Illinois Scholarships

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Closed
$2,000
1 Award Winner

The James M. & Virginia M. Smyth Scholarship Fund

James M. & Virginia M. Smyth Scholarship Fund awards a scholarship to eligible students to pursue undergraduate degrees in arts and sciences, human services, music, or ministry at an accredited college.

Eligible Grades
High School Senior – Undergraduate
Application Open Date
December 6, 2022
Application Deadline
February 15, 2023
Closed
$2,000
1 Award Winner
Closed
$10,000
3 Award Winners

Eli Lilly & Company Make Life Better Scholarship Program

The Eli Lilly & Company Make Life Better Scholarship Program awards up to $10,000 to seven college sophomore students in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio.

Eligible Grades
College Sophomore
Application Open Date
August 4, 2022
Application Deadline
February 28, 2023
Closed
$10,000
3 Award Winners
Closed
$1,500–$3,000
8 Award Winners

Illinois Retired Teachers Association Foundation Scholarships

The Illinois Retired Teachers Association (IRTA) Foundation Scholarship awards from $1,500 to $3,000 to deserving undergraduate students pursuing studies in education and becoming educators in Illinois.

Eligible Grades
College Junior – College Senior
Application Open Date
December 1, 2022
Application Deadline
March 1, 2023
Closed
$1,500–$3,000
8 Award Winners
Closed
$2,500
2 Award Winners

John Deere Scholarship

The $2,500 John Deere Scholarship is given to one Midwest US student and one diverse Midwest U.S. student enrolled in a welding engineering or weld engineering technology program annually.

Eligible Grades
High School Graduate – Undergraduate
Application Open Date
December 1, 2022
Application Deadline
March 1, 2023
Closed
$2,500
2 Award Winners
Closed
$5,000
1 Award Winner

Minority Teachers of Illinois Scholarship

The MTI Scholarship offers up to $5,000 to minority students in higher education institutions in Illinois who are studying to become teachers. Eligible students must have a 2.50 GPA.

Eligible Grades
All
Application Open Date
January 1, 2023
Application Deadline
March 1, 2023
Closed
$5,000
1 Award Winner
Closed
$2,000
7 Award Winners

TOI Scholarship

The TOI Scholarships program, administered by Township Officials of Illinois, offers $2,000 to financially support high school seniors to further their education and help them complete their undergraduate degrees.

Eligible Grades
All
Application Open Date
January 1, 2023
Application Deadline
March 1, 2023
Closed
$2,000
7 Award Winners
Closed
$6,000
2 Award Winners

Hearld and Marge Ambler Scholarship

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks offers the Hearld and Marge Ambler Scholarship of $6,000 to two college students each, pursuing business-related degree programs. Preference is given to accounting majors.

Eligible Grades
Undergraduate
Application Open Date
February 1, 2023
Application Deadline
March 13, 2023
Closed
$6,000
2 Award Winners
Closed
$500–$1,000
1 Award Winner

Illinois Sheriffs’ Association College Scholarships

The ISA awards over 100 students the Illinois Sheriffs' Association College Scholarships ranging from $500 to $1,000 to pursue their undergraduate studies in Illinois. Applicants must be residents of Illinois.

Eligible Grades
High School Senior – Undergraduate
Application Open Date
January 1, 2023
Application Deadline
March 15, 2023
Closed
$500–$1,000
1 Award Winner
Closed
$1,000
5 Award Winners

IACAC Transfer Scholarship

The IACAC provides the Transfer Scholarship of $1,000 to five students enrolled at community colleges who are looking to further their studies at IACAC four-year member institutions.

Eligible Grades
Undergraduate
Application Open Date
January 1, 2023
Application Deadline
March 18, 2023
Closed
$1,000
5 Award Winners
Closed
$1,500
1 Award Winner

IAW Helen Henert Agricultural Education Scholarship

Women Changing the Face of Agriculture (WCFA), organized by the American Agri-Women, awards this scholarship of $1,500 to one college student pursuing a degree in agriculture- related field in Illinois.

Eligible Grades
Undergraduate
Application Open Date
January 1, 2023
Application Deadline
March 31, 2023
Closed
$1,500
1 Award Winner
Closed
$3,500
30 Award Winners

Regions Riding Forward Scholarship Contest – College Students

The Regions Riding Forward Scholarship Contest awards 30 scholarships to undergraduate students who live in states with Regions' full service and are enrolled in undergraduate programs of their choice.

