Types of Financial Aid

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Grants

A grant is a type of gift aid that does not require repayment. Each grant has different requirements for eligibility. Eligibility for need-based grants is determined using federal and/or state formulas and the information the student provided on the FAFSA. Completion of the FAFSA is the only application required to be considered for the specific grant programs listed below. Financial aid (including loans) does not cover audit or non-credit courses. The Illinois Student Assistance Commission administers several grants. Please visit www.isac.org to find information regarding these programs.

 

Federal Grants


Federal Pell Grant

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)

Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant

 

State Grants


Monetary Award Program (MAP) Grant

 

Northern Illinois University Grants


Huskie Advantage Grant

Huskie Advantage Grant 2

 

Federal Grants 

Federal Pell Grant


The Federal Pell Grant is a federally funded grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Education.

  • Need-based
  • Applied for by completing the FAFSA
  • 2014-2015 Awarded to students with an EFC less than 5,158
  • 2014-2015 Awards vary from $602 to $5,730
  • Awards are offered based on full-time enrollment (12 or more credit hours) and will be reduced for three-quarter-time, half-time, or less than half-time enrollment.
  • Available to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's degree or professional degree.
  • Students who do not receive their full Federal Pell Grant award during the fall and spring terms may be eligible for the remaining amount if they attend classes during the summer. Students who have not used their full eligibility during the fall and spring terms may be eligible for Pell during the summer.

Recent Changes That Affect Federal Pell Grant Awards

There was a recent change in the federal law that affects Federal Pell Grant award amounts for the 2012-2013 school year and beyond.  This change limits the total number of years a student may receive a Pell Grant to the equivalent of six years.

If Department of Education records indicate a student has received more than four-and-a-half years of Pell Grant funding (>450% but <500%), a student can still receive the maximum amount of their 2014-2015 Pell Grant award.  However, if they continue to be Pell Grant eligible, they will not be able to receive the full amount of their eligible award for the 2015-2016 school year.

If Department of Education records indicate a student has received more than five years of Pell Grant funding (>500% but <600%), the amount of their 2014-2015 Pell Grant award will be less than the amount they would have been eligible to receive if the law had not changed.

If Department of Education records indicate a student has already received at least six years of Pell Grant funding (>600%), they are no longer eligible to receive Pell Grant funding.

Students who are affected by this change will receive an email from the Student Financial Aid Office and their awards will be updated on their MyNIU account.

Students are able  to check their Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU) on the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) Student Access website using their Federal Student Aid FAFSA PIN.  The LEU will be found on the Financial Aid Review page.

For information on how the Department of Education calculates the “equivalent of six years”, students can contact them at 1-800-4-FED-AID or click on the following link:  www.studentaid.ed.gov/pell-limit.

We encourage students who are near or over the limit to meet with an academic advisor and set up a course plan for graduation. It is important to take the lifetime limit of the Pell Grant into consideration when changing majors and/or scheduling classes. Plan your degree progress carefully to graduate in a timely manner.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)


The FSEOG is a federally funded grant awarded by the Student Financial Aid Office.

  • Need-based
  • Applied for by completing the FAFSA
  • Awarded only to Pell Grant eligible students
  • Award amounts vary
  • Must be enrolled at least 9 hours
  • Available to eligible undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's degree or professional degree

Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant


The TEACH Grant Program provides up to $4,000 a year in grant assistance to junior and senior undergraduates and graduate students who agree to serve for at least four years as full-time “highly qualified” teachers in high-need fields in public or private elementary or secondary schools that serve students from low-income families.  Student-at-Large and Post-Baccalaureate students are not eligible for this grant.

The Student Financial Aid Office recommends that only students who are committed to teaching a high-need subject in a designated low-income school upon graduation consider this possible source of funds. This teaching obligation must be completed in a public or nonprofit elementary or secondary school that is eligible for Title I assistance. If the four-year teaching obligation is not met within eight years of graduation, the grant will convert to an unsubsidized loan, which will have to be repaid with interest calculated back to the date the funds were disbursed.

  • Non-need-based, but must file a FAFSA
  • U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Undergraduate juniors and seniors and graduate students - Student-at-Large and Post-Baccalaureate students are not eligible.
  • $4,000 each year, prorated for students enrolled less than full-time
  • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 (NIU GPA if a continuing student or college transfer GPA if first time NIU student) and maintain that GPA throughout the academic program
  • Complete TEACH Grant counseling and sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and Promise to Pay. Grant recipients agree to teach for at least four years within eight years of finishing their teacher preparation program and to teach high-need subjects in designated schools that serve low-income students.
  • Enroll in a teacher education certificate program in one of the following areas:
    • Bilingual Education and English Language Acquisition
    • Foreign Language
    • Mathematics
    • Reading Specialist
    • Science
    • Special Education

Eligible students will be notified through their NIU Z-ID e-mail address. Click here for more information regarding eligibility.

 

State Grants


The Illinois Student Assistance Commission administers several grants. Please visit www.collegezone.com to find information regarding these programs.

Illinois State Monetary Award Program (MAP) Grant


The MAP Grant is a state-funded grant awarded by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

  • Need-based
  • Applied for by completing the FAFSA
  • Students and parents must be Illinois residents
  • Available to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s degree or professional degree 
  • Awards vary from $300 to $4,720
  • Awards for students with less than 15 credit hours per semester will be pro-rated
  • Grants may be limited based on FAFSA application date, number of applicants, and funding levels appropriated by the Illinois General Assembly
  • Eligible students with sophomore standing who have accumulated 75 MAP Eligibility Units become ineligible but may regain eligibility once they attain junior standing and students who have accumulated 135 MAP Eligibility Units are not eligible. For more information click here

 

Northern Illinois University Grants

Huskie Advantage Grant


Huskie Advantage Grant is a NIU funded program currently available to qualified first-time undergraduate freshman students who are enrolled full-time for their first and second years. Eligibility for this non-refundable grant is based on a percentage of unmet need using the federal ability to pay or Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and a combination of other factors including academic credentials.

A change to the EFC and/or grant and scholarship aid (i.e., Pell and MAP Grants, Special Education Teacher Scholarship, State Veterans' awards, institutional awards) not reflected on your initial award notification may reduce or eliminate the Huskie Advantage Grant.

Huskie Advantage Grant 2


Huskie Advantage Grant 2 is a NIU funded program currently available to qualified entering transfer and continuing undergraduate students with less than two years of college level enrollment, have a freshman or sophomore status and are enrolled full-time.  Eligibility for this non-refundable grant is based on financial need using the federal ability to pay or Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and a combination of other factors including academic credentials.

A change to the EFC and/or grant and scholarship aid (i.e., Pell and MAP Grants, Special Education Teacher Scholarship, State Veterans' awards, institutional awards) not reflected on your initial award notification may reduce or eliminate the Huskie Advantage Grant.