SETTW Eligibility Requirements
NOTE: Effective beginning with the 2020-21 academic year, the Retention of Illinois Students & Equity (RISE) Act allows eligible Illinois undocumented students and transgender students who are disqualified from federal financial aid to apply for all forms of state financial aid. Further details are provided in the Pathway to Apply for ISAC Programs section of the RISE Act page.
To qualify for an Illinois Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver, all applicants must:
- be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen (FSA Handbook Volume 1 chapter 2) or meet the “undocumented student” criteria of the RISE Act;
- be a resident of Illinois;
- meet one of the following conditions: graduated (or are scheduled to graduate) from an approved high school in the academic year in which the award is made and perform in the upper half of the graduating class according to performance-based academic data provided by the high school; or graduated from an approved high school prior to the academic year in which the award is made and do not hold a valid teaching license; or hold a valid teaching license that is not in the discipline of special education;
- be enrolled, or accepted for enrollment, at one of the eligible public four-year colleges in Illinois (providing the institution offers a concentration in Special Education) as an undergraduate or graduate student seeking initial licensure in an area of special education;
- be enrolled in a program of special education within 10 days after the beginning of the term for which the waiver was initially awarded;
- meet satisfactory academic progress criteria established by the eligible postsecondary institution;
- remain in attendance at the school on a continuous basis for up to four years (unless granted an approved leave of absence, in which case the course of study must be completed within six years);
- not be in default on any federal student loan nor owe a refund or repayment on any state or federal grant or scholarship;
- comply with federal Selective Service registration requirements (see the Note at the top of this section for possible exceptions); and
- not be a prior recipient of this waiver or be awarded a Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship or the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Program for the same academic year.
Once an academic year has ended, adjustments to benefits received 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 for the future).
Note: Students who are General Educational Development (GED) Certificate recipients are not eligible for this waiver.
(providing the institution offers a concentration in special education)
001694 Chicago State University
001674 Eastern Illinois University
009145 Governors State University
001692 Illinois State University
001693 Northeastern Illinois University
001737 Northern Illinois University
001758 Southern Illinois University – Carbondale
001759 Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville
001776 University of Illinois – Chicago
001775 University of Illinois – Urbana
001780 Western Illinois University