Will County Heroes Nursing and Teaching Scholarship (ARPA Grant)


$10 million of Will County’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding will be used to “prime the pipeline” for teacher candidates and nursing students who live in Will County and expect to work at a Will County education or healthcare institution, respectively, after graduation. This opportunity is called the Will County Heroes Nursing & Teaching Scholarship.

Will County has awarded four higher education partners – Governors State University, University of St. Francis, Lewis University, and Joliet Junior College – funds to generate a pathway for enrollment, education, and employment. Each institution received $2,500,000.  This Monetary Award Program – like (MAP) approach – will award participants $2,500 per semester, or $5,000 per academic year, in college tuition and fees as an education and employment incentive for professionals to stay and work in Will County.

Scholarship dollars will be available through fall 2026 or until funding is exhausted.  Please note that based on current spending trends, JJC anticipates exhausting all funding by summer/ fall 2025.

Students must complete the Joliet Junior College Student Attestation/ Scholarship Application each semester for which they are requesting scholarship dollars.

  • Student Eligibility

    This scholarship is available to students taking classes at JJC with the intention of pursuing one of the following professions:

    • Elementary education teacher (first through eighth grade)
    • Secondary education teacher (high school)
    • Special education teacher
    • Nurse
       

    This scholarship is available to students who attest to one or more of the following:

    • Low or moderate income households (income at or below 300% of Federal Poverty Guidelines for the size of the household);
    • Households that experienced unemployment as a result of the pandemic; and/or
    • Households that qualify for Medicaid, PELL, SNAP, or WIC.
       

    Students must complete the Joliet Junior College Student Attestation/ Scholarship Application each semester for which they are requesting scholarship dollars.  No one can submit a scholarship application on another individual's behalf.

  • Joliet Junior College Student Attestation/ Scholarship Application

    Students must complete the Joliet Junior College Student Attestation/ Scholarship Application each semester for which they are requesting scholarship dollars.  Do not complete this form if you are applying as a Dual Credit student; Dual Credit students must submit a separate scholarship application; see accordion links below for more information.

    • Fall 2024 Scholarship Application
      • Start date: March 1, 2024
      • End date: August 12, 2024, 5:00 pm - Please note this date is subject to change depending on available funding.
         
    • Spring 2025 Scholarship Application
      • Start date: October 1, 2024
      • End date: January 20, 2025, 5:00 pm - Please note this date is subject to change depending on available funding.
         
    • Summer 2025 Scholarship Application
      • Start date: April 1, 2025
      • End date: June 2, 2025, 5:00 pm - Please note this date is subject to change depending on available funding.  
         
    • Fall 2025 Scholarship Application
      • Start date: April 1, 2025
      • End date: August 4, 2025, 5:00 pm - Please note this date is subject to change depending on available funding.  

    Last updated July 3, 2024.

  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    • Do I have to complete the FAFSA or Rise Act application to be eligible?
      • No, however students are highly encouraged to complete the FAFSA, or the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid, so they may be eligible for additional financial assistance.
         
    • Who can I contact if I have questions about completing the FAFSA or the Rise Act application?
    • Do I need to be a full-time student?
      • No, both part-time and full-time students are eligible to apply.
         
    • Is there a minimum GPA requirement?
      • No, there is no minimum GPA requirement.  Students who are on Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Termination or Maximum Timeframe are still eligible to apply.
         
    • Who is eligible to apply?
      • JJC students taking classes with the intention of becoming (1) an elementary education teacher (first through eighth grade), (2) a secondary education teacher (high school), (3) a special education teacher, or (4) a nurse, AND who qualify by meeting one or more of the following financial criteria: (1) student household has a low or moderate income (income at or below 300% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for the size of the household), (2) student household experienced unemployment as a result of the pandemic, and/or (3) student household qualified for Medicaid, PELL, SNAP, or WIC.
         
    • What if I am a nursing student but I don't meet any of the financial criteria from the previous question?  Am I still eligible to receive the Will County Heroes Nursing & Teaching Scholarship?
      • While you will not be eligible to receive the Will County Heroes Nursing &Teaching Scholarship, if you are interested in a nursing or allied health program, you may still be eligible for PATH Grant funding.  To learn more, please contact the Center for Academic Success in Healthcare (CASH) at 815-280-2795 or you may email Lisa Cooley, CASH Secretary, at Lisa.Cooley@jjc.edu
         
    • Am I eligible to apply if I intend to be an early childhood educator?
      • If it is your intention to become an early childhood educator, this means you are not eligible for the Will County Heroes Nursing & Teaching Scholarship.  You may still be eligible for the Early Childhood Access Consortium for Equity (ECACE) Scholarship.  To learn more, please visit this website, or you may also contact Rebecca Caldwell, Grant Manager, at 815-280-6735 or rcaldwel@jjc.edu.    
         
