Federal & State Scholarships

Following are select federal and state scholarships available to Illinois students.

Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois

The Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois program recruits and prepares bright and talented high school graduates who represent a rich ethnic diversity for successful teaching careers in high-need schools throughout Illinois and provides scholarships to those pursuing teaching degrees.

You may nominate yourself or be nominated by a teacher, counselor, principal, or other unrelated adult. You must be nominated on or before November 30 preceding the academic year for which you’re applying. For Golden Apple Scholar of Illinois applications, contact the Golden Apple Foundation.

Minority Teacher of Illinois

The Minority Teacher of Illinois Scholarship program encourages academically talented minority students to pursue careers as teachers at nonprofit Illinois preschool, elementary, and secondary schools. The program also aims to provide minority children with access to a greater number of positive minority role models.

Within 1 year of graduation, recipients must agree to begin teaching at a nonprofit Illinois public, private, or parochial preschool, elementary, or secondary school that the Illinois State Board of Education has certified as a school with at least 30% minority students. They must teach 1 year for each year of scholarship assistance, or else the scholarship converts to a loan that must be repaid.

You must apply for this scholarship on or before March 1 preceding the academic year for which you’re applying to school. For more information on this scholarship program, contact the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

Reserve Officer Training Corps Scholarships (ROTC)

Illinois participates in ROTC programs for Air Force, Army, and Navy. Scholarships opportunities may be available for these programs. Visit Air Force ROTC, Army ROTC, and Navy ROTC for more information.

Early Childhood Access for Consortium for Equity (ECACE)

The Early Childhood Access for Consortium for Equity (ECACE) Scholarship Program was created to address the shortage of qualified early childhood educators by encouraging the pursuit of credentials and advancement of already-held degrees in early childhood education, with an aim toward building a strong, well-prepared workforce.  

If you work or have worked in early childhood education and you’re seeking additional credentials and/or a degree in the field, you may be eligible for the ECACE Scholarship Program. Students must attend a public or non-profit private 2- or 4-year Gateways-entitled and Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity member institution as undergraduates. Recipients of the scholarship are expected to continue or return to teaching or direct services in the early childhood care and education field in Illinois after they complete their program of study.

For more information on this scholarship program, contact the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.  If you would like to be connected to someone who can walk you through all the available opportunities, consider completing the Higher Education Navigator Interest Form. A Higher Education Navigator from your local Child Care Resource and Referral Agency will reach out to you.