Am I eligible for a Gateways Scholarship?

Eligible for Gateways Scholarship

You could receive a Gateways Scholarship to help pay for your college coursework if you...

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  1. Care for Illinois children in an IDCFS licensed program or ISBE funded Preschool for All program.

    Employed by an Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (IDCFS) licensed full-day/full-year child care program in one of the following positions: center director, assistant director, teacher, assistant teacher, school-age teacher, or school-age assistant. 

    OR

    Employed by/own an IDCFS licensed full-day/full-year family/group child care home in one of the following positions: family child care provider, family child care assistant, group home provider, or group home assistant. 

    OR

    Employed by an IDCFS licensed school-age care program operating nine months per year in one of the following positions: center director, assistant director, teacher, assistant teacher, school-age teacher, school-age assistant. 

    OR

    Employed by an ISBE funded Preschool for All program that operates a minimum of 9 months per year, as a teacher or teacher's aide.  

  2. Have been employed at your current program for at least a one year. 
  3. Work an average of 15 hours per week. 
  4. Meet wage requirements.

    The maximum hourly wage is $24.00. Your hourly wage determines the amount the Gateways Scholarship will pay for tuition.

    % of tuition Gateways Scholarship Program Would Pay Applicant responsibility to college or university. Hourly Wage Gross Yearly Wage Working Full Time
    100 0 up to $12.50 up to $26,020
    90 10 $12.51 - $15.00 $26,021 - $31,220
    80 20 $15.01 - $18.00 $37,460 - $43,699
    70 30 $18.01 - $21.00 $37,460 - $43,699
    60 40 $21.01 - $24.00 $43,700 - $49,920
    Gateways Scholarship Program will not pay out of district costs.
  5. Be a citizen of the United States or a legal resident.
  6. Commit to future work in early care and education or school-age care depending on scholarship type.

    Work commitment periods follow:

    • 6 months for completion of a coursework contract
    • 1 year for AA or AAS completion
    • 1 year for BS or MS completion
    • 1 year for certificate, approval, endorsement completion

    The work commitment must be completed in one of the following early care and education or school-age care programs:

    • IDCFS licensed full-day, full-year family/group child care home
    • IDCFS licensed full-day, full-year child care center
    • Licensed school-age program operating a minimum of 9 months a year 
    • ISBE funded Preschool for All program
Excelerate Program

ExceleRate Illinois helps you prepare children for success in school and in life.

It also provides standards, guidelines, resources and supports to help you make sensible changes that lead to better quality outcomes for children.