EIU will reduce the cost of your remaining tuition and required fees to $0 if you're a qualified Illinois resident with a family income of $100,000 or less.
The EIU Local Scholars program is a new financial aid program that can significantly reduce – and in some cases completely eliminate – tuition and fees for qualified Illinois residents. It is a last-dollar scholarship, meaning that it covers any tuition or fees remaining after other scholarships and awards have been applied.
You will qualify for Local Scholars if you meet all of these requirements:
No separate application is required. Just complete your FAFSA requirements and be admitted to EIU by April 1!
No, this program is only available to first-time freshman undergraduate students who started in the Fall semester 2022 or later. Current students who already received EIU Local Scholars awards will continue to receive it as long as they meet the renewal criteria.
The full cost of tuition and required fees up to 15 credit hours per semester, including textbook rental fees.
This cost is estimated as the 3-year average of tuition & fees for a student taking 15 credit hours, as indicated on the student's financial aid award letter. The student's actual costs may be slightly more or less than this estimate.
Room and board, course-specific fees such as laboratory fees, study abroad fees, the new student program fee, and indirect expenses like supplies and travel.
In general, the amount you receive from EIU Local Scholars 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 Local Scholars award will be reduced accordingly for the first year of your award. Your renewal award amount will never be less than your initial award unless it exceeds the annual cost of attendance in combination with other awards.
If you receive awards that fully cover your tuition and required fees for the first year of your award, your EIU Local Scholars 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.
For most students, yes. You can be eligible for the program for up to eight continuous semesters (Fall and Spring) at EIU, as long as you meet the renewal criteria. The program is dependent upon continued state appropriation of associated funds.
To remain qualified after your first year, you must:
Yes, to initially qualify for this program, you must submit a FAFSA at fafsa.gov. You can submit your FAFSA starting October 1 of the year before you intend to take classes at EIU. 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. A FAFSA is not required for renewal.
Yes. You can also receive additional aid such as loans and student employment to help you pay for other expenses like room and board, supplies, and other personal or miscellaneous expenses.
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.
Family assets include savings/checking, investments, real estate and business net worth. Home value, qualified retirement accounts and family farms not required to be reported on the FAFSA are not counted in family assets. We may ask for more information as needed to determine family qualification.
You’ll still qualify for EIU Local Scholars. However, if you did not receive the EIU Local Scholars award your first year as a freshman, you will not qualify for it in later years, even if your family’s income goes below $100,000.
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:
|People in Household||Max Income|
|9+||$28,320 added for each additional person|
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.
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 Local Scholars Program is dependent on that grant and on state appropriation annually.