No matter your financial situation, we are dedicated to making college as affordable as possible. The cost of attending college can be daunting. If you’re wondering how to pay for college, we’re here to help. Download our guide to discover four ways to make higher education more affordable. Plus, ACES awards merit-based scholarships based on your application.

Figuring Out Your Cost

The exact amount you’ll pay depends on your major, where you decide to live, the meal plan you choose, and your overall lifestyle. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions provides estimated expenses and a cost calculator to help.

To be considered for need-based scholarships and aid, you'll need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can also submit a supplemental form for scholarships awarded by the Office of Student Financial Aid.

ACES Student Scholarships

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ACES awards over $3.5 million in merit-based scholarships each year thanks to our generous alumni, corporate partners, and supporters.

First-year students are automatically considered for any College of ACES merit-based scholarships and honors based on their admission application. No additional application is needed for first year applicants. 

Continuing students are invited to apply for scholarships via one application that is emailed December 20 and closes February 10.

Off-campus transfer students are invited to apply for scholarships from May 2-May 15 via their email address used on their application for admission. If you believe you never received this email, but are qualified, please email ACES-Scholarships@illinois.edu for more information. 

More information about the scholarship process is outlined in the FAQ below. 

Continuing Student Scholarships

ACES Undergraduate Research Scholarships

Since 1982, the College of ACES has supported the ACES Undergraduate Research Scholarship Program to provide research opportunities for qualified students who demonstrate superior academic ability and a strong interest in research.

Eligibility

Students are eligible for the ACES Undergraduate Research Scholarship Program if they meet the following general requirements:

  • Have sophomore, junior, or senior standing by the time that the project will be conducted.
  • Official enrollment with a declared academic major in the College of ACES.
  • Grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 or higher for their two most recent semesters.

Approved projects are funded up to $1,500 based on a project budget sheet submitted with the application. Students whose projects are approved are also awarded a $500 merit scholarship for the academic term during which the research project is conducted.

Application

Project proposals are accepted and reviewed throughout the calendar year on a rolling basis between July 1 and April 1. However, submitting project proposals a few months before starting the research project is strongly encouraged. The Faculty Research Mentor for the proposed project needs to have a current faculty and/or research appointment within the College of ACES.

Applicants are strongly urged to identify and define an appropriate research project well in advance of their application date. Application forms and additional program information are available from the Honors Desk in the ACES Academic Programs Office.

Preparing a Research Proposal

Project proposals should follow the format shown on the application form and are limited to two pages, a budget sheet, and a title page. The project budget should itemize all funds necessary to support the proposed research. Allowable expenses include laboratory supplies (e.g., chemicals, glassware, biological materials, etc.), other disposable supplies, and off-campus travel necessary to collect data. Funds will not be provided for wages or major equipment purchases. Any budget items that are not self-explanatory should be justified in footnotes.

Presentation of Research Findings

A project report (two or three pages) summarizing research findings should be submitted by email to aces-jshp@illinois.edu after the project. Students are also expected to display their findings in a poster session at the Campus Undergraduate Research Symposium in April, at an approved departmental meeting/seminar, at a professional/scientific conference, or at another scholastic event or professional meeting approved in advance by the Honors Dean.

An undergraduate researcher whose paper or poster has been accepted and who plans to present research results at a professional meeting may apply for up to $800 to help with travel expenses.

Projects that lead to the publication of full-length papers in peer-reviewed journals may qualify for up to $500 toward publication expenses. To qualify, the published paper needs to list the undergraduate researcher as an author and acknowledge the support of the ACES Undergraduate Research Scholarship Program.

Requests for supplemental funding (application forms downloadable below) should be directed to aces-jshp@illinois.edu and need to provide evidence that an appropriate research paper or poster has been scheduled for presentation and/or accepted for publication. Requests for travel funds should be submitted to the Honors Dean at least 30 days before professional meetings.

Academic Credit

Undergraduate researchers may receive academic credit (typically up to three hours) by registering for an independent study course (usually a 200-level course [for non-James Scholars] or a 300-level course [for James Scholars or Chancellor's Scholars]). Standard registration procedures should be observed, with the final grade to be assigned by the Faculty Research Mentor after all project requirements have been met.

Information & Application:

The Campbell Scholars Program

The Campbell Scholars Program provides undergraduate research funding to students enrolled in the College of ACES who are Jonathan Baldwin Turner (JBT) scholarship recipients. Similar to the ACES Undergraduate Scholarship funding, this award provides money for research to be completed. Up to $2,500 per project is possible. Please follow the links below to access more information about this program and download the application form.

The ACES Applied Research Summer Internship Program

The ACES Office of Academic Programs is offering summer internships to qualified students. Applications are being accepted from sophomores and juniors currently enrolled in the College of ACES with an overall GPA of 3.00 or above.

Please refer to Handshake @ Illinois to apply.

Inquiries and application materials should be directed to:
Jean Drasgow, Director of Career Services 
ACES Academic Programs
115 ACES Library
jdrasgow@illinois.edu

ACES Study Abroad Scholarships

ACES Arlys Conrad Study Abroad Scholarship

College of ACES students participating in any University of Illinois sponsored study abroad program are eligible for the ACES Arlys Conrad Study Abroad Scholarship. The scholarship amount will depend on the duration of the program. Below are sample guidelines, but the final amounts vary based on the applicant pool and available funding each term. 

  • $250 for a study tour (one to two weeks)
  • $500 for a faculty-led program (two weeks or longer)
  • $700 for a summer program or internship (four weeks or longer)
  • $750 for a semester abroad
  • $1,500 for an academic year abroad

The application deadline for winter break and spring semester programs is September 15. The application deadline for summer and fall semester programs is February 15. 

