University officials announce new scholarship opportunities

By Northern Star Staff

DeKALB — NIU is investing upward of $5 million in two new scholarships that will help make college more affordable in fall 2019, and can also cover the full cost of tuition and fees for many incoming students.

The AIM HIGH and NIU Partner scholarships will be made available to undergraduate students from Illinois. NIU President Lisa Freeman said students may not be receiving the financial help they deserve for their respective achievements.

“Too often we see students with outstanding high school academic credentials who express interest in studying at NIU, but who ultimately choose not to pursue college at all, often because of cost,” Freeman said, according to an Oct. 11 news release. “[These scholarships] can completely change the equation for many of those students.”

The new programs are part of NIU’s pledge to increase scholarship funding by
nearly 30 percent in the fall of 2019 semester. A $2.73 million grant by the state was matched by NIU to support the scholarships.

To qualify for AIM HIGH, students must be academically eligible for the merit scholarships, meet AIM HIGH standards regarding household incomes and file FAFSA by NIU’s deadline. Students can receive up to $2,500 annually through this scholarship.

A one-time grant of $3,000 will be given to students who attend schools that have close ties to NIU. Students who graduate from a DeKalb County high school and enroll at NIU in the fall of 2019 are also eligible to receive the scholarship.

“If we don’t engage and educate capable graduates of Illinois high schools and community colleges, we are undermining the economic vitality of our state,” Freeman said.

Sol Jensen, president of enrollment management, marketing and communications, said helping students financially in their college lives has always been a priority.

“These new scholarships are an extension of a long list of things we do to keep an NIU education affordable,” Jensen said, according to an Oct. 11 news release. “They continue to demonstrate how we are devoted to focusing on a brighter future for all who want to pursue a degree.”