JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Award Determination for Nursing Education Scholarships

The below information describes the NES awarding process for the 2023-24 award year. This page will be updated when the 2024-25 NES awarding process begins.

{ISAC Rules, Section 2749.220}

Student Award Announcements
Award Amount and Years of Funding

The total number of scholarships awarded each year is contingent upon the funds appropriated by the Illinois General Assembly.

All timely applicants whose colleges or universities have certified their eligibility by the requested ISAC receipt date are included in each academic year’s awarding process.

When appropriated funds for this program are insufficient to provide scholarships for all qualified applicants during any fiscal year, available funds will be awarded to qualified students who submit complete timely applications (i.e., the complete NES application is submitted no later than April 30) based on the following priority order:

  1. Scholarships will first be awarded to renewal applicants who continue to meet all of the program’s eligibility requirements. An applicant is considered a renewal applicant if, during the previous academic year, they received funds from the program for which they are currently applying.
  2. If funds remain after all qualified renewal applicants have been awarded, then awards will be made to eligible new applicants in the categories listed below:

Degree Types Approximate Percentage
of Available Awards
Graduate Degree in Nursing
Graduate Degree in Nursing (to become a Nurse Educator)
Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing 40%
Associate Degree in Nursing
Hospital-based Diploma in Nursing
Certificate in Practical Nursing 10%

Note: to the extent that the applicant pool allows, the following is the priority order used to determine awards for new applicants within each of the above categories:

  1. Lowest to highest expected family contribution (EFC), as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) or the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid (Alternative Application)
  2. Anticipated graduation date for current program of study
  3. Date on which complete NES application was received by ISAC

Student Award Announcements

Based on the eligibility certification data submitted by the college, as well as the above factors, ISAC proceeds with the awarding process and sends the appropriate notification to each applicant.

ISAC sends eligible NES applicants one of the following notifications:

Applicants determined to be ineligible for the award receive a Notice of Ineligibility, and have the option to appeal the denial.

Award Amount and Years of Funding

The certificate, diploma or degree being pursued by the recipient determines the NES maximum award amount and the maximum number of years the award may be received.

The 2023-24 NES maximum annual award amount is either $8,916 or $17,813.

$8,916 Maximum Award $17,813 Maximum Award
certificate in practical nursing
* any school type
* one year of assistance
associate degree in nursing
* two-year private colleges or four-year colleges/universities
* two years of assistance
associate degree in nursing
* community colleges or nursing schools
* two years of assistance
baccalaureate degree in nursing
* four-year public or private colleges/universities or nursing schools
* four years of assistance
hospital-based diploma in nursing
* community colleges
* three years of assistance
graduate degree in nursing
* four-year public or private colleges/universities or nursing schools
* five years of assistance
graduate degree in nursing to become a nurse educator
* four-year public or private colleges/universities or nursing schools
* three years of assistance

Scholarship funds may be used during all terms of study (including summer).

  • NES awards will pay a portion of tuition and fee charges, plus – for full-time students only – a living allowance (previously referred to as a stipend). The scholarship pays for coursework within the nursing curriculum, but does not pay for pre-requisite coursework.
  • The total amount of NES assistance awarded to an eligible applicant in a given academic year, when added to the other financial aid available to the qualified applicant for that year, cannot exceed the cost of attendance.