30 percent for students pursuing an associate degree or a hospital-based diploma in nursing; 20 percent for students pursuing a graduate degree in nursing; and 10 percent for students pursuing a certificate in practical nursing.
Recipient must enter into an agreement with the state to work as a nurse or nurse educator in Illinois for a designated period of time.
For additional information contact: Illinois Department of Public Health, Center for Rural Health, Nursing Education Scholarship Program; 217-782-1624; idph.state.il.us.
Eligibility – dependents of a person who was an Illinois resident at the time he/she entered active duty and has since been declared missing in action, a prisoner of war, has died as a result of a service-related disability, or is 100 percent disabled due to a service-related cause.
Award – full tuition at a public college or university in Illinois.
For an application and additional information, contact the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, 217-782-3564, illinois.gov/veterans
Illinois National Guard Grant
Eligibility – legal residents who are currently enlisted members on active duty of the National Guard, have served at least one year, and are enrolled at an approved two- or four-year institution.
Award – tuition and some fees at an approved college or university. Duration of award depends on the amount of active service in ING.
For additional information, contact the college financial aid office, National Guard Unit, or ISAC.
Illinois Veteran Grant
Eligibility – were a resident of Illinois at the time of entering federal active duty service or within six months prior to entering the service or were a student at an Illinois public 2- or 4-year college at the time of entering federal active duty service - established, or if on federal active duty service, plan to establish Illinois residency within six months after leaving federal active duty service
Award – cost of tuition and mandatory fees at an eligible Illinois public two- or four-year college.
AIM HIGH Grant Pilot Program
If you are attending one of Illinois’ 12 public four-year institutions for the first time, you may be eligible for the Aspirational Institutional Match Helping Illinois Grow Higher Education (AIM HIGH) Grant Pilot Program. Beginning in the 2019-20 academic year, funding will be made available to universities for AIM HIGH awards for students who meet the eligibility requirements.
Eligibility - Illinois resident who attended an Illinois high school and is enrolled full-time in a participating public university.
Award - ISAC determines the amount of AIM HIGH grant funding that will be made available to each public university each academic year. Funding is allocated to the university and will be disbursed to students according to the university’s procedures.