Department of Linguistics University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Financial Aid

Click here for the financial aid application forms (new MATESL applicants need not use these forms; all others please use them).

Approximately half of the UIUC MATESL students are the beneficiaries ofsome form of financial aid for at least part of the time they spend working on their degree. Most degree candidates with native or native-like competence in English receive appointments as graduate assistants teaching English in the ESL Service Courses or in the Intensive English Institute for at least one academic year. In addition, there are a limited number of library and laboratory assistantships open to MATESL students from overseas; the assistantships offered nonnative English speakers require proof of near-native English speaking ability. If you are a non-native applicant for a teaching job in ESL, you must present a TSE/SPEAK score of 55 (or greater) for full consideration. More information about the TSE is available at the following website: -- including information about where the test is offered and how to register. UIUC also offers the SPEAK exam, which is an equivalent test to the TSE, and which is offered at no charge to UIUC students and to new admits to the MATESL. For information on registering for the SPEAK, please email

Assistantships, which normally range from 25% to 50% appointments, bring the recipient a monthly stipend together with a waiver of the university tuition costs and of part of the fees.

University fellowship funds and some research assistantships with DEIL faculty are also sometimes available and can provide additional opportunities for financial assistance for exceptional MATESL candidates.

There is a separate financial aid application process for each academic term. This process is handled through application forms (available above). Fall and Summer applications are processed together, usually in March or April of each year. Spring applications are processed typically on October or November of the previous year. Please check back at this webpage from time to time, to see if new financial aid forms are posted for a forthcoming semester.

All newly admitted MATESL students are automatically considered for financial aid for their first semester of study. There is no separate financial aid application system as part of the admission application. After arrival, all MATESL students must re-apply for financial aid each semester, regardless of any guarantee of longer-term awards (e.g., in the admission letter). This re-application allows MATESL students to indicate if they wish to teach a different class.

The Department welcomes applicants from other campus degree programs.