JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois


The number of scholarships made through programs administered by ISAC, as well as the individual dollar amount awarded, are subject to sufficient annual appropriations by the Illinois General Assembly and the Governor.

A scholarship is a type of “gift aid” that rewards a student for grades, athletics, a unique skill, a special talent, financial needs or even a specific career interest. Scholarships do not typically need to be paid back, though some scholarships have program requirements and/or obligations. Make sure you understand the terms and conditions before you accept any money. The money you receive may help you pay for tuition, books and/or room and board. Scholarship money can come from many different sources, such as the college you want to attend, the government, or different public or private organizations (such as a workplace, church or not-for-profit group). However, watch for financial aid scams when doing your search.

Start looking for scholarships as soon as you’ve made your decision to go to college. If you’re in high school, you can start as early as your sophomore or junior year. Also, keep looking for other sources of financial aid; new scholarships are created all the time. So don’t stop with one search. Read about the programs listed below to start your search.

Note: Programs denoted below by an asterisk (*) are available to undergraduate students only, and programs with a double-asterisk (**) are available to graduate students only. All other programs are for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Illinois Scholarship Programs

Many other scholarships and grants are available, as well. Check out the free Cappex tool on the ISAC Student Portal to search a large database of scholarships. Review the websites of the colleges you are interested in or attending, or contact the college financial aid office to learn about institutional scholarships they may offer. For help with financial aid planning, connect with your local ISACorps member for free one-on-one assistance.

Every scholarship program - including those funded by the federal or state government, colleges, or other organizations - has its own unique awarding and processing cycle. If a student plans to use funds from a scholarship to pay a balance owed the college, but those funds are not received prior to the scheduled due date(s), it is the student's responsibility to work with the appropriate office at the college to make satisfactory arrangements.

While some colleges may agree to temporarily postpone due dates (sometimes for a fee) until funds are received, others might require that the student make a full or partial payment by the established due date. If, once received, the scholarship funds are more than the remaining balance due to the college, the student may receive the excess funds to reimburse out-of-pocket expenses or to apply toward other education-related costs. Students who are uncertain of the college's policy regarding anticipated financial assistance should contact their Financial Aid Office for clarification.