JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

State Scholar Eligibility Requirements

{ISAC Rules, Section 2760.20}

To be designated* as a State Scholar, a high school student must:

  • attend an approved high school and graduate during the academic year in which the student is selected as a State Scholar;
  • 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 and be at an approved high school by the end of the sixth semester;
  • rank in the upper half of his/her high school class at the end of the third semester prior to graduation from high school (normally the sixth semester); and
  • take either the ACT or SAT exams between August 1 and June 30 during the third and fourth semester prior to graduation (typically this is a student's junior year, but may be the sophomore year if the student is an early graduate).
    • A student may take either or both examinations during the designated period.
    • All scores from tests taken during the designated period must be submitted to ISAC.
    • If a student submits scores from multiple exams taken during the designated period, ISAC will use the highest score.

* Note that meeting the requirements listed above qualifies the student to be considered for this program, but does not guarantee State Scholar designation. Once all applicants who meet the above requirements have been identified, a specific formula is used to select State Scholars. Further details are provided in the Selection Process section.