Undergraduate Aid

Financial (Need-Based) Aid

Scholarships are not the only way to supplement the cost of your education. We encourage all students to apply for need-based aid by March 15. You do this by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA. That is how you will be considered for all need-based aid from the government, from the University of Illinois, and from Grainger Engineering. No other information is required. Financial aid may come in the form of grants, loans, or employment opportunities.


Illinois’ Office of Student Financial Aid begins sending award letters in March.

Visit Office of Student Financial Aid

Scholarship Types

The first-year engineering scholarships have varying criteria that may include residency requirements, GPA minimums (example 3.0 or greater), specific major, or financial need. The size of freshman engineering scholarships varies from $3,000 to $15,000. Many are renewable for up to four years. Do know that the total amount available to you is limited to cost of attendance, so scholarship amounts may be reduced if the aggregate is greater than the cost of attendance.

Merit-Based Scholarships for First-year Students

Merit–based scholarships for first-year students are awarded based on high academic achievement and potential for success. As an incoming freshman, you'll be considered for all scholarships for which you're eligible when you’re admitted.

Evaluation Process

Awarding scholarships is based on a complete review of your application, including:

  • High school GPA
  • Rigor of high school classes
  • Access to academic resources
  • Leadership
  • Service
  • Application essays

Your application essays are an important part of the evaluation process because they help to determine factors and experiences that may make you eligible for scholarships with specific criteria from the donor(s) who provide the funds.

*Your application to Illinois is also your application for all campus-wide, merit-based scholarships.


You may receive University scholarship offers in March. However, CHECK YOUR EMAIL because College of Engineering and engineering departmental scholarship notifications will be sent via email in the last week of March or first week of April. Please note that whenever possible, units strive to combine offers and send one letter with your Notification of Admission. That said, there are many notifications that we are only able to send after you receive your Notification of Admission.


The Grainger College of Engineering is a FIRST scholarship provider. The deadline for the application is March 15, 2024.

If you have participated in a Worldwide Youth in Science & Engineering Program (WYSE), and have been admitted into The Grainger College of Engineering for the academic year 2024-2025, you are encouraged to apply to the 2023 WYSE TrailBlazer Scholarship for consideration. Deadline for the application is March 17, 2024. 

Scholarships After First Year

Whether or not you receive a scholarship for your first year, you may apply during your spring semester of first-year to more merit-based Scholarships for Continuing Students for the next academic year.

Merit-Based Scholarships for Transfer Students

Any Illinois resident, Engineering student who enters Illinois with at least 32 hours of transfer credit is eligible for a scholarship. There is no application process, and scholarship amounts will vary with funds available and the student's record.

Learn More

Scholarships Outside the College of Engineering

Paid Internships

As a Grainger Engineering student, you will have unlimited resources and exceptional ability to find paid summer internships, which is a great financial supplement. More than 450 companies come to campus twice a semester to recruit our students, either for internships, co–ops, or jobs. The average intern salary earned by Illinois students is currently $21 per hour.

Questions about scholarships?

Contact us at engr-scholarship@illinois.edu and read our FAQs.

Visit our FAQ