JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Nursing Education Scholarships (NES)

NOTE: This program is different from the Nurse Educator Scholarship Program, which is no longer funded and for which no new awarding will take place.

Program News

(last updated September 21, 2023)

2023-24 Program Funding
2023-24 Certification
2023-24 Application
GAP Access Registration


Program Funding

The 2024 fiscal year (July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024) appropriation for Nursing Education Scholarships (NES) is $4,000,000.


A September 21 e-Message announces that colleges may certify 2023-24 NES eligibility via the NESP system. The system is available to enter certification data each Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. (CT).

A Certification record is created in the system when an NES application is complete. All Certifications available in the system must be completed regardless of whether the school certifies a student as eligible or ineligible. The only way an applicant will receive a notification letter is if the Certification is submitted via the system.

An overview of the online certification process is available on the NES Certification page. The NES User Guide also provides details regarding functionality to certify student eligibility for this program.

What’s Next: Upcoming Changes Related to Payment

When 2023-24 NES payment processing becomes available later this year (after awarding has taken place), the following changes will be in effect:

  • Awarded funds that had been disbursed directly to students as a "stipend" in the 2022-23 and earlier academic years will now be included in the scholarship amount requested by and paid to the college (i.e., NES awards will no longer have a stipend component).
  • Funds resulting from each payment request submitted via the NESP system will be delivered to the college in a lump sum (either electronically or as a check, depending on how the college has set up their payments), rather than as individual checks for each student.
  • Payment Offset and Reconciliation procedures now apply to Nursing Education Scholarships.
    • Refund checks should not be sent for cancellations/adjustments made throughout the award year.
    • Funds should only be returned to ISAC after a final reconciliation has been completed at the end of the regular school year.

Colleges utilize the GAP Access portal to administer 2023-24 NES awards. This page, as well as the NES User Guide, will be updated once payment processing functionalities are available.


The 2023-24 application for this program is no longer being accepted.

The NES application period each year starts on March 1 and continues through April 30. To be considered for funds during the 2023-24 academic year, the NES Application/Promissory Note/Grant Agreement must have been submitted to ISAC on or before April 30, 2023.

Applicants who submitted an unsigned application prior to the April 30, 2023 deadline were sent a notification of incomplete application. Individuals whose applications were still unsigned in early May 2023 were then sent an e-mail informing them that their signed Application/Promissory Note/Grant Agreement must be received at ISAC no later than May 31, 2023, in order to determine their eligibility for an award. Encourage students with questions regarding this process to contact the ISAC Call Center.

Further details regarding the application process are provided at the Nursing Education Scholarship Program Application Procedures page.

GAP Access Registration

All NESP-participating colleges must register in the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs (GAP) Access portal for NESP administration.

Instructions for registering in GAP Access are provided in the user guides listed below:

Activating Your GAP Access Primary Administrator Account
Activating Other GAP Access Administrators