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EIU Scholarships

Merit Scholarship Matrix

Are you an incoming freshman or transfer student coming to Eastern for the Fall, Summer, or Spring 2023 semester? Check out our Merit Scholarship matrixes to see how much you could qualify for!

Current EIU students can check their PAWS account for information and eligibility requirements for the Merit Scholarship. International undergraduate students on current visas (F1, J1) are not eligible for freshman merit or transfer merit scholarships.

Freshman Merit Scholarships:


GPAAward
Distinguished Merit Scholarship3.85 - 4.0$16,000*
($4,000 Annually)
High Achieving Merit Scholarship3.60 - 3.84$12,000*
($3,000 Annually)
Academic Merit Scholarship3.0 - 3.59$8,000*
($2,000 Annually)
*Renewable up to 8 consecutive fall and spring semesters if renewal criteria is met.


NOTE: Transcripts can be updated through June 1 to qualify for the scholarship or qualify for a higher amount. If you took only one semester at a community college or another university, you may qualify for the freshman merit scholarships for four years instead of the transfer merit scholarships for two years.

Renewal Criteria: Student must maintain the following cumulative GPA at Eastern Illinois University, with continuous full-time enrollment of 12+ hours.

  • Distinguished Merit: 3.0 GPA
  • High Achieving Merit: 2.75 GPA
  • Academic Merit: 2.5 GPA

Transfer Merit Scholarship:

Academically talented students entering Eastern Illinois University will automatically be offered the Transfer Academic Excellence Scholarship at the time of application to the university. This scholarship is automatically renewable for a total of 2 years (4 semesters). Eligible students are required to maintain full-time consecutive undergraduate enrollment in fall and spring semesters, and maintain specific GPA requirements noted below.

Regularly admitted, new full-time transfers within all majors at EIU are eligible for this scholarship.


Cumulative GPAAward
Tier One3.5 - 4.0$5,000*
($2,500 Annually)
Tier Two3.0 - 3.49$3,000*
($1,500 Annually)
Must have at least 15 credit hours transferred from an accredited college or university.
*Renewable up to 4 consecutive fall and spring semesters if renewal criteria is met.

NOTE: Transcripts can be updated through the first day of classes to either qualify or go up a scholarship level. If you took only one semester at a community college or another university, you may qualify for the freshman merit scholarships for four years instead of the transfer merit scholarships for two years.

Renewal Criteria: Student must maintain the following cumulative GPA at Eastern Illinois University, with continuous full-time enrollment of 12+ hours.

  • Tier One: 3.0 GPA
  • Tier Two: 2.75 GPA




Freshman Textbook Rental Grant FAQ

What is the Freshman Textbook Rental Grant?

If you are an Illinois resident and you have a minimum of a 3.3/4.0 GPA, you will receive an additional $300 per year over 4 years. Our Textbook Rental Program already saves students an average of $1200 compared to universities that require students to buy their textbooks. If you receive the Textbook Rental Grant, your total savings will be $1500, meaning your textbooks could be completely free!*

* The standard textbook rental fee is $9.95 per hour, so the Textbook Rental Grant will only cover the full cost of textbooks for one year if you take 15 credit hours or fewer for two semesters. Some classes may also require the purchase of workbooks, which could be an additional cost not covered by the Textbook Rental Grant.


How do I qualify?

To qualify, you must:

  • Be a resident of Illinois, with at least one parent (listed on your FAFSA) also an Illinois resident
  • Have a minimum 3.3 GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Enroll at EIU as a freshman student full-time (12 or more credit hours) at EIU
  • Meet AIM HIGH Grant requirements
  • Be admitted with your financial aid packaged and completed by June 1 of the year you’re intending to enroll at EIU.
  • International undergraduate students on current visas (F1, J1) are not eligible for freshman Textbook Rental Grants.

How do I apply?

No separate application is required. When you are admitted to EIU, you will automatically be offered the Textbook Rental Grant of $300 if you qualify.

