Patricia Cassin-Graft Student Teacher Assistance Fund Award

Application Deadlines for the 2013-2014 Academic Year

For Fall 2013 Student Teaching – Applications must be submitted by Friday, August 16, 2013

For Winter 2014 or Spring 2014 Student Teaching – Applications must be submitted by Saturday, November 30, 2013

Financial assistance for National College of Education (NCE) students dedicated to teaching in under-served schools who will be student teaching anytime during the fall, winter or spring term.

Patricia Cassin-Graft, Class of 1957, and Michael J. Graft, Sr. have established the Patricia Cassin-Graft Student Teacher Assistance Fund at National Louis University. The fund is a permanent endowment supported by the Graft family, other alumni and friends. The fund is meant to assist National College of Education students who are dedicated to serving under-served schools, who face financial stress and who recognize the importance of the philanthropic values that have made these funds available.

Currently, the fund seeks to assist graduate or undergraduate NCE students who will complete their final student teaching requirements. Awards will be up to the cost of tuition and fees of the student’s Student Teaching term.

The fund does not provide cash awards. Recipients of the award receive a credit to their account at National Louis to offset the cost of tuition and fees during their term of student teaching.

Recipients of the award sign a written agreement that states they will teach in an under-served school of their choice in the Chicago or suburban region for the first two consecutive years following graduation.  

The award looks for candidates of exceptional talent who: a) are committed to teaching in low income communities; b) show promise of becoming highly qualified teachers and role models; and c) have significant financial need.

Students who are interested in being considered must meet the following eligibility guidelines:

  • Full or part time enrollment in a degree program concentrating in early childhood, elementary, secondary or special education
  • Maintain a 3.25 or higher grade point average
  • Completion of all pre-requisite courses for student teaching
  • Submit a letter of recommendation from a National Louis University faculty member to
  • Upload an essay articulating your aspirations and financial needs
  • Demonstrate financial need as assessed by the University’s financial aid office
  • Willingness to teach in the Chicago Public Schools or other urban low-income schools where the need for teachers is the greatest   
  • Students must adhere to all the University policies noted in the Catalog in order to remain eligible to receive NLU Scholarships.

To be considered for this award the student should prepare an original written narrative that includes all of the following topics in the order presented below:

PERSONAL: Your name and Student ID


  • Why you want to teach
  • Your favorite age group to teach, and why
  • Your favorite subject to teach, and why


  • Why you want to teach in an under-served school
  • What you think your biggest challenge in the classroom will be as a new teacher and how you will overcome that challenge
  • Why you think you should be selected among the other applicants who meet the criteria for this scholarship
  • How you will sustain your commitment to teaching
  • How you will "pay it forward" if you receive an award


  • A description of any off campus volunteer work or causes in which you have participated over the last two years
  • Description of other scholarships or awards received in the past


  • A general description of the financial need you will face during your student teaching
  • A general description of other financial resources available to you, and other financial obligations that you have


  • Any additional information that you think may be useful for consideration
  • You must also upload a resume and fill out the application form with contact information, including the name and phone numbers of your current place of employment, if you are currently employed
  • Note on essays: Typographical, grammatical, and editorial quality of essays are weighed as a reflection, in part, of an applicant’s ability to communicate and teach language and communication skills.  Applicants may seek assistance and review of their essays, at no charge, from the University's Department of Library & Learning Support (LLS). Feel free to contact LLS at x3374 or (for tutoring support).  Also, for library help, please contact LLS at x3376 or

Finalists will be asked to meet in person with University representatives and the Graft family. No phone meetings will be conducted.

Recipients of the award may be asked to participate on an occasional basis in special events.

The ‌2013-2014 Cassin Graft Scholarship Application‌ must accompany your resume and essay. Apply directly by filling out and submitting the application form including resume, and essay here.

All submitted applications will receive an acknowledgement email confirming receipt. If you do not receive a response to your application within 24 hours, it is your responsibility to contact us so that you can work together to identify the issue.

If you have any additional questions, please feel free to call Pauline DeGrazia, Assistant Director, Student Finance at 847.947.5861 or e-mail at

Unfortunately, AUSL Residents and Chicago Teaching Fellows do not qualify for this specific scholarship.


    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.

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    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.

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    Skokie, IL 60077
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    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
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    Campus Location

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    1000 Capitol Drive
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    Established in 1988 and located in one of the city's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to six classrooms, this location features a conference room, a computer lab with high-speed Internet access, an extensive research library and comfortable student lounges.



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