The state of Illinois is stepping up with new funds to ensure that Illinois students have an easier time affording college at state schools. And students don’t have to be a valedictorian to benefit.
The Illinois Legislature has set aside $25 million as part of its AIM HIGH grant program, which will go into effect for students entering college in fall 2019. The $25 million must be matched by state universities, which will set the actual terms of the scholarships. So that’s a possible extra $50 million in the scholarship pools for state residents.
The effort is aimed at keeping top students in Illinois. But schools also are enriching their scholarship pools to help good students, not just the cream of the crop. At many schools, students should apply for merit-based scholarship aid as soon as possible to broaden the likelihood of getting scholarship money. Many of those scholarship applications are due by Dec. 1.
The University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign will offer free tuition through its Illinois Commitment program to all qualified students whose family income is $61,000 or less. The funding is good for four years of interrupted enrollment. Check this online link for more information.
The University of Illinois at Chicago has a similar offer of free tuition through its Chancellor’s Fellows Program. Free tuition will be offered to high school valedictorians and to students with at least a 3.8 GPA and a 30 ACT score. More information is available online.
Northern Illinois University in DeKalb is pledging an additional $5 million in scholarship aid to Illinois students, especially to those attending school in DeKalb County or a public high school in the city of Chicago. For more information, visit Northern’s AIM HIGH website.
Western Illinois University in Macomb has its own version of the scholarship program called Promise Plus. Illinois students with a minimum of a 1060 SAT or 21 ACT and a 2.75 high school GPA on a 4.0 scale will be considered. Western’s Promise Plus is designed to significantly reduce or offset tuition and fees, PLUS other costs — room, meal plan, books, and course materials — for new freshmen enrolling in Fall 2019. This online link has more information.
Eastern Illinois University in Charleston also has developed its own AIM HIGH scholarships. The EIU Promise program will offer scholarships to incoming freshmen who are enrolled full time and have a 18 ACT or 960 SAT with a 3.0 unweighted GPA. More information is available at this online link.
Illinois State University in Normal has added $4 million to its scholarship pool through its Redbird Scholarship program. Beginning in the fall of 2019, all new freshmen with a high school GPA of 3.0 and an SAT of 1200 or ACT of 25 will automatically qualify for a Redbird Scholarship of at least $1,000 and as much as $4,000 per academic year. Read more about Redbird Scholarships online.
Southern Illinois University in Carbondale is offering an additional $1.9 million in scholarships for incoming freshmen and transfer students. The school will offer two AIM scholarships: the SIU AIM HIGH Award and and Saluki Scholars Award. The two awards offer differing amounts depending on students ACT scores and grade point averages. Find out more about the scholarships at this online link.
Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville also has new scholarship funds available for incoming freshmen and transfer students. The school is offering $2,500 and $3,000 scholarships through its new AIM HIGH Grants. More information is available online.
We will add more scholarship opportunities to this list as they become available.