Apr 21, 2024  
2024-2025 Catalog 
    
2024-2025 Catalog

Financial Assistance



The primary purpose of the financial aid program at Governors State University is to assist students in obtaining the financial resources necessary to cover their educational costs.

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships encourages all students to apply early for financial assistance. Financial aid programs are designed to supplement student or family resources by bridging the gap between costs and the student’s or family’s measured ability to pay. The analysis of a student’s or family’s financial strength includes consideration of current income, assets, family size, and any other factors that seriously alter a student’s or family’s financial situation.

Eligibility Criteria

Requirements for federal and state sponsored financial aid vary, but generally, a student must:

  1. be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident;
  2. be admitted to an eligible degree or certificate program; and
  3. be enrolled at least on a half-time basis (six hours) for most forms of aid.

Programs Available

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships administers and coordinates aid funds from federal, state, university, and private sources. The various aid programs available may be divided into four broad categories: grants/scholarships, loans, student employment, and tuition waivers. Grants and scholarships are referred to as “gift aid” since they are not repaid. Loans must be repaid, with payments usually beginning six months after leaving school or when a student drops below half-time enrollment status. Student employment is often available during the academic year. In addition, tuition waivers covering in-state tuition for both undergraduate and graduate students are available.

Application Procedures

The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships processes aid on a year-round basis. Students are encouraged to apply for financial assistance annually, as early as October 1st to maximize their financial aid eligibility. Students should refer to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships website at www.govst.edu/finaid for detailed information on available types of aid and application forms/deadlines.

To determine eligibility for all forms of need-based aid, students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is available at www.studentaid.gov. Additional information and supporting documentation may be requested if the application is selected for verification. The financial aid application is not complete until all required forms and supporting documents are on file and verified by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Financial Aid Disbursement

The first financial aid posting for each semester is after the census date for students who are enrolled at least half-time, have accepted their financial aid, and are maintaining satisfactory academic progress.  Direct deposits and refund checks are completed within two weeks after financial aid is posted to the student accounts.

Federal Grants, Loans, and Tuition Waivers

Veterans Assistance

For information concerning veterans’ benefits, visit the Veterans Resource Center or call 708-235-7597.

United States Department of Veterans’ Affairs Educational Benefits

Available to veterans, service members, and eligible dependents in undergraduate and graduate programs. Sets tuition at the in-district rate, and provides coverage for eligible tuition and fees at the rate determined by the Dep.t of Veterans’ Affairs. Further information can be found at va.gov.

Contact: GovState Veterans Resource Center for details.

Illinois Veterans Grant

The Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) Program provides coverage for eligible tuition and mandatory fees for undergraduate and graduate students at 2- or 4-year Illinois public higher education institutions. The Illinois Veteran Grant is offered to Illinois residents who meet the eligibility criteria. Further information can be found at ISAC.org.

Details available through the Illinois Student Assistance Commission - Illinois Veteran Grant.

Illinois National Guard Scholarship

The Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant provides coverage for eligible tuition and fees for undergraduate and graduate students at 2- or 4-year Illinois public higher education institutions. The Illinois Veteran Grant is offered to Illinois National Guard members, and qualifying recently discharged Illinois National Guard members, who meet the eligibility criteria. Further information can be found at ISAC.org, or through your IL National Guard Unit.

Illinois MIA/POW Veteran’s Dependents Scholarship

The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) Deceased, Disabled, and MIA-POW Veterans’ Dependents Scholarship provides coverage for eligible tuition and fees for undergraduate and graduate students at Illinois public higher education institutions. Illinois MIA/POW Veteran’s Dependents Scholarship is offered to dependents of Illinois veterans who meet the eligibility criteria and is not based on financial need. Further information can be found at ISAC.org and https://veterans.illinois.gov/.

Pell Grant

Available to undergraduate students based on need. Must be enrolled in a degree-seeking program. Applies to tuition, fees, and other educational expenses. No repayment obligation.

Complete the FAFSA form available online at www.studentaid.gov.

Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

Available to undergraduate students with exceptional need and eligibility for the Pell Grant. Must be a degree-seeking student and enrolled for at least six credit hours. SEOG is a source of funds to supplement other federal aid programs (such as the Pell Grant) if the student continues to show need. Applies to tuition, fees, and other educational expenses. No repayment obligations.

Complete the FAFSA form available online at www.studentaid.gov.

Federal Work-Study (FWS)

Available to undergraduate and graduate degree-seeking students. Students qualify based on financial need. Part-time positions are available in a variety of areas throughout the university.

Complete the FAFSA form available online at www.studentaid.gov.

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan

Available to undergraduate students based on need. Must be a degree-seeking student and enrolled in at least half-time status with eligible coursework (recognized in your program curriculum and corresponding Degree Audit).. Repayment will begin six months after graduation or when a student drops below half-time status. Annual loan limits vary, based on academic level.

Complete the FAFSA available online at www.studentaid.gov.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Available to undergraduate and graduate students. Do not have to demonstrate financial need. Must be a degree-seeking student and enrolled in at least half-time status with eligible coursework (recognized in your program curriculum and corresponding Degree Audit). Annual loan limits vary based on academic level and dependency status for undergraduate students. Graduate students can receive up to $20,500 annually. Interest accrues from the time the loan is disbursed. Students may pay the interest while in school, or it will be added to the principal balance when entering repayment.

Complete the FAFSA form available online at www.studentaid.gov.

TEACH Grant

Available to undergraduate and graduate students, who are committed to teach full time in high-need subject areas for at least four years in school districts that serve students from low-income families. Must be enrolled in a TEACH Grant eligible program. Must have at least a 3.25 cumulative grade point average and must annually complete both the Agreement to Serve or Repay and TEACH Grant counseling.

For more information, please visit https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/launchTeach.action

Complete the FAFSA form available online at www.studentaid.gov.

State Scholarships, Grants, and Tuition Waivers

State of Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) Grant

Available to undergraduate students based on need. Must be a degree-seeking student enrolled in at least three credit hours and a State of Illinois resident. Applies to tuition and fees only. Students must be enrolled for at least 15 credits per semester to receive the full amount of the MAP Grant shown on the award letter. When enrolled in less than 15 credits the award is prorated based on the number of credit hours enrolled. No repayment obligation.

Complete the FAFSA form available online at www.studentaid.gov.

AIM HIGH Scholarship

AIM HIGH Scholarships are offered through the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC). These scholarships are merit-based and offered to incoming first year and transfer students. Amounts vary.

Details available through https://www.govst.edu/AIMHIGH/.

Police, Fire, Correctional Officer Grant Program

Available to undergraduates and graduate students. Students qualify if they are a surviving child or spouse of an Illinois police, fire, or corrections officer. Surviving children must be the natural or adopted child of the deceased and no more than 25 years old at the time of enrollment. Grant covers tuition and mandatory fees. No repayment obligations.

Details available through the Illinois Student Assistance Commission - PFC Program.

Golden Apple Scholarship

Available to undergraduate and graduate students who are Illinois residents and who are certified teachers or students preparing for certification. Students must be enrolled in at least six credit-hours and must sign a commitment to teach on a full-time basis for five years at a nonprofit Illinois public, private or parochial preschool, or an Illinois public elementary or secondary school considered a school of need. Scholarship is $5,000 to $10,000 per year, which covers tuition, fees, and other educational expenses. Repayment is required only if the student does not teach in the shortage area for a specified period of time.

Details available through the Illinois Student Assistance Commission - Golden Apple

Minority Teachers of Illinois

Available to undergraduate and graduate minority students who are Illinois residents preparing for teacher certification. Student must agree to teach upon graduation. Student must be enrolled for at least a half-time basis. Scholarship is $2,500 per term for tuition, fees, and other educational expenses.

Details available through the Illinois Student Assistance Commission - MTI Scholarship

Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver

Available to undergraduate and graduate students who are Illinois residents seeking initial certification in an area of special education. Students must agree to teach in special education upon graduation. Waiver covers tuition and fees.

