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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Huskie Pledge to modify gross family income requirements

MLK Commons sits empty surrounded by leafless trees. NIU’s AIM High Huskie Pledge adjusts a requirement to allow more students to qualify. (Northern Star file photo)

DeKALB – The Huskie Pledge is raising its eligibility requirements to require a gross family income of $75,000 to $100,000 annually starting in the 2024-2025 school year.

AIM High Huskie Pledge is a program for Illinois high school seniors that covers their entire tuition their freshman year at NIU.

AIM High is an Illinois state grant that splits funding between 12 Illinois public four year universities.

The Huskie Pledge is the part of AIM High that directly affects NIU and incoming huskies. This program started in 2020. 

“Qualifying students from Illinois that graduate with a high school GPA over 3.0 can pay no tuition to fees for their first year at NIU and even beyond,” said Sol Jensen, vice president for Enrollment Management, Marketing and Communications.

In order to qualify for the grant, students must be an incoming freshman, have a high school GPA of at least 3.0, an Illinois resident and be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours at NIU along with now having their families annual gross income be no more than $100,000.

“There is a total of $50 million per year that the states provide in total to all of the institutions and it is all divvied up by enrollment at the institution,” Jensen said. 

The students who qualify for this program are allowed to apply or renew the waiver for up to 135 credit hours at NIU. They must keep an NIU GPA of 2.5 or higher. 

“We have had over 3,500 students over these four years who have been qualified for our Huskie Pledge program,” Jensen said. 

“I think this is good because it will help students and families in need,” said Josh McNeely, a junior criminal justice major.

Due to the date changes with the FAFSA, the applications for the AIM High Huskie pledge has been pushed back to Apr. 1 this year.  

“It’s good because this will allow more students to be considered,” said McKenzie Cumbo, a junior marketing major.

Incoming students can apply for the AIM High Huskie Pledge grant by applying to NIU and filling out the FAFSA or Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid. 

For more information, check out the NIU Huskie Pledge website.

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