The Graduate College
Financial Aid

Financial Aid

Helping students finance their graduate education

Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois Program Opportunity

The Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois program (DFI), with assistance from the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), supports graduate students by providing partial and full educational stipends to those pursuing degree objectives leading toward teaching or administrative positions in higher education.  A DFI Fellow must be an Illinois resident and U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident alien who is a member of an Underrepresented Group: Black/African American, Hispanic American, Asian American, American Indian or Alaskan Native.

To be eligible to apply, the following must be met:

  • Admission in a master's program at NEIU (all NEIU master's degree majors are eligible); if awarded, the applicant must be enrolled full-time.
  • Illinois residency as defined by DFI requirements.
  • Membership in an underrepresented group as defined by DFI requirements.
  • Within academic status, which includes an earned baccalaureate degree with a minimum GPA of 2.75 (4.0 scale) in the last 60 hours of undergraduate work or higher than a 3.2 (4.0 scale) in at least 9 hours of graduate study, and unconditional admission to a post-baccalaureate degree program.
  • The applicant must plan on pursuing a teaching or administration career at an Illinois higher education institution or governing board.
  • Financial need; a FAFSA must be completed each year to maintain eligibility.

The application deadline is currently set for February 19 for the following academic year.

For more information on eligibility, application process, guidelines and responsibilities, please visit the IBHE DFI website:

For information on how NEIU can assist you with this opportunity, please contact Carlos Ospina, DFI representative, at


2012 NEIU DFI Recipients

New Applicants

  • Edward Byrd, M.A. History
  • Jesus Guillen, M.A. Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics


  • Jorge Garcia, M.A. Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics