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 16th, 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)

  • NOVEMBER Complete and submit the Giveback College financial estimator.
    The Giveback College Financial Estimator will be shared at the Information Sessions.  This is the tool we use to help families understand whether or not they are Pell Grant eligible.  THIS STEP IS NOT YET AVAILABLE If you attended an information session, and need the instructions again, please send a request for the CCE link to
    Attend one of the 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 13th, 2020 – Bolingbrook High School (Cafeteria) – 6:00 pm
    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 – East Aurora High School (Auditorium) – 6:00 pm

    January 16th, 2020 – West Aurora High School (Library) – 7:30 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.

  • 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.  We strongly recommend that you complete the application on-line
    If you would like need to print a paper copy to assist you in filling out the application or because you do not have access to a computer, click 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).  

  • 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.