The number of awards made through this program, as well as the individual dollar amount awarded, are subject to sufficient annual appropriations by the Illinois General Assembly and the Governor.
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The Illinois Teachers Loan Repayment Program provides awards to encourage academically talented Illinois students to teach in Illinois schools in low-income areas. A listing of Illinois schools in low-income areas is provided at the U.S. Department of Education’s Teacher Cancellation Low Income Directory. If these obligations are met by a Federal Stafford loan borrower who has qualified for the federal government’s loan forgiveness programs, Illinois may provide an additional matching award of up to $5000 to the qualifying teacher to repay their student loan debt.
Although the Illinois program was initially available also to child care providers, the federal Child Care Provider Loan Forgiveness Program received no funding beyond the demonstration program, and does not accept applications. Consequently, there is no application for the Illinois Child Care Providers Program.
To be eligible, you must:
- Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen
- Be an Illinois resident
- Be a borrower who has had an amount of your educational loans forgiven under the federal government’s loan forgiveness programs
- Have a balance remaining on your eligible student loan(s)
- Have fulfilled your five-year teaching obligation in an Illinois elementary or secondary school designated as a low-income school.
To apply, you must obtain a current Illinois Teachers Loan Repayment Application. You may download and print an application here. You must submit the application, along with any required documentation, to ISAC’s Deerfield office as indicated on the application. Required documentation includes, but is not limited to, a copy of your completed federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness application and a copy of the letter indicating you have been approved for the federal program. See the application for a description of all required documentation. The completed application (including all required corresponding documentation) must be submitted to ISAC within six (6) months of the date on the Notice of Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness eligibility from the federal government.
The total amount of awards each year is contingent upon available funding. If funding in any given year is insufficient to pay all eligible applicants, awarding will be based on the date the complete application (with all required documentation) is received at ISAC’s Deerfield office.
There is a minimum 4-5 week turnaround from the date approved recipients are notified by ISAC to when funds are disbursed. Depending on the volume of payment vouchers being processed by the State of Illinois Comptroller’s Office, this timeframe may increase. Proceeds will be remitted directly to the holder/servicer/lender of the loan(s) to be repaid.
Note that ISAC routinely updates this section as new information becomes available. Be sure to check back periodically for the current processing status.
For the 2020 Fiscal Year
(last updated on December 6, 2019):
Although all appropriated funds for this program have been awarded, ISAC continues to accept Illinois Teachers Loan Repayment Program applications for the 2020 fiscal year (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020).
Individuals who choose to do so may submit applications, with the understanding that these applications will only be considered for awarding if additional funding becomes available. Those choosing to submit an application will receive a letter acknowledging that is has been received by ISAC, along with a statement regarding the program's current funding status; no further communication will be sent unless funds become available. If additional awarding takes place, it would be done on a “first-come, first-served basis,” based on the date the complete application (with all required documentation) is received at ISAC's Deerfield office.