Doctoral Students Financial Aid Options

Each year, various types of financial aid are available to degree-seeking students in the College of Education at UIC.  Please check the College of Education website for financial opportunities.

The opportunities described below are those coordinated by the College of Education or by the University.  Some of these are subject to change, so be sure to check the College of Education and Graduate College websites for updates about current availability and requirements.

Tuition and Selected Fees Waivers

Each semester, the Graduate College allocates a limited number of tuition and selected fees waivers to the College of Education. To be eligible, you must be a degree-seeking student (either full-time or part-time), and not hold any appointment that covers tuition. Tuition and Service Fee Waivers are awarded Fall, Spring, and Summer terms, and you must submit an application for each term that you want to be considered. Eligibility for full-time waivers requires a minimum of 12 hours enrollment for the fall and spring semesters, and 6 hours for the summer term. Eligibility for part-time waivers requires 8-11 hours enrollment for fall and spring semesters, and 3-5 hours for the summer term.

To apply, complete all parts of the Application for Tuition and Selected Fees Waiver and submit the application and all required supporting documents to the Office of Student Services (3145 ETMSW). You can get an application from the Office of Student Services, or it can be downloaded from the Financial Aid website. The deadlines for submission are:

Fall Semester:  July 1
Spring Semester:  November 1
Summer Semester:  March 1

Fellowships and Scholarships

A few fellowships and scholarships are available through the University and/or the Graduate College. These awards provide a tuition and service fee waiver and a monthly stipend. They begin in the fall semester of each academic year, but must be applied for early in the prior spring semester. Competition for these awards is intense, and thorough preparation is the key to being successful. All Graduate College fellowship applications must be reviewed in the College of Education by the Honors/Teaching Awards Committee in advance of the Graduate College deadlines. Only the top applications that are judged to be competitive university wide are forwarded to the Graduate College for review.

If you are considering applying for one of these fellowships, contact your advisor early in the fall semester to help you prepare your application. You should also ask other professors to write letters of recommendation for you at this time. Giving yourself enough lead time is critical, as hastily prepared applications are rarely successful.

The following fellowships are available through the Graduate College.

University Fellowships

Deadlines for application

Complete applications should be delivered to the Office of Student Services (3145 ETMSW).

Approximately 55 University Fellowships are awarded to outstanding students based on academic promise and scholarly achievement in an all-campus competition.

Eligibility:

  • Masters and doctoral-level graduate students in any field of graduate study.
  • Registration Requirements: At least 12 hours each semester (6 in summer). Twelve month appointments require summer registration.

For complete information on this award and its specific requirements, consult the Graduate College website.

Dean’s Scholar Fellowship

Deadlines for application

Complete applications should be delivered to the Office of Student Services (3145 ETMSW).

The Dean’s Scholar Award is presented by the Dean of the Graduate College in recognition of a student’s scholarly achievement.  It is intended to provide highly qualified, advanced-level graduate students with an opportunity to devote themselves to a period of intensive research without ongoing teaching obligations.   Recipients of the Dean’s Scholar Award will receive a fellowship stipend of $25,000 for a twelve-month academic year and  a tuition and fee waiver from the Graduate College. Awards are not renewable.

Eligibility: Doctoral candidates only. Students must have passed their preliminary examination and have a plan approved by their department for their dissertation research. Dean’s scholars may not accept a teaching assistantship but may accept a research assistantship for not more than 50 percent time in his/her research field, or external support in the form of a fellowship for work directly related to the dissertation.

Each doctoral program may nominate a maximum of two students for the award.

Registration Requirements: At least 12 hours each semester (6 in summer). Twelve month appointments require summer registration.

Award information and requirements

Abraham Lincoln Fellowship

Deadlines for application

Complete applications should be delivered to the Office of Student Services (3145 ETMSW).

The goal of the Abraham Lincoln Graduate Fellowship program is to increase the excellence and diversity of the student body.

Applicants must be:

  • Graduate students from historically underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups, specifically Native American, African-American, Mexican-American, and Puerto Rican students are eligible to apply.
  • Citizens or permanent residents of the United States, and graduates of a secondary school in the US or territories.
  • Enrolled in a graduate program or have completed an application for fall admission.
  • Be on full status
  • Registered for at least 12 hours each semester (6 in summer). Twelve month appointments require summer registration

Application Procedures:   Selection of awardees is based on graduate and undergraduate record, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, and the nominee’s personal statement.

For complete information on this award and its specific requirements, consult the Graduate College website.

Diversifying Faculty in Higher Education in Illinois—(DFI)

Please see the Graduate College website for submission deadlines for this award.

Please contact the Office of Student Services for the deadline for submission to the College.

Complete applications should be delivered to the Office of Student Services (3145 ETMSW).

The Diversifying Faculty in Higher Education in Illinois—(DFI) program was established by the Illinois General Assembly to provide financial assistance to members of traditionally underrepresented racial minority groups to pursue and complete graduate or professional degrees at Illinois institutions of higher education.  This is a state wide competition and involves an extensive application process.

