Edge Award Policy

Formerly known as the Elevate Award

After students earn an Edge Award, they can utilize this award in an approved Elevate experience. The award is a financial resource to help pay for experience-related costs at the time of a student’s choosing. This experience must be one where the student does not earn additional Edge Awards upon completion of said experience. To use the Edge Award, students must submit an Edge Award request form to provide details about their chosen experience, what they are requesting to use the award for, the amounts they are requesting, and to attach the relevant documentation. Students can request to use their Edge Award for several different types of expenses when filling out one request form.

The Edge Award can be processed either as a reimbursement after purchasing items, or up front before purchasing items. To use the award after purchasing, students will need to provide receipts that clearly show the total paid (either a digital copy of a physical receipt, or a screen capture of a confirmation email). To use the award before purchasing, students will need to provide documentation that confirms price for the expenses they plan to pay for. For example, this could be a screen capture for the cost of a flight that a student is planning to book. In either case, this documentation will be provided when a student submits an Edge Award request form.

The Edge Award can be used for the following expenses while participating in an Elevate experience:
  • Airfare
  • Lodging
  • Program deposits or program fees
  • Meals
  • Transportation (gas, bus fare, or train fare)
  • Tuition (only for summer courses or courses considered Elevate experiences, such as study away or faculty-led research)
  • On-campus housing and meal plans (only while participating in an Elevate experience)

How to Use Your Edge Award

  1. Choose an Elevate experience that you would like to participate in. If your chosen program is not listed on the Elevate website, please still complete the same steps below.
  2. Begin completing an Edge Award request form.
    • Attach documentation to confirm your participation in the program, if applicable.
    • Indicate what expenses you would like to use your Edge Award for and how much.
    • Attach documentation to confirm the cost of these expenses, if applicable.
  3. After submitting the request form, keep an eye on your Hawk email for any updates or requests for additional information. Once the award is added to your account, it will either apply to your student bill or be sent as a refund, depending on whether you are using the Edge Award for billable or non-billable expenses.

Billable Expenses

Billable expenses include any costs that are charged and listed on your student bills, such as tuition, mandatory fees, on-campus housing, and on-campus meal plans.

When using the Edge Award for billable expenses, the award will be placed on your account and applied directly to your bill. Price documentation is not required for this type of expense, as the price will be listed on your bill.

All tuition and fees are subject to revision by Illinois Tech’s Board of Trustees.

Non-Billable Expenses

Non-billable expenses include any external costs that are not charged or listed on your student bills, such as airfare, program fees, off-campus lodging, transportation, and meals.

When using the Edge Award for non-billable expenses, the award will be placed on your account and sent as a refund, meaning that the award will be sent directly to your personal bank account so that it can be used for these external costs. Refunds are sent one of two ways: direct deposit or paper check. Before using the Edge Award for non-billable items, we encourage you to confirm your refund method in your myIIT portal. On the Welcome page of the portal, scroll down to “Student Accounting Dashboard” (underneath the Registration and Financial Aid Dashboards). Select “Manage My Account,” which will bring you to a new screen. Select the “Refunds” tab and begin the process by enrolling in two-step verification. Any questions regarding the refund process should be directed to the Office of Student Accounting.

Participation Documentation

Depending on which type of Elevate experience you have chosen, you may need to include documentation with your Edge Award request form to confirm your enrollment or participation in the program.

  • If your chosen Elevate experience is an internship, external research, a partner/provider study away program, a co-op, a conference, a competition, or professional skills development: you are required to provide documentation of your participation. Documentation may be a confirmation email, a receipt for a paid deposit/fee, or written confirmation from the program’s organization.
  • If your chosen Elevate experience is a faculty-led study away, exchange (GE3) study away, or a faculty-led research course: you are not required to provide documentation of your participation. This is because you will be enrolling in credit hours at Illinois Tech for these experiences.

Details and Documentation for Each Expense Type

Depending on which type of expenses you will be using your Edge Award for, you may need to include documentation with your Edge Award request form to confirm the total cost.

  • If you will be using your Edge Award for airfare, lodging, or program deposits/fees: you are required to provide documentation.
  • If you will be using your Edge Award for meals or any billable expenses (tuition, on-campus housing, or on-campus meal plans): you are not required to provide documentation.

Using the Edge Award for airfare or lodging (non-billable)

The Edge Award can be utilized for airfare and off-campus lodging while participating in an Elevate experience. Documentation must be submitted with the Edge Award request form to confirm the cost, even if you have not purchased airfare or lodging yet.