Eligible Grades
Undergraduate
Application Open Date
February 1, 2023
Application Deadline
March 31, 2023
Closed
$3,500
30 Award Winners
Closed
$5,000
30 Award Winners

Regions Riding Forward Scholarship Contest – High School Seniors

The Scholarship Contest awards 30 scholarships to high school senior students who live in states with Regions' full service and plan to enroll in undergraduate programs of their choice.

Eligible Grades
High School Senior
Application Open Date
February 1, 2023
Application Deadline
March 31, 2023
Closed
$5,000
30 Award Winners
Closed
$1,000
10 Award Winners

ISL Midwest Senior Scholarship

The Iowa Student Loan offers a $1,000 scholarship to ten students annually to assist them with college education expenses and encourage them to pursue college degrees. Recipients are picked randomly.

Eligible Grades
High School Senior
Application Open Date
January 10, 2023
Application Deadline
April 29, 2023
Closed
$1,000
10 Award Winners
Closed
$1,000
20 Award Winners

Cathay Bank Foundation Scholarship

The Cathay Bank Foundation Scholarship offers twenty $1,000 scholarships to high school seniors.

Eligible Grades
High School Senior
Application Open Date
January 1, 2023
Application Deadline
April 30, 2023
Closed
$1,000
20 Award Winners
Closed
$3,449–$17,125
1 Award Winner

Nursing Education Scholarship Program

Every year, IDPH awards scholarships from $8,324 to $17,124 to individuals who are pursuing various degrees in nursing at approved institutions in Illinois.

Eligible Grades
All
Application Open Date
March 1, 2023
Application Deadline
April 30, 2023
Closed
$3,449–$17,125
1 Award Winner
Closed
$4,000
1 Award Winner

Rural Nurse Practitioner Scholarship

The scholarship program, administered by the Rural Illinois Medical Student Assistance Program, awards $4,000 to registered nurses seeking to become nurse practitioners. Applications are only open to Illinois residents.

Eligible Grades
Undergraduate
Application Open Date
January 30, 2023
Application Deadline
May 1, 2023
Closed
$4,000
1 Award Winner
Closed
$1,500
3 Award Winners

ICTM Scholarships

Annually, three students are granted $1,500 to study mathematics to become teachers in the state of Illinois. Applicants must be an undergraduate at an accredited college or university in Illinois.

Eligible Grades
College Junior – College Senior
Application Open Date
January 1, 2023
Application Deadline
May 9, 2023
Closed
$1,500
3 Award Winners
Closed
$400
50 Award Winners

Zakat Foundation Community Service Scholarship

Preparing for college is an exciting time, but it can also be an overwhelming undertaking, especially for students graduating during a pandemic.

Eligible Grades
High School Senior – High School Graduate
Application Open Date
April 1, 2023
Application Deadline
May 10, 2023
Closed
$400
50 Award Winners
Closed
$1,500
185 Award Winners

¡Lánzate!/Take Off! Higher Education Travel Award program

The ¡Lánzate!/Take Off! Higher Education Travel Award program offers 185 $1,500 flight e-passes to undergraduate and graduate students who travel away from home to study.

Eligible Grades
Undergraduate – Postgraduate
Application Open Date
March 1, 2023
Application Deadline
May 15, 2023
Closed
$1,500
185 Award Winners
Closed
$1,000
1 Award Winner

Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation Scholarship

The ILBCF awards a scholarship of $1,000 to a number of undergraduate students in the state of Illinois to complete their undergraduate studies of choice at two- or four-year institutions.

Eligible Grades
High School Senior – College Senior
Application Open Date
January 1, 2023
Application Deadline
May 31, 2023
Closed
$1,000
1 Award Winner
Closed
$1,000–$4,000
1 Award Winner

IHLA Educational Foundation Scholarship

The scholarship, administered by the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association and ranges from $1,000 to $4,000, is to financially assist students who pursue hospitality management degrees at accredited colleges and universities.

