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7.7.8 Tuition and Fee Waivers Policy


Tuition and fee waivers are an agreement between the student and the university to reduce or eliminate tuition and/or fees.  All Illinois public universities are authorized to award two general types of tuition and fee waivers:  Mandatory Waivers and Discretionary Waivers.  Mandatory waivers are authorized by state statute and awarded to eligible students who meet the specific parameters and criteria included in the statute.  Discretionary waivers, including statutory waivers, are granted at the discretion of the university.

Tuition Waiver Programs

Tuition waiver programs are divided by mandatory waivers and discretionary waivers.  Each waiver program has eligibility requirements and selection criteria.

Mandatory Waivers

  1. Special Education Teacher Scholarships (110 ILCS 947/65.15):   Provides tuition and mandatory fee awards to encourage current teachers and academically talented students to pursue careers in any area of special education and teach at a nonprofit Illinois public, private, or parochial preschool, elementary, or secondary school.  Application criteria and procedures for this waiver are available at:  www.isac.org
  2. Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) Scholarships (105 ILCS 5/30-16.1):  Scholarships are offered to residents of Illinois whose scholastic standing enables them to enroll in ROTC programs.  Application criteria and procedures for this waiver are available at:  http://rotc.illinoisstate.edu
  3. Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Scholarships and Fee Waiver (20 ILCS 505/9):  DCFS may annually select a maximum of 48 children, at least four of whom are children of veterans, to be eligible for scholarship and fee waivers for four consecutive years at any university or college maintained by the State of Illinois.  Application criteria and procedures for this waiver are available at:  http://www.state.il.us.dcfs
  4. Partial Tuition Waivers for Children of University Employees (110 ILCS 675/20-90):  Public university governing boards must offer fifty percent tuition waivers for undergraduate education to the children of employees who have been employed by the granting university and/or any public university in Illinois for an aggregate period of at least seven years.  The waivers are governed by University Policy 3.1.17.  At Illinois State University this benefit is capped at 126 credit hours paid at fifty percent.  Application criteria and procedures for this waiver are available at:  https://hr.illinoisstate.edu/benefits/tuition/ 
  5. Senior Citizen Courses Act (110 ILCS 990):  Permits senior citizens, over the age of 65 who are accepted to the institution, to enroll in regularly scheduled credit courses at public institutions of higher education without payment of tuition.  Does not include payment of fees.  Must be age 65 or older with an annual household income below the threshold amount provided in the statute.
  6. Illinois Veteran Grants (110 ILCS 947/40): A qualified applicant as defined in the statute is not required to pay any tuition or mandatory fees while attending a State institution for a period that is equivalent to four years of full-time enrollment, including summer terms.  Application criteria and procedures for this waiver are available at:  www.isac.org
  7. Illinois National Guard Grants (110 ILCS 947/45):  Any individual who has served at least one year in the Illinois National Guard or the Illinois Naval Militia and who possesses all necessary entrance requirements, shall upon application and proof, be awarded a grant exempting tuition and the General Activity fee for not more than the equivalent of four years of full-time enrollment, including summer terms.  Application criteria and procedures for this waiver are available at:  www.isac.org
  8. MIA/POW Scholarships (105 ILCS 5/30-14.2):  Any spouse, natural child, legally adopted child, or any step-child of an eligible veteran or service person, as defined in the statute, who possesses all necessary entrance requirements shall, upon application and proof, be award a MIA/POW scholarship exempting tuition and certain fees for not more than the equivalent of four years of full-time enrollment, including summer terms.  Application criteria and procedures for this waiver are available at:  http://www2.illinois.gov/veterans/benefits/Pages/education.aspx

Discretionary Waivers

Specific selection criteria are defined by the awarding department or unit.  Units that issue tuition waivers must develop specific and measurable written selection criteria and document that the student has met all requirements before awarding a tuition waivers.

Waivers within the 3% limit:

The process for allocating discretionary waivers awarded by the University is determined by the number of budgeted waivers that are available for distribution.  Statewide policy established by the IBHE limits the amount of undergraduate tuition revenue that a public university may waive in discretionary waivers to three percent of the total available undergraduate tuition revenue (i.e., the total of all tuition charged and waived).

Waivers outside of the 3% limit:

There is no statewide policy limiting the amount of graduate or employee benefit tuition revenue that a public university may waive through Tuition Waivers or Graduate Assistantships with fellowships.  However, departments are limited in the number of graduate assistantships they award by their graduate assistantship stipend budget.

Waiver Categories:

The following categories have been approved for discretionary waivers and entitlement programs at the University.  The IBHE must approve all university requests for additional waiver reporting categories not specifically listed in the Standard Tuition and Fee Waiver Chart of Accounts prior to reporting.  The University has discretion to award the following waivers within the bounds of State requirements, University and Board policy, and state/federal laws and regulations.

1.  Student Talent and Merit Waivers:

     a.  Academic or Other Talent

     b.  Athletic

     c.  Gender Equity in Intercollegiate Athletics [110 ILCS 205/9.24]

     d.  Foreign Exchange Students

     e.  Out-of-State Students

     f.  Foreign Students

     g.  Fellowships

2.  Student Need Waivers

     a.  Financial Aid Waivers

    b.  Special Program Waivers

3.  Student Service Waivers

a.  Cooperating Professionals

b.  Graduate Research Assistants

c.  Graduate Teaching Assistants

d.  Other Graduate Assistants

e.  Contract/Training Grants

f.  Non-GA Departmental Waivers 

4.  Employee Waivers (Employee waivers are governed by University Policy 3.1.17):

     a.  Employee Waiver

          i.  Faculty, Staff, and Retired for attendance at Illinois State University.

          ii.  Civil Service Employees for attendance at Illinois State University or Inter-Institutional

     b.  Dependent Waivers

Records Maintenance

Discretionary waiver application, selection, and notification processes are decentralized activities.  The units awarding the tuition and/or fee waiver are responsible for maintaining written documentation supporting tuition and fee waiver advertising, application, selection, notification, and where performance of duties is a condition for the receipt of a tuition waiver (graduate assistantships, grant programs), a copy of the contract signed by the student.  The verification of student eligibility and all student tuition waiver files are maintained within the appropriate administrative or academic unit.

Monitoring and Reporting

The Financial Aid Office is responsible for the overall monitoring of Illinois State University's tuition waiver program, including the adoption of written policies and procedures as well as implementation of appropriate methods of counting and reporting the value and number of waivers.  In addition, the University conducts internal audits of tuition and fee waivers and participates in external audits conducted by the Auditor General's Office.  Audits occur as needed to allow for process improvements from previous audits to be enacted.

Illinois State University reports tuition and fee waivers consistent with state and federal law.  Waivers are reported as budgeted, granted, or expended within a particular fiscal year in which the corresponding tuition and fees are recognized as revenue.  In instances where waivers are adjusted after the end of the fiscal year, the University utilizes a cut-off date of August 31 to facilitate fiscal year reporting.  Adjustments made after the cut-off date are allocated to the following fiscal year.  The University has written procedures to effectively implement this cut-off date.

In all of the programs mentioned above, unless otherwise stated by state statute or institutional policy identified in Illinois State University Records Retention Guidelines, student records are maintained for the greater of five years from the completion of the academic year in which the waiver was awarded or the close of an audit by the State of Illinois Office of the Auditor General involving that academic year.

Initiating body: Office of the Provost

Contact: Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education

Revised on: 7/2013

2019-02-18T16:06:12.15-06:00 2019