Website visitors please note: ACI does not accept applications for scholarships. Scholarship funds are distributed across ACI’s 26 member institutions and are made available only to students enrolled at these colleges and universities. If you attend (or have been accepted by) one of ACI’s 26 member colleges, contact your campus’ financial aid officer to inquire about eligibility for an ACI scholarship.

ACI’s Scholarships and McGraw Foundation Student Emergency Assistance Fund grants put private higher education within reach of an ever more diverse student population. The growth in our nation’s college-age population is primarily among low-income families, and financing higher education has become a challenge even for middle-income families — so ACI’s Scholarships and Emergency Financial Aid is increasingly important to make college affordable for many families. In the 2020-2021 academic year, ACI provided scholarships to member schools that helped 330 students with
$581,440 in scholarships, funded by corporations, foundations and individuals.
Since 1990, ACI’s Scholarship Program has provided more than $4.4 million in financial aid and emergency financial aid to more than 2,600 students at ACI member colleges and universities across Illinois.

ACI scholarships and McGraw Foundation Student Emergency Assistance Fund grants create a pool of funds allocated among the member colleges and universities each spring, when financial aid officers are designing aid packages for students for the upcoming fall semester. Member institutions administer the scholarship application process and report back to ACI about the recipients.

ACI’s Scholarships and emergency aid includes:

Named Scholarships: Scholarship donors may target support to students who meet specific criteria (for example income or gender) or who are pursuing specific career paths (teaching, nursing, etc.), or who are working as ACI peer mentors to support underserved students. Scholarships may be given in honor or memory of a loved one or colleague; they may be given annually or endowed in perpetuity; and they may be designated as one-year or multi-year awards.  See our flyer.

McGraw Foundation Student Emergency Assistance Fund: Thanks to funds provided by the McGraw Foundation, ACI can help meet the needs of students facing unanticipated personal or financial hardship – and ensure that these students can benefit from the distinct advantages of private higher education, even if they suffer reversals of fortune after enrolling at an ACI institution. ACI provides member colleges and universities a share of funds from the McGraw Foundation Student Emergency Assistance Fund, which can be awarded by financial aid officers throughout the year, whenever students present compelling needs for help with tuition and other education expenses.

To arrange for a named scholarship, contact April Arnold, ACI executive director at


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Associated Colleges of Illinois is a not-for-profit corporation exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions are tax deductible as provided by law. ©2022 Associated Colleges of Illinois

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