Grants lower tuition costs with no repayment necessary

Understanding your financial situation can help you apply for grants, which are awarded by state and federal government. Grants are generally need-based awards for educational expenses. Grants do not need to be repaid.

Award Year

The award year for financial aid is generally the academic year (fall semester followed by spring semester), and includes the summer session following the academic year for which aid is awarded. Of the grant programs listed below, the Pell Grant and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant can be available for summer. The Pell Grant for summer is available for students who attend at least half-time (6 credits), and who are eligible for a half-time Pell Grant. If funds are remaining from fall/spring, the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant for summer is usually awarded to students who did not receive it for fall and spring.

Federal Grants

  • Pell Grant — Pell Grants are for students who have not earned a bachelor's degree and are based on financial need. The maximum grant requires a zero Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and enrollment of at least 12 credit hours. Grants are reduced for higher EFCs and part-time attendance. Two-semester grants for full-time attendance for 2017-2018 range from $5,920 to $740.
  • Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant — Students must be Pell Grant eligible and have zero Expected Family Contributions. Grants are $600 for students taking 12 credit hours. Grants are pro-rated for less than 12 credits and students must be enrolled for at least 6 credit hours

State of Illinois Grants

  • Monetary Award Program (MAP) — The MAP program requires Illinois residency and is based on financial need. The maximum grant for 2017-2018 is $1,617 based on 15 credit hours of attendance. Grants are reduced for less than 15 credit hours down to the minimum enrollment of three credit hours. Students are awarded the grant based on application filing date of the FAFSA and the deadline is established every year by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.