Minority Teachers of Illinois Scholarship Program
CSFA Number: 691-00-1384
Agency Name
Illinois Student Assistance Commission (691)
Agency Identification
0004
Agency Contact
Scott Taylor
217-782-0503
scott.taylor@illinois.gov
Short Description
The Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program encourages academically talented minority students to pursue careers as teachers at nonprofit Illinois preschool, elementary and secondary schools. The program also aims to provide minority children with access to a greater number of positive minority role models.
Subject Area
Education
Program Function
Education
Enabling Legislation
110 ILCS 947/50 and 20(f)
Objectives and Goals
By providing financial assistance to minority students in training to become teachers, the program is intended to help diversify the teaching pool and provide a supply of well-qualified and diverse teachers for hard-to-staff schools. The program was also created with a goal of narrowing the achievement gap associated with race, based in part on theories that minority children may perform better if some of their teachers are members of racial/ethnic minority groups.
Types of Assistance
Direct Payments for Specific Use
Uses and Restrictions
The Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program provides scholarships of up to $5,000 per year for up to four years to assist academically talented individuals of African American/Black, Hispanic American, Asian American, or Native American origin who plan to become teachers. Scholarships are available for undergraduate or graduate students enrolled at least half time. Students receiving this scholarship must fulfill a teaching commitment by teaching one year for each year of assistance at a nonprofit Illinois public, private, or parochial preschool, elementary or secondary school with at least 30 percent minority enrollment. If the teaching commitment is not fulfilled, the scholarship converts to a loan and the student must repay a pro-rated amount plus interest.
Eligibility Requirements
a) A qualified applicant shall be:
1) a minority student;
2) a resident of Illinois;
3) a citizen or permanent resident of the United States;
4) a high school graduate or a high school equivalency certificate recipient;
5) enrolled or accepted for enrollment on at least a half-time basis;
6) a student at an institution of higher learning;
7) enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a course of study which, upon completion, qualifies the student to be certified as a preschool, elementary or secondary school teacher by the Illinois State Board of Education, including alternative teacher certification;
8) maintaining a cumulative grade point average of no less than 2.5 on a 4.0 scale; and
9) maintaining satisfactory academic progress as determined by the institution.
b) In any academic year in which the qualified applicant accepts or receives financial assistance through the Paul Douglas Teacher Scholarship Program (23 Ill. Adm. Code 2762), Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Program (23 Ill. Adm. Code 2764), the Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver Program (23 Ill. Adm. Code 2765), or the Teach Illinois Scholarship Program (23 Ill. Adm. Code 2768), the qualified applicant shall not be eligible for scholarship assistance under this Part.
Eligible Applicants
Individuals;
Application and Award Processing
a) A completed ISAC application for the MTI Scholarship Program must be postmarked on or before March 1 immediately preceding the regular school year for which the scholarship is being requested, in order to receive priority consideration for an award.
1) Applications are available from qualified institutions of higher learning, ISAC's Web site and ISAC's Springfield, Deerfield and Chicago offices.
2) ISAC will make renewal applications available to all qualified students who were awarded MTI Scholarships during the preceding regular school year.
3) If the application is incomplete, ISAC will notify the applicant. The applicant will then have an opportunity to furnish the missing information; however, the application will only be considered for processing as of the date when the application is complete and received at ISAC's Deerfield office.
b) At least 30 percent of the funds appropriated for scholarships awarded under this Section in each fiscal year shall be reserved for male qualified applicants. If the Commission does not receive enough applications from qualified male minorities on or before January 1 of each fiscal year to award 30% of the funds appropriated for these scholarships to qualified male minority applicants, then the Commission may award a portion of the reserved funds to qualified female minority applicants. [110 ILCS 947/50]
c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b), awards will be made first to renewing applicants.
d) No recipient may receive more than 8 semesters/12 quarters of scholarship assistance under this program.
e) Scholarship funds are applicable towards up to two semesters/three quarters of study within a regular school year.
f) The total number of scholarships awarded in a given fiscal year is contingent upon available funding. If appropriated funds are insufficient to provide all qualified applicants with a scholarship, available funds shall be allocated in accordance with subsections (b) and (c) and on the basis of the dates that the completed applications are received in ISAC's Deerfield office. However, preference may be given to qualified applicants enrolled at or above the junior level.
