Illinois Commitment Frequently Asked Questions

Our commitment is to make the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign more affordable for its students.

If you’re an Illinois resident whose family makes $61,000 or less and has less than $50,000 in family assets, you may be eligible for the Illinois Commitment financial aid package, which covers the cost of tuition and campus fees. The program is unable to cover room and board, as well as selected other expenses listed below.

What is Illinois Commitment?

Illinois Commitment is a financial aid package that provides scholarships and grants to cover tuition and campus fees for students who are Illinois residents and have a family income of $61,000 or less.  $61,000 is the current median family income in the state of Illinois.  Illinois Commitment will cover tuition and campus fees for new freshmen for up to four (4) years, eight (8) semesters of continuous enrollment, and tuition and campus fees for up to three (3) years, six (6) semesters of continuous enrollment for new transfer students.

Who qualifies?

Illinois residents who are admitted as new freshmen or transfer undergraduate students under the age of 24, whose total family income is $61,000 or less.  The student and the parent(s) on the FAFSA must both be residents of Illinois.  DACA and undocumented students do not qualify for this program.  Students age 24 and over will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. 

How do I apply for this program?

Students must complete an admissions application to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Be sure to include the University of Illinois Federal School Code (001775) on your FAFSA. In other words, just complete your application to Illinois!

What costs does the program cover?

Through Illinois Commitment, eligible students will receive a financial aid package that provides scholarship and grant funding to cover the full cost of tuition and campus fees. The University will cover the cost of tuition and campus fees not covered by other federal, state, institutional and private awards including Federal Pell Grant, State of Illinois MAP Program (MAP), and other awards. 

What does Illinois Commitment not cover?

Illinois Commitment does not cover room and board, fees related to specific courses (course fees), summer classes, winter classes, study abroad, books and other student expenses. 

What are campus fees?

Campus Fees are approved by the University Board of Trustees and include: academic facility maintenance fund assessment (AFMFA), general fee, service fee, health service fee, health insurance fee, library and information technology fee, transportation fee and student-initiated fees.

College and majors vary in their tuition cost at Illinois. Does Illinois Commitment cover the full cost of tuition in all programs?

Yes.

Does Illinois Commitment cover course fees?

It does not.

How can I determine whether I qualify?

Recipients must have a total family income of $61,000 or less and family assets totaling less than $50,000. Family income includes parent and student Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) as well as parent and student untaxed income. FAFSA instructions and federal regulations will be followed when determining whose information should be included on the FAFSA.  Parents and students with a negative AGI are generally not eligible for this program.  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.

What does household Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) mean?

Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is a combination of the parent’s and student’s income as reported on line 37 of an IRS Form 1040, line 21 of an IRS Form 1040A, or line 4 of an IRS Form 1040EZ. 

Do I need to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)? If so, when?

Yes, to determine Illinois Commitment eligibility, students are required to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on an annual basis. Students are encouraged to file the FAFSA as soon as possible after it becomes available on October 1 and no later than our priority deadline of March 15 to be fully considered for Illinois Commitment and all other financial aid program opportunities.

Does the program cover my entire time at Illinois?

New freshmen will receive up to eight (8) continuous semesters of eligibility and new transfer students will receive up to six (6) continuous semesters of eligibility. 

How does the program affect my other financial aid?

Students receiving Illinois Commitment will be considered for additional financial aid (grants, scholarships, loans and employment) to cover other educational expenses such as room and board, books and supplies, and personal/miscellaneous expenses. Students may be offered work study as a part of other financial aid they may qualify for, which should not be effected by Illinois Commitment. 

Can I receive merit and outside scholarships in addition to Illinois Commitment?

Merit scholarships and outside scholarships can be used for additional expenses such as room and board, books and supplies, and personal/miscellaneous expenses.  If the total amount of grants/scholarships awarded exceed a student’s calculated financial need, a reduction may be necessary.  Total aid awarded cannot exceed the cost of attendance as established by the Office of Student Financial Aid.

What if my family income was initially $61,000 or less but is expected to be higher next year?

Students will continue to receive Illinois Commitment in future years provided the family income is not more than 10% higher than the Illinois median income at the time the initial award was made (i.e. if a student received Illinois Commitment based on a family income of $61,000, family income must be $67,100 or less for the student to remain eligible). A student who becomes ineligible for Illinois Commitment will be automatically considered for other aid.  

What if my family income isn’t currently $61,000 or less but is expected to drop next year?

Only new students will be considered for Illinois Commitment, based on family income at the time the student starts either as a new freshman or as a new transfer student.  Decreases in family income may result in eligibility for other financial aid program funding.

What if I don’t meet all Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements in a given term?

Students must have an eligible Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) status to continue receiving their Illinois Commitment financial aid package.  Eligible SAP status occurs by meeting the requirements of the SAP Policy or having an SAP appeal approved. 

Can funding for the program be used for the summer or winter term?

Illinois Commitment funding is only available for fall and spring semesters.

Are currently enrolled students eligible?

Only new Illinois students can be considered for the Illinois Commitment program.

Are students admitted for the spring term eligible?

Yes, provided they are a new Illinois undergraduate student and meet the eligibility requirements. The first eligible spring term is 2020.

Are students working on a second bachelor’s degree eligible?

This program is only for students enrolled in their first bachelor’s degree.

Are graduate students eligible?

Illinois Commitment is only for undergraduate students earning their first bachelor’s degree. 

What can I do if I don’t qualify?

Students who don’t meet the Illinois Commitment eligibility criteria will continue to be considered for other financial aid program funding.

When does the program go into effect?

The program begins for new freshman and transfer students in Fall 2019.

Does Illinois Commitment cover the additional costs of special programs such as intercampus enrollment, concurrent enrollment and study abroad?

No, Illinois Commitment only covers the tuition and campus fees assessed by Illinois. Illinois Commitment does not cover course fees. 

Can I continue to receive Illinois Commitment if I participate in an approved internship or co-op?

Students will not be eligible for Illinois Commitment for the semester of their co-op or internship if they are not enrolled full time. However, the award can be reinstated the following semester if they enroll full-time, are making Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements and have not exhausted their 8 semesters of eligibility.  

Do I need to enroll full-time to be eligible for Illinois Commitment?

Generally, students must enroll full-time (at least 12 hours) to be eligible for Illinois Commitment. Awards may be prorated for graduating seniors who are not enrolled full-time. 

Who should I contact with questions?

The Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) administers the Illinois Commitment program and will answer any questions you have.

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