Do transfer students qualify?

Yes, but transfer students receive the grant for 2 years instead of 4. See the section below, Transfer Textbook Rental Grant FAQ, for more information.

Do current students or out-of-state students qualify?

  • Current students who first enrolled at EIU before Fall 2023 are not eligible for the Textbook Rental Grant, as the program is dependent upon AIM HIGH Grant funding. Those students do not meet the requirements associated with the state’s AIM HIGH Grant. Current students who first enrolled at EIU Fall 2019 or later and already received the Textbook Rental Grant (or were previously offered the AIM HIGH Bonus) will continue to receive it as long as they meet the renewal criteria.
  • Out-of-state students are not eligible for the $300 Textbook Rental Grant, but renting your textbooks intead of purchasing them will still save you $1200. In addition, you may still qualify for $8,000 to $16,000 through our automatic merit scholarships for undergraduates. Learn more at: https://www.eiu.edu/scholarships/highlighted_scholarships_freshman.php
  • Renewal criteria

Will the program be available to me my whole time at EIU?

For most students, yes. You can be eligible for the grant for up to eight continuous semesters (Fall and Spring) at EIU, as long as you meet the renewal criteria. The program is dependent upon continued state appropriation of associated funds.


What are the renewal criteria?

To remain qualified after your first year, you must:

  • Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Stay continuously enrolled (Fall and Spring) as a full-time student at EIU
  • Meet AIM HIGH Grant requirements
  • Maintain Illinois residency

Do I need to submit a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)?

Yes, to qualify for the Textbook Rental Grant, you must submit a FAFSA at fafsa.gov. You can submit your FAFSA starting October 1 of the year before you intend to take classes at EIU. We recommend you file your FAFSA as soon as possible, and make sure to include EIU’s school code (001674) on your FAFSA so we receive your information. EIU’s priority deadline is December 15.


Are there any other eligibility requirements?

In addition to the qualifications listed above, to receive financial aid from the Textbook Rental Grant program, you must also meet the state’s AIM HIGH Grant eligible student requirements. You must:

  • have attended an Illinois high school
  • be engaged in a program of study that will be completed by the end of the school year
  • apply to be enrolled for the first time at EIU
  • be a citizen, or a non-citizen eligible for federal student aid
  • not have received a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent of 135 semester credit hours
  • not be incarcerated
  • not be in default on any student loan or owe a refund or repayment on any state or federal grant or scholarship
  • file a FAFSA (only required for application, not renewal)
  • have demonstrated need with household income (taxed and untaxed) no greater than six times the poverty guidelines:
People in Household Max Income
1 $81,540
2 $109,860
3 $138,180
4 $166,500
5 $194,820
6 $223,140
7 $251,460
8 $279,780
9+ $28,320 added for each additional person

How is the Textbook Rental Grant program funded?

In Spring 2018, the Higher Education Working Group — a bipartisan group of Illinois legislators interested in finding common-ground and viable solutions — proposed and passed a new merit-based grant program. That program — the AIM HIGH Grant — was signed into law in August 2018. The Textbook Rental Grant is dependent on that grant and on state appropriation annually, although the grants themselves are funded by EIU.

How do I maintain full-time enrollment at EIU?

You must be registered for a minimum of 12 credit hours by the published census date policy each semester. Full-time enrollment is assumed until census date.







Transfer Textbook Rental Grant FAQ

What is the Transfer Textbook Rental Grant?

If you are an Illinois resident and you have a minimum of a 3.3/4.0 GPA, you will receive an additional $300 per year over 2 years. Our Textbook Rental Program already saves students an average of $1200 compared to universities that require students to buy their textbooks. If you receive the Textbook Rental Grant, your total savings will be $1500, meaning your textbooks could be completely free!*

* The standard textbook rental fee is $9.95 per hour, so the Textbook Rental Grant will only cover the full cost of textbooks for one year if you take 15 credit hours or fewer for two semesters. Some classes may also require the purchase of workbooks, which could be an additional cost not covered by the Textbook Rental Grant.


How do I qualify?

To qualify, you must:

  • Be a resident of Illinois, with at least one parent (listed on your FAFSA) also an Illinois resident
  • Have a minimum 3.3 GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Enroll as a full-time transfer student at EIU
  • Meet AIM HIGH Grant requirements
  • Be admitted to EIU as an incoming transfer full-time (12 or more credit hours) with your EIU financial aid packaged and completed by June 1.
  • International undergraduate students on current visas (F1, J1) are not eligible for transfer scholarships.

How do I apply?

No separate application is required. When you are admitted to EIU, you will automatically be offered the Textbook Rental Grant of $300 if you qualify.

Do current students or out-of-state students qualify?

  • Current students who first enrolled at EIU before Fall 2023 are not eligible for the Textbook Rental Grant, as the program is dependent upon AIM HIGH Grant funding. Those students do not meet the requirements associated with the state’s AIM HIGH Grant. Current students who first enrolled at EIU Fall 2019 or later and already received the Textbook Rental Grant (or were previously offered the AIM HIGH Bonus) will continue to receive it as long as they meet the renewal criteria.
  • Out-of-state students are not eligible for the $300 Textbook Rental Grant, but renting your textbooks intead of purchasing them will still save you $1200. In addition, you may still qualify for $3,000 to $5,000 through our automatic merit scholarships for transfer students. Learn more at: https://www.eiu.edu/scholarships/highlighted_scholarships_transfer.php
  • Renewal criteria

Will the program be available to me my whole time at EIU?

For most students, yes. You can be eligible for the program for up to four continuous semesters (Fall and Spring) at EIU, as long as you meet the renewal criteria. The program is dependent upon continued state appropriation of associated funds.

What are the renewal criteria?

To remain qualified after your first year, you must:

  • Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Stay continuously enrolled as a full-time student at EIU
  • Meet AIM HIGH Grant requirements
  • Maintain Illinois residency

Do I need to submit a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)?

Yes, to qualify for the Textbook Rental Grant, you must submit a FAFSA at fafsa.gov starting October 1 of the year before you intend to take classes at EIU. We recommend you file your FAFSA as soon as possible, and make sure to include EIU’s school code (001674) on your FAFSA so we receive your information. EIU’s priority deadline is December 15.


Are there any other eligibility requirements?

In addition to the qualifications listed above, to receive financial aid from the Textbook Rental Grant program, you must also meet the state’s AIM HIGH Grant eligible student requirements. You must:

  • have attended an Illinois high school
  • be engaged in a program of study that will be completed by the end of the school year
  • apply to be enrolled for the first time at EIU
  • be a citizen, or a non-citizen eligible for federal student aid
  • not have received a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent of 135 semester credit hours
  • not be incarcerated
  • not be in default on any student loan or owe a refund or repayment on any state or federal grant or scholarship
  • file a FAFSA (only required for application, not renewal)
  • have demonstrated need with household income (taxed and untaxed) no greater than six times the poverty guidelines:
People in Household Max Income
1 $81,540
2 $109,860
3 $138,180
4 $166,500
5 $194,820
6 $223,140
7 $251,460
8 $279,780
9+ $28,320 added for each additional person

How do I maintain full-time enrollment at EIU?

You must be registered for a minimum of 12 credit hours by the published census date each semester. Full-time enrollment is assumed until census date.

How is the Textbook Rental Grant program funded?

In Spring 2018, the Higher Education Working Group — a bipartisan group of Illinois legislators interested in finding common-ground and viable solutions — proposed and passed a new merit-based grant program. That program, the AIM HIGH Grant, was signed into law in August 2018. The Textbook Rental Grant is dependent on that grant and on state appropriation annually, although the grants themselves are funded by EIU.

Related Pages

Contact Information

Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships

217-581-6405
finaid@eiu.edu


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