Arlys Conrad Scholarship application 

Scholarship Requirements

In return for receiving the ACES Study Abroad Scholarship, recipients must complete the following:

  1. Write a one-and-a-half to two-page reflection and evaluation of your study abroad experience, which will be posted on the Voices of ACES and the Study Abroad Student Stories blog. In the reflection, you can answer questions including (but not limited to):
    • What did you learn through this program?
    • Which events were most meaningful to you and why?
    • What does the experience mean to your academic/career plans?
    • How did the experience affect you as a person?
    • Which individuals you encountered or which events contributed to those feelings, thoughts, and plans?
    • Make sure to include your name, and the session (ie.SummerStudyTour2020) in which you went on the trip.
    • Save as LastName_Country (eg. Johnson_France)
    • Email your reflection paper as an attachment. 
  2. Follow us on Instagram and like our Facebook page.
    • Help us improve our social media campaign by posting photos using our hashtags, #ACESabroad and #ILLINOISabroad 
  3. Complete at least one carbon emission offset activity. More information will be provided via email to awardees. 
  4. Submit a photo gallery by using the following link. Email 10-15 of the top appropriate* photos you took while abroad. Email your photos as an attachment.
    • Please save your photos in JPEG format as: LastName_Country_Year (eg. Johnson_France_2021)
    • Program-related pictures that feature the host university, classrooms/labs, living quarters, host family (if applicable), field experience, etc.
    • No more than five photos from extended travel

*Appropriate photos mean no alcohol, illegal substances, or weapons, photos of others who have not agreed to have their picture taken (especially children), and no photos that represent your trip in a negative light. Be selective about the content you share. Ask yourself: Would this be something I would want my family to see? Would I want it on the front page of the newspaper? How I am representing the University of Illinois?

Deadlines

  • Spring/Academic Year/Summer - September 15 
  • Fall/Winter Break - February 15
  • Spring Break - April 1
  • Dates falling on Saturday or Sunday are due in the College of ACES Study Abroad office the following Monday.

Scholarship requirements not fulfilled

Students who do not complete scholarship reporting requirements by the deadline will be required to pay the scholarship back and will not be eligible for future study abroad scholarships.

Notify aces-studyabroad@illinois.edu if you have any problems with submissions.

Campus Scholarships

You can apply for campus-level study abroad scholarships. Be sure to check with your academic advisor to see if you qualify for any department scholarships.

Additional Scholarships

You also can explore outside scholarships, which are not limited to:

  1. The federally funded Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is open to U.S. citizen undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding.
  2. The Fred S. Bailey International Service Travel Scholarship through the University YMCA.
  3. You also can find independent study abroad scholarships through private donors and organizations.

Jonathan Baldwin Turner Scholars 

The Jonathan Baldwin Turner (JBT) scholarship program is a renewable, merit-based scholarship supporting College of ACES students who demonstrate leadership, community service, and a commitment to an ACES field of study, as well as the land-grant mission.

Selected students can join and participate in a long legacy of JBT scholarship earners to help create a stronger connection to the major, college, and alumni. Recipients receive $2,500 in years one and two and $3,000 in year three, with a sustained GPA of 3.4 or higher and involvement in JBT professional development activities. More information about the JBT Scholarship program, including application timeline and requirements for students selected can be found on the JBT Scholars website

Continuing Student Scholarship FAQs

Who is eligible to be considered for scholarships?
Any undergraduate student who is pursuing a major in the College of ACES during the academic year for which the scholarships apply is eligible to be considered. Current ACES students and on- or off-campus transfer students who will pursue a major in the College of ACES must submit the online general College of ACES scholarship application to be considered.

*Incoming first-year students do not need to submit this application. The application for admission doubles as an application for the scholarship.

When does the application for scholarships in ACES open?
The application opens December 20 and closes February 10 for students who are continuing in the College of ACES majors for the following fall semester. The application invite is sent via email to the Illinois student account. Students who ICT to ACES for the spring will be invited no later than February 1 to submit their application to be considered for scholarships for the next academic year. 

Off-campus transfers and Fall ICT students will be invited to submit the scholarship application May 2-May 15. The application will be sent to their Off-campus application email address or their Illinois email account. 

An off-campus transfer student who does not apply during the University of Illinois posted transfer application deadlines, will not be invited to participate in the scholarship application. On campus ICT student must apply to ACES prior to May 1 to be invited to participate in the scholarship application. 

When does the selection process for scholarships in ACES occur?
Students are notified about their scholarship status in early August through their email (to the U of I email address).

On what basis are students selected to receive a scholarship?
Recipients are selected based on academic merit, as well as meeting specific criteria, which could include such factors as county of residence, year in school, or career interest, to name a few examples. Most scholarship recipients have a grade point average of at least 3.0. Students must be in good academic standing to be selected for scholarships.

Does the general College of ACES scholarship application have to be submitted every year?
Yes, students who wish to be considered for scholarships must submit the general College of ACES scholarship application every year (after their freshman, sophomore, and junior years).

Is it possible to be awarded the same College of ACES scholarship more than once?
Scholarships are not automatically renewable, but students may be eligible (depending on the scholarship criteria) to be considered for the same scholarship in multiple academic years, provided the student submits the general online College of ACES scholarship application.

Do current students have to submit the FAFSA to be considered for criteria-based scholarships?
The FAFSA is only required for students who wish to be considered for scholarships for which financial need is required. Please note that you must complete the FAFSA if you want to be considered for federal financial aid.  More information is available through the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Is there a current list of ACES scholarships that ACES students are considered for with the continuing student scholarship application?
Yes, the Office of Student Financial Aid provides a listing of these ACES scholarships that are used in the award process. 

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