AIM HIGH Grant awards merit aid to in-state public university students


By Lisa Chasanov, Summer Editor

The Illinois House and Senate have passed a bill that will expand upon the merit scholarships offered to students attending Illinois public universities under the Higher Education Student Assistance Act

The AIM HIGH Grant, established in 2019, was introduced as a measure to encourage more middle-income Illinois high school graduates to attend an in-state public university. 

The scholarship provides partial tuition assistance to students who are residents of the state of Illinois, intend to enroll as full-time undergraduate students at a public university in Illinois, meet income requirements based on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid at the time of enrollment, meet degree progress requirements outlined in the bill and maintain a 2.5 grade point average while in college.

The recent amendment states that public universities with students receiving AIM HIGH scholarships may not decrease existing nonloan financial aid. It also shifts the language surrounding the bill to exclude any use of the word “pilot,” indicating that the pilot phase of its introduction has passed.

This recent amendment to the HESAA has received bipartisan support, including from Sens. Paul Faraci and Chapin Rose, both of whom represent parts of Champaign County. 

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