The number of scholarships 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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How to Apply (and Obtaining the Application)
Application Priority Consideration Date: March 1
Changes to Application Data
How Funds Are Disbursed
If: 1) you plan to teach at a nonprofit Illinois public, private, or parochial preschool, elementary school, or secondary school, for which the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has determined that no less than 30 percent of the enrolled students are African American/Black, Hispanic American, Asian American, or Native American; and 2) you are of African American/Black, Hispanic American, Asian American or Native American origin, then you may qualify for up to $5,000 per year as part of the Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program. Funds from this program may be used to pay for tuition, fees and room and board, or commuter allowances, if applicable. This scholarship may be received for a maximum of the equivalent of four academic years (eight semesters or 12 quarters) of full-time enrollment.
As part of the application process, you must agree to the terms and conditions that are outlined in the application's Teaching Agreement/Promissory Note (available for 2017-18 academic year and later via the Program Requirements page). By receiving this scholarship, you must teach in Illinois. If this teaching commitment is not fulfilled, the scholarship converts to a loan, and you must repay the entire amount plus interest.
NOTE: Effective beginning with the 2020-21 academic year, the Retention of Illinois Students & Equity (RISE) Act allows eligible Illinois undocumented students and transgender students who are disqualified from federal financial aid to apply for all forms of state financial aid. Further details are provided in the Pathway to Apply for ISAC Programs section of the RISE Act page.
To be eligible, you must:
- be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen or meet the “undocumented student” criteria of the RISE Act
- be a resident of Illinois
- be a minority student of either African American/Black, Hispanic American, Asian American or Native American origin
- be a high school graduate or hold a General Educational Development (GED) certificate
- be enrolled or accepted for enrollment on at least a half-time basis as an undergraduate or graduate student
- be enrolled or accepted for enrollment at an Illinois institution of higher education in a course of study which, upon completion, qualifies you to be licensed as a preschool, elementary or secondary school teacher by the Illinois State Board of Education, including alternative teacher licensure
- have earned a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale if enrolled at the sophomore, junior, senior or graduate level
- maintain satisfactory academic progress as determined by your college
- comply with federal Selective Service registration requirements (see the note at the top of this section for possible exceptions)
- complete the application process by:
- submitting a fully-completed Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program application, which includes the Teaching Agreement/Promissory Note (in order to receive priority consideration for an award, the complete application must be received at ISAC on or before the March 1 immediately preceding the academic year for which the scholarship is requested),
- being certified as meeting eligibility requirements by the college at which you will use the scholarship, and
- accepting the scholarship (if one is offered)
- sign the application's Teaching Agreement/Promissory Note promising to fulfill the teaching commitment or repay funds received plus interest
- the teaching commitment for this program must be fulfilled at a nonprofit Illinois public, private, or parochial preschool, elementary school, or secondary school, for which the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has determined that no less than 30 percent of the enrolled students are African American/Black, Asian American, Hispanic American, or Native American
- the percentage of an Illinois school's enrolled students meeting minority status requirements can be found at ISBE's eReport Card Public Site by using the "Search: School, District, and State Report Cards" function to locate a specific school and then clicking on that school's name.
- not be in default 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.
- not have previously received funds from the MTI Scholarship Program for the equivalent of four academic years, which is the program maximum
- not receive funds from the Illinois Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver (SETTW) Program or the Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Program during the same term(s) for which you receive funds from the MTI Scholarship Program
Qualified applicants may receive MTI Scholarship Program benefits for the equivalent of four academic years (eight semesters or 12 quarters).
The Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program Application/Teaching Agreement/Promissory Note, which must be submitted each academic year in order to apply for the MTI Scholarship, is currently available online via the Program Applications & Status Checks area of the ISAC Student Portal. After entering and submitting your data, follow the on-screen instructions to print the completed application, sign it, and mail it to ISAC. Important: please note that the application is not complete until the Application/Teaching Agreement/Promissory Note, with an original ink signature, is received at ISAC.
If you are unable to access the online application, you may instead download and print a PDF version and submit the completed application to ISAC.
