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Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois Fellowship

The Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois Program (DFI) was established by the Illinois General Assembly and signed as Public Act 093-0862 on August 4, 2004.  The goal of DFI is to increase the number of minority full-time tenure-track faculty and staff at Illinois’ two- and four-year, public and private colleges and universities. 

Eligibility Requirements 

ADMISSION

Applicants must be admitted to a Master's or Doctoral program at a participating institution at the time of application; and, if awarded, enroll as a full-time student as defined by the institution.

ILLINOIS RESIDENCY

To be classified as an Illinois resident, an applicant must have received a baccalaureate degree from an accredited educational institution in Illinois or received a baccalaureate degree from an accredited educational institution outside of Illinois and has lived in Illinois for a period of at least three years prior to applying for a grant. 

UNDERREPRESENTED GROUPS

African American, Hispanic American, Native American, Asian American, Alaskan Native, and Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander. "Traditionally underrepresented minority group" means any of the minority groups designated in the Act which are represented in Illinois post-baccalaureate enrollment at a percentage rate less than the percentage of the minority group's representation in the total Illinois population. The Illinois Board of Higher Education shall determine annually which groups are underrepresented based upon census data and annual graduate enrollment reports from Illinois institutions of higher education. 

ACADEMIC ABILITY

Applicants must possess above average academic ability as evidenced by:

1. An earned baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher learning; 

2. A minimum grade point average of 2.75 (scale 4.0 = A) in the last sixty hours of undergraduate work or over a 3.2 (scale 4.0 = A) in at least 9 hours of graduate study;

3. Unconditional admission to a post-baccalaureate degree program. 

ACADEMIC PURSUIT

Applicants in all academic disciplines are eligible. Applicants must be pursuing a doctorate or master's degree. Applicants must plan on pursuing a career in teaching or administration at an Illinois post-secondary institution or Illinois higher education governing board. 

FINANCIAL NEED

Applicants must demonstrate financial need. A FAFSA must be filed each year to maintain eligibility. 

Terms of the Award

Upon graduation or separation from the DFI institution, an award recipient must agree to actively seek and accept when offered a teaching or non-teaching full-time appointment at an Illinois post-secondary educational institution, or accept a position as an employee of this state in an administrative, educational-related position equal to the number of years for which he or she receives the DFI fellowship. Students failing to fulfill this condition of the award shall be required to repay 20 percent of their cumulative award amount, subject to revision by the DFI Program Board. 

The DFI Award is available for a maximum of four years: 

1. Doctorate Degree - Four (4) Years 

2. Master Degree - Two (2) Years 

Master’s degree holders funded through DFI are eligible to apply for additional years of support for doctoral study; total DFI funding is not to exceed four years

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS - ANTICIPATED DEADLINE: Friday, February 15, 2019 

We anticipate that the 2019-20 DFI Application Materials will be released in early-November 2018 and the applications deadline will likely be in mid-February 2019.

GRADUATE COLLEGE TRANSMITTAL FORM [ALL APPLICANTS]

NEW APPLICATION - NEW APPLICANTS

RENEWAL APPLICATION - [CURRENT/CONTINUING  DFI FELLOWS]

The student applicant must submit the 2019-20 DFI Fellowship Application electronically via Box.com. No paper copies will be accepted.  The student applicant must complete and submit the following: 

  • DFI Fellowship Transmittal Form 
    • Cost of Attendance [COA] - Required! - Obtain from UIC Student Account at myUIC.edu or Contact: UIC OSFA 
    • Expected Family Contribution [EFC] - Required! - Obtain from completing the FAFSA 
  • DFI Application
    • Letters of Recommendation 
    • Essays
  • 2019-20 Free Application for Federal Student Aid  [FAFSA] by Friday, February 8, 2019

We encourage all applicants to ask their respective Graduate Program Coordinator or DGS to review the fellowship application for thoroughness. Only complete and eligible applications will be forwarded to the statewide competition.  Students are required to upload complete applications as a PDF by Friday, February 15, 2019. Contact: Dr. Lunaire Ford, Assistant Dean at: lford@uic.edu with questions about the DFI Program.

INSTRUCTIONAL WORKSHOPS  

  • TO BE ANNOUNCED WHEN THE APPLICATION MATERIALS ARE RELEASED

FELLOWSHIPS AND STUDENT LOANS   

A fellowship will affect federal student loan or work-study. Typically, students with fellowships may not be permitted to borrow small amounts of federal loans due to the cost of attendance regulation.  Check with the Office of Student Financial Aid [OSFA] on eligibility requirements. If you have already received a refund for the current year in federal loans and you accept a fellowship, you may be responsible to return this refund to UIC.  Contact the OFSA for further information.

If applying for loans and/or work-study a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed. Click here for: FAFSA Website. Also, see the Graduate Student Guide from the OSFA for more information.