Financial Assistance

We understand - paying for college isn't easy

Paying for college can seem like an uphill battle. But NIU and the College of Education offer a variety of ways to help you financially so you can focus on progressing to degree completion and, ultimately, succeeding and leading in your career and community.


As an incoming College of Education student, you are automatically considered for university merit-based scholarships.

You are also eligible to apply for additional NIU and College of Education scholarships as soon as you’ve been admitted, and our college offers more than 50 donor-funded scholarships.

You can apply for scholarships through MyScholarships, administered by the NIU Financial Aid and Scholarship Office. January 31 is a common application deadline for scholarships.

Funding Opportunities for Future Teachers

Minority Teachers of Illinois Scholarship Program

  • Qualify for up to $7,500 per year for four years of full-time enrollment.
  • Eligibility and requirements:
    • Identify as African American/Black, Hispanic American, Asian American, Native American or bilingual.
    • Enroll at least half time in an undergraduate or graduate teacher licensure program.
    • Teach full-time for one year in an Illinois school that has at least a 30% minority student population.

Illinois Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver Program

  • Qualify for a waiver of all tuition and mandatory fees.
  • Eligibility and requirements:
    • Enroll in a special education program for initial teacher licensure as an undergraduate or graduate student.
    • Teach full-time for two years in an Illinois school as a special educator.

TEACH Federal Grant Program

  • Qualify for loan forgiveness of up to $4,000 per year.
  • Eligibility and requirements:
    • Complete FAFSA.
    • Enroll in coursework necessary to begin a career in teaching as an undergraduate, graduate or post-baccalaureate student.
    • Teach full-time for four years in a high-need field that serves low-income students in the United States.

Project Graduate Program

We know that financial situations arise that ultimately can stand between you and your ability to complete your degree and graduate. If you find yourself in a crisis financial situation and have exhausted other options (including available loans), please know that we will try our best to assist.

Our Project Graduate program financially assists undergraduate students who are within four semesters of graduation or graduate students within two semesters of graduation so they can cross the finish line. All Project Graduate awards must be for academically related expenses and cannot be awarded to support non-academic, personal expenses. All students must be in good academic standing to be considered for the awards.

Because academic financial crisis situations can arrive without warning, you can apply for Project Graduate funds at any time. You can expect a response from a member of the college leadership team within 48 hours of your request.

Project Graduate is available because of thoughtful contributions from many alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the college. Additional Project Graduate awards are made possible thanks to generous funding established by Don Hatch (Hatch Project Graduate Fund), Jerry and Annette Johns (Johns Project Graduate Fund) and Jennifer Mansfield (Mansfield Family Legacy Scholarship).

Project Graduate Application

Additional Resources

For further information on additional education scholarships for which you may be eligible, you may wish to contact the following resources:

Student Financial Advising Services

NIU Student Financial Aid and Scholarship Office

Illinois Student Assistance Commission

Donor-funded Scholarships

Incoming Student Merit Scholarships

Online Scholarship Resources