For priority consideration, your complete application (including an original ink signature) must be postmarked on or before March 1 preceding the academic year for which you are applying (i.e., the application received date will be based upon the U.S. Postal Service postmark date). You must submit a new application each year you wish to be considered for a scholarship. Because the number of scholarships awarded each year is based on limited funding, it is possible that not all applicants who meet the March 1 priority consideration deadline will receive a scholarship. You are encouraged to submit your application as far in advance of March 1 as possible. Applications received after that date will be given consideration for the scholarship only if funding remains available after all timely, qualified applicants have been awarded.
Even if you are not certain where you will be attending college in the fall, you are strongly encouraged to submit a complete application on or before the March 1 priority application consideration date, listing the approved Illinois college you are most likely to attend. If you then decide to attend a different college after your application has been submitted, you must report that change to ISAC, as described below in the Changes to Application Data section.
Only one MTI application/promissory note may be submitted per academic year. Consequently, if you need to change your response(s) to any item(s) and/or update any information after the application has been submitted, you will need to provide the information to ISAC. Examples of items that may need to be updated include demographic information (i.e., name, address, telephone number, etc.), your college of record and the impacted terms (full year, fall, spring or summer). These changes can be submitted to ISAC using one of the below methods, but cannot be done over the telephone.
- via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
- via FAX to 847.831.8549
- via letter to ISAC Dept D, 1755 Lake Cook Road, Deerfield, IL 60015-5209
The request must include the last four digits of your Social Security number (for identification purposes) and clearly state what change(s) need to be made. These changes will not affect the application “received date”. In order to allow adequate processing time and prevent a loss of benefits, changes to your college of record should to be reported prior to the beginning of the applicable term(s).
- Applications are processed in date-received order.
- ISAC selects recipients from among the highest scoring qualified applicants on the basis of renewal applicant status and minority student status. You are considered a renewal applicant if during the previous academic year you received funds from the program for which you are currently applying.
- The total number of scholarships awarded in a given fiscal year is contingent upon available funding.
ISAC works with the college to disburse funds for this program. The college certifies student eligibility and then submits a payment request on behalf of the student. ISAC processes the payment request and submits the information to the State Comptroller’s Office. Dependent on the level of State of Illinois funding at the time of the request, the amount of time it takes for funds to arrive at the college can vary anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
Depending on the college, students may be responsible for payment until program funds are received. Qualified applicants who are awaiting receipt of funds from this program should contact the Financial Aid Office or Business Office to determine the college's policy.
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 2020-21 Academic Year
(last updated on March 2, 2020):
The online application for the 2020-21 MTI Scholarship Program remains available.
The priority application consideration date for the 2020-21 academic year was March 1, 2020. However, complete applications received after this date will continue to be considered for the MTI Scholarship Program for as long as funding remains after all timely qualified applicants have been awarded. The date through which 2020-21 applications will be accepted is dependent upon application volume and available funding. Applicants who have not already done so are encouraged to submit their applications as soon as possible. Be sure to review the How to Apply section of this page for details regarding the application process. Please note: All ISAC scholarships are limited based on the number of eligible applicants and funding levels appropriated by the Illinois General Assembly. Therefore, you are encouraged to continue seeking additional financial aid resources to fund your educational expenses.
Correspondence regarding the status of your application will be mailed to you within three weeks after the date your application is received at ISAC. Awarding is anticipated to take place after the 2021 fiscal year state budget has been finalized.
The process from this point forward for all complete applications is as follows:
- anticipated to begin in the month of May 2020 (and continue throughout the processing cycle), the college's financial aid office certifies the applicant's eligibility to participate in the MTI Scholarship Program
- once ISAC receives the certification from the college, and dependent upon program funding, the applicant is notified of eligibility status as follows (ISAC will send eligibility notices once awarding takes place after the 2021 fiscal year state budget has been finalized):
- Notices of Eligibility are sent to those applicants who qualify as "eligible and funded" (i.e., are awarded a scholarship). Colleges request payment each term for those applicants who qualify as eligible and continue to meet all eligibility requirements, including enrollment.
- Notification is sent to applicants who qualify as eligible but, due to limited funding, are not awarded a scholarship.
- Notices of Ineligibility are sent to those applicants who do not qualify as eligible (i.e., are not awarded a scholarship), as certified by the college.
ISAC offers two programs designed specifically for individuals studying to become teachers: the MTI Scholarship Program and the Illinois Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver (SETTW) Program. A comparison chart provides a side-by-side view of the MTI Scholarship, Illinois SETTW, federal TEACH Grant, and Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois programs.