  • To receive the award before purchasing: attach documentation that confirms the price of the airfare/lodging you plan to purchase. This can be a screen capture of a webpage, but must clearly display the destination and the total price of the airfare/lodging.
  • To receive the award after purchasing: attach a receipt for the flight(s)/lodging that you have purchased. This can be a screen capture of an email or webpage, but must clearly display the destination and the total paid.

Once the award is added to your account, a staff member will email you to confirm, and the award will be processed as a refund.

Using the EdgeAward for program deposits or fees (non-billable)

The Edge Award can be utilized for program deposits/fees that are required for an Elevate experience. Documentation must be submitted with the Edge Award request form to confirm the cost, even if you have not paid the deposit/fee yet.

  • To receive the award before purchasing: attach documentation from the program’s organization that confirms the amount of the deposit or fee. This can be a screen capture of an email or webpage, but must clearly display the total price and the name of the organization (if outside Illinois Tech).
  • To receive the award after purchasing: attach a receipt for the deposit/fee you have paid for. This can be a screen capture of an email or webpage, but must clearly display the total paid for the deposit/fee.

Once the award is added to your account, a staff member will email you to confirm, and the award will be processed as a refund.

Using the Edge Award for meals (non-billable)

Instead of collecting documentation, staff will confirm your Edge Award meal total by using a per diem rate. This rate is determined by the US General Services Administration and will be calculated based on the location and length of your Elevate experience. Due to this, the award will be processed up front (before purchasing).

When completing the Edge Award request form, you may select “calculate my amount for meals using the per diem rate”, or you may select “other” and type in a specific amount you want to use for meals. When your request is received, staff will calculate the cost using the per diem rate to confirm; if the per diem calculation results in an amount different than what you’ve indicated on the form, staff will process the lesser amount between the two.

Using the Edge Award for gas (non-billable)

There is no documentation required to confirm the price when using the Edge Award for gas, and the award will be processed up front (before purchasing). To confirm the cost of your gas, you will provide an estimate on the request form for how many miles you anticipate driving throughout your Elevate experience, and staff will calculate the amount based on the government rate.

Using the Edge Award for train or bus fare (non-billable)

Instead of collecting documentation for each time the train or bus is used, students should calculate an estimate of what their overall cost will be throughout their Elevate experience. Due to this, the award will be processed up front (before purchasing). On the request form, you will provide the total you will need, as well as information on the frequency of travel. For example: “$45 total, for getting to and from my research program each day” or "$15, one round-trip ride to and from Paris".

Using the Edge Award for tuition (billable)

There is no documentation required to confirm the price when using the Edge Award for tuition, as tuition charges will be listed on your student bill.

When completing the Edge Award request form, you may select “remaining tuition after other grants/scholarships apply”, or you may select “other” and type in a specific amount you want to use towards tuition. Please note that when using the former method, the award will not be added to your account until the exact amount is confirmed. The Edge Award will be added to your account and applied directly to your billed tuition charges.

The Edge Award can only be used for tuition during the summer term or when the course(s) you are taking is classified as an Elevate experience, such as faculty-led study away, exchange (GE3) study away, or faculty-led research. The Edge Award cannot be used to cover tuition for courses required for your degree.

Using Edge Award for Tuition
Semester(s) Edge Eligibility
Fall & Spring Must be approved by the Elevate Team
Summer All courses

 

All tuition and fees are subject to revision by Illinois Tech’s Board of Trustees.

Using the Edge Award for on-campus housing or meal plans (billable)

There is no documentation required to confirm the price when using the Edge Award for housing/food, as the charges will be listed on your student bill. The Edge Award will be added to your account and applied directly to your billed housing or meal plan charges.

The Edge Award can only be used for housing or meal plan costs during your participation in an Elevate experience. The Edge Award cannot be used to cover housing and food while taking only courses required for your degree.

Timeline For Award Usage

The Edge Award cannot be used retroactively (such as for an Elevate experience before your Edge Award was earned). You must already have available Edge Award funds at the start of your Elevate experience.

The Edge Award can only be used while you are considered an active, degree-seeking student at Illinois Tech. If you have withdrawn or taken a leave of absence, you may only use your Edge Award once you have been reinstated to the university.

The Edge award cannot be used for any experiences that occur while having an inactive status or after graduation. We highly encourage students to meet with the Elevate Success Team for help in planning their Elevate experience prior to graduation. Once you have graduated, you will no longer be eligible for Edge Award usage.