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EIU Scholarships

EIU Promise Program

EIU will offset the remaining balance of a student’s tuition and fee costs for resident families demonstrating a family income of $61,000 or less.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the EIU Promise program?

The EIU Promise program is a new financial aid program that can significantly reduce – and in some cases completely offset – tuition and fees for qualified Illinois students who enroll at EIU starting Fall 2019.

How do I qualify?

To qualify, you must:

  • Be a resident of Illinois, with at least one parent (listed on your FAFSA) also an Illinois resident
  • Have a family adjusted gross income of $61,000 or less annually
  • Be admitted to EIU as an incoming freshman* full-time (12 or more credit hours) with your financial aid packaged by April 1, 2019
  • Have a minimum 18 ACT / 960 SAT and a 3.0 unweighted GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Meet AIM HIGH Grant requirements

How do I apply?

No separate application is required. Just complete your FAFSA requirements and be admitted to EIU by April 1!

Do current EIU or EIU graduate students qualify?

No, this program is only available to first-time freshman* undergraduate students starting Fall 2019.

Do transfer students qualify?

Currently, EIU’s Panther Promise is only available to incoming freshman* students. However, transfer students are eligible to receive other scholarship benefits at EIU.

What costs are covered?

The full cost of tuition and mandatory fees up to 15 credit hours per semester, including textbook rental fees.

What costs are not covered?

Room and board, course-specific fees such as laboratory fees, study abroad fees, new student program fee and indirect expenses like supplies and travel.

Would my award ever be reduced or canceled?

In general, the amount you receive from EIU Promise will not exceed the cost of your tuition and required fees. So if you later receive other awards that partially cover these costs, your EIU Promise award will be reduced accordingly.

If you receive awards that fully cover your tuition and required fees, your EIU Promise award will be canceled. Examples of such awards include the Pemberton Presidential Scholars Award, the Children of Deceased Employees Waiver, DCFS, DORS, or the ISAC Illinois Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver (SETTW) Program. In some circumstances, your full tuition and fees could also be covered in combination with the State of Illinois MAP grant, but exceptions may apply because of the differences in these waiver programs.

Will the program be available to me my whole time at EIU?

For most students, yes. You can be eligible for the program for up to eight continuous semesters (Spring and Fall) at EIU, as long as you meet the renewal criteria. The program is dependent upon continued state appropriation of associated funds.

What are the renewal criteria?

To remain qualified after your first year, you must:

  • File a FAFSA each academic year and not exceed a family adjusted gross income of $71,000
  • Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Stay continuously enrolled as a full-time student at EIU
  • Meet AIM HIGH Grant requirements

Do I need to submit a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)?

Yes, to qualify for this program, you must submit a FAFSA at starting October 1. We recommend you file your FAFSA as soon as possible, and make sure to include EIU’s school code (001674) on your FAFSA so we receive your information. EIU’s priority deadline is December 15.

Can I receive other financial aid in addition to the EIU Promise?

Yes.  The EIU promise is intended to offset tuition and mandatory fees after all other merit and gift aid is applied to a student’s account.  Additional aid such as loans and student employment can also be received in order to assist in paying other educational expenses such as room and board, supplies, and other personal or miscellaneous expenses.  Your total financial aid package cannot exceed the cost of attendance.

What is family adjusted gross income?

Adjusted gross income (AGI) is the combined income for you and your family as reported to the IRS on your federal income tax return. It’s on Line 4 if you filed a Form 1040EZ, Line 21 if you filed a Form 1040A, or Line 37 if you filed a Form 1040.

What if my family’s income goes above or below $61,000 after my first year?

As long as your family’s adjusted gross income does not go above $71,000 after the first year, you’ll still qualify for the EIU Promise. However, if you did not qualify for the program your first year as a freshman, you will not qualify for it in later years, even if your family’s income goes below $61,000.

Are there any other eligibility requirements?

In addition to the qualifications listed above, to receive financial aid from the EIU Promise program, you must also meet the state’s AIM HIGH Grant eligible student requirements. You must:

  • An Illinois High School student who graduates in the same year as the scholarship is awarded
  • Be a citizen or eligible non-citizen (be eligible for federal student aid)
  • Not have received a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent of 135 semester credit hours
  • Not be incarcerated
  • Not be in default on any student loan or owe a refund or repayment on any state or federal grant or scholarship
  • Has filed a FAFSA and demonstrated need with household income (taxed and untaxed) no greater than six times the poverty guidelines
People in Household Max Income
1 $72,360
2 $97,440
3 $122,520
4 $147,600
5 $172,680
6 $197,760
7 $222,840
8 $247,920
9+ $25,080 added for each additional person

How is the EIU Promise Program funded?

In Spring 2018, the Higher Education Working Group—a bipartisan group of Illinois legislators interested in finding common-ground and viable solutions—proposed and passed a new merit-based grant program. That program—the AIM HIGH Grant—was signed into law in August 2018. The EIU Promise Program is dependent on that grant and on state appropriation annually.

How is a student determined full time?

You must be registered for a minimum of 12 credit hours by the published census date policy each semester. Full time enrollment is assumed until census date.

* Who is an incoming freshman, as it pertains to the AIM HIGH Grant and EIU’s AIM HIGH scholarships eligibility?

Per Illinois Public Act 100-1015,“eligible applicant” is defined as “a student from any high school in [Illinois]...who is engaged in a program of study that in due course will be completed by the end of the school year.”

Related Pages

Contact Information

Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships


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