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.


March 16, 2020 – Give Back wants to keep you informed about interviewing for our scholarship, since we have postponed all upcoming interviews. 
Give Back wants to make the health and safety of you and your family our priority as we go through this current challenge.

We want to assure you that at some point in time you (your student), will be interviewed for the scholarship. 
Give Back will continue to monitor updates on the COVID-19 virus and will work with the schools, our local board and the our prospective scholars to make sure all is cleared for us to move forward with interviews.
Once we are given the okay, we will be in contact with you regarding interview dates, times and locations.

We appreciate your patience in advance as this is an evolving situation. 
If you have questions or concerns or if your contact information has changed (address or phone), please call 815-834-8400 or email

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
    udated: PLEASE ENSURE YOU HAVE COMPLETED THE giveback eligibility calculator BY December 15TH, 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 (College and Career Center) – 7:30 pm
    January 21st, 2020 – Bolingbrook High School (Cafeteria) – 6:00 pm

    If an application night is not being held at your high school or you are unable to attend the event at your own high school, you are welcome to join us at any of our Application Night Sessions.  If you are unable to attend an Application Night, please visit to view a recording of the presentation that was delivered.

  • 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:

    Please click here to access the application 

    If you are unable to complete the application online, please feel free to complete our paper application.  Please ensure it is postmarked by the due date.  The paper application is available here.

    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.