President’s Award Program

A scholarship for diversity

PAP is valued at up to $5,000 a year (2,500 a semester) and may be renewed for a total of eight consecutive, full-time fall or spring semesters for a value up to $20,000.

The President’s Award Program offers one of the most prestigious scholarships at the University of Illinois on all three campuses. The President’s Award Program was created in 1985 to recognize and award students graduating from Illinois high schools who have demonstrated outstanding academic performance and who represent the rich diversity of the State of Illinois.

Selection Criteria

Selection Criteria

Only newly admitted first-year students will be considered. Scholarship consideration is also based on a combination of factors including high school record, and a comprehensive review of all application materials. Additionally, candidates must be from one from the following:

(a) a low-sending Illinois county to the University of Illinois
(b) a family that is not expected to contribute to the cost of their dependent student’s education as verified through the financial aid application process
(c) a historically underrepresented group.

Consideration for PAP awards begin after a student is admitted to the university. Students do not apply directly to the program and there are no supplemental forms or materials to submit. Students meeting the stated criteria receive an individual review by the President’s Award Program selection committee and will be notified by mail and email.

PAP Honors Scholars Program

The PAP Honors Scholars Program is a four-year residential scholarship program that provides opportunities for academic engagement and mentoring as a member of the UIC Honors College. The scholarship covers four years of tuition and campus housing, and includes a week-long Summer Enrichment program prior to the first semester. The PAP Honors Scholars Program promotes academic excellence within and beyond the Honors College community, connects students with Honors College Faculty Fellows and other faculty members, and fosters civic engagement and leadership. The Honors College provides a collaborative and supportive educational environment that allows students to explore issues in depth through small classes and specialized research projects. The scholarship covers four years of tuition and housing, and a week-long Summer College orientation program. Students must apply separately to the Honors College for consideration. To learn more about the Honors College, please visit the Honors College website.

For more information, contact
Stacie L. McCloud
Associate Dean, Honors College
Phone: (312) 413-2260

PAP STEM Initiative

The PAP STEM Initiative supports PAP Scholars majoring in STEM disciplines to join a network with their peers and faculty in the UIC community of scientists and engineers. Students do research and develop a professional network. They enhance their experience at UIC through faculty seminars, classmate interactions, and the option to live in a residential living-learning community on campus, while preparing for graduate school. PAP Scholars majoring in a STEM discipline (biochemistry, biological sciences, chemistry, computer sciences, earth and environmental sciences, engineering, mathematics, neuroscience, or physics), who are interested in conducting research in science and pursuing graduate education in their STEM field are invited to join PAP STEM. More information is available on the PAP STEM Initiative website.


The PAP Health Initiative supports Presidents Award Program Scholars majoring in pre-health disciplines. Students engage in career awareness and academic enrichment activities provided by health professions students, staff and faculty in the UIC Health Sciences Colleges (Applied Health, Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health, Social Work, and Graduate College). The Career Awareness activities includes exposure to the different health disciplines through seminars, clinic and lab visits and hands on learning. The academic enrichment activities focus on building the skills and knowledge necessary to be a competitive applicant to a health professions program. All students interested in a health career are invited to join PAP Health.

The PAP Health Initiative enables Presidents Award Program (PAP) Scholars majoring in Pre-Health majors at UIC to participate in career awareness and academic enrichment led by UIC Health Professions Students, Faculty and Staff. Student will begin their journey to a health professions program by participating in mentoring, shadowing, standardized test preparation, interviewing and personal statement writing. The goal of PAP Health is to make students competitive applicants to health professions program.

To join the PAP Health Initiative, students are first invited to accept an award and become scholars in the President's Award Program (PAP). PAP Scholars who intend to major in a Pre Health course of study (Pre Allied Health, Pre Dentistry, Pre Medicine, Pre Nursing, Pre Pharmacy, Pre Public Health and Pre Social Work) and are interested in gaining more exposure to the different discipline within Health and increasing their competitiveness as an applicant are invited to join PAP Health.

Students participating in the PAP Health Initiative:

  • Increase their knowledge of the Healthcare Industry.
  • Participate in Clinical procedure.
  • Learn about the application processes to health professions schools.
  • Engage in mentoring / shadowing.
  • Visit UIC / UI Health Hospital, Clinics and Labs.

Other Merit Grants for 2024-2025

Housing Grants

In addition to the awards above, housing grants may be offered to select recipients as a one-time $10,000 award ($5,000 for the fall and spring semesters) that can be used toward UIC campus housing. This award may be renewable in the future if funds are available. Recipients will be informed if additional years become available.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to do to accept the scholarship?

The award will be included in your financial aid notification. In order to accept the scholarship, you must submit your intent to enroll on the UIC Student Portal by June 1, 2024. For more information please visit the UIC Admissions Intent To Enroll page.

What happens to the award if I accept my offer of admission after June 1?

All Fall 2024 UIC scholarship offers are only valid to applicants who accept their offer by June 1, 2024.

How do I maintain my President’s Award Program scholarship eligibility?

To maintain your PAP scholarship, you are expected to earn a minimum 2.75 grade point each semester. It is highly recommended that students strive for 3.00 (or higher) grade point average to be competitive in a global world.

What happens if I do not maintain the required grade point average for the scholarship?

A 2.75 cumulative grade point average is required and will be enforced. If you do not have a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 by end of end of the first year, you will be placed on scholarship probation, pending department policy. If the grade point is not earned by the deadline, your scholarship will be permanently removed from your financial award package. You may appeal this action in writing along with documentation of extenuating circumstances (ex., U.S. military service, illness, etc.). We encourage you to use the many academic resources available and to ask for help.

Does my scholarship amount increase if I am admitted to the Honors College in the future?

Students designated PAP Scholars will not change designation if admitted into the Honors College.

If I wasn’t offered a PAP Scholarship, can I apply to become a scholar in the future?

No, students do not directly apply to become a PAP Scholar. Selection consideration is given by the Selection Committee for incoming students only. Unfortunately, there are a limited number of slots for the scholarship, students not notified of a scholarship offer will not receive the award.


Aisha Pleasant, PhD
Director, President's Award Program
Phone: (312) 996-6421

Keila Valle
Program Coordinator, President's Award Program
Phone: (312) 996-6421