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Program DescriptionIf you are a member* of the Illinois National Guard, you may be eligible to receive the Illinois National Guard (ING) Grant. This grant can pay for eligible tuition and certain fees for undergraduate or graduate study. Benefits are limited to use only at Illinois 2- or 4-year public colleges. Your grant can be used for a maximum of the equivalent of four academic years of full-time enrollment. Contact the financial aid office at your college to determine what portion of your total tuition and fees will be covered by this grant.
Using the ING Grant with Other Tuition/Fee Benefits
How to Apply (and Obtaining the Application)
Application Priority Consideration Date: October 1
(for full-year award)
How Funds Are Disbursed
For more information, contact ISAC, your National Guard unit, or your college financial aid office.
To be a qualified applicant, you must:
- Be an Illinois National Guard member, defined as meeting one of these two criterion:
- be active in the Illinois National Guard or
- have been active in the Illinois National Guard for at least five consecutive years and had his/her studies interrupted by being called to federal active duty service for at least six months and be within 12 months after your discharge date from the Illinois National Guard. (These applicants may be eligible to receive an additional year of ING Grant Program eligibility. Eligibility under this provision is determined by the Education/Incentives Branch of the Military Personnel Office in Springfield, Illinois. Questions regarding your individual eligibility status under this provision should be directed to your chain of command, or to the Education/Incentives Branch of the Military Personnel Office at 217.761.3782.)
- Have completed one full year of service in the Illinois National Guard
- Be an enlisted member or an officer
- Be enrolled at an Illinois public 2- or 4-year college
- Not be in default on any student loan, nor owe a refund on any state or federal grant
- Maintain an acceptable grade point average (GPA) according to the policy determined by your college
- Allow sufficient mailing time to make sure ISAC receives your complete application on or before the deadline date, based on the first term for which you wish to receive funds each academic year. For 2008-09:
- October 1, 2008 - Full Year Consideration
- March 1, 2009 - Only 2nd Semester (2nd/3rd Quarter) and Summer Consideration
- June 15, 2009 - Only Summer Term Consideration
Using the ING Grant with Other Tuition/Fee Benefits
Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) Program
Illinois National Guard members who have been called to federal active duty service may also be qualified applicants for the Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) Program administered by ISAC. More details are provided at College Zone's Illinois Veteran Grant (IVG) Program page.
Applicants who meet all eligibility requirements for both the ING Grant and IVG programs may have the option of receiving benefits from both programs during the same term(s) and/or academic year. However, prior to doing so, applicants are strongly encouraged to consult with the college's financial aid office and consider the following:
- Use of ING Grant benefits is limited to specific periods of time, as defined in the first bullet of the Eligibility section that appears on this page.
- ING Grant benefits may be used for tuition, registration fees, graduation fees, general activity fees, matriculation and term fees, and IVG benefits may be used for tuition and mandatory fees (the determination of which specific fees are covered under each program is made by the college).
- Assessment of eligibility unit usage is based on enrolled hours per term, not the dollar amount paid by the benefits. This means that the number of eligibility units charged will be the same for each program, even though the dollar amount of benefits received from each program may be different (for example, if benefits from the ING Grant and IVG programs are used for full-time enrollment, 12 eligibility units will be charged to each program). It is recommended that applicants carefully consider this when deciding whether to receive benefits under both programs during the same term(s).
- Once eligibility units have been assessed for either program, they cannot be undone after the academic year is over (i.e., the applicant cannot choose to "pay back" the dollar amount of benefits used in order to reinstate eligibility units).
- ING Grant benefits can only be used during terms for which the application is submitted prior to the corresponding deadline (for example, if an ING Grant application is submitted after the October 1 fall-term/full-year deadline but before the spring term deadline, then an applicant who is eligible for both programs could choose to use IVG benefits for the fall term, and ING Grant benefits for the spring and summer terms).