Details available through the Illinois Student Assistance Commission - SETTW Program.

Department of Rehabilitation Services Scholarship

This program provides financial assistance for individuals with physical or mental disabilities who have been approved for vocational training by the Office of Rehabilitation Services to attend accredited Illinois colleges, universities, and technical schools.  Financial need is a factor.

Details available through the Office of Rehabilitation Services.

GovState Student Assistantships, Employment, and Foundation/Alumni Scholarships

Graduate Assistantship

Available to graduate students only. Must be degree-seeking and enrolled for at least six credit hours. Students earn a monthly stipend and a tuition waiver in return for 20 hours of work per week. Details can be found at http://www.govst.edu/grad-assistant/

Student Employment

Available to undergraduate and graduate students. Do not have to demonstrate financial need, but must be degree-seeking, enrolled for a minimum of six credit hours, and not on academic probation or in default on any education loans. Part-time positions are available in a variety of areas throughout the university.

Details available through Career Services - Jobs for Jaguars.

Job Location and Development

Available to undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled for at least six credit-hours at GovState. Part-time, off-campus positions.

Details available through Career Services - Jobs for Jaguars.

GovState Foundation and Alumni Scholarships

The GovState Foundation awards scholarships three times per academic year: Fall, Spring & Summer. The entire application process is now online via the Scholarship Universe Software:  https://govst.scholarshipuniverse.com/public/. The GovState Foundation devotes great effort to raising funds in order to recognize students who need financial assistance to continue their studies. Scholarship opportunities and award amounts vary each semester and academic year based upon the financial support of our donors. See which scholarships you match to by logging into Scholarship Universe and completing your profile by answering all questions.

For links to the Scholarship Universe Software, exact dates of application cycles, FAQ’s, tips, tricks, and guides please visit www.govst.edu/foundationscholarships/.

GovState Student Waivers

Purpose: This policy establishes the University processes for authorizing tuition and fee waiver programs and the purposes of such programs, establishing waiver budget and expenditure levels, and allocating waivers to waiver programs. Tuition and fee waivers are an agreement between the student and the University to reduce or eliminate assessed tuition and/or fees. All Illinois public universities are authorized to award two general types of tuition and fee waivers: Mandatory Waivers and Discretionary Waivers.

  • Mandatory Waiver means a waiver that an institution is required by State statute to grant to students who meet the specific parameters and criteria included in the statute.
  • Discretionary Waiver means a waiver that is granted at the discretion of the institution. Discretionary waivers include the following categories:
  • Faculty and Staff Waiver means a discretionary waiver awarded to public university faculty, staff, or other employees, or their dependents.
  • Student Talent or Merit Waiver means a discretionary waiver awarded to students based on talent in a particular field, academic merit, or special status.
  • Student Need Waiver means a discretionary waiver granted to students demonstrating financial need.
  • Student Service Waiver means a discretionary waiver granted to students to support the University mission, goals, and objectives through participation in outside contracts; graduate or undergraduate research, teaching, or other assignments; training or grant programs; external internship programs; clinical portions of degree programs conducted at other institutions; or other student experiences.

Mandatory Waivers

Teachers Scholarships - Special Education Grants: Provides tuition and necessary fee awards to encourage current teachers and academically talented students to pursue careers in any area of special education as a public or private elementary or secondary school teacher in Illinois. Recipients are exempt from paying tuition and fees at an eligible institution for up to four years. Purpose: To provide financial incentives to pursue special education teacher training. Eligibility and Criteria: As determined by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), participants must be a United States citizen or an eligible non-citizen; an Illinois resident; agree to take courses to prepare for the teaching of handicapped children or children with learning disabilities; be an Illinois high school graduate and rank in the upper half of the graduating class, or hold a valid teaching certificate that is not in the discipline of special education; and not have received a waiver under this program in the past. Participants are required to contract with the Illinois Student Assistant Commission and teach special education for two years within the five-year period following graduation. See details in Special Education Tuition waiver section above.
 