g) Qualified applicants may be required to furnish the postsecondary institution at which they are enrolled with a copy of their high school transcripts, any other documentation verifying high school graduation, or a copy of their high school equivalency certificates.
h) Prior to receiving scholarship assistance under this Part, the qualified applicant must sign a Teaching Agreement/Promissory Note that is submitted to ISAC. The Teaching Agreement/Promissory Note shall include the following stipulations:
1) the recipient pledges to teach, on a full-time equivalent basis, for one year for each year of scholarship aid received, or for any portion of a year for which aid was received, under this Part;
2) the recipient shall begin teaching within one year following the completion of the program for which the recipient received assistance under this Part, and shall teach on a continuous basis for the required period of time;
3) the teaching requirement will be fulfilled at a nonprofit Illinois public, private or parochial preschool, elementary school or secondary school at which no less than 30 percent of the enrolled students are minority students, as certified by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE);
4) if the teaching requirement is not fulfilled, the scholarship converts to a loan and the recipient must repay the entire amount of the scholarships prorated according to the fraction of the teaching obligation not completed, plus interest at a rate of interest equal to five percent and, if applicable, reasonable collection fees;
5) the recipient agrees to provide ISAC with evidence of compliance with program requirements (e.g., responses to annual follow-up questionnaires, etc.); and
6) the recipient promises to use the proceeds of the scholarship for educational expenses.
i) A recipient of a scholarship awarded under this Part shall not be in violation of the agreement entered into pursuant to subsection (h) during periods in which the recipient:
1) serves, for not more than three years, as a member of the United States Armed Forces;
2) is enrolled on a full-time basis as a graduate student in a course of study related to the field of teaching at an institution of higher learning;
3) is temporarily totally disabled, for not more than three years, as established by the sworn affidavit of a licensed physician;
4) is actively seeking but unable to find full-time employment as a teacher at a school that satisfies the criteria set forth in subsection (h)(3) for one continuous period not to exceed two years, and is able to provide evidence of that fact;
5) is taking additional courses, on at least a half-time basis, needed to obtain certification as a teacher in Illinois; or
6) is fulfilling teaching requirements associated with other programs administered by ISAC if he or she cannot concurrently fulfill them in a period of time equal to the length of the teaching obligation.
j) If a recipient is required to repay any portion of the scholarship, the repayment period shall be completed within 10 years after the scholarship converts to a loan. This 10 year period may be extended if the recipient:
1) serves, for not more than three years, as a member of the United States Armed Forces;
2) is temporarily disabled, for not more than three years, as established by the sworn affidavit of a licensed physician;
3) is seeking and unable to find full-time employment, for one continuous period not to exceed two years, and is able to provide evidence of that fact;
4) withdraws from a course of study leading to certification as a teacher but is enrolled full-time in another academic discipline; or
5) is pursuing a graduate course of study and is enrolled on a full-time basis for one continuous period of time not to exceed three years.
k) During the time a recipient qualifies for any of the extensions listed in subsection (j), he or she shall not be required to make payments and interest shall not accrue.
l) A recipient shall enter repayment status on the earliest of the following dates:
1) the first day of the first calendar month after the recipient has ceased to pursue a course of study leading to certification as a teacher at the preschool, elementary or secondary level, but not before six months have elapsed after the cessation of at least half-time enrollment in such a course of study;
2) the date the recipient informs ISAC that he or she does not plan to fulfill the teaching obligation; or
3) the day after the latest date upon which the recipient must have begun teaching after completing the postsecondary education for which the scholarship was awarded.
m) A recipient shall not be required to repay the amount of the scholarships received if he or she becomes permanently totally disabled as established by the sworn affidavit of a qualified physician (see, e.g., 34 CFR 682.402(c)), or if his or her representative provides ISAC with a death certificate or other evidence that the recipient has died.
Regulations, Guidelines, Literature
The MTI Program is exempt from the Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200) and the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (30 ILCS 708) because scholarships are paid on behalf of an individual beneficiary.
Funding By Fiscal Year
FY 2015 : $2,443,800
FY 2017 : $2,500,000
FY 2018 : $1,900,000
FY 2019 : $1,900,000
FY 2020 : $1,900,000
Federal Funding
None
Notice of Funding Opportunities
None
None