Monetary Award Program (MAP)
If a student who is eligible for the Monetary Award Program (MAP) is also eligible for ING Grant and/or IVG benefits, all ING Grant and IVG benefits that are available for the term(s) must be used first. A student cannot decline ING Grant or IVG benefits in favor of using MAP benefits.
After all applicable ING Grant and IVG benefits have been used for the term(s), then a partial MAP award may be applied to any outstanding eligible tuition and fees.
How to Apply
You can obtain an Illinois National Guard Grant Application from College Zone, or by requesting it from your National Guard unit, or your college's financial aid office. The complete application must be received at ISAC's Deerfield office on or before the deadline date. Additional documentation (including the Notice of Basic Eligibility [NOBE] which is used to apply for the GI Bill) is not required and, if submitted to ISAC, will not be returned to the applicant.
If you are a qualified applicant, ISAC will send you an eligibility letter, which you should provide to your college's financial aid office as soon as you receive it. (ISAC's processing time is approximately 4-6 weeks.) Also, be sure to apply each academic year for this grant by the deadline date.
It is the applicant's responsibility to allow sufficient mailing time in order for complete applications to be received at ISAC on or before the applicable deadline date. To receive full-year consideration, your application must be received on or before October 1 of the academic year for which you're requesting assistance. For spring- and summer-term consideration, the deadline date is March 1. For summer-term consideration only, applications must be received on or before June 15. Applications received by ISAC after these deadline dates will be processed only for subsequent terms, with June 15 as the final date of acceptance for the summer term. If you miss the application deadline for the term for which you are seeking benefits, contact your unit and/or the Department of Military Affairs Illinois (DMAIL) Education/Incentives branch at 217.761.3782 for information regarding other programs that may assist you with college expenses.
ISAC determines compliance with deadline dates, monitors that the applicant has not exceeded the maximum benefits and verifies enlistment information with the DMAIL Education/Incentives branch.
How Funds Are Disbursed
ISAC works with the college to disburse funds for this program. The college certifies student eligibility and then submits a payment request on behalf of the student. It may take up to eight weeks after the date that ISAC processes the payment request before funds are received at the college.
Depending on the college, students may be responsible for payment until program funds are received. Qualified applicants who are awaiting receipt of funds from this program should contact the Financial Aid Office or Business Office to determine the college's policy.
Note that ISAC routinely updates this section as new information becomes available. Be sure to check back periodically for the current processing status.
For the 2008-09 Academic Year (last updated October 2, 2008):
The Illinois National Guard Grant Application for the 2008-09 academic year is available to download and print from College Zone. After carefully reviewing the How to Apply section on this page, use the 2008-09 application to apply for the
spring 2009 and summer 2009 terms. The application priority consideration date for full-year and fall-only awards was October 1, 2008. Applications received after October 1 will be considered only for second semester (second/third quarter) and/or the summer term.
Allow at least four weeks for the processing of the application. ISAC sends notifications as described in the following bullets, and will continue to do so as applications are received throughout the academic year.
- Qualified applicants receive a Notice of Eligibility.
- In some cases, qualified applicants who submit a timely application are restricted to partial-year awards. For example, benefits might cease mid-year (based on the applicant's discharge date from the Illinois National Guard), or benefits might begin mid-year (based on the applicant's one-year anniversary date in the Illinois National Guard). These applicants receive a Notice of Restricted Eligibility. Questions regarding restricted eligibility status should be brought to the attention of the applicant's Illinois National Guard unit. Updates to an applicant's status must be submitted to ISAC by the Department of Military Affairs in Illinois (DMAIL).
- If the application is incomplete, the applicant receives a Notice of Incomplete Application.
- Individuals who do not meet the criteria to be a qualified applicant receive a Notice of Ineligibility.
Click here to download the Illinois National Guard Grant Application.
To view a listing of Illinois colleges approved to participate in this program, click on the link for the appropriate academic year: