Collens Scholars Program

Illinois Tech established the Collens Scholarship Program in 2006 to benefit Chicago Public School and charter high school students across Chicago entering Illinois Tech. This scholarship honors former IIT President Lewis Collens, who served the university from 1990 to 2007, and marks his legacy of commitment to Chicago Public Schools and the city at large.

Collens Scholars come to Illinois Tech from public and charter high schools across Chicago, bringing greater knowledge and understanding of the communities around them. They are some of the strongest and most dedicated students in the city and on our campus.

Scholarship Benefits

  • Full-tuition and fee scholarship, renewable annually. This scholarship covers tuition and fee increases each year.
  • Housing scholarship of up to $5,000. It is competitive and offered to students who demonstrate a high standard of academic excellence, social service, and a desire to pursue a high-quality educational experience.
  • Participation in the Exelon Summer Institute (ESI). ESI is a required, 4-week residential summer program focused on experiential learning and peer mentorship that allows students to get ahead start on their college careers. 

How to Apply

  • Complete and submit an application for regular admission through the Common Application by January 15
  • Submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by January 15, using Illinois Tech's FAFSA code: 001691

Application Timeline

January 15 Last day to submit your completed Illinois Tech application through the Common App and submit your FAFSA
March Collens recipients will be notified 
May 1 Decision deadline to accept Collens Scholarship and confirm enrollment to Illinois Tech

Eligibility Requirements

  • Graduate from a Chicago public/charter high school; transfer students are not eligible.
  • Demonstrate significant financial need with an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less, or be Pell Grant eligible through the FAFSA
  • Be a United States citizen or permanent resident
  • Complete verification process with the Office of Financial Aid

All majors are open to receive the Collens Scholarship. Most Collens Scholars have ACT scores that range from a 23–30, have an average weighted grade-point average of a 3.9, or rank in the top 10 percent of their class.

PLEASE NOTE: The Collens Scholarship cannot be combined with other Illinois Tech merit scholarships such as Elevate, Heald, FIRST Robotics, VEX Robotics, Duchossois, Crown, Leadership Academy, Chicago Police and Fire, Camras, and more. If a student earns multiple Illinois Tech merit scholarships throughout the admission process, the university will award the highest merit award for which the student is qualified but will not combine multiple awards.