Eligible Grades
High School Senior – Undergraduate
Application Open Date
January 1, 2023
Application Deadline
June 9, 2023
Closed
$1,000–$4,000
1 Award Winner
Closed
$1,000
1 Award Winner

Illinois Section One AWWA Operator Scholarship

The One AWWA Operator Scholarship is an award of up to $2,000 to Illinois-based applicants seeking to enter or progress their work in the state’s water, wastewater, or stormwater industry.

Eligible Grades
All
Application Open Date
January 1, 2023
Application Deadline
June 30, 2023
Closed
$1,000
1 Award Winner
Closed
$5,000
1 Award Winner

ISAWWA Outreach Safe Water Scholarship

The ISAWWA Outreach Safe Water Scholarship of $5,000, offered by ISAAWWA, is a merit-based scholarship program to financially support deserving undergraduate and postgraduate students enrolled in a water resources-related field.

Eligible Grades
Undergraduate – Doctorate
Application Open Date
January 1, 2023
Application Deadline
June 30, 2023
Closed
$5,000
1 Award Winner
Closed
$500–$5,000
32 Award Winners

KASF Midwestern Regional Chapter Scholarships

The Korean American Scholarship Foundation offers scholarships for all academic levels ranging from $500 to $5,000 to eligible students to complete their desired degrees. Applicants must demonstrate financial need.

Eligible Grades
High School Senior – Graduate
Application Open Date
April 1, 2023
Application Deadline
June 30, 2023
Closed
$500–$5,000
32 Award Winners
Closed
$1,000
6 Award Winners

BLM² Scholarship

The BLM² Foundation awards $1,000 to six successful applicants to address the financial needs of minority students to pursue higher education at accredited colleges or universities across the U.S.

Eligible Grades
High School Senior
Application Open Date
January 16, 2023
Application Deadline
July 3, 2023
Closed
$1,000
6 Award Winners

About Illinois Scholarships

Attending college in Illinois can be a great way to start your educational journey. Illinois is home to more than 270 post-secondary public and private institutions. It is ranked #12 in education overall by U.S. News and comes in the top 5 for Pre-K-12 education. For higher education, it is ranked at #31. These rankings are based on different metrics like graduation rates, educational attainment, college costs, and student debts.

Educational institutions in Illinois have excellent academic programs, and they also provide a vibrant atmosphere that encourages learning and growth outside the classroom. The college enrollments in Illinois are quite high and equal to around 689,957. This makes up around 3.6% of the total college enrollment in America. However, many students who enroll in a post-secondary institution fail to graduate. One of the main reasons for this is that they are unable to afford the rising cost of college. Most students, therefore, end up taking out loans.

The total student loan debt in the United States totals around $1.766 trillion out of which more than 90% are federal loans. Illinois also has a high amount of student debt with the average student loan debt exceeding the average national student debt by around 5%. The high debt can become a financial burden on students and can affect their future. They would be able to save less for a home, a car, for family, and retirement too. Therefore, it is critical for students to try and pay for college using other resources first as much as they can before opting for loans. Other financial aid options include scholarships, federal grants, and aid from your college.

Scholarships are a great way to cover tuition costs and college-related living expenses without increasing the debt burden. This is because scholarships are awarded as financial gifts to selected students and do not require any repayment. There are scholarships available in Illinois for students of all ages and backgrounds and some scholarships also offer to cover the full cost of tuition. We’ve gathered some of the best scholarships that Illinois has to offer and have also provided information on how to apply and what the requirements are. Keep reading to find the best scholarship opportunities in Illinois.

Colleges in Illinois

Illinois has around 62 public post-secondary educational institutes and more than 200 private ones. It houses some of the best universities in America including Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Northwestern University is a private institution with 8,659 undergraduate enrollments. It is one of the leading institutions ranked at number 9th in America and is situated in Evanston, Illinois. It is quite selective with student applications and has a lower acceptance rate of 7%. Being a private institution, it has a high cost of tuition of $65,997 (2023-2024). Their tuition cost is much higher than the annual national average cost of tuition of $43,477.

The University of Chicago is one of the most prestigious private research universities in the world and in America, located in Hyde Park on the south side of Chicago. It is home to students from various backgrounds and ethnicities. It ranks at number 12th on the list of the Best National University Rankings published by the U.S. News. The university gets 34,641 applications on average with an acceptance rate of around 5%. Their average cost of tuition totals up to $65,619.

