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EIU Scholarships

Merit Scholarship Matrix

Are you an incoming freshman or transfer student coming to Eastern next Fall semester? Check out our Merit Scholarship matrixes to see how much you could qualify for!

Current EIU students can check their PAWS account for information and eligibility requirements for the Commitment to Excellence Scholarship.

Freshman Merit Scholarships:

NOTE: Test scores and transcripts can be updated through June 30 to qualify for the scholarship or qualify for a higher amount. Students must be admitted by May 1 in order to qualify for the merit scholarship.

Transfer Merit Scholarships:

NOTE: Test scores and transcripts can be updated through June 30 to either qualify or go up a scholarship level.






Freshman Merit Scholarship Bonus FAQ

What is the Freshman Merit Scholarship Bonus?

If you are an Illinois resident and you qualify for one of EIU’s Freshman Merit Scholarships, you will receive an additional $500 per year over 4 years. The four-year value of the scholarship for Illinois residents is between $10,000 and $18,000.*

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 minimum 1030 SAT / 20 ACT and a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Enroll at EIU as a freshman student full-time (12 or more credit hours) at EIU
  • Meet AIM HIGH Grant requirements
  • Be admitted with your financial aid packaged and completed by April 1 of the year you’re intending to enroll at EIU.

How do I apply?

No separate application is required. When you are admitted to EIU, you will automatically be offered the highest Merit Scholarship you qualify for based on your GPA, along with the bonus $500 per year if you are an Illinois resident. The scholarship is automatically renewable for a total of 4 years (8 semesters Fall and Spring).

Do transfer students qualify?

Yes, but the scholarship and bonus for transfer students are different. See the section below, Transfer Merit Scholarship Bonus FAQ, for more information.

Do current students or out-of-state students qualify?

  • Current students who first enrolled at EIU before Fall 2019 are not eligible for the $500 Illinois residency bonus, as the program is dependent upon AIM HIGH Grant funding. Those students do not meet the requirements associated with the state’s AIM HIGH Grant.
  • Out-of-state students are not eligible for the $500 Illinois residency bonus, but you may still qualify for $8,000 to $16,000 through our automatic merit scholarships for undergraduates. Learn more at: https://www.eiu.edu/scholarships/highlighted_scholarships_freshman.php

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 (Fall and Spring) 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:

  • Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Stay continuously enrolled (Fall and Spring) 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 the merit scholarship bonus, 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.

Are there any other eligibility requirements?

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

  • Be a citizen, or a non-citizen 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 Merit Scholarship Bonus 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 Merit Scholarship Bonus is dependent on that grant and on state appropriation annually, although the Merit Scholarships themselves are funded by EIU.

How do I maintain full-time enrollment at EIU?

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.






Transfer Merit Scholarship Bonus FAQ

What is the Transfer Merit Scholarship Bonus?

If you are an Illinois resident and you qualify for one of EIU’s Merit Scholarships, you will receive an additional $500 per year over 2 years. The two-year value of the scholarship for Illinois residents is between $4,000 and $6,000.*

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 minimum 1030 SAT / 20 ACT and a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Enroll as a full-time transfer student at EIU
  • Meet AIM HIGH Grant requirements
  • Be admitted to EIU as an incoming transfer full-time (12 or more credit hours) with your EIU financial aid packaged and completed by April 1.

How do I apply?

No separate application is required. When you are admitted to EIU, you will automatically be offered the highest Merit Scholarship you qualify for based on your GPA, along with the bonus $500 per year if you are an Illinois resident. The scholarship is automatically renewable for a total of 2 years (4 semesters Fall and Spring).

Do current students or out-of-state students qualify?

  • Current students who enrolled at EIU before Fall 2019 are not eligible for the $500 Illinois residency bonus, as the program is dependent upon AIM HIGH Grant funding. Students who enrolled at EIU before Fall 2019 do not meet the requirements associated with the state’s AIM HIGH Grant.
  • Out-of-state students are not eligible for the $500 Illinois residency bonus, but you may still qualify for $3,000 to $5,000 through our automatic merit scholarships for transfer students. Learn more at: https://www.eiu.edu/scholarships/highlighted_scholarships_transfer.php

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 four 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.

What are the renewal criteria?

To remain qualified after your first year, you must:

  • 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 the merit scholarship bonus, you must submit a FAFSA at fafsa.gov 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.

Are there any other eligibility requirements?

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

  • Be a citizen, or a non-citizen 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
  • Have 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 do I maintain full-time enrollment at EIU?

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

How is the EIU Merit Scholarship Bonus 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 Merit Scholarship Bonus is dependent on that grant and on state appropriation annually, although the Merit Scholarships themselves are funded by EIU.


* This scholarship is partially funded by the Aim High Grant.

Related Pages

Contact Information

Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

217-581-6405
finaid@eiu.edu


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