General Assembly Scholarships: Each member of the General Assembly may grant, annually, two four-year scholarships, one for the University of Illinois, and the other for any state-supported university, to persons from his/her district. The scholarships exempt the holder from paying tuition or fees, with the exception of fees for book rental, service, laboratory, supply, union building, hospital and medical insurance, and any fees pledged for the payment of interest and principal on bonds for the operation and maintenance of buildings. Purpose: To extend opportunities to attend the University of Illinois or other state-supported universities. Eligibility and Criteria: Students must live in the nominating legislator’s district and are required to sign a waiver of confidentiality concerning scholarship information. This program was abolished in 2012. Only persons nominated to receive or awarded such a scholarship before September 1, 2012 are entitled to the scholarship.
 

Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) Scholarships: Scholarships are offered to residents of Illinois whose scholastic standing enables them to enroll in ROTC programs. The scholarships exempt the holder from paying tuition and/or fees, with the exception of fees for book rental, service, laboratory, supply, union building, hospital and medical insurance, and any fees pledged for the payment of interest and principal on bonds for the operation and maintenance of buildings. Purpose: To encourage their participation in the ROTC programs. Eligibility and Criteria: Residents of the State of Illinois whose scholastic standing will enable them to enroll in the ROTC programs available at universities supported by the State of Illinois are eligible. Applicants are required to take an examination each year according to rules prescribed by the presidents, or designees, of participating institutions. Scholarships are awarded on a merit basis to those eligible recipients receiving the highest grades with evidence of leadership ability. Applicants also must submit to the institution Selective Service registration compliance documentation. Waivers shall be awarded at each university on the basis of the equivalent of 10 scholarships per class, per branch of service, each academic year.
 

Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Scholarships and Fee Waiver: DCFS annually selects 48 children, at least four of whom are children of veterans, for scholarship and fee waivers for four consecutive years at any university or college maintained by the State of Illinois. Selection is based on scholastic record, aptitude, and general interest in higher education. Purpose: To give financial assistance for college expenses to selected children under the care of the Department. Eligibility and Criteria: DCFS may select 48 students under their care, at least four of whom must be children of veterans, on the basis of scholastic record, aptitude, and interest in higher education, and who have completed four years of high school.
 

Partial Tuition Waivers for Children of University Employees: Public University governing boards must offer fifty percent tuition waivers for undergraduate education to the children of employees who have been employed by the granting university and/or any public university in Illinois for an aggregate of at least seven years. Participants must be under the age of 25 and qualify for admission to the University. Purpose: To grant partial tuition waivers to the children of employees to attend the University. Eligibility and Criteria: The parent or guardian of the waiver recipient must have been employed by any public university for at least seven years. Children receiving the waivers must be undergraduates, under age 25 at the commencement of the academic year in which the waiver takes effect, must qualify for admission, and can only receive a maximum of four years of partial tuition waiver benefits.
 

Senior Citizen Courses Act: Permits senior citizens, over the age of 65, to enroll in regularly scheduled credit courses at public institutions of higher education without payment of tuition. This does not include payment of fees. Limited to persons whose annual income is less than the threshold amount in the Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons Property Tax Relief and Pharmaceutical Assistance Act.  Purpose: To provide tuition-free credit courses for senior citizens that attend public institutions of higher education in Illinois. Eligibility and Criteria: Must be age 65 or older with an annual household income below the threshold amount of the Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons Property Tax Relief and Pharmaceutical Assistance Act.
 

Illinois Veterans Grants Illinois Veterans Grants (also see Veterans Assistance section above): The Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) Program provides coverage for eligible tuition and mandatory fees for undergraduate and graduate students at 2- or 4-year Illinois public higher education institutions. This program is administered by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC). Purpose: To provide tuition and fee grants to students that satisfy the Illinois residency and armed forces service history requirements as determined by ISAC. Eligibility and Criteria: Students must meet residency requires, have served (or are actively serving) honorably while meeting the minimum required active duty service duration, not be a current member the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), and not be in default on any student loan or owe a return of funds for any state or federal grant. Recipients must satisfy the institution’s minimum grade level requirements. Further details can be found on ISAC.org.

