Residents of Illinois have both state and federal grant opportunities open to them.
Any money you can get toward paying for tuition at a college or university in Illinois can help assuage the financial burden of post-secondary education. Speak to your guidance counselor about your eligibility for grant programs open to Illinois residents. Also, fill out a Free Application for Financial Student Aid, or FAFSA, to apply for programs that award money, such as the Pell Grant.
College Savings Bond Bonus Incentive Grant
This program is open to any Illinois student who has received an Illinois College Savings Bond. To be eligible, you must have retained possession of the savings bond for a minimum of 12 months and plan to use at least 70 percent of the bond towards college tuition. The grant ranges from $40 to $440 per $5,000 savings bond. A maximum of $25,000 in savings bonds can be applied towards the grant program.
Illinois Veterans Grant
If you are a discharged veteran and reside in Illinois, you may be eligible to receive this grant. Recipients are required to have a minimum of one year of active duty in the armed forces and have resided in Illinois for at least six months before going into military service. Recipients of the Illinois Veterans Grant must also have been honorably discharged from the military and lived in Illinois for at least six months after leaving military service. The grant pays for eligible tuition and fees and can be used for up to four years of college at an Illinois institution.
Illinois Future Teacher Corps Program
If you plan to go to college to pursue a degree in education, you may be eligible to apply for the Illinois Future Teacher Corps Program. Candidates must plan to teach in the state of Illinois and be a junior or higher. Candidates must have good grades and be financially needy to qualify for the program. Annual awards range from $5,000 to $10,000. Awards are renewable and the student is required to remain in good academic standing to maintain eligibility.
The Pell Grant is a federally funded program open to low- and middle-income students. For the 2021 to 2022 award year, the maximum amount given was $6,600 annually. To determine award amount, financial need and tuition costs are considered. Full-time students will receive more grant money than part-time college students. If multiple children in the family are students at the same time, award amounts are increased.