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AIM HIGH Grant Pilot Program

The number of grants 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, and may vary by institution.

Program Description
How to Apply
How Funds Are Disbursed
Participating Public Four-year Illinois Institutions

Program Description

If you are attending one of Illinois’ 12 public four-year institutions for the first time, you may be eligible for the Aspirational Institutional Match Helping Illinois Grow Higher Education (AIM HIGH) Grant Pilot Program. Beginning in the 2019-20 academic year, funding will be made available to universities for AIM HIGH awards for students who meet the eligibility requirements.

This grant provides assistance toward a full-time undergraduate student’s cost of attendance at the university. The AIM HIGH grant is renewable and if you receive it once and continue to meet the eligibility requirements, you will be eligible to receive a renewal grant in subsequent years. The renewal award will be an amount no less than the award in your first year of attendance, unless your cost of attendance is reduced (if, for instance, you reduce your number of credit hours, or switch to a major with a lower tuition rate).

Additionally, all AIM HIGH-participating universities will provide matching funding for institutional awards for students who meet eligibility requirements established by the university. This funding may or may not be available to the same students who receive the AIM HIGH grant, depending on how the matching program is designed by the university.

Each university’s AIM HIGH grant program is described in detail on the university’s website. For complete program information, click on the name of the university you are planning to attend in the list of participating universities at the bottom of this page.


To be eligible, you must:

  • have attended an Illinois high school*
  • be engaged in a program of study that will be completed by the end of the school year*
  • apply to be enrolled for the first time at the public university campus where the award will be used*
  • be a resident of Illinois
  • be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen
  • file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) and demonstrate financial need, with a household income no greater than 6 times the poverty guideline established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • meet the minimum cumulative grade point average or ACT or SAT college admissions test score, as determined by the university
  • be enrolled in a participating public university as an undergraduate student on a full-time basis
  • have not yet received a bachelor’s degree (the equivalent of 135 semester credit hours)
  • not be incarcerated
  • not be in default on any student loan, nor owe a refund on any state or federal grant
  • meet any other criteria established by the university

*Students applying only for a university’s matching funding may not need to meet these eligibility requirements; refer to the program information for your university.

How to Apply

Students applying for the AIM HIGH Grant Pilot Program and/or for the matching funding must file the FAFSA®. You may refer to the program information for each university below, or contact the financial aid office of the university you plan to attend to learn if there are additional application procedures/documents which must be completed.

How Funds Are Disbursed

ISAC determines the amount of AIM HIGH grant funding that will be made available to each public university each academic year. Funding is allocated to the university and will be disbursed to students according to the university’s procedures.

Participating Public Four-year Illinois Institutions

Details regarding each university’s AIM HIGH grant program are available by clicking on the university’s name below. As universities continue to develop their programs, descriptions will be updated. Check back here on a regular basis for the most current information.

Chicago State University
Eastern Illinois University
          EIU Promise Program
          Merit Scholarship
Governors State University
Illinois State University
Northeastern Illinois University
Northern Illinois University
Southern Illinois University- Carbondale
Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville
University of Illinois – Chicago
          Chancellor’s Fellow Program
          Institutional Grants
University of Illinois – Springfield
University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign
Western Illinois University