Illinois students can get IU degree at in-state costs

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Good fit: Valerie Zulevic, who grew up on the South Side of Chicago, is an Illinois resident who has taken advantage of the Illiana Merit Scholarship to attend Indiana University Northwest at in-state tuition costs. | Supplied photo

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Illinois residents now can look across the state line at more affordable higher education options. Academic programs in demand from Indiana University Northwest are now accessible to academically eligible Illinois residents thanks to the Illiana Merit Scholarship Program.

That scholarship is the reason junior Valerie Zulevic, a native of Chicago’s South Side, is an IU Northwest student today.

After graduating from Mother McAuley High School in Chicago in 2008, Zulevic earned a full academic scholarship to attend Illinois Institute of Technology, where she also played basketball and volleyball. But when the women’s basketball program there was cut, the heartbroken Zulevic went in search of another school where she could fulfill her academic goals and also play the sport she loves.

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Coach Ryan Shelton of the IU Northwest Lady Redhawks approached Zulevic about attending IU Northwest. He told her that, in addition to a basketball scholarship, she could also apply for a scholarship available to academically eligible Illinois residents that would essentially wipe out the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition.

Thanks to her good grades, Zulevic can attend IU Northwest, an out-of-state campus, for the same tuition cost as an Indiana resident.

“I was astounded that immediately there would be such a great scholarship if I went to IU Northwest,” she said. “The Illiana Merit Scholarship really opened the door for me to attend IU Northwest because I am paying for school on my own. It was a great opportunity. Obviously basketball was a contributing factor for me to go to IU Northwest, but the Illiana scholarship really sealed the deal.”

After learning about the financial assistance that was available to her, Zulevic was sold on the idea. She told her parents and loved ones: “This is a great scholarship. This is a great deal. I think I need to take it.”


Past academic performance is the only eligibility requirement for the Illiana Merit Scholarship, which is available both for undergraduate and graduate programs. Incoming freshmen as well as transfer students are invited to apply.

Recipients of this scholarship essentially receive the difference between the Indiana resident rate and the non-resident rate, a value of more than $10,000 per year.

“This is an incredible value for Illinois residents,” Director of Admissions Linda Templeton said. “IU Northwest offers a number of programs that simply aren’t available at nearby universities, at least not affordably.”

To be eligible, recent high school graduates must possess a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher along with a combined SAT score of 1000 (critical reading plus math) or greater, or an ACT composite score of at least 21. Transfer and graduate students must have maintained a 3.0 cumulative GPA from a baccalaureate institution.

The scholarship is renewable from year to year as long as the student maintains a 3.0 cumulative GPA and remains enrolled as a full-time student. Graduate students must maintain a 3.25 cumulative GPA.

In addition to the Illiana Scholarship, applicants may qualify for additional federal and campus financial aid, as well as privately funded scholarships.

Undergraduates who wish to apply may visit and click on “Apply Now.” For more information, please send an email message to or call 1-888-YOUR-IUN (968-7486).

Provided by Indiana University Northwest