top of page
  • NASW-IL Staff

COMING SOON! Post-Master of Social Work School Social Work Professional Educator License Scholarship

Updated: Jan 10, 2023

Looking to go back to school and get your professional educator license (PEL) to work as a school social worker? The Illinois Student Assisance Commission (ISAC) has provided an update on the status of the newly created Post-Master of Social Work School Social Work Professional Educator License Scholarship Program which will allow MSWs who didn’t specialize in school social work to return to college and have their college tuition paid for to complete the bridge post-MSW PEL program. One of NASW-IL's priority bills last session that was championed and sponsored by Senator Ann Gillespie and State Representative Lindsey LaPointe, the bill received budget appropriation this spring. Help us push for more legislation like this that benefit Illinois social workers and our communities by joining/renewing your NASW membership today!

The Post-Master of Social Work School Social Work Professional Educator License Scholarship Program was designed to encourage students to work as social workers in Illinois schools and to provide minority children with access to a greater number of positive minority role models, more reflective of the diversity of Illinois students. Each scholarship pays tuition and mandatory fee costs for an academic year (including summer) at Illinois public universities.

As part of the application process, you must agree to the terms and conditions outlined in the application's Teaching Agreement/Promissory Note. By receiving this scholarship, you must work as a social worker in an Illinois school. If this commitment is not fulfilled, the scholarship converts to a loan, and you must repay the entire amount, plus interest.


To be eligible, you must fulfill the following:

  • be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen

  • hold a valid Illinois clinical social work license or social work license

  • have obtained a master’s degree in social work from an approved program

  • take courses to obtain an Illinois Professional Educator License with an Endorsement in School Social Work

  • enroll or be accepted for enrollment, on at least a half-time basis, at the University of Illinois, Southern Illinois University, Chicago State University, Governors State University, Illinois State University, or Northeastern Illinois University.

*As of August 31, 2022, the following schools do not have a post-graduate PEL program: Eastern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, or Western Illinois University.

HOW TO APPLY—Coming in fall 2022

Once the application is available – anticipated for late fall of 2022 – it will be accessed via the Program Applications & Status Checks area of the Student Portal. The online application has built-in edits to prevent errors, and we will send immediate confirmation to your e-mail address that your application has been received. If your application, including required documentation, is incomplete, you will receive a letter from ISAC explaining the reason(s) and advising how to resolve the issue. Qualified applicants will be sent a Notice of Eligibility letter from ISAC.

Deadline dates by which applications must be submitted, will be established for each term.


ISAC works with the college to disburse funds for this program. The college certifies student eligibility and then – after the application deadline has passed for each term – submits a payment request on behalf of the student. ISAC processes the payment request and submits the information to the State Comptroller's Office. Dependent on the level of State of Illinois funding at the time of the request, the amount of time it takes for funds to arrive at the college can vary anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

Depending on the college, students may be responsible for payment until program funds are received. Qualified applicants who are awaiting receipt of funds from this program should contact the Financial Aid Office or Business Office to determine the college's policy.


For a round-up of other bills that the NASW-Illinois Chapter pushed for during the past spring 2022 legislative session as well as other advocacy-related news, click one of the links below:

NASW-Illinois Chapter

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world, with over 120,000 members. The NASW-Illinois Chapter is one of the association's largest chapters representing over 20,000 licensed Illinois social workers and school social workers, with over 5,000 active members. NASW strives to advance social work careers, grow social work businesses, and protect the profession.

911 views0 comments


bottom of page