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Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois Fellowship (DFI)

2021-2022 DFI Application Process - Deadline 2/12/21
Thank you for your interest in the DFI program for 2021-2022. The 2021-2022 New and Renewal applications for the Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois (DFI) Program are now available, in PDF format, below. For more than 23 years, the DFI program and its predecessor programs have provided competitive need-based financial awards to underrepresented students who have earned graduate degrees (master’s or doctoral) from a participating Illinois higher education institution.

The DFI Program was established by the Illinois General Assembly and signed as Public Act 093-0862 on August 4, 2004. The DFI program annually provides competitive fellowship awards to over 100 Illinois minority graduate students. The program assists students in completing graduate degrees (master’s or doctoral) leading to a faculty or staff position at Illinois higher education institutions. Program funding for the 2021-2022 academic year (FY2022) is contingent on the availability of funds appropriated by the Governor and Illinois General Assembly. Applicants must be Illinois residents enrolled full time. Students who are pursuing a second Master's degree are not eligible to receive funding, therefore, your application will not be considered if you apply.

All DFI applications, required documents, and letters of recommendation must be submitted electronically to NLU at stapplications@nl.eduby 5 pm, Friday, February 12, 2021. Please DO NOT forward or submit any applications and/or documentation directly to the DFI Program. Incomplete applications or applications submitted after Friday, February 12, 2021 cannot be considered. NLU has a limit of ten (10) new applications that can be submitted for consideration, therefore, the first ten (10) completed applications that are received will be reviewed for submission.  We encourage you to submit your application early if you would like to have it critiqued and to allow time for making recommended changes. NLU reserves the right not to submit applications with poorly written essays (professional goals statement and statement of underrepresented status).

New Applicant Checklist
Please submit the following by 2/12/21 to be considered for DFI. All documents must be submitted electronically to stapplications@nl.edu. Please include “DFI” in the subject line of your email.

  1. Complete the 2021-2022 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.ed.gov by 2/14/21.
  2. Complete the FY2022 DFI New Application - Complete all pages 1 – 16, PDF format. Sign where appropriate (electronic signatures are okay but please email documents from your NLU email address). Submit to stapplications@nl.edu along with the items 3 – 6 (includes preliminary questionnaire, page 9 and financial form, page 15). Include “DFI” in the subject line of your email.
  3. Official NLU Admission’s Acceptance Letter - Applicant must be fully admitted (notconditionally) to the degree program for which funding is being sought. Admission's Acceptance letter must show applicant is fully admitted to program. Submit to stapplications@nl.edu and include “DFI” in the subject line of your email if submitting separately from application.
  4. Professional Goals Statement - Please include a list of your academic awards, presentations, publications, and honors. Submit to stapplications@nl.edu and include “DFI” in the subject line of your email if submitting separately from application.
  5. A photocopy of your Voter Registration Card. Submit to stapplications@nl.edu and include “DFI” in the subject line of your email if submitting separately from application.
  6. Statement of Underrepresented Status – Underrepresented groups include Black/African American, Hispanic American, Asian American, American Indians, Alaskan Native or Pacific Islander. Submit to stapplications@nl.edu and include “DFI” in the subject line of your email if submitting separately from application.
  7. Three letters of recommendation - Each letter must be signed and dated within the past 12 months. Should be emailed directly from person recommending student to stapplications@nl.edu. Subject line should include “DFI”. Please be sure that each letter of recommendation speaks to your potential to reach your intended professional goals including potential to secure a full-time position in a State of Illinois institution of higher education.
  8. Official Transcripts - Must be received by 2/12/21. Electronically submit official transcripts from all colleges attended, including NLU. Transcripts may be submitted via Parchment to stapplications@nl.edu. We recommend Parchment, if available, so that you may track your request. If Parchment is not available, you may ask that the requested school email directly to us at stapplications@nl.edu and include “DFI” in the subject line of email. We recommend that you not have transcripts mailed at this time since the campuses are currently operating remotely. Your application will remain incomplete until receipt of official transcripts electronically.

Important: Both your professional goals and underrepresented statements must be written at the masters level in order to compete for the fellowship. Statements that are grammatically incorrect (a lot of run-on sentences, incomplete sentences, incorrect tense, incomplete and/or non-cohesive thoughts and sentences, non-cohesive paragraphs, etc. are not acceptable and NLU will not submit your application to IBHE for consideration. We suggest you do ALL of the following, early:

  1. Seek assistance from two or more professional people that can help (a mentor, instructor, someone who wrote a letter of recommendation for you, etc.).  Ask at least two of them to proof your statements and offer their feedback on improvements.
  2. Take advantage of the free resources that NLU offers.  Using the drop-off essay review might be easier but scheduling an appointment tends to be more productive: https://www.nl.edu/learningsupport/dropoffessay/. Or, you may schedule an appointment here: https://www.nl.edu/learningsupport/requestanappointment/. Please contact Learning Support if you have any questions about their services. Email learn@nl.edu or call 312-261-3374.

Renewal Applicant Checklist
Please submit the following by 2/12/21 to be considered for DFI. All documents must be submitted electronically to stapplications@nl.edu. Please include “DFI” in the subject line of your email.

  1. Complete the 2021-2022 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at www.fafsa.gov by 2/14/21.
  2. Complete the FY2022 DFI Renewal Application - Complete all pages 1 – 5, PDF format. Sign where appropriate (electronic signatures are okay but please email documents from your NLU email address). Submit to stapplications@nl.edu along with the items 3 – 6. Include “DFI” in the subject line of your email.
  3. A copy of your CV/Resume that includes all items marked “Yes” on page 3 in the “Research & Professional Development” section of your application. Submit to stapplications@nl.edu and include “DFI” in the subject line of your email if submitting separately from application.
  4. Bibliographic reference for presentations and publications (if applicable). Submit to stapplications@nl.edu and include “DFI” in the subject line of your email if submitting separately from application.

Questions

  • New DFI applicants who have questions should send them to NLU’s DFI Institutional Representative at stapplications@nl.edu.
  • DFI recipients who have questions regarding the DFI Renewal Application process, please contact the NLU's DFI Institutional Representative at stapplications@nl.edu or Dr. Arthur Sutton, Deputy Director Diversity and Outreach at (217) 557-7347 or via e-mail: DFI@ibhe.orgIf you will not be renewing your DFI Fellowship in 2021-2022, please contact DFI immediately to let them know and provide the reason as to why you are not planning to renew your DFI Fellowship.

 

Locations
  • CHICAGO DOWNTOWN CAMPUS

    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »
  • ELGIN

    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123
    (888) 658.8632
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  • NORTH SHORE

    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »
  • LISLE

    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »
  • WHEELING

    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
    (888) 658.8632
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  • FLORIDA (TAMPA)

    Established in 1988 and located in one of Tampa's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to its classrooms, the National Louis University Tampa Regional Center features a computer lab, student lounges, and conference room.

    5110 Sunforest Drive, Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
    Info » | Directions »