JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program

Awarding for this program is subject to annual appropriations by the Illinois General Assembly and the Governor, as described in the below “Details” section.

You may either scroll through this page, or click on any of the following links to go directly to a specific topic:

Program Description
Eligibility
Eligibility Units
Participating Schools
How to Apply (and Obtaining the Application)
     Application Priority Consideration Date: March 31
Changes to Application Data
Details
How Funds Are Disbursed
Processing Updates
Comparison Chart

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 or are a qualified bilingual minority applicant, 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.

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Eligibility

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, or a qualified bilingual minority applicant
  • 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 at an Illinois institution of higher education, and
    • be enrolled or accepted for enrollment 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
    • or, if you are already licensed to teach, be enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a course of study leading to an additional teaching endorsement or a master’s degree in an academic field in which you are teaching or plan to teach, or have received one or more College and Career Pathway Endorsements and commit to enrolling in a course of study leading to teacher licensure, 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
  • complete the application process by:
    • submitting a fully-completed Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program application, which includes the Teaching Agreement/Promissory Note, and completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) or (if applicable) Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid – in order to receive priority consideration for an award during the 2022-23 and subsequent academic years, both complete applications must be received on or before the March 31 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,
      • or, if you received the MTI Scholarship as a qualified bilingual minority applicant, in a transitional bilingual education program or in a school in which at least 20 English learner students in the same language classification are enrolled
    • 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

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Eligibility Units

Qualified applicants may receive MTI Scholarship Program benefits for the equivalent of four academic years (eight semesters or 12 quarters).

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Participating Schools

To view a listing of Illinois colleges approved to participate in this program, click on the link for the appropriate academic year:

2021-22
2022-23

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How to Apply

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 anticipated to be available online via the Program Applications & Status Checks area of the ISAC Student Portal during January 2022 for the 2022-23 academic year.

For priority consideration during the 2022-23 and subsequent academic years, your complete MTI Scholarship application and FAFSA (or Alternative Application, if applicable) must be received on or before March 31 preceding the academic year for which you are applying. You must submit both applications 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 31 priority consideration deadline will receive a scholarship. You are encouraged to submit your applications as far in advance of March 31 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 your complete applications on or before the March 31 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 applications have been submitted, you must report that change to ISAC, as described below in the Changes to Application Data section.

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Changes to Application Data

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.

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).

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Details

  • The total number of scholarships awarded in a given fiscal year is contingent upon available funding.
  • When appropriated funds for this program are insufficient to provide scholarships for all qualified applicants during any fiscal year, available funds will be awarded to qualified students who submit complete timely applications (i.e., the complete MTI Scholarship application and FAFSA or Alternative Application are submitted no later than March 31) based on the following priority order:
  1. Scholarships will first be awarded to renewal applicants who continue to meet all of the program’s eligibility requirements (including 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.
  2. If funds remain after all qualified renewal applicants have been awarded, then at least 35 percent of appropriated funds will be reserved for male qualified applicants. If enough applications are not received on or before January 1 of each fiscal year to award 35 percent of available funds to male qualified minority applicants, then a portion of the reserved funds will be awarded to female qualified minority applicants.
  3. When at least $2,850,000, but less than $4,200,000 is appropriated for this program in a given fiscal year, then – to the extent allowed by the amount of funding that remains – at least ten percent of the appropriated funds will be reserved for qualified bilingual minority applicants, with priority given to those applicants who are enrolled in an educator preparation program with a concentration in bilingual, bicultural education.
  4. When at least $4,200,000 is appropriated for this program in a given fiscal year, then – to the extent allowed by the amount of funding that remains – at least 30 percent of the appropriated funds will be reserved for qualified bilingual minority applicants, with priority given to those applicants who are enrolled in an educator preparation program with a concentration in bilingual, bicultural education.
  5. If sufficient funding remains after awarding has been completed for applicants included in priority categories 1-4 (above), then awards may be made to other qualified applicants.
  6. If the appropriated funding for this program in any given year is insufficient to award all qualified applicants within any of the priority categories 1-5 (above), then awards within that category will be prioritized as follows:
    1. to students that demonstrate the most financial need;
    2. to students with the earliest date of received complete applications (i.e., in date-received order); and
    3. to qualified applicants enrolled at or above the junior level.
  • Qualified applicants may receive MTI Scholarship funds only up to the amount by which their cost of attendance exceeds the amount of their Monetary Award Program (MAP) grant, if applicable.

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How Funds Are Disbursed

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.

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Processing Updates

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 2021-22 Academic Year

(last updated on November 8, 2021):

The MTI Scholarship Program priority application consideration date for the 2021-22 academic year was March 1, 2021.

Awarding for this program took place in late August of 2021, and notification has been sent to recipients. If additional awards are made, those recipients will be notified.

The process from this point forward for all complete applications is as follows:

  • 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, the applicant is notified of eligibility status as follows:
    • 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.

For the 2022-23 Academic Year

(last updated on November 17, 2021):

ISAC anticipates that the 2022-23 application for the MTI Scholarship Program will be available to access from this website during January 2022.

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Comparison Chart

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.

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