Skip to Content Bruce Rauner, Governor, State of Illinois

State Scholar Program Overview

{ISAC Rules, Part 2760}

The State Scholar Program publicly and personally identifies graduating high school seniors who possess superior academic potential. Students from nearly every high school in Illinois compete in the program. State Scholars can be found on the campuses of nearly 200 public and private institutions of higher education in Illinois. The combination of exemplary college entrance examination scores and record high school achievement indicate an especially high potential for success in college. To be honored as a State Scholar in Illinois is an outstanding accomplishment that will be a highlight of the recipient’s academic record.

The Illinois State Scholar program is awarded to high school seniors based on ACT or SAT test scores and the sixth semester* class rank, class size and unweighted Grade Point Average (GPA).

ISAC gathers student data during one academic year that is used in making student awards for the following academic year (e.g., data gathered during the current academic year is used in making awards for the following academic year). Test scores are gathered from the testing companies for the ACT and SAT exams taken during the student's third and fourth semester prior to graduation. ISAC requests the required sixth semester data* from high schools. Refer to the Required Sixth Semester Data page for details about the required information and the methods to provide sixth semester data to ISAC.

Each student designated as a State Scholar receives a congratulatory letter, a Certificate of Achievement and statewide recognition in the news media. Announcement of Illinois State Scholars is made available online in early December. The online listing displays each State Scholar alphabetically by high school, within the school's Illinois county. A link to the online listing is located on the State Scholar Finalists page within this section.

The Delivery Process and Timeframes page lists the processing calendar for the Illinois State Scholars program.

*Sixth semester is defined as the third semester prior to graduation, which is typically the end of a student's junior year.