The award is renewable for one year for master’s students and for three additional years for doctoral candidates. Renewal is contingent on the recipient making satisfactory academic progress toward completion of the degree.

Eligibility:

  • Students from traditionally underrepresented minority groups (i.e., Native American, African-American, Mexican-American, and Puerto Rican graduate students) are eligible for this award.
  • Students must demonstrate financial need.
  • Students must be Illinois residents to apply.
  • Award recipients must agree to accept teaching or administrative employment at an Illinois postsecondary institution or with an Illinois higher education governing or coordinating board, or the recipients may be required to pay back a portion of the award.

Registration Requirements: At least 12 hours each semester (6 in summer).  Twelve month appointments require summer registration.

For complete information on this fellowship, please consult the Graduate College website.

The Graduate College offers helpful review sessions to help applicants maximize their applications.  Contact Demetria Ward-Kato in the Graduate College at deward@uic.edu or  (312) 413-2559 during the fall semester for more information and to find out when the sessions are scheduled.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship 

Students apply directly for this award.  The Honors/Teaching Awards Committee does not review and rank applications.  Come to the Office of Student Services to pick up an application, or download it from the College of Education financial aid website or visit the scholarship website.  Applications are typically available early in the spring term.

This program was established in 1985 at UIC to encourage African-American, Latino(a), and Native-American UIC students who have demonstrated high academic achievement in the many fields where they have traditionally been underrepresented and who have shown commitment through community and campus service.  Thus, in an effort to keep Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.’s dream alive, these merit and/or monetary awards are given to undergraduates with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA, as well as to graduate and professional students with high academic achievement.

Selection will be based on academic record, personal statement, recommendations, and demonstrated commitment to community/campus service.

Eligibility:

Continuing UIC African-American, Latino(a), or Native-American undergraduate students who have a current cumulative UIC GPA of at least a 3.0 (4.0 scale) and will achieve junior or senior status in the Fall semester are eligible to apply.  African-American, Latino(a) or Native-American graduate or professional students who have demonstrated high academic achievement are also eligible to apply. Graduate students must have completed at least one semester at UIC before applying for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship.

Applicants must plan to be enrolled full-time during the entire academic year.

Present or past holders of graduate and professional Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarships are not eligible.  However, present or past holders of undergraduate Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarships may reapply.

Applicants must be citizens or eligible non-citizens.

Full or part-time UIC Employees are not eligible.  Student workers and graduate assistants are eligible.

All application materials must be submitted to:

William Rodriguez, Chair
Martin Luther King Scholarship Selection Committee
The Office of the Dean of Students, 3030 SSB, MC 318
1200 West Harrison Street
Chicago, Illinois  60607

Applications are usually due by the end of March.  Check early in the spring semester for an application.

Graduate Assistantships

A number of teaching, research, or graduate assistantships are available each year.  College of Education faculty members, centers, and projects with available funds hire students into positions. For example, the College searches at times for people with teaching or similar experience to work in our teacher preparation programs.  Similarly, students with research skills or who wish to further develop those skills are also sought by College faculty for work on grant-supported research projects.

Your chance of securing an assistantship is increased if you make it known to various faculty members that you are looking for one, for example, via an introductory letter, email, and/or resumé in faculty mailboxes.  Tell your faculty advisor, and keep your eyes and ears open.

Graduate Student Council Travel Awards

The Graduate Student Council (GSC) is the governance organization of graduate students at UIC.  Each of the 66 departments within the Graduate College is represented by either an appointed or an elected representative.  GSC’s function is to sponsor academic and social activities for graduate students, provide travel funds to students presenting at professional conferences, and promote the general welfare of students through interaction with the University’s administration.  Most of GSC’s annual budget is allocated to subsidizing students’ travel expenses.  Eligibility for GSC travel funds is limited to graduate students from departments with active GSC representatives.  The GSC Travel Committee may give awards of up to $300 for travel expenses.  Students are limited to one award per fiscal year (July 1 to June 30).  Information and applications to the GSC travel fund and may be obtained from the GSC website.

Graduate College Student Travel Awards

The Graduate College Student Travel Awards are intended to help defray the travel expenses of graduate students presenting research or scholarly work at a meeting of a nationally recognized scientific or scholarly society.  The Graduate College attempts to support as many qualified applicants as possible; however, awards are limited and contingent upon the availability of funds.  More information and an application form can be obtained from the Graduate College website.

Other Resources

Independent fellowships, scholarships, and grants are also administered by governmental agencies, foundations, corporations, and individuals.  For more information, contact Marie Khan in the Graduate College, 606 UH (312-355-3456 or mkhanj@uic.edu) or the reference desk of the UIC library.  In addition, loan programs open to all students are administered by the Office of Financial Aid (1800 SSB).  The Student Employment Office ( 2100 SSB) offers information about part-time employment, job reference materials, job listings, and referrals for employment to university departments and business firms in the Chicago area.