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ING Grant Eligibility

{ISAC Rules, Section 2730.20 and 2730.30}

Eligibility Requirements
Using ING Grant with Other Tuition & Fee Benefits
Comparison of Grant Program for Veterans

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for the Illinois National Guard Grant, a student must:

  • Be an Illinois National Guard member, defined as meeting one of these two criterion:
    • be active in the Illinois National Guard or
    • have been active in the Illinois National Guard for at least five consecutive years and have been called to federal active duty for at least six months and be within 12 months after your discharge date from the Illinois National Guard
  • Have completed one full year of service in the Illinois National Guard
  • Be an enlisted member or an officer (Public Act 94-583) 
  • Be enrolled at an Illinois public 2- or 4-year college
  • Not be in default on any student loan, nor owe a refund on any state or federal grant
  • Maintain an acceptable grade point average (GPA) according to the policy determined by your college

Additionally, those individuals who have been active in the Illinois National Guard for at least five consecutive years, had their studies interrupted by being called to federal active duty for at least six months, and meet eligibility requirements in addition to those listed above may be eligible to receive an additional year of ING Grant Program eligibility, even after their membership in the Illinois National Guard has ended. Questions regarding individual eligibility status under this legislation should be directed to the applicant's chain of command, or to the Education/Incentives Branch of the Military Personnel Office at 217.761.3782.

High school students may enlist during their junior year and complete their calendar year of service prior to college attendance. This allows graduating high school students to use the grant immediately upon entering college.

Using the ING Grant with Other Tuition/Fee Benefits

Illinois National Guard members who have been called to federal active duty may be eligible for the Illinois Veteran Grant Program administered by ISAC. Applicants who meet all eligibility requirements for both the IVG and ING Grant programs may have the option of receiving benefits from both programs during the same term(s) and/or academic year. However, prior to doing so, applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with the college's financial aid office and consider the following:

  • Use of ING Grant benefits is limited to specific periods of time, as defined on the ING Program Application Procedures page of ISAC Gift Assistance Programs
  • IVG benefits may be used for tuition and mandatory fees, and ING Grant benefits may be used for tuition and eligible fees (registration, graduation, general activity, matriculation and term fees). The determination of which specific fees are covered under each program is made by the college.
  • With the exception of veterans who are eligible for Post -9/11 GI benefits at less than 100% (based on length of service) and choose to use those benefits during the same term that IVG benefits are used, assessment of eligibility unit usage is based on enrolled hours per term, not the dollar amount paid by the benefits. This means that the number of eligibility units charged will be the same for each program, even though the dollar amount of benefits received from each program may be different (for example, if benefits from the IVG and ING Grant programs are used for full-time enrollment, 12 eligibility units will be charged to each program). It is recommended that applicants carefully consider this when deciding whether to receive benefits under both programs during the same term(s).
  • Once eligibility units have been assessed for either program, they cannot be undone after the academic year is over (i.e., the applicant cannot choose to "pay back" the dollar amount of benefits used in order to reinstate eligibility units).
  • ING Grant benefits can only be used during terms for which the application is submitted prior to the corresponding deadline (for example, if an ING Grant application is submitted after the October 1 fall-term/full-year deadline but before the spring term deadline, then an applicant who is eligible for both programs could choose to use IVG benefits for the fall term, and ING Grant benefits for the spring and summer terms).
  • If a student who is eligible for the Monetary Award Program (MAP) is also eligible for ING Grant and/or IVG benefits, all ING Grant and IVG benefits that are available for the term(s) must be used first. A student cannot decline ING Grant or IVG benefits in favor of using MAP benefits. After all applicable ING Grant and IVG benefits have been used for the term(s), then a partial MAP award may be applied to any outstanding eligible tuition and fees.

Comparison of Grant Programs for Veterans

Students who qualify for the Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) program and the Montgomery or Post-9/11 GI Bills may receive benefits from both programs during the same academic year for eligible educational expenses. Refer to the School Official's Handbook that provides GI Bill information pertinent to all school officials. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides a comparison tool to help students find information online about Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits and the schools and training programs available to education beneficiaries. In addition, feedback can be provided using the VA GI Bill Feedback System.  Encourage students to review the Military Service page in the Students & Parents area for further information.