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Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program

The number of scholarships made through this program, as well as the individual dollar amount awarded, are subject to sufficient annual appropriations by the Illinois General Assembly and the Governor.

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Program Description
Eligibility
Eligibility Units
How to Apply (and Obtaining the Application)
     Application Priority Consideration Date: March 1
Correcting Previously-Submitted Data
Details
How Funds Are Disbursed
Processing Updates
Participating Schools

If: 1) 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 2) 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. 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

To be eligible, you must:

  • be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen
  • 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 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 certified as a preschool, elementary or secondary school teacher by the Illinois State Board of Education, including alternative teacher certification
  • maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
  • maintain satisfactory academic progress as determined by your college
  • comply with federal Selective Service registration requirements
  • 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

Eligibility Units

Qualified applicants may receive MTI Scholarship Program benefits for the equivalent of four academic years (eight semesters or 12 quarters) of full-time enrollment, which is measured in eligibility units. Recipients may accumulate up to 48 eligibility units.*

The amount of eligibility a recipient has used is determined by converting credit hours to eligibility units, as indicated below:

 Number of Hours Semester Term  Quarter Term 
 12 or more hours  6 units  4 units
 6 - 11.99 hours  3 units  2 units


Eligibility units are based on the enrolled hours for a particular term, not the dollar amount of the benefits paid.

Once payment processing ends for an academic year, adjustments to the number of eligibility units that have been assessed will not be made for individuals who originally had their expenses (e.g., tuition and fees) covered using those benefits (i.e., the applicant cannot choose to "pay back" the dollar amount of benefits used in order to reinstate eligibility units).

* Full program benefits may be extended for one additional term if the recipient has accumulated fewer than 48 eligibility units but does not have enough units remaining for the number of hours in which he or she is enrolled for that term.

How to Apply

The Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program application (which must be submitted each academic year in order to apply for the MTI Scholarship), along with the corresponding Teaching Agreement/Promissory Note, is available online as an interactive application. The online application has many benefits including program information which is available at your fingertips, online edits which prevent errors, elimination of mailing time, and immediate confirmation that your application has been received at ISAC.

As part of the interactive application, a digital ID allows you to provide your legally binding digital signature. Obtaining a digital ID is the first part of the application process and you must have a valid Illinois Drivers License or State ID to do so. If you are interested in submitting a Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program application, but are unable to obtain a digital ID from the State of Illinois or are unable to access the online application, download and print a PDF version of the application and submit the completed application to ISAC, or contact an ISAC Call Center Representative.

The online, interactive application collects all the information needed to determine eligibility (including your agreement to the program terms and conditions, as outlined in the application's Teaching Agreement/Promissory Note).

For priority consideration, ISAC must receive your complete application on or before March 1 preceding the academic year for which you are applying. You must submit a new application each year you wish to be considered for a scholarship. Because the number of scholarships awarded each year is based on limited funding, it is possible that not all applicants who meet the March 1 priority consideration deadline will receive a scholarship. You are encouraged to submit your application as far in advance of March 1 as possible. Applications received after that date will be given consideration for the scholarship only if funding remains available after all timely, qualified applicants have been awarded.

Please note: once an electronic application has been successfully submitted, a confirmation page will display to verify the exact date and time it was received by ISAC. For individuals who are unable to apply electronically and receive ISAC approval for an alternate means of applying (click here to download and print a PDF version of the application), the application received date will be based upon the U.S. Postal Service postmark date.

Correcting Previously-submitted Data

Only one interactive Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program application/promissory note may be submitted per academic year. Consequently, if you need to change your response(s) to any item(s) after the interactive application/promissory note has been submitted, but before awarding takes place in late summer, you will need to submit a signed letter to ISAC's Deerfield office. The letter must clearly state what change(s) need to be made to the original information you'd submitted. These changes will not affect the application “received date.”

    Please contact an ISAC Call Center Representative if you have any questions regarding the application/promissory note correction process.

    Details

    • Applications are processed in date-received order.
    • ISAC selects recipients from among the highest scoring qualified applicants on the basis of renewal applicant status and minority student status. You are considered a renewal applicant if during the previous academic year you received funds from the program for which you are currently applying.
    • The total number of scholarships awarded in a given fiscal year is contingent upon available funding.

    How Funds Are Disbursed

    ISAC works with the college to disburse funds for this program. The college certifies student eligibility and then submits a payment request on behalf of the student. ISAC processes the payment request and submits the information to the State Comptroller’s Office.  Dependent on the funding level of the State of Illinois’ General Revenue Fund (GRF), the amount of time it takes for funds to arrive at the college can vary; at times the delay may be more than six months.

    Depending on the college, students may be responsible for payment until program funds are received. Qualified applicants who are awaiting receipt of funds from this program should contact the Financial Aid Office or Business Office to determine the college's policy.

    Processing Updates

    Note that ISAC routinely updates this section as new information becomes available. Be sure to check back periodically for the current processing status.

    For the 2014-15 Academic Year

    (last updated on September 22, 2014):

    The interactive application for the 2014-15 Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program remains available. 

    Although the priority application consideration date for the 2014-15 academic year was March 1, 2014, applications will continue to be accepted through (including) Friday, December 19, 2014.  Complete applications submitted on or before December 19 will be considered – on a first-come, first-served basis – for as long as funding remains.Applicants who have not already done so are encouraged to submit their applications as soon as possible. Be sure to review the How to Apply section of this page for details regarding the application process.

    Awarding for this program first took place in mid-July 2014, and recipients have been notified. As indicated above, additional awards may be announced, depending on available funds.

    The process from this point forward for all complete applications is as follows:

    • the college's financial aid office certifies the applicant's eligibility to participate in the MTI Scholarship Program.
    • once ISAC receives the certification from the college, the applicant is notified of eligibility status as follows:
      • Notices of Eligibility are sent to those applicants who qualify as "eligible and funded" (i.e., are awarded a scholarship). Colleges request payment each term for those applicants who qualify as eligible and continue to meet all eligibility requirements, including enrollment.
      • Notification is sent to applicants who qualify as eligible but, due to limited funding, are not awarded a scholarship.
      • Notices of Ineligibility are sent to those applicants who do not qualify as eligible (i.e., are not awarded a scholarship), as certified by the college.

    For the 2015-16 Academic Year

    (last updated on July 15, 2014):

    ISAC anticipates launching the 2015-16 interactive application for the MTI Scholarship Program during December 2014. All 2015-16 applicants will use an Illinois digital ID to submit their applications online. Procedures for obtaining a digital ID from the State of Illinois will be provided as part of the online application process. Individuals who are interested in submitting the MTI Scholarship Program application, but are unable to obtain a digital ID from the State of Illinois, should contact an ISAC Call Center Representative.

    To view a listing of Illinois colleges approved to participate in this program, click on the link for the appropriate academic year:

    2014-15

    Effective beginning with the 2012-13 academic year, ISAC offers two programs designed specifically for individuals studying to become teachers: the MTI Scholarship Program and the Illinois Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver (SETTW) Program. A comparison chart provides a side-by-side view of the MTI Scholarship, Illinois SETTW, federal TEACH Grant, and Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois programs.