JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible, you must:

  • be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen
  • be a member of the incumbent workforce, currently working or having worked in the early childhood field, including family child care and center-based care settings, Preschool for All school-based settings, and Head Start, that serves children from birth to age 5 and includes teachers, assistant teachers, directors, family child care providers and assistants. Applicants must provide documentation confirming their current membership in the Gateways to Opportunity® Registry.
  • be enrolled or accepted for enrollment on a full- or part-time (at least 3 credit hours) basis at a public or non-profit private 2- or 4-year Gateways-entitled and Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity (ECACE) member institution, as an undergraduate student, pursuing an early childhood education major
    • if attending a 4-year institution, be at the junior level or above, or hold an Associate of Applied Science, Associate of Arts, or Associate of Science degree focused in early childhood education.
  • be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a course of study which, upon completion, qualifies you to receive:
    • a postsecondary credential or undergraduate degree in the field of early childhood education, or
    • a Professional Educator's License in early childhood education.
    If you have questions about whether your planned program of study is eligible for the scholarship, contact either an academic advisor or the financial aid office at your college.
  • maintain satisfactory academic progress as established by your college
  • complete the online application process by submitting a complete Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity Scholarship Program application and a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) on or before by the ISAC-established date in order to receive priority consideration.
  • be certified as meeting eligibility requirements by the college at which you will use the scholarship.
  • not be in default on any federal student loan, nor owe a refund on any State or federal grant. If you are in default, you may re-establish your eligibility.