1. What specific services do you offer to students?
Our office provides a wide range of services to students. First, we try to make students aware of the nationally competitive scholarships that are available, and we provide information about eligibility for these awards. In addition, we try to help students locate additional awards that might apply to them. Our office focuses on a list of national awards, but we also know about other, smaller awards, and we have a library of scholarship books with hundreds of scholarship listings. Second, we support students as they work through the scholarship application process. We accomplish this goal by helping students work on written materials for applications (personal statements, project outlines, etc.), develop their resumes, and put together the most professional application possible. A part of this process is providing students with other support such as obtaining transcripts, sending materials, and providing other clerical resources.
**While any student is welcome to use our website in their scholarship search, the services we provide are only available to alumni or students who are currently enrolled at The University of Illinois at Chicago.**
2. What scholarship related resources are available for student use?
OSSP offers a variety of resources for student use. We encourage all students to sign up for our listserv. Once a week, we send out a newsletter highlighting new and upcoming opportunities.
Students are always welcome to talk with staff to discuss scholarships. In addition, students have access to a library of scholarship books, which are available for check out. For several national fellowships, we have printed materials provided by the sponsoring organization. Finally, the OSSP website offers a scholarship links page which provides links to some of the most useful scholarship resources on the web.
3. Can all UIC students come to the OSSP?"
OSSP serves all UIC undergraduate students and selected graduate students (those in a professional or other program not a part of the Graduate College). The Graduate Fellowships Office is dedicated specifically to helping UIC graduate students as they apply for scholarships and fellowships. Graduate students should contact Marie Khan at email@example.com or (312) 355-3456.
4. When should students come to OSSP?
Students should come when they are ready to investigate the scholarship opportunities that are available to them! Many scholarships call for a large amount of lead time between the due date for the application and the time that the money is awarded. This means, if you are interested in finding funding for a given year of school, you should come during the prior academic year to apply for scholarships.
5. How do I make an appointment?
If you would like to make an appointment to discuss a scholarship that you are ready to apply for, or one that you have materials created for already, please call (312) 355-2477 or stop by our office -- 802 University Hall.
6. Where is the OSSP located?
The Office of Special Scholarship Programs is located in room 802 of the University Hall Building (UH). University Hall is located on the East Campus of UIC on Harrison Street, just off the intersection with Morgan Street.
7. What are the office hours?
Generally, OSSP is open 8:30am-5:00pm, Monday through Friday. The office is open during the summer. It is always a good idea to make an appointment if you would like an opportunity to meet with someone one-on-one, or to sign up for an information session if you would like general questions covered in a more conversational setting with other students.
8. What kinds of scholarships does OSSP deal with?
The Office of Special Scholarship Programs focuses on a select group of nationally competitive scholarships (see Nationally-Competitve Awards page). This focus is due in large part to the fact that many of the national organizations that bestow these awards require nomination or approval from the sponsoring university. In addition, OSSP seeks to help students locate other awards sponsored by organizations other than UIC, including those for use for graduate and professional school, study abroad or undergraduate education.
9. What does 'nationally competitive' mean?
When we say that a scholarship is 'nationally competitive' we mean that applicants from all across the United States are applying for the award. Often, this indicates an increased level of competitiveness over awards that may be sponsored by local entities such as the State of Illinois or a Chicago based organization. In addition, these awards are generally viewed as the hardest to win, and therefore, may require a substantial amount of preparatory work. While many perceive that these awards generally go to students attending elite private institutions, this is not the case. UIC and many other state universities have candidates who win these prestigious awards on a regular basis. Please see our scholarship winners news for recent award recipients from UIC.
10. Is there a particular deadline to be eligible for scholarships?
Because our office works with a variety of scholarships and fellowships, there is no single deadline that students must meet. It is important to note that most UIC scholarships have deadlines during the springtime, and mostly require 12 hours completed at UIC with a GPA of 3.0 or above. Additionally, there are very few scholarship deadlines during June, July, and August, but that is an excellent time to come in early to get scholarship help for awards with fall deadlines; Students should not wait until just prior to the deadline when they, and many others, are likely to need assistance.
11. Which honor societies should I join? Are all honor societies legitimate?
As a student with strong grades, you will likely be invited to join honor societies. Most of them are legitimate organizations, but from time to time we hear about suspicious organizations offering membership for a fee that turn out to be simply scams. Honor societies with an established history at UIC have access to your overall GPA but those outside the university do not. UIC sponsored honor societies are listed on this Honors College page.
Joining an honor society may help affirm to others that you are a student in good standing; it may offer you the chance to apply for scholarships offered by the society and, if it is an honor society in your major, it may offer useful advice about the field you are going into and career-specific awards.
As a general rule, you do not look better to a graduate program, employer or scholarship competition if you are in 5 honor societies as opposed to one or two. In choosing what groups to join, consider how much they are asking you to pay and what you get from the payment (a newsletter? A pin? An induction ceremony? The chance to compete for scholarships? Prestige?) You may also want to ask faculty and staff if the organization is well-recognized and well-respected. If the name of the honor society is unfamiliar, consider the advice on this website in evaluating whether to join:
You can also check the UIC Undergraduate Catalog for an understanding of graduating with honors:
12. Where do I find scholarships?
Scholarships are offered through the university and from outside sources for incoming students, continuing students and graduating seniors. High school students applying to UIC only need to apply to the university and the designated special programs they are interested in (e.g. Honors College, GPPA, Business Scholars) to be considered for ALL scholarships available to incoming freshmen.
Continuing students can apply for UIC-based scholarships through UIC SnAP. Students can find external scholarships on the Scholarships section on this site, on our listserv, and in our library in 802 UH (M-F, 9-5).
If you'd like to receive updates on awards that are a fit for you, please fill out our Student Information Form.
13. What is UIC SNAP?
The UIC Scholarship and Awards Program or UIC SnAP is UIC’s portal for continuing students to apply for scholarships. If you are an undergraduate, graduate student or professional program student you are likely to find scholarships in the system that will fit you. Most UIC scholarships are live in the system in spring and the funds apply to your account the following fall. Some awards require you to write essays and submit a resume. Others may request references or other supporting material. A variety of awards are available year round. Use your UIC account to log into uic.academicworks.com to apply.
14. How can I find out more about the Guaranteed Professional Program Admission (GPPA) initiative?
The GPPA is a program available for high school students applying to UIC. If admitted, a GPPA student is guaranteed a seat in the professional or graduate college they chose in their application. More information can be found at gppa.uic.edu
15. Am I eligible to apply for scholarships?
The answer is “yes”! The more complicated part is finding that award on the right timeline. Students with all types of backgrounds: permanent residents, undocumented students, students with disabilities, non-traditional (age-wise) students, students without 3.5-4 gpa’s –it may take a bit of looking but there are options available. Start with our listserv, website and library in 8020 UH (M-F, 9-5).
16. Are there scholarships for undocumented students?
17. Are there scholarships for students with particular disabilities?
Yes, depending on the disability. OSSP staff is willing to help you with your search. Please contact us for assistance.