AIM HIGH: $5M in new scholarships for Illinois students

Illinois seniors set to graduate in May and transfer students who attended a high school in the state are the focus of new scholarship incentives announced by Northern Illinois University.

Kicking off fall 2019, the AIM HIGH program increases NIU’s available awards nearly 30 percent—thanks to more than $5 million in new scholarship funds.

Many students could cover full tuition and fees by stacking these new awards on top of NIU’s existing Merit Scholarships and other grants or financial aid. In some cases, recipients will have extra funds that can be applied to NIU housing, books and other educational expenses.

Qualifying new freshmen and transfers could receive an additional $1,000 to $2,500 annually. To be eligible, students must have attended an Illinois high school and must also:

  • Qualify for one of NIU’s Merit Scholarships based on high school GPA and test scores.
  • Meet AIM HIGH standards for household income and other factors set by the state.
  • File a (FAFSA) by Dec. 1, NIU’s priority deadline.

Students from DeKalb County or Chicago are the focus of a special subset of Partner Scholarships, which provide one-time awards of $3,000 specifically for:

  • Graduates of any DeKalb County high school.
  • Transfers from Kishwaukee College in Malta.
  • Graduates of a public high school in Chicago.
  • City Colleges of Chicago transfers who meet Star Scholarship criteria.

DeKalb County high school graduates who are active members of Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP) may be eligible for an additional one-time $1,000 award, and the City Colleges of Chicago scholarship is renewable for a second year.

The new scholarships are funded by a $2.73 million grant from the state of Illinois, with a match of new scholarship funds from the university. For more information about the AIM HIGH and Partner Scholarships at Northern Illinois University, visit

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