Joliet, Ill. – Local data has shown that there is a sharp contrast between student and teacher demographics. In fact, a large gap currently exists between the percentages of students of color and teachers of color in Joliet’s schools. A scholarship opportunity offered by the University of St. Francis (USF) for qualifying students of color who aspire to become teachers is helping to address this gap.

The Multicultural Education Recruitment in Teaching (MERIT) Scholarship at USF provides a four (4) year scholarship up to $8,000 per year for eligible seniors applying to USF as a first-year freshman, as well as a two (2) year scholarship up to $2,000 per year for eligible students applying to USF as a junior-level transfer. Awards are offered in conjunction with other scholarships/grants and will apply to the direct cost of USF full-time undergraduate tuition and fees. This scholarship opportunity is open to all eligible high school and community college students.

Scholarship requires that applicants are:

  • a student of African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino American, Asian American, or Native American origin;
  • a U.S. Citizen or eligible non U.S. Citizen with demonstrated financial need;
  • a high school or transfer student with a GPA of 3.00 or higher, and
  • able to commit to teach in Joliet public schools for either two or four years upon graduation from USF.

Scholars are selected based on qualities that indicate their potential to become exemplary teachers. Visit to apply today or to request additional information. Review of applications will begin March 1, 2021 for the 2021–22 academic year.

The MERIT project is a partnership between the University of St. Francis (USF), Joliet Township High School District 204, Joliet Public Schools District 86, Joliet Junior College, and the surrounding community.

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The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 51,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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MERIT Scholarship