JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Post-Master of Social Work School Social Work Professional Educator License Scholarship Program

The Post-Master of Social Work School Social Work Professional Educator License Scholarship Program provides scholarship assistance to licensed social workers with master's degrees in social work who wish to obtain an Illinois Professional Educator License with an Endorsement in School Social Work. The program was designed to encourage students to work as social workers in Illinois schools and gives priority to minority applicants to encourage participation in the field, fostering a profession more reflective of the diversity of Illinois students. Scholarships pay tuition and mandatory fee costs for each continuous academic year (including summer) recipients meet eligibility requirements at Illinois public universities. A total of up to 250 scholarships may be awarded each year.

As part of the application process, you must agree to the terms and conditions outlined in the Application/Promissory Note. By receiving this scholarship, you must work as a social worker in an Illinois school for a period of not less than two years for each year or any portion of a year of scholarship assistance.  You must begin employment as a social worker in a qualified Illinois school – a nonprofit Illinois public, private or parochial preschool, elementary or secondary school – within one year following completion of the program. If this 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 or meet the “undocumented student” criteria of the RISE Act
  • hold a valid Illinois clinical social work license or social work license
  • have obtained a master’s degree in social work from an approved program
  • take courses to obtain an Illinois Professional Educator License with an Endorsement in School Social Work
  • enroll or be accepted for enrollment, and remain continuously enrolled, on a full- or part-time basis (at least 3 hours), at the University of Illinois, Southern Illinois University, Chicago State University, Eastern Illinois University, Governors State University, Illinois State University, Northeastern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University or Western Illinois University (providing the institution offers post-master social work courses leading to an Illinois Professional Educator License with an Endorsement in School Social Work. Access the list of participating schools here.)
  • maintain satisfactory academic progress, as determined by your college
  • establish satisfactory repayment arrangements if you are in default on any federal student loan.

How to Apply

ISAC is no longer accepting the Post-Master of Social Work School Social Work Professional Educator License Scholarship Program Application/Promissory Note for the 2023-24 academic year.

Each year, ISAC sets and announces a priority consideration date by which the Post-Master of Social Work School Social Work Professional Educator License Scholarship Program Application/Promissory Note must be completed and submitted. For the 2023-24 academic year, the application priority consideration date was August 28, 2023. Untimely applications (i.e., those received after the priority consideration date) are considered for as long as funding remains available after all timely, qualified applicants have been awarded.

This page will be updated when the application for the 2024-25 academic year becomes available.

How Funds Are Disbursed

ISAC works with the college to disburse funds for this program. The college certifies student eligibility and then – after the application deadline has passed for each term – 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 level of State of Illinois funding at the time of the request, the amount of time it takes for funds to arrive at the college can vary anywhere from a few weeks to a few 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 2023-24 Academic Year

(last updated on July 10, 2024):

ISAC is no longer accepting the 2023-24 Post-Master of Social Work School Social Work Professional Educator License Scholarship Program Application/Promissory Note.

The priority application consideration date for the 2023-24 academic year was August 28, 2023. Complete applications submitted after that date are considered only if available funding remains after all timely complete applicants have been awarded.

Awarding for this program took place in mid-November 2023, and notification has been sent to recipients. If additional awards are made, those recipients are also notified. Scholarship funds are disbursed directly to the college.