Cost and Financial Aid

Applying to Engineering at Illinois makes you automatically eligible for all of our merit-based scholarships.

Merit-Based Scholarships for Newly Admitted Students


Merit–based scholarships for freshmen 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:

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

The 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 scholarships offers at the time of the admission notification in February.

However, College of Engineering scholarship notifications will be sent via email in the last week of March/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.

Please check for important email notifications in late March or early April for scholarship information from the College of Engineering and departments.

Scholarships for Sophomore years and beyond

Whether you receive a scholarship or not, you may apply during your spring semester of freshmen year to more merit-based scholarships as “Continuing Students”. See section below to learn more.

Engineering at Illinois is a FIRST Scholarship provider; More information from FIRST

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. More information for Pathway students

Scholarships for Continuing Students

After one year at Illinois, you will be eligible and automatically considered for a few scholarships available to continuing students. There is no application process, and scholarship amounts will vary with funds available and the student's record at Illinois.

However, most of our scholarships do require an application.. The College only has one application and it makes you eligible for all available. Don’t worry – you only have to complete a few questions and provide two letters of recommendation that come from Illinois faculty members, instructors, advisors to organizations you’ve participated in, or supervisors at jobs or internships you’ve held.

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 (FASFA)

That is how you will be considered for all need-based aid from the government, from the University of Illinois, and from Engineering at Illinois. 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.

Other Resources

Department and Campus Scholarship Resources

External Scholarship Resources

Scholarships Opportunities for International Students

Additional Funding Option: Paid Internships

As an Engineering at Illinois 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?

Review our Scholarship FAQ or contact