Illinois Promise

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is committed to providing access to quality education for high-achieving students from all backgrounds.

However, current economic circumstances threaten the affordability of higher education, particularly for students from the lowest income levels. With the shift of primary funding for state universities from state support to tuition, the need to maintain access to higher education is particularly pressing.

Illinois Promise began in Fall 2005 to ensure the affordability of higher education for students from the lowest income levels. Illinois Promise assures eligible recipients sufficient grant and scholarship funds in combination with a minimal employment expectation to cover their estimated cost of tuition and fees, room and board, and books and supplies. Illinois Promise doesn’t provide funding for summer classes.

Eligibility Criteria

Students must meet all of the following criteria to be considered for Illinois Promise.

  • You and your parent(s) must be Illinois residents.
  • You must have attended and graduated from an Illinois high school.
  • You must be under the age of 24 and admitted as a new freshman or new transfer student.
  • Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) determined through the FAFSA must equal $0.
  • Family income must be at or below the federal poverty level. For the 2021-2022 academic year, please see the 2019 federal poverty guidelines
  • Family income must be at or below the federal poverty level. For the 2022-2023 academic year, please see the 2020 federal poverty guidelines
  • Your total family assets must be less than $50,000.
  • You must be enrolled in at least 12 hours during fall or spring semesters.
  • To be eligible for renewal, students must remain Pell eligible, family assets must be less than $50,000, and parent and student must remain Illinois residents.

Application Process

To be considered for Illinois Promise, you must submit the FAFSA by March 15 prior to each academic year. There’s no separate Illinois Promise application form; however, once we receive your FAFSA information, we may request and require additional documents to confirm your eligibility criteria.

Assistance

Illinois Promise will fund the estimated cost of tuition and fees, room and board, and books and supplies through grants and scholarships and by asking you to work approximately 10 to 12 hours a week. Other expenses aren’t included, nor are the additional costs of special programs such as intercampus enrollment, concurrent enrollment, and study abroad.

Since you can’t begin employment until you arrive on campus, you’re encouraged to bring sufficient funds to buy books, supplies, and any other items necessary to start the semester. To help, the Illini Union Bookstore (IUB) offers Illinois Promise students the option of deferred billing for up to $600 of required textbooks and supplies per semester. This allows you to get your books before classes begin and defer the bill until the week of midterms.

Illinois Promise funding will be provided to eligible students for 4 years of attendance at Illinois if you continue to meet our criteria. Annual renewal of the FAFSA is required, and you must meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements. As with the tuition guarantee, the 4 years of eligibility for Illinois Promise begins when you enroll at the university and runs continuously.

Students with an extenuating personal situation or academic reason that requires enrollment in summer classes or enrollment beyond 4 years may petition for funding. Be aware that appeals are only approved in highly exceptional situations. Below are the deadlines for submitting an appeal:

2021-2022 Academic year:

  • Fall 2021 – August 6, 2021
  • Spring 2022 – January 17, 2022
  • Summer 2022 – May 6, 2022

The Appeal Form for a 2021- 2022 Illinois Promise Appeal may be found here: 2022 Illinois Promise Appeal

2022-2023 Academic year:

  • Fall 2022 – August 5, 2022
  • Spring 2023 – January 16, 2023
  • Summer 2023 – May 5, 2023

The Appeal Form for a 2022- 2023 Illinois Promise Appeal may be found here: 2023 Illinois Promise Appeal

Helpful Links

Contact Information

For questions related to the I-Promise financial aid and eligibility:

Office of Student Financial Aid
Phone: 217-333-0100
Fax: 217-265-5516
Email: finaid@illinois.edu

For questions related to the Illinois Promise program:
Scholar Support Programs
ipromise@illinois.edu
217-333-4710