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IVG Eligibility Requirements

{ISAC Rules, Section 2733.20 and 2733.30}

IVG Eligibility Requirements
Comparison of Grant Programs for Veterans
Using IVG with Other Tuition/Fee Benefits

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

  • Meet one of the following two criteria:
    • Have served at least one year of federal active duty service in the Armed Forces of the United States, which may include the Illinois National Guard and the Reserve component of the Armed Forces, or
    • Regardless of length of service, have served in a foreign country in a time of hostilities in that country; was medically discharged for service related reasons; or was discharged prior to August 11, 1967.
  • Have received an honorable discharge (general discharge under honorable conditions is not eligible) for each period of federal active duty service, and/or be honorably serving.**  Contact information is available for Illinois military personnel who need to request a copy of the DD214 (equivalent to the DD214 Member 4).
  • Not be a current member of the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). Applicants are not eligible if their only service has been attendance at a service academy.  Time served attending military schools or for Initial Active Duty for Training, in the Delayed Entry Program, National Guard, Reserve or any other time that was not federal active duty is not considered equal to federal active duty service.  Drill time (weekend and summer drills) by Guard members and Reservists is not equivalent to federal active duty service.
  • Meets one of the following two criteria:
  • Meets one of the following two criteria:
    • have established, or plan to establish, Illinois residency within six months after leaving federal active duty service, or
    • if married to a person  in continued military service:
      • have applied for this grant within six months after and including the date that the spouse was stationed within Illinois, or
      • if the spouse was stationed outside Illinois, have established or plan to establish Illinois residency within six months after and including the date the spouse separated .
  • Reside in Illinois unless the student is serving federal active duty service at the time of enrollment in college or residing with a spouse in continued military service who is currently stationed outside of Illinois.
  • Not be in default on any student loan, nor owe a refund on any state or federal grant.

In order to receive benefits, qualified applicants must be enrolled at an Illinois public 2- or 4-year college and maintain the minimum grade point average (GPA) required by that college.

*If the student receives benefits from the IVG Program while serving on federal active duty service, upon discharge the student will be required to verify that service has been characterized as honorable.

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.

Using IVG 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 Grant Program Application Procedures page of the ISAC Gift Assistance Programs area.
  • 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.