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is a more affordable option compared to the previous two with an average tuition cost of $36,068 for out-of-state students and $17,572 for in-state. It is a public institution with a much higher acceptance rate of 45%. It also offers on-campus living which can cost up to $13,938.

Colleges That Accept 3.0 GPA in Illinois

There are quite a few colleges in Illinois that accept students with a 3.0 GPA and slightly lower. Northeastern Illinois University is one such example that accepts students with around 3.0 GPA on average. It is one of the best public 4-year institutions in Illinois and is located in the busy city of Chicago.

National Loius University is another example which is a private 4-year institution that is also open to students with a 3.0 GPA or slightly lower. There are three campuses of this university located within the state with one being in Chicago, another in Wheeling, and the third one in Lisle.

Roosevelt University is also located in Chicago, Illinois and it does not base its admissions solely on the GPA but takes a holistic approach when selecting students. A strong letter of recommendation, a personal statement, and your passion and determination can also land you a place in the institution.

Cost of College in Illinois

Colleges and universities in Illinois have a higher average cost of tuition compared to the whole country. However, the cost of living in Illinois is lower than in many other states which makes the total cost of attendance around the same level. The actual cost of college will depend on the type of institution a student is attending. It varies significantly between public and private institutions, in-state and out-of-state students, on-campus and off-campus students, and full-time and part-time students.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) data from 2019-2020, the average net price of tuition and fees for in-state, full-time students in 2020 was $14,455 at public four-year institutions, $4,035 at public two-year institutions, and $12,410 for graduate schools.

However, if you look at the cost of tuition for out-of-state students full-time students, it almost doubles up to $29,515 at public four-year institutions, $11,450 at public two-year institutions, and $12,410 at public graduate schools. Private institution tuition and fees for these students is even higher, being $35,570 at 4-year institutions and $26,597 at private graduate schools.

For on-campus students, there will be an added expense for room and board making the overall costs to rise. One option for students is to go for part-time as it spreads out the costs more making each semester more affordable, or look for full-ride scholarships covering 100% of cost like the Evans Scholars Program, Exelon HBCU Corporate Scholars Program, and McDonald’s HACER National Scholarship.

Illinois Student Demographics

Illinois has a total enrollment of around 689,957 out of which around 531,334 are undergraduate enrolments and approximately 158,623 are graduate enrolments. Around 58% of these enrolments are full-time and the majority consists of the female population which is around 59% of the total enrolment.

The highest number of enrolments consists of White Americans, totaling up to 325,877 approximately, followed by Hispanics. Black and African Americans make up around 12% of the total enrolments and around 7% are Asians. Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders share the smallest percentage of the total enrolment which is less than 1%.

Average Student Debt in Illinois

The total student debt in America is more than a trillion with an average of $28,950 per student nationally. This total debt amount includes both federal and private loans. Illinois makes up around $61 billion of the total national debt in America with an average of around $37,233 per person, which is higher than the national average. There are about 1,630,000 student borrowers living in the state of Illinois and out of those 21.8% owe $20,000 to $40,000 in loans.

How to Get Illinois Scholarships

How To Apply

Applying for scholarships is an easy process. Scholaroo provides a plethora of Illinois scholarships that you can apply for. You can save all the scholarships that you are eligible for by creating a Scholaroo account. You can also track your saved scholarships.

The following are the main steps to follow when applying for any scholarship:

1. Check Eligibility

Scholarship websites are the easiest place to find most scholarship opportunities as they list all the available options under one roof. They also list scholarships according to state, college major, demographic, and grade level. You can also filter them according to the parameters provided to narrow down the list. This makes it easier to find scholarships that are best suited to you. Go through the eligibility requirements of the scholarships thoroughly to make sure that you qualify to save time. Some scholarships may be need-based and are awarded on the basis of the financial need of the student, while others may be based on merit.

2. Understand the Application Requirements
It is important to understand what the scholarship demands, for submitting a strong application.

