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Illinois Institute of Technology was founded in 1890, and since that time we have strived to provide an education to students from all backgrounds. More than 130 years later, we’re keeping that promise by supporting Chicago students who want to pursue a STEM-focused education at Illinois Tech.

Illinois Tech is proud to launch The Chicago Difference for eligible incoming first-year students from Chicago, beginning with the incoming class of fall 2022. We pledge to cover 100 percent of a student’s remaining costs for tuition, fees, room, and board for four years of full-time undergraduate study (five for architecture).

This scholarship is available to all students who live or study in the city of Chicago and begin their university studies with Illinois Tech directly after high school graduation as a first-year student. Students must demonstrate an expected family contribution (EFC) of $9,000 or less on their FAFSA, and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The remaining cost is defined as the balance owed to Illinois Tech after subtracting a student’s EFC, federal and state grants, and any Illinois Tech scholarships.

Scholarship Benefits

  • The Chicago Difference scholarship covers the costs of tuition; room and board; and mandatory, billable fees that remain after a student’s EFC, federal work study, federal and state grants, and any Illinois Tech scholarships.
  • In addition to financial support, the scholarship provides students with a full range of support and services throughout their entire journey with Illinois Tech—including middle and high school STEM education and mentorship, admissions and supported transition from high school and city colleges, and career placement and development. Further services benefit students during their time at Illinois Tech, addressing key academic readiness and enrichment, as well as financial, safety, community, and belonging elements.

How to Apply

  • Apply via the Early Decision I or II or Early Action I or II application deadline.
  • Complete and submit an application for admission through the by January 15.
  • Submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid () by January 15, using Illinois Tech's FAFSA code: 001691.
  • Students who are late to the deadline will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis as funding is available.

Application Timeline

January 15 Last day to submit your completed Illinois Tech application through the Common App and submit your FAFSA
March Scholarship recipients will be notified
May 1 Decision deadline to accept the Chicago Difference scholarship and confirm enrollment to Illinois Tech

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must graduate from a Chicago high school, be homeschooled in Chicago, or reside in the city of Chicago
  • Demonstrate significant financial need with an expected family contribution (EFC) of $9,000 or less
  • Be a United States citizen or permanent resident
  • Complete the verification process with the Office of Financial Aid
The Chicago Difference Scholarship covers costs for the bachelor's degree program only. If a student chooses to pursue an accelerated master's degree at Illinois Tech, they can apply their original Heald Scholarship award toward their tuition for graduate-level courses at the undergraduate tuition rate.