Illinois National Guard Grants (also see Veterans Assistance section above): The Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant provides coverage for eligible tuition and fees for undergraduate and graduate students at 2- or 4-year Illinois public higher education institutions who are members of the Illinois National Guard. This program is administered by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC). Purpose: To provide tuition and eligible fee grants to Illinois National Guard members, and qualifying recently discharged Illinois National Guard members, who meet the eligibility criteria. Eligibility and Criteria: Members of the Illinois National Guard who have completed one full year of service are eligible. Former members of the Illinois National Guard may also be eligible if they were active for at least five consecutive years and have been called to federal active duty for at least six months. These individuals must be within 12 months of their discharge date from the Illinois National Guard to be eligible. All recipient eligibility is also contingent on enrollment in an Illinois public two- or four-year institution. Recipients must satisfy the institution’s minimum grade level requirements, and not be in default on any student loan or owe a return of funds for any state or federal grant.

MIA/POW Scholarships (also see Veterans Assistance section above): Eligible dependents of a qualified veteran may be awarded a MIA/POW Scholarship at an Illinois public higher education institution. The scholarship covers eligible tuition and mandatory fees. This scholarship program is administered by the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA). Purpose: To provide eligible tuition and fee scholarships to dependents of qualifying deceased, disabled, and MIA/POW veterans. Eligibility and Criteria: Any spouse, natural child, stepchild under the age of 18 at the time of marriage, adopted child under the age of 18 at the time of adoption, or minor child younger than 18 who is under a court-ordered guardianship for at least 2 continuous years prior to application, of a qualifying veteran shall be awarded a MIA/POW scholarship at an Illinois public higher education institution. Further information can be found at ISAC.org and https://veterans.illinois.gov/.

Discretionary Waivers

Faculty/Staff Waivers: Tuition and fee waivers awarded to University faculty, staff, or other employees or their dependents. Purpose: To provide educational benefits to the employees of the University, their dependents, and employees of other institutions. Eligibility and Criteria: Must be a member of the University faculty or administrative staff or an employee covered by the State Universities Civil Service System. This includes:

  • Civil Service Staff: University Employees
  • Civil Service Staff: Interinstitutional and Related Agencies
  • Faculty and Staff
  • Retired University Employees
  • Children of Deceased Employees

Student Talent/Merit Waivers: Tuition and fee waivers awarded to students based on talent in a particular field, academic merit, or special status. Purpose: To provide financial assistance to students with academic talent or special status. Eligibility and Criteria: Based on academic record, other academic talent, or special status. This includes:

  • Athletic
  • Gender Equity in Intercollegiate Athletics
  • Freshmen
  • Dual Degree Program (DDP) - Honors
  • Creative Arts Talent Scholarship

Student Need Waivers: Tuition and fee waivers granted to students demonstrating financial need. Purpose: To provide financial assistance to students who demonstrate financial need or hardship. Eligibility and Criteria: Recipients must demonstrate financial need and/or be enrolled in special academic programs or other University activities. This includes:

  • Dual Degree Program (DDP) - Promise
  • Special Program Waiver

Student Service Waivers/Assistantships: Tuition and fee waivers granted to students to support the University mission, goals, and objectives through participation in outside contracts; graduate or undergraduate research, teaching, or other assignments; training or grant programs; external internship programs; clinical portions of degree programs conducted at other institutions; or other student experiences. Purpose: To provide educational benefits and financial incentives to students and to provide students with valuable educational experiences. Eligibility and Criteria: Recipients must be enrolled in the University or under contract and, for the educational experiences and benefits, agree to perform related services. This includes:

  • Teaching Assistantship
  • Research Assistantship
  • Laboratory Assistantship
  • Tutoring Assistantship
  • Graduate Assistantship