Note: legislation that took effect in July 2019 amends the Illinois residency requirements for this program. The amended requirements are reflected in the following.
In order to receive benefits under this program an applicant must:
- Satisfy Illinois residency requirements by meeting the below qualifications as outlined either in a, b and c, or in d:
- currently reside in Illinois unless you are serving federal active duty service at the time of enrollment in college or residing with a spouse in continued military service who is currently stationed outside of Illinois.
- were a resident of Illinois at the time of entering federal active duty service or within six months prior to entering the service or were a student at an Illinois public 2- or 4-year college at the time of entering federal active duty service.
- established, or if on federal active duty service, plan to establish Illinois residency within six months after leaving federal active duty service or if married to a person in continued military service, a) apply for this grant within six months after and including the date the spouse was stationed within Illinois or b) if the spouse was stationed outside Illinois, established, or plan to establish, Illinois residency within six months after and including the date the spouse was separated.
(Note: You may be considered eligible for the IVG program by fulfilling “a” and “b” above; however, if you do not currently reside in Illinois (“a”), you will not receive IVG benefits.)
- reside in Illinois at the time of application and at the time of receiving benefits for enrollment and, at some point after leaving federal active duty service, have been a resident of Illinois for at least 15 consecutive years.
- Meet one of these two criteria:
- have served at least one year of federal active duty service in the Armed Forces of the United States, which may include the Illinois National Guard and the Reserve component of the Armed Forces, [Drill time (weekend and summer drills) by Guard members and Reservists is not equivalent to federal active duty service], or
- regardless of length of service, have served in a foreign country in a time of hostilities in that country; have been medically discharged for service related reasons; or have been discharged prior to August 11, 1967.
- Have received an honorable discharge (general discharge under honorable conditions is not eligible) for the most recent period of federal active duty service, and/or be honorably serving.*Contact information is available for Illinois military personnel who need to request a Department of Defense (DOD) Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD Form 214 Member-4 or equivalent copy).
- Not be a current member of the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). Applicants are not eligible if their only service has been attendance at a service academy. Time served attending military schools or for Initial Active Duty for Training, in the Delayed Entry Program, National Guard, Reserve or any other time that was not federal active duty is not considered equal to federal active duty service. Drill time (weekend and summer drills) by Guard members and Reservists is not equivalent to federal active duty service.
- Not be indefault on any student loan, nor owe a refund on any state or federal grant. If you are in default, you may re-establish your eligibility.
In order to receive benefits, qualified applicants must be enrolled at an Illinois public 2- or 4-year college and maintain the minimum grade point average (GPA) required by that college.
* If you receive benefits from the IVG Program while serving federal active duty service, upon discharge you will be required to verify that your most recent service has been characterized as honorable.