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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In an effort to address the shortage of nurses and the lack of instructors to staff courses teaching nursing in Illinois, the Nurse Educator Loan Repayment Program encourages longevity and career change opportunities. The program is intended to pay eligible loans as an incentive to nurse educators to maintain their teaching careers within the State of Illinois. The annual awards to qualified nurse educators may be up to $5,000 to repay their student loan debt, and may be received for up to a maximum of four years.
To be eligible, you must:
- Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen
- Be an Illinois resident
- Have an outstanding balance due on an eligible educational loan (includes Stafford Loans, Graduate PLUS Loans, consolidation loans, nursing student loans, Supplemental Loans for Students, alternative loans, and other types of government and institutional loans used for nursing education expenses)
- Be a nurse educator who meets licensing requirements of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
- Meet the following nursing instruction requirements:
- If a first-time recipient, have taught for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the date of application in an approved program of professional or practical nursing education in Illinois, or
- If other than a first-time recipient, fulfill a separate 12 consecutive month period of teaching in an approved program of professional or practical nursing education in Illinois for each subsequent award received
- Not be in default on any federal guaranteed educational loan, nor owe a refund on any scholarship or grant program administered by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC).
Each year you wish to apply for this program, you must submit a Nurse Educator Loan Repayment Application to ISAC. When it becomes available each year, the application may be accessed via the Applications page of this website. You must submit your application to ISAC's Deerfield office as indicated on the application. Allow at least four weeks for the processing of the application. Qualified applicants will be sent a Notice of Eligibility letter from ISAC.
You must submit an original letter from your employer with each year's application, verifying that you meet the nursing instruction requirements. The letter must:
- be on school/employer letterhead;
- state that you have worked (and continue to work) at an approved Illinois institution as a nurse educator who instructs professional or practical nurses; and,
- include the specific starting and ending dates for the period of employment that fulfills the 12-month teaching requirement for that year's application (for example: "July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023” or “July 20, 2022 – July 19, 2023”).
If your application is incomplete, ISAC will notify you and you will have the opportunity to furnish missing information. Your application will be considered for processing as of the date it is complete and all required information (including the letter from your employer, as referenced above) has been received at ISAC's Deerfield office.
Renewal applicants must submit an application each year, and may also be required to submit a history of prior awards in order to demonstrate that program proceeds were used for eligible educational loans.
Recipients are selected from among qualified new applicants, as well as those who file timely renewal applications. The total number 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.
Award amounts are based on the applicant's remaining balance on eligible education loans, not to exceed $5,000 per year. There is a minimum of 4-5 weeks 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 2024 Fiscal Year
(last updated on August 1, 2023):
ISAC is accepting Nurse Educator Loan Repayment Program applications for the 2024 fiscal year (July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024).
Allow at least 4-6 weeks for the processing of the application, at which time you will be notified by ISAC regarding your eligibility status.
In order to qualify for this program, an applicant must meet the nursing instruction requirements (outlined in the above Eligibility section) in an approved program of professional or practical nursing education in Illinois.