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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

More Details Offered About NIU 'Huskie Pledge' Grant

Holmes Student Center at Northern Illinois University.

Last week, Northern Illinois Universityannounced the Huskie Pledge. The grant could cover tuition and fees for a student’s first year and up to four additional years.

The university is now offering more details on what the process will look like for students interested in applying.

Students have to enroll as full-time freshmen at NIU next fall to be eligible. They also have to be Illinois residents with a minimum high school GPA of 3.0 and have no more than $75,000 in household income.

Sol Jensen is the vice president of enrollment management, marketing and communications at NIU. He says the University hopes to continue offering the grant as long as they have the state funding for it.

“We feel like this is a really important step acknowledging how our mission fits with the opportunity of many of the students who we know are out there and want to enroll at NIU, but just may not have that last little bit of financial commitment,” he said.

To continue renewing it yearly, students have to hit a 2.5 GPA at NIU and their household income can’t exceed $80,000.

Jensen says students seeking the grant should apply to NIU and submit their FAFSA before the February deadline.

“We hope that for students who even come to us after February 1, we hope that we'll still be able to have some funding available,” he said. “Or if this is a hugely successful program that we’ll be able to, I don't know, try and find some additional funding.”

The university has around $1 million devoted to the Huskie Pledge. This includes money from Illinois’ new AIM high scholarship, which was passed to try to keep students in-state.

Current students are not eligible to apply for the Huskie Pledge.

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