Scholarship applications may require some or all of the following:

  • Scholarship Application Form: Scholarship application is unique for each scholarship and is a must to be considered as an applicant. It usually asks for general information about the applicant like their name, date of birth, education, address, and so on. It may also contain a few short answer questions relevant to the scholarship.
  • Essay: Many scholarships require an essay along with the application form. Applicants can make themselves stand out via their essays. Therefore, you should take proper time and put in good effort when writing one. It’s important that your essay is original, and represents your personality and opinions.
  • Letters of Recommendation: A letter of recommendation can be written by your personal or professional references. Some scholarships specifically demand letters of recommendation from teachers. The letter basically contains reasons for why the applicant is a deserving one. It assesses the applicant’s qualities, characteristics, strengths, capabilities, and academic performance, which kind of acts as a character certificate when applying for scholarships.
  • Grade Transcripts: Many scholarships, whether they are merit-based or need-based, usually require school transcripts that show the academic performance of an individual. You can get a copy through your school’s website or the office and attach it to the application form.
  • Resume: A resume is where an applicant can highlight their skills and accomplishments. It does not have to have work experiences only but can also include mentions of any societies or extra-curricular activities that you have been a part of, and any special courses that you have completed that equipped you with a certain skill.
  • Financial Information: Many need-based scholarships may ask you to provide financial information that may include information about your family income and any financial aid that you may have received.
  • FAFSA: Some scholarships require applicants to apply for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be eligible for them. These are mainly need-based scholarships.
  • Portfolio or Video Submission: There are a few scholarships that ask for video or portfolio submissions. This usually applies to art major scholarships as videos and portfolios are how an applicant can show their skills. Some scholarships do not have other requirements and are like a contest where participants have to make a project and provide a picture or video of it to enter and win.
  • School Verification: A school verification letter verifies which school the candidate is attending or has attended, the dates when they started and finished a program, and also includes a list of any certificates or degrees earned.
  • Standardized Test Scores: Occasionally, you may need to provide a copy of your SAT or ACT test scores. These are standardized test scores that most colleges and universities require for admission.
  • 3. Order Scholarships According to Submission Deadlines:

    It is important to arrange the scholarships according to the deadlines to make sure that you do not miss out on any opportunity. Timing is very important and the earlier you apply the better it is. It is always wise to start early too because it may take time to complete all the submission requirements like writing essays and getting letters of recommendation in hand. Time should, especially, be invested in scholarships that require an essay as it takes a lot of time, planning, and effort to write a good one.

    4. Proofread:

    Once you have completed your application and the associated requirements, make sure to go through them all thoroughly at least once. You can also get a friend or someone from the family to help you proofread for mistakes and errors.

    5. Submit Your Application:

    After you have taken your time filling out the application form, writing the essay, collecting all the required documents, and proofreading – it is time to submit. Most applications now require online submissions and may take a few minutes only if you have everything ready to upload. Keep track of the status of your application process and keep in mind that it may take some time to receive an answer. You may put in a follow-up email if you haven’t received any reply for some time.

    Tips For Applying

  • Start looking early: Don’t wait until the last minute to look for scholarships in Illinois. Many organizations have deadlines that are months before the school year even starts, so it pays to begin your search as soon as possible. Make sure you research, apply, and submit all necessary documents on time in order to maximize your chances of winning scholarships.
  • Network: Many of the scholarship opportunities in Illinois come through networking and contacts, so make sure you take full advantage of your connections. Utilize family members, friends, contacts from any organizations or clubs you are part of, and even faculty members at your school to learn about different scholarship options in the area.
  • Seek out local scholarships: Many organizations in Illinois offer scholarships specifically for local students. Look up businesses and community groups in the area, as they often have scholarship programs available. You can also check with your school’s guidance office or college counseling department to see if they know of any opportunities. You can even check on scholarship websites for scholarships specific to your state or area.
  • Read the requirements carefully: Once you have a narrowed-down list of scholarships, make sure to read the requirements carefully so you fully understand what is required.
  • Do not rush when applying: Take your time and apply early. This allows sufficient time to gather all the required documents and also write a great essay if needed.
  • Brainstorm for an essay and make an outline: If an essay is required, always start with brainstorming, then arrange your ideas and make an outline to follow. Unique, personalized, and lively essays have a better chance at qualifying than general and dull ones. Make sure that you understand the topic before starting.
  • Customize application: Some students submit the same application, essays, and letters of recommendation to all organizations. It is better to thoroughly research the organization and what they are actually looking for before and customize your application and essays accordingly. You can also mention what the organization is looking for to people who are writing your recommendation letters so they can make it more relevant rather than general. However, it is important to be honest and avoid including things just for the sake of qualifying and getting a scholarship.
  • Check and Proofread: You may be surprised at the amount of grammatical mistakes and other errors that you may come across when rereading your application and essays. Those applicants who submit applications full of errors appear irresponsible and undetermined to scholarship providers.
  • Illinois Scholarships for High School Students

    High school students have many choices for scholarships available to them. It is a good idea to apply to as many scholarships as you are eligible for. This way high students can collect a good amount of money that they can save for future college expenses.

