Illinois Application Process

The Illinois Scholarship Process

To qualify for the Give Back scholarship program, students must show that they can meet a weighted GPA standard of 3.0.  Additionally, they need to be eligible for a full Pell Grant.  Factors contributing to eligibility include household income and family size.  Part of our application process includes a tool that will help applicants understand their Pell Grant eligibility.  We encourage students and their families to participate in the information sessions and at least initial stages of the application process before determining on their own if they are eligible.  

It can be a little complicated – but we can help.

In Illinois, during your ninth grade year:

  • OCTOBER Attend one of OUR mandatory Information Sessions.
    Please see below for information on our 2019-2020 Application Season.

    See below for dates, times and locations of the in-person sessions.

    October 15th, 6:00 pm – Beecher High School (Gymnasium)
    October 16th, 6:00 pm – Plainfield Central High School (Auditorium)
    October 16th, 7:30 pm – Wilmington High School (Cafetorium)
    October 17th, 6:00 pm – West Aurora High School (Library)
    October 17th, 7:30 pm – East Aurora High School (Atrium)
    October 22nd, 6:00 pm – Bolingbrook High School (Cafeteria)
    October 22nd, 7:30 pm – Joliet Central High School (Cafeteria)
    October 23rd, 6:00 pm – Lockport Central High School (Auditorium)

    If you were unable to attend one of our information sessions, please click here to view our online information session before continuing.

  • NOVEMBER Please Complete the Giveback eligibility calculator.
    The Giveback Eligibility Calculator (GEC) will be shared at the Information Sessions.  This is the tool we use to help families understand whether or not they are Pell Grant here to access the gec If you attended an information session, and need the instructions again, please send a request for the GEC link and instructions to
    PLEASE ENSURE YOU HAVE COMPLETED THE giveback eligibility calculator BY NOVEMBER 30TH, 2019.
    Attend one of our Application Night Sessions.
    These Sessions will help families review our application process and see how our organization works with the grants that may be available to help you pay for college. See below for locations, dates and times for the Application Night Sessions.   

    January 14th, 2020 – Reed-Custer High School – 7:30 pm
    January 15th, 2020 – Plainfield Central High School (Auditorium) – 6:00 pm
    January 15th, 2020 – Lockport Township High School, Central Campus (Auditorium) – 7:30 pm
    January 16th, 2020 – West Aurora High School (Library) – 6:00 pm

    January 16th, 2020 – East Aurora High School (Auditorium) – 7:30 pm
    January 21st, 2020 – Bolingbrook High School (Cafeteria) – 6:00 pm

    If you are outside of Will County or the Aurora area, you are still welcome to join us at any of our Application Night Sessions.  If you are unable to attend an Application Night, please watch your email for information on completing the application.

  • BEFORE FEBRUARY 18th, 2020 Complete a scholarship application.

    If your household is financially eligible and the student’s GPA meets our requirements, then an application must be completed.  You may complete the application on-line at:

    This step will be available, at the latest, on January 15th, 2020 

    If you are unable to complete the application online, please email us at or call us at 815-834-8400. 

    The application requires household financial information (tax returns), grade reports (current and 2 previous years), and reference letters (one school reference and one personal, out of school reference).  Additionally, if you have any of the special circumstances that we look for (homelessness, foster care, incarcerated parent), please prepare to provide documentation of those circumstances.

  • MARCH Participate in an interview.If a student is accepted for further consideration, we will schedule an interview.
    Final determinations
    By April at the latest, all applicants will be notified of the scholarship selection committee’s final decision.