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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 Units
How to Apply (and Obtaining the Application)
     Application Priority Consideration Date: March 1
Changes to Application Data
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.

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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

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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.

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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 to obtain an application.

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.

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Changes to Application Data

Only one MTI application/promissory note may be submitted per academic year.  Consequently, if you need to change your response(s) to any item(s) and/or update any information after the application has been submitted, you will need to provide the information to ISAC.  Examples of items that may need to be updated include demographic information (i.e., name, address, telephone number, etc.), your college of record and the impacted terms (full year, fall, spring or summer).  These changes can be submitted to ISAC using one of the below methods, but cannot be done over the telephone.

The request must include the last four digits of your Social Security number (for identification purposes) and clearly state what change(s) need to be made.  These changes will not affect the application “received date”.  In order to allow adequate processing time and prevent a loss of benefits, changes to your college of record should to be reported prior to the beginning of the applicable term(s).

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  • 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.

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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.

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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 2017-18 Academic Year

(last updated on September 5, 2017):

The interactive application for the 2017-18 MTI Scholarship Program remains available.

The priority application consideration date for the 2017-18 academic year was March 1, 2017. However, complete applications received after this date will continue to be considered for the MTI Scholarship Program for as long as funding remains after all timely qualified applicants have been awarded. The date through which 2017-18 applications will be accepted is dependent upon application volume and available funding. 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. Please note: All ISAC scholarships are limited based on the number of eligible applicants and funding levels appropriated by the Illinois General Assembly. Therefore, you are encouraged to continue seeking additional financial aid resources to fund your educational expenses.

Correspondence regarding the status of your application will be mailed to you within three weeks after the date your application is received at ISAC. Awarding is anticipated to take place later this fall.

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, and dependent upon program funding, the applicant is notified of eligibility status as follows (ISAC will send eligibility notices once awarding takes place later this fall):
    • 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 2016-17 Academic Year

(last updated on September 5, 2016):

The state operating budget that was approved in early July includes funding for the 2016-17 MTI Scholarship Program.

Applicants who have been certified as eligible and for whom payment will be made were sent award notifications on September 5, 2017. These notifications include a reminder that, by receiving any or all of this scholarship, the recipient agrees to fulfill a teaching commitment. If the teaching commitment that was signed as part of the application for this program is not fulfilled within the required time, the amount awarded converts to a loan that must be repaid with interest.

Individuals with questions regarding the status of their account at the college should contact the college's financial aid office.

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


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.

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