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, food and housing, and books and supplies. Illinois Promise does not 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/Student Aid Index (EFC/SAI) determined through the FAFSA must equal $0.
  • Family income must be at or below the federal poverty level. For the 2024-2025 academic year, please see the 2022 federal poverty guidelines.
  • Your total family assets must be less than $50,000.
  • You must be enrolled in at least 12 hours during the fall and spring semesters.
  • To be eligible for renewal, students must remain Pell-eligible, family assets must be less than $50,000, and the parent and student must remain Illinois residents.

Application Process

To be considered for Illinois Promise, you must submit the FAFSA by March 15 (April 15 for the 2024-2025 Academic Year) 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.


Illinois Promise will fund the estimated cost of tuition and fees, food and housing, 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. A loan may be offered to cover personal miscellaneous expenses not covered by other financial aid.

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 Pay-It-Later (deferred billing) option of 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 the program requirements. 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:

2023-2024 Academic year:

  • Fall 2023 – October 13, 2023
  • Spring 2024 – March 15, 2024
  • Summer 2024 – July 12, 2024

2024-2025 Academic year:

  • Fall 2024 – October 11, 2024
  • Spring 2025 – March 15, 2024
  • Summer 2025 – July 12, 2024

The Appeal Form for a 2023-2024 Illinois Promise and Illinois Commitment Scholarship Programs Appeal Form may be found here: 2024 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

For questions related to the Illinois Promise program:
Scholar Support Programs