MERIT Scholarship

The MERIT Scholarship provides full-tuition scholarships for qualifying minority students who major in education at USF. Joliet students who would like to teach in Joliet’s schools are eligible. Scholars are selected based on qualities that indicate their potential to become exemplary teachers.

The MERIT Scholarship is a partnership between USF, Joliet Township High School District 204, Joliet Public Schools District 86 and the Joliet business community. It is intended to help recruit, prepare, place, and induct a new generation of teachers of color for Joliet’s schools.

Application Deadline: February 16, 2018 for the 2018-19 academic year**

To apply a student must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen
  • Be of African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino American, Asian American or Native American origin
  • Be a graduate of Joliet Township High School District 204
  • Have an ACT composite score of at least 20 (preference given to applicants with a composite score of 22+)***
  • Have a high school GPA of 3.00
  • Be admitted to the University of St. Francis as a full-time, first term, freshman student
  • Commit to teaching in JTHS District 204 or Joliet Elementary School District 86 for 5 years
  • Must express financial need (as demonstrated by completing FAFSA) – estimates of earnings are acceptable


To maintain eligibility, candidates must:

  • Be enrolled on full time basis as an undergraduate
  • Be enrolled in a course of study which, upon completion, qualifies candidates to be certified in elementary, secondary (math, science, social science, or English), visual arts, or special education
  • Be enrolled in the MERIT Fellows course each semester
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress as determined by the program

As a MERIT scholarship recipient, you will complete both your intermediate and advanced field experiences in a Joliet school. In addition, prior to graduation, we ask that you write a one page testimonial regarding your IFE and AFE experience to be posted on various College of Education websites and possibly used in various COE publications. You will also be called upon to serve as an ambassador to MERIT events, which may include but not be limited to assisting at a JTHS Future Teachers Club meetings, presenting at the annual Careers in Education Conference, assisting at the Future Teachers Summer Academy.


Option 1: Online MERIT Scholarship application
Option 2: Fill and print MERIT Scholarship application (download)

*The MERIT Scholarship, in conjunction with all other grants/scholarships, will meet the direct cost of the USF full-time undergraduate tuition and fees up to $10,000 per year.
**Awards will be announced on or shortly after March 15st.
***Students must earn an ACT composite score of 22, including the writing portion (minimum score of 16), to be accepted to the Teacher Education Program or pass the Test of Academic Proficiency (minimum score of 240 in Reading Comprehension, Language Arts, Writing, and Math) or earn a 1030 on the SAT (minimum writing score- 450). Once enrolled in the university, MERIT Scholars have one year (three semesters – fall, spring, summer) to achieve the required TAP or ACT score to continue to be eligible for the scholarship.