JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

2023-24 ECACE Scholarship Program Applications Due August 7



Are you an early childhood worker? Are you interested in seeking additional credentials and/or a degree in the field? If so, you may be eligible for the Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity (ECACE) Scholarship Program, which was created to address the shortage of early childhood educators and build a well-prepared workforce by encouraging the pursuit of credentials and advancement of already-held degrees in early childhood education.

  • Awards are available for study at public and non-profit private two- and four-year Gateways-entitled and Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity member institutions.
    • For students attending community colleges and public universities in Illinois, the scholarship will cover the applicant's total cost of attendance for an academic year (including summer) after subtracting other financial aid received.
    • Students at participating non-profit private institutions may receive an amount no more than the cost of the most expensive program of study in the early childhood education field at an Illinois public college.
  • Applicants must submit an ECACE application and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) for each academic year in which benefits are to be used.
    • In order to receive priority access to funding, the 2023-24 ECACE application and the 2023-24 FAFSA must be submitted on or before Monday, August 7, 2023.
    • 2023-24 applications received after August 7th will be given consideration if funding remains available after all timely, qualified applicants have been awarded.
    • To determine your eligibility for the scholarship, the ECACE-participating Illinois college at which you plan to use the award must be listed on your FAFSA.
    • Be sure to review the program eligibility requirements for the 2023-24 academic year prior to submitting an application.
    • Eligibility is not based on financial need, but the FAFSA results will be used to prioritize awards among the neediest of applicants.
  • Although there is no teaching commitment connected to the award, recipients are expected to continue or return to teaching or direct services in the early childhood care and education field after they complete their program of study.
  • Learn more about the program – including eligibility requirements and how to apply – by visiting these resources at the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) website (isac.org):

Additional Teaching Resources

Visit the Teaching page of the Students & Parents area of the ISAC website to find links to resources that include (but are not limited to):

  • details about teacher preparation and certification in Illinois;
  • information on state and federal gift assistance programs that are designed for students who plan to teach; and,
  • facts about state and federal loan cancellation/forgiveness/repayment programs that are available for teachers.

Invite Your Colleagues/Friends to Subscribe to ISAC's e-Messaging Service

If you have colleagues or friends who may be interested in the "Students" and/or "Teaching Professionals/Education Major Students" groups but do not currently subscribe to ISAC's e-Messaging service, encourage them to sign up at the Students/Parents e-Messaging page.

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If you have any questions regarding this e-Message, please contact the ISAC Call Center by calling toll free at 800.899.ISAC (4722), sending an e-mail message to [email protected] or chatting live with one of our representatives through the "Live Support-Online" button in the Students & Parents area of our website.

Get information anytime about the college-going process and ISAC programs on ISAC's website and Student Portal, both accessible at isac.org.