Illinois is a great state to live and an even better place to go to school. With some of the top schools in the country and some of the best assistance programs out there going to school in Illinois is a great choice. When thinking about how you will pay for college, we at Funding U have a specific checklist of payment options we recommend that will help you avoid paying too much out of pocket or borrowing more money than you absolutely have to in order to graduate. By having the forethought to pursue opportunities such as scholarships and grants that you or someone you care for might be eligible for, you can significantly lower the cost of college. Here we will go over some of the grants, scholarships, and student loan opportunities available for student’s in Illinois to help pay for college.
What Scholarship Programs Does Illinois Have? Are you an exceptional student? Have you done some great things for your community throughout your time in school? Then you should apply for scholarships. Here are some of the scholarship programs Illinois offers students interested in college. Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Illionois’ Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Program is meant for exceptionally academically talented students to pursue education careers. Specifically driven towards encouraging minority students to consider teaching as their future career. The program encourages these students to teach at high-need and hard-to-staff schools by providing financial assistance for tuition, fees, room and board, and even commuter allowances at any of the participating colleges in the program. As a freshman and/or sophomore, you can qualify for up to $2,500. In your junior and/or senior years, the award doubles to a $5,000 maximum.
As part of the application process, you must agree to teach, on a full-time basis, for at least five years at a nonprofit Illinois public, private or parochial preschool, elementary, or secondary school that is considered a School of Need according to the program guidelines. After the completion of your degree or certificate program for which the assistance was awarded you must begin teaching within two years. If the teaching commitment is not fulfilled, the award will convert to a loan, which must be repaid, with interest. According to the Illinois State Assistance Commission, to qualify you must: be named as a Golden Apple Scholar by the Golden Apple Foundation be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen be a resident of Illinois (if you are dependent, both you and your parent/guardian must be residents of Illinois) be a high school graduate or hold a General Educational Development (GED) certificate earn a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale (if a sophomore, junior or senior) Learn more about the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois by clicking here.
Minority Teachers of Illinois Scholarship Program If you are a person of color and plan on becoming a teacher, consider working at an underprivileged school with many minority children to take advantage of this program. 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; and 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.
According to the Illinois State Assistance Commission, to qualify 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 Learn more about the Minority Teachers of Illinois Scholarship Program by clicking here. Nursing Education Scholarship Program Have you considered going to school to earn a certificate in practical nursing? Are you currently pursuing an associate’s degree in nursing?
Or even a hospital-based diploma in nursing? How about a bachelor’s or graduate degree in nursing? Do you have a substantial financial need you can demonstrate? Then, you may be qualified to win the Nursing Education Scholarship. This scholarship offers financial aid to qualified students for one to four years as long as you remain active in your nursing pursuit. If you’re granted an award, you’re required to begin full- or part-time employment as a licensed practical or registered nurse in Illinois within six months of graduation. You must then remain employed for the same amount of time as the aid supported your education. If you decide to end your studies or cannot get hired with your new degree, you will be required to repay the full scholarship amount plus interest.
Learn more about the Nursing Education Scholarship Program by clicking here. What Grant Programs Does Illinois Have? Grants are always the preferred way to fund your college experience. Why? Because in the majority of cases you’ll never have to pay the money back. Here are some of the grant programs available to students in Illinois. Monetary Award Program The Monetary Award Program (MAP) provides grants, which do not need to be repaid, to Illinois residents who attend approved Illinois colleges and demonstrate financial need, based on the information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®).
You are not required to submit high school grades or test scores when applying for a MAP grant. MAP grants are not limited to traditional college-aged students. If all eligibility requirements are met, adult and non-traditional students (older than recent high school graduates) may also qualify. MAP grants can be applied only toward tuition and mandatory fees. To learn more about the Monetary Award Program (MAP) click here. Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant Program If you are a member* of the Illinois National Guard, you may be eligible to receive the Illinois National Guard (ING), Grant. This grant can pay for eligible tuition and certain fees (i.e., registration, graduation, general activity, matriculation, and term fees) for undergraduate or graduate study. If you have GI Bill benefits, you can use benefits under both plans. Learn more about the Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant Program by clicking here.
Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) Program If you have served at least one year of federal active duty service in the Armed Forces of the United States; or served on federal active duty service in a foreign country during a time of hostilities in that country and were honorably discharged after each period of federal active duty service; and/or are honorably serving you may be eligible for the Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) Program. Qualified applicants are encouraged to submit an IVG Program application if they anticipate attending college at any point in the future. While program eligibility can be confirmed for qualified applicants at any time, funds will be disbursed only for terms in which you are enrolled at an Illinois public college or community college.
Learn more about the Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) Program by clicking here. Grant Programs for Dependents of Police or Fire Fighters If you are the spouse or child of an Illinois police or fire officer who was killed or became at least 90 percent disabled in the line of duty, you may be eligible for the Grant Program for Dependents of Police or Fire Officers. This grant provides assistance toward college tuition and mandatory fees* for undergraduate or graduate study at an approved Illinois college. You may receive assistance for a maximum of the equivalent of four academic years (eight semesters or 12 quarters) of full-time enrollment.
Learn more about the Grant Programs for Dependents of Police or Fire Fighters by clicking here. Illinois does not have any unique student loan programs through the state government. However, it is always beneficial to look at federal loan options and fill out your FAFSA application to determine federal funding options. Prospective Illinois students can receive federal financial aid assistance by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA). There are many private student loan opportunities for those who need additional assistance on top of federal student loans. To learn more about private co-signed student loans click here. Funding U offers no co-signer student loans to individuals currently in college. The requirements for receiving a loan are dependent upon the GPA of the student and the graduation rate of the institution they attend. To learn more about no co-signer student loans click here.
Generally speaking, Funding U’s no co-signer loans are offered to students at eligible four-year, non-profit, undergraduate degree-granting universities (which means we do not lend to for-profit schools, 2-year schools, graduate schools, or trade schools). Our eligibility requirements are based on models that aim to predict how likely a student is to graduate, and because of that, we have minimum GPA requirements that students must meet and minimum 6-year graduation rates that schools must reach in order to be eligible. Below is a table listing all of the schools in Illinois that Funding U is currently lending to, with additional details on which grades we are currently lending to, based on the school’s 6-year graduation rate. While each university and college will have its own specific set of dates and deadlines there are a few general times to be aware of. Most schools will have an early decision application deadline around the beginning of November.
The official application deadline for the following school year is usually around the beginning of January. You’ll need to have all the financial aid applications turned in around March up to May of the school year they’ll apply to. School usually begins mid-May to the beginning of August with winter break around the middle of December and spring break sometime in March. Again, make sure to check with the school itself to get the specific dates and deadlines calendar that applies to them. We have all faced that troubling time when it’s hard to pay your bills. However, if some of those debts that are stressing you out are student loans, there may be hope at the end of the tunnel. Illinois offers a number of different loan forgiveness options to help take care of the debt you incurred while obtaining your degree. Read more about these options below.
The Illinois Teachers Loan Repayment Program provides awards to encourage academically talented Illinois students to teach in Illinois schools in low-income areas. If these obligations are met by a Federal Stafford loan borrower who has qualified for the federal government’s loan forgiveness programs, Illinois may provide an additional matching award of up to $5000 to the qualifying teacher to repay their student loan debt. Learn more about the Illinois Teachers Loan Repayment Program by clicking here. The John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program provides for the payment of eligible educational loans (both Federal Family Education Loan Program [FFELP] and Federal Direct Loans) for state and federal public defenders and state prosecutors who agree to remain employed as public defenders and prosecutors for at least three years. Learn more about the John R. Justice Student Loan Repayment Program by clicking here.
The Nurse Educator Loan Repayment Program encourages longevity and career change opportunities. The program is intended to pay eligible loans to add an incentive to nursing educators in maintaining their teaching careers within the State of Illinois. You can be awarded up to $5,000 for up to four years. Learn more about the Nurse Educator Loan Repayment Program by clicking here. The Veterans’ Home Nurse Loan Repayment Program provides for the payment of eligible educational loans as an incentive for nurses to pursue and continue their careers at the State of Illinois veterans’ homes. You can be awarded up to $5,000 for up to four years. You can learn more about the Veteran’s Home Nurse Loan Repayment Program by clicking here.