Never too Early to Plan for College
Going to college or earning a career certificate increases your chances of getting a good job. The average salary of a college graduate is almost double that of someone who does not go to college. The bottom line is that going to college means more money, more opportunities and a better life for your family. We have several opportunities for you – everything from scholarships to cash stipends, tutoring to mentoring. Learn about the resources available to help you.
|Level of education completed||Average earnings in 2017|
|Less than a high school diploma||$33,800|
|High school graduate, no college||$46,228|
|Some college, no degree||$51,324|
|Associate degree (occupational program)||$51,168|
|Associate degree (academic program)||$53,040|
|Doctoral degree (e.g., Ph.D.)||$123,084|
|Professional degree (e.g., M.D., J.D.)||$135,668|
In addition to higher earnings, unemployment rates tend to be lower as you get more education (i.e., it’s easier to find a job). Explore career options at StudentAid.gov/careersearch.
Federal Student Aid
An office of the U.S. Department of Education StudentAid.gov May 2018. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey
Attend Your Community College for Free with One Million Degrees (OMD)
One Million Degrees accelerates community college students’ progress on career pathways to economic mobility. OMD provides scholars with holistic support including coaching, financial assistance, personal support and professional development. Click here to learn more about how OMD empowers scholars to take charge of their own success, and take a peek into the community you could be a part of!
FREE Tuition at the University of Illinois
Starting with the 2019 incoming class, the University of Illinois will cover tuition and fees for up to four years for all qualified in-state students.
- You’re an Illinois resident (parents listed on the FAFSA are also Illinois residents)
- Your family income is $61,000 or less
- Your family’s assets are $50,000 or less
- You’re admitted as a new freshman or transfer student
- You’re under the age of 24
Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC)
Do you have questions about college? About financial aid? Get answers from ISAC’s experts sent directly to your phone. ISACorps members are recent college graduates from across the state that can help you with the ins and outs of selecting and applying to college. Meet with your local ISACorps member for free one-on-one assistance. Click here to meet with a free college advisor.
Paying for College and Scholarship Information
Scholarship for Careers in Healthcare
This exciting scholarship opportunity allows you to gain the education required for a rewarding career in Community Health, Nursing, Health Information Administration, or Occupational Therapy
College Preparation Checklist
This checklist will tell you how to get ready for college as early as 1st grade – and tell you how the government will help you pay for it.
Get Connected for College!
Looking for help with getting connected to the world wide web? Purchasing an affordable laptop? Comcast has a program that provides residents with low-cost computers and affordable internet access at home.
Illinois College2Career helps you find Illinois colleges that best fit your educational priorities and career goals.
UPS Chicagoland Regional College Program CRCP
UPS pays up to $25,000 in tuition for their employees. Click here to learn more.
CEDA provides Fall Semester Scholarships for IL Colleges. Check here in April for application details.
Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF)
TMCF offers four types of unique scholarships that are merit, plus need-based designed to address the financial needs of students attending TMCF member-schools. The awards process is highly competitive and the awards are given to outstanding and qualified students who plan to earn a baccalaureate, graduate or law degree from an accredited college or university. Occasionally, TMCF may offer scholarships to students not attending one of our member-schools.
McDonald's HACER Scholarships
If you have at least one parent of Hispanic Heritage, McDonald’s HACER Scholarship Program is here to help pay for college. The program offers up to $25,000/year for four years to qualifying Hispanic high school students.