    1. Greenhouse Scholarship
    2. InspirASIAN Scholarship Program
    3. Illinois Sheriffs’ Association College Scholarship
    4. Evans Scholars Program

    Illinois Scholarships for All Undergraduate Students

    The undergraduate degree usually consists of 4 years of education. First-year students are referred to as college freshmen, second-year students are college sophomores, third-year students are juniors, and final-year students are college seniors. Even though the graduation rate in Illinois has hit its highest in 2022 and was 87.3%, many students still fail to graduate. One of the main reasons for this is the high college-associated costs.

    It may be challenging for many students to cover all educational costs by themselves or with the help of their parents only. Some students from low-income backgrounds especially suffer and end up in great debt by the end of their fourth year of college. Scholarships can help such students take off some of the financial burden so they can focus better on their studies and complete their degrees.

    All Undergraduate students including college freshmen, college sophomores, college juniors, and seniors can apply for the following scholarships.

    1. IAW Helen Henert Agricultural Education Scholarship
    2. Exelon HBCU Corporate Scholars Program
    3. ISAWWA Outreach Safe Water Scholarship
    4. Hearld and Marge Ambler Scholarship
    5. Rural Nurse Practitioner Scholarship

    Illinois Scholarships for Graduate Students

    The cost of a graduate degree is also quite high for students to afford on their own. They end up taking loans for it which becomes a long-term financial burden on them. There are scholarships available for Illinois students pursuing a graduate degree that can help them pay off a part of the college expenses.

    1. ISAWWA Outreach Safe Water Scholarship
    2. ¡Lánzate!/Take Off! Higher Education Travel Award program

    Illinois Teacher scholarships

    Students pursuing a teacher degree can apply for most college scholarships that are generally open for all majors. However, there are teacher-specific scholarships in Illinois too to consider. These scholarships are exclusively for students who become teachers and therefore would be less competitive to win compared to general scholarships for all majors.

    1. Illinois Retired Teachers Association Foundation Scholarships
    2. Minority Teachers of Illinois Scholarship

    Illinois Nursing Scholarships

    Nursing major students can apply for the general scholarships available to college students but they have a much higher competition as much more people are applying for them. There are some scholarships especially designed to support nursing students in Illinois. Some such scholarships may require the student to commit a certain number of years at a specified location in exchange for the scholarship money.

    1. Nursing Education Scholarship Program
    2. Rural Nurse Practitioner Scholarship

    Illinois Women Scholarships

    Women make up a larger percentage of the total student enrolment in colleges in Illinois across all levels. Most of these women are not able to finance their degrees and associated expenses fully independently. For women who are mothers or are single moms, pursuing a college education becomes even harder due to more financial constraints and responsibilities that these groups of women have. Scholarship money, therefore, can be a huge help which can help lessen their financial burden. American Transmission Co. Scholarship is a great scholarship for Illinois women offered by the Society of Women Engineers. It is for women who are engineering, engineering technology, or computer science full-time students studying in the state of Illinois.

    Merit Scholarships at Illinois Colleges and Universities

    Many Illinois universities offer merit-based scholarships to their students. These scholarships are based on the academic performance of the student mainly. However, universities also consider extracurricular activities, leadership qualities, and community service when selecting finalists.

    The University of Chicago offers multiple merit scholarships that award at least $2,000 to students with outstanding academic results. Financial need is not considered for the awards. First-year admissions are automatically considered for the merit scholarships offered by the university and applicants are notified about a decision through the end of April.

    The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign also offers scholarships to its first-year resident and non-resident students. Enrollment in the university automatically makes the first-years from all majors eligible for the scholarships. There are multiple scholarships that are merit-based and awards can vary from at least $2,000 to the full cost of tuition.

    The Illinois State University is another great educational institution that provides financial help to its students in the form of merit scholarships. A few of their many merit-based awards for first-year students include Redbird Academic Scholarship which requires a 3.0+ cumulative GPA , Jesse W. Fell Scholarship that requires 3.75+ cumulative GPA, and the Transfer Student Scholarship with a requirement of 3.5+ cumulative transfer GPA for eligibility. The Redbird Academic Scholarship and Transfer Student Scholarship awards up to $5,000 and $3,000, and eligible students are automatically considered upon enrollment. The Jesse W. Fell Scholarship awards up to $48,000 and it requires submitting a scholarship application by mid-December.

    Resources for Illinois Scholarships

    It might make it easy to find relevant scholarships in Illinois if students know where to find them. You can always go through the scholarship websites and find one relevant to you or look for opportunities that various state-based and not-for-profit organizations offer on their websites.

    Illinois Student Assistance Commission is one of the leading state agencies in Illinois that offer scholarships and grants to students who are Illinois residents. They usually disburse the amount to the institutions. There are various scholarship opportunities based on varying eligibility factors like financial need, academic achievement, major, or military service.

    Another non-profit organization to consider is Hope Chicago. It is a scholarship focused organization that provides students and their parents/guardians with the financial support they need to graduate from college successfully.

    National Merit Scholarship Corporation, or NMSC, is an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides scholarships to students nationwide based on academic excellence. They provide multiple levels of award money and issue around 7,140 merit-based scholarships. They only cater to undergraduate students studying at an accredited college or university in the United States.

    Many universities also offer in-house scholarships for their students. You can always refer to your university’s financial aid office and ask about any available scholarship or other financial aid that you may be eligible for.

    Illinois Student College Grants

    Grants are gift aid that are usually issued to the students by the government and require no repayment. There are many state-based organizations in Illinois that offer grants to students.

    Illinois Student Assistance Commission, or ISAS, is a government organization that offers various grants to Illinois students. Students might have to submit a FAFSA to become eligible for the grants they offer including the State of Illinois ‎Monetary Award Program (MAP), ‎Federal Pell Grant, and ‎Illinois National Guard (ING). You could also reach out to the financial aid office of your public-funded educational institution to find out about the grants offered. Illinois State University, for example, offers the Illinois State University Access Grant to needy students.

    Frequently asked questions

    What scholarships are available in Illinois?

    We have more than 30 Illinois scholarships listed on our website for students. Some of them are even full-ride scholarships covering all of the tuition costs. There are multiple types of scholarships including academic merit-based awards, athletic awards, service-related grants, need-based aid, and more. Each type has its own eligibility requirements so it is important to review them before submitting your application.

    The Greenhouse Scholarship, ISAWWA IPSI Scholarship, and Kenneth C. Novak Manufacturing Scholarship are three of the many options that you can consider. You can scroll through our list above for more.

    What is the $1000 scholarship for Illinois 2023?

    Getting $1,000 at least in scholarship money can help pay off a chunk of tuition and fees or may also be used towards educational-related living expenses. A few of the best ones that award at least $1,000 are listed below:

    1. IHLA Educational Foundation Scholarship ($1,000–$4,000)
    2. InspirASIAN Scholarships ($1,000)
    3. IACAC Transfer Scholarship ($1,000)
    4. Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation Scholarship ($1,000)

    Do I need to be an Illinois resident to qualify for Illinois scholarships?

    State-based scholarships do require the applicants to be residents of that state or attend a public university or college in that state. However, there are other scholarships that are offered to non-Illinois residents. You can go through the eligibility criteria of a scholarship to find out whether they allow non-residents to apply or not.

    When can I start applying for Illinois Scholarships?

    You can start applying for scholarships as soon as you are in high school. This can allow you to take advantage of more scholarship opportunities that can come your way till you get to college. It will help you collect enough money to pay for college by yourself and you would not have to take loans or other forms of debt for college-related expenses.

    Do I have to have a certain GPA to apply?

    Different scholarships have different selection criteria. Some are merit-based and do have a minimum GPA requirement. However, there are many others that are not based on the student’s GPA but on other factors like financial need, ethnicity, athletic talent, artistic talent, musical talent, and so on.

    To find the scholarship best suited to you, use the filters on scholarship websites that will help narrow down the list to the most relevant ones.