Diversifying Higher Education Faculty In Illinois


The DFI (Diversifying Higher Educational Faculty in Illinois) was established by the Illinois General Assembly and signed as Public Act 093-0862 on August 4, 2004. This act combines the Illinois Consortium for Educational Opportunity Program (ICEOP) and the Illinois Minority Graduate Incentive Program (IMGIP) into a single fellowship program. The purpose of DFI is to increase the number of underrepresented faculty and staff in Illinois as well as Illinois institutions of higher education and higher education governing boards.


To be considered for an DFI fellowship, an applicant must be: (1) an Illinois resident and a citizen or permanent resident of the United States; (2) must have received a high school diploma or post secondary degree from an Illinois educational institution or be a registered voter in Illinois with three or more years of residency in Illinois; (3) an African-American, Latino, Asian-American or Native American; (4) the recipient of an earned baccalaureate degree; (5) of above average academic ability as evidenced by admission to a graduate or professional degree program at a participating DFI institution; (6) unable to pursue a graduate or professional degree in the absence of an DFI award; (7) must demonstrate financial need. A free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be filled out by January; and (8) applicant must be unconditionally admitted to a degree program at the time of application.


Each award provides up to $16,000 annually. Award recipients in doctoral programs are eligible for up to four years of support. Those in master’s or professional degree programs may receive awards for up to two years.