Center for Rural Health

Nursing Education Scholarship Program FAQs

When is the application period?

Applications are accepted each year beginning March 1 and ending May 31. Applications must be postmarked on or before May 31.

How do I obtain an application?

It is recommended that you apply online at However, applications can be downloaded and printed from the site if you prefer to submit a paper application. You may also call (800) 821-3635 or TTY (for hearing impaired only) (800) 547-0466 to request that an application be emailed or mailed to you. Applications may also be available at your school’s financial aid office.

What does a complete application include?

A complete application includes: 1) a copy of your Student Aid Report or Free Application for Federal Student Aid (SAR or FAFSA) indicating the Expected Family Contribution (EFC); 2) an up-to-date copy of your transcript indicating your GPA (Grade Point Average); 3) a completed and signed application; and 4) if licensed, a copy of your nursing license. Only complete applications will be processed.

What is a SAR or FAFSA and how do I receive one?

You need to apply for your SAR through FAFSA,, or contact your school's financial aid office. If you have trouble completing the FAFSA application, you may contact your financial aid officer or call (800) FED-AID (800-433-3243) or TTY (for hearing impaired only) (800) 730-8913.

What can I expect after the Center for Rural Health receives my application?

We will evaluate your application to determine if it is complete. If your application is complete, you will receive an email notice stating your application is complete. If your application is not complete, you will receive one email notice stating the components that are missing from your application and reminding you of the deadline for you to submit the additional information. You will be notified in late July if you are selected or denied. Denials are sent via email and selections are sent in a package via standard mail.

Who is eligible for the Nursing Education Scholarship Program?

Illinois residents attending a nursing school in Illinois pursuing a certificate in practical nursing, an associate degree in nursing, a hospital-based nursing diploma, a baccalaureate degree in nursing or a graduate degree in nursing. Applicants pursuing a graduate degree will be required to teach nursing in Illinois. Applicants must also be a citizen or lawful permanent resident alien of the United States.

How are the payments disbursed and when can I expect payments if I am selected?

Tuition is paid directly to your school’s financial aid office. Living stipends are mailed to you. You can expect payment for the fall semester in October and the spring semester in February.

I received the scholarship last year, what do I need to do this year to continue receiving the scholarship?

As a previous recipient, you will be sent renewal contracts along with a renewal application. Please do not complete the online application.

If I am receiving another scholarship(s) and am awarded the IDPH scholarship, how does this affect me?

The IDPH scholarship will pay tuition and fees owed after all other awards have been credited and up to the amount your level of study is eligible to receive. You will still be eligible for the living stipend.

If I am a recipient, what is my obligation?

As a recipient of the scholarship, you are required to work as a nurse anywhere in Illinois either in direct patient care or as a Nurse Educator for the same number of years you receive the scholarship.

What if I complete my education, but do not fulfill my obligation?

If you fail to meet your obligation, you are required to pay back the amount you received monetarily plus 7% interest.

If I am a recipient and I am not able to pass my boards, what is my obligation?

If you fail to pass your boards, you are required to pay back the amount you received monetarily plus 7% interest.

If I become disabled or need to postpone my education for personal reasons, will I be able to resume my scholarship in the future? What if I am unable to fulfill my employment obligation?

A deferment of school or employment obligation must be requested in writing from the Department and will be evaluated on a case by case basis. If a recipient suffers total and permanent disability, the nursing employment obligation shall be excused and deemed satisfied.

What do I need to do when I move, change phone numbers, email addresses or have other changes in my contact information?

You must write or email the Center for Rural Health within 7 days of any change of contact information.

What can I expect once I complete my obligation?

Once you have documented that you have fulfilled your obligation, you will receive a letter from the Illinois Department of Public Health stating your obligation has been completed.


Rural Health Home

idph online home
about the department home

Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
Questions or Comments