    • What will the Will County Heroes Nursing & Teaching Scholarship cover?
      • Scholarship applicants may receive up to $2,500 per semester, and up to $5,000 per academic year (fall, spring, summer) for tuition and fees.
      • This scholarship will be disbursed after MAP but before PELL and NESP.  In other words, this scholarship will only apply once MAP has been exhausted and if outstanding tuition and fee charges remain on your student account.
         
    • Does the Will County Heroes Nursing & Teaching Scholarship cover Study Abroad fees?
      • No, this scholarship cannot cover Study Abroad expenses.
         
    • Do I need to complete this scholarship application each semester?
      • Yes, scholarship application start dates and end dates are posted above under the Joliet Junior College Student Attestation/ Scholarship Application heading.
         
    • Will this scholarship cover prerequisites to become an elementary education teacher, a secondary education teacher, a special education teacher, or a nurse?
      • Yes.
         
    • If I receive these scholarship dollars, will I have to pay them back?
      • No, however, if a student drops a course, these scholarship dollars will not be refunded directly to the student.  
         
    • If I receive this scholarship, when will the dollars disburse into my account?
      • Applications will be processed weekly, when the college is open.  
         
    • As an undocumented student, am I eligible to apply?
      • Yes.
         
    • As an F-1 Visa International Student, am I eligible to apply?
      • Yes, please indicate you are an F-1 Visa International Student when prompted as part of the scholarship application.
         
    • How can I view my Heroes award or see if I am failing eligibility rules?
      • You can view your estimated award amount on Self Service Student Finance Account Summary.
        • Log into: my.jjc.edu
        • Self Service Menu > Pay Bill & View Financial Aid > Financial Aid Self-Service
        • Choose Student Finance Account Summary. Select the semester.
        • View your Financial Aid breakdown and use the blue Calculator tool from the Restricted Award Comment.
      • You can also view any award eligibility rules that you are not meeting.
         
    • When will I receive my summer semester Heroes award?
      • Because students are eligible to receive $2,500 per semester but are limited to $5,000 per academic year (fall, spring, summer), summer Heroes awards are not disbursed until mid-April.  This allows time for all spring Heroes awards to be processed so that JJC has a clear picture of exactly how much of the original $5,000 awarded is still available to each student.
         
    • When will I receive my fall semester Heroes award?
      • Students can anticipate receiving fall semester Heroes dollars as early as mid-July depending on timing of their application submission.  Please note: JJC anticipates expending all funding during or before the fall 2025 semester.  Should you submit a fall 2025 Heroes Scholarship application, please review your JJC emails carefully to learn the amount awarded.
         
    • When will I receive my spring semester Heroes award?
      • Students can anticipate receiving spring semester Heroes dollars as early as mid-November depending on timing of their application submission.
         
    • Can I submit a Heroes Scholarship application for someone else?
      • No.  Students must submit their own Heroes Scholarship applications.  Scholarship applications submitted on another's behalf will be denied.
         
    • Who can I contact with questions about this application?
      • Dr. Stephanie L. McIntyre-Braun
        Dean, Academic Intervention, Support, and Student Development Grants
        Will County Heroes Nursing & Teaching Scholarship Manager
        RMB-1008 at Romeoville Campus
        Joliet Junior College
        1125 West Romeo Road (135th Street)
        Romeoville, IL  60446
        Phone: 1-815-280-2824
        Email: sbraun@jjc.edu
         
      • Amber Maldonado
        Grants Administrative Assistant
        A-3023 at Main Campus
        Joliet Junior College
        1215 Houbolt Road
        Joliet, IL  60431
        Phone: 1-815-280-2540
        Email: ammaldon@jjc.edu 
         

    Last updated July 9, 2024.

  • Dual Credit Students and ARPA Grant

    Dual Credit is a way for high school students to get high school and college credit for courses they take at their high school.

    High school students who meet the eligibility criteria for the ARPA Grant will have an opportunity to express interest in receiving funds through a grant sign-up sheet that the Dual Credit Office will send to each dual credit classroom.  Once the Dual Credit Office receives the sign-up sheet from the high schools, students will receive a link to complete the online scholarship application using their JJC student email account.  

    ARPA Grant recipients may receive up to $200 per semester to fund dual credit tuition.  Students must apply for the ARPA Grant each semester.  Since dual credit students are billed for tuition as soon as they are registered for classes, students who are eligible for the ARPA Grant should apply as soon as possible to avoid receiving billing notices in their JJC email account.

    To learn more about financial assistance for Dual Credit, please call 815-280-6927.  You may also visit the Dual Credit FAQs webpage to learn more.

    Dual Credit students must complete the application below each semester to be considered for ARPA Grant funding.

    • Fall 2024 Scholarship Application
      • Start date: March 1, 2024
      • End date: November 1, 2024, 5:00 pm - Please note this date is subject to change depending on available funding. 
    • Spring 2025 Scholarship Application
      • Start date: October 1, 2024
      • End date: April 1, 2025, 5:00 pm - Please note this date is subject to change depending on available funding. 

     

    Last updated June 10, 2024.

  • JJC Heroes Scholarship in the News

     

    Last updated June 26, 2024.