University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
College of ACES
ACES Academic Programs
Give to ACES

Scholarship Opportunities for Incoming Freshman

The College of ACES is committed to providing financial support to recognize the hard work and accomplishments of our students. Thanks to our generous alumni, corporate partners and other supporters, ACES awards over $3.5 million in scholarships to our students each year. More than 150 different scholarship funds support hundreds of our current and incoming students.

How can I be considered for scholarships as an incoming freshman?

The process is simple: apply for admission to the University of Illinois, and pick a major in the College of ACES.   You will automatically be considered for renewable, merit-based awards!

What types of scholarships are freshman considered for through the application for admission?

There are three main types of scholarships for incoming ACES freshman resident students. The specifics of each award will be given in the individual scholarship award letter. 

  • Merit Based Award: These renewable awards are awarded based on academic credentials through high school, including grades, rigor (honors type courses) & test scores. 
  • Jonathan Baldwin Turner Scholarship: Renewable and have a potential value of $10,000 over four years. A $2,500 scholarship is awarded for the student’s freshman year in the University of Illinois College of ACES. The remainder will be awarded in three $2,500 increments during the student’s sophomore, junior, and senior years, provided the student remains enrolled in the College of ACES and maintains a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.4 (A= 4.0).
  • ACES Leadership Scholars:  One Leadership Scholar will be selected from each of the state of Illinois’ 102 counties. Scholars will participate in leadership programming throughout the academic year and will strive to be leaders within the college. Awardees will receive a one-time $2,500 scholarship. Consideration to become an ACES Leadership Scholar is based on exceptional leadership involvement in activitives with preference given for leadership experiences related to the College of ACES majors (including, but not limited to 4-H, FBLA, FCCLA, FFA, SkillsUSA, etc.).

There are other scholarships available to our incoming students, but they are typically very specific to a population. For example, incoming students with the elected position of Section President or State Officer within the FFA organization will be awarded a scholarship renewable based on the earned college GPA. Also, incoming students who have participated in the ACES Research Apprentice Program will be awarded a scholarship renewable based on the earned college GPA.

When are scholarships offered to incoming freshmen? 

Merit-based scholarships are offered after admission to the College of ACES. Typically between January 15th and April 15th.

Do incoming freshmen have to submit the FAFSA to be considered for College of ACES Scholarships?

  • Incoming students are not required to submit the FAFSA to be considered for merit-based scholarships which are offered at the time of admission.
  • Please note that you must complete the FAFSA if you want to be considered for federal financial aid.  More information is available through the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Are there any College of ACES scholarships for which incoming freshmen must apply?

No, your application for admission doubles as your application for all other scholarships in the College of ACES.

Questions about the College of ACES scholarship program?

Please contact the ACES Academic Programs Office, 217-333-3380.