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...

  1. Care for Illinois children in an IDCFS licensed program.

    Work in 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

    Work in 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

    Work in 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. 

  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 and fees.

    % Gateways Scholarship Program Would Pay % Applicant Would Pay Hourly Wage Gross Yearly Wage Working Full Time
    90 10 up to $12.50 up to $26,020
    80 20 $12.51 - $15.00 $26,021 - $31,220
    70 30 $15.01 - $18.00 $37,460 - $43,699
    60 40 $18.01 - $21.00 $37,460 - $43,699
    50 50 $21.01 - $24.00 $43,700 - $49,920
     

    *For bachelor’s and master’s level coursework, the highest tuition rate a scholarship can be based on is the current school year rate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  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 
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.