Illinois State University
Illinois State University
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Financial Aid

Financial aid for graduate students in history comes in two forms—Graduate Teaching Assistantships and Tuition Waiver.

  • Take note that the process of applying for financial aid is a separate process from applying for admission and that separate applications must be submitted for a Graduate Assistantship and for a tuition waiver.

Graduate Assistantships

Several graduate teaching assistantships (GTAs) are available each fall and spring semesters, which offer stipend plus  tuition waivers. Competition for these awards—which serve as our primary means of financial support—can be, as you would expect, tough, with applicants normally having a GPA of 3.2 or more, sometimes considerably more.

The department’s Graduate Committee typically reviews applications for assistantships following its review of applications for admission. Applicants are initially judged on the basis of academic and student achievement, and recommendations. Once we receive word from the Graduate School that admission letters have been sent we can then contact students who have applied for assistantships. Most assistantships are awarded within three to five weeks following the application deadline, but the department sometime receives additional funding for assistantships just prior to the start of the fall and spring semesters to cover newly opened lower division classes. Those who apply for an assistantship but who do not receive an award in the initial round are placed in priority order on a “wait-list” that the department draws from when additional assistantships become available.

Tuition Waivers

During each academic year, the Department of History has some funds that can be used to cover a waiver of tuition costs for selected graduate students. Graduate assistants receive tuition waivers automatically because of their contracts with the University. All other graduate students are encouraged to apply for a Graduate Tuition Waiver, which can cover up to a maximum of 12 credit hours per semester. Students who receive money during any particular semester continue to remain eligible for further waivers in succeeding semesters, but must reapply each semester.

The deadlines for applications are:

For a waiver to cover spring semester hours: November 1st

For a waiver to cover summer and/or fall semester hours: April 1st.


Due to limited funds, tuition waivers, either full or partial, are awarded competitively based on the following criteria:

  1. The student is not receiving a Graduate Assistantship or other form of fellowship or award that covers the cost of tuition.
  2. The student has financial need not being met in any other manner.
  3. The student has maintained a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 and remains in good academic standing in the program.
  4. The student shows strong academic promise in the program and/or sustained progress towards degree completion. For newly admitted students, we consider their transcripts and letters of recommendation from their applications to the program. For current students, we consider their GPA from their graduate coursework in our program, as well as evidence that they are completing the program in a timely manner. The latter may include letters from a student's thesis director or Field of Study director verifying the student's progress towards completion.

Other sources of financial aid

Graduate Teaching Assistantships and Tuition Waivers represent the two forms of financial aid that the History Department itself has available, but other grants, scholarships, and loans, as well as other assistantships and various employment opportunities are occasionally available through other academic and university departments

All university financial aid is coordinated through the Financial Aid office located in Fell Hall 231, where Financial Aid advisors are available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. All candidates for the program are strongly encouraged to contact the Graduate School for more detailed information about financial aid and grant programs.


Questions regarding applications can be directed to:

Sharon Foiles, Graduate Secretary at


Assistantship Application

Students interested in pursuing an assistantship can apply online through the Illinois State jobs website.

Email History

Department of History
Normal, Il 61790-4420
Phone: (309) 438-5641
Fax: (309) 438-5607