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Illinois State University

City Year is proud to partner with Illinois State University's Applied Community and Economic Development Fellows Program, offering a 100% graduate tuition waiver for those with development experience (including full-time AmeriCorps members).

Illinois State University’s Applied Community and Economic Development Fellows Program offers City Year AmeriCorps members, alums and staff

100% tuition waivers

A 100% two-year tuition waiver will be awarded to all admitted City Year applicants. The waiver is renewable for a second year if the student continues to meet all eligibility and continuing program requirements.

  • Year 1: Graduate assistantships include a full waiver of all tuition charges during your first academic year (fall, spring and summer) and includes a stipend for working up to 20 hours per week during fall and spring semesters. Graduate assistants must pay all student fees, health insurance fees and other fees, as do other graduate students at Illinois State University.
  • Year 2: Students also receive a full tuition waiver during their 11-month, 35-hour-per-week professional practice experience (internship), assuming all eligibility and continuing program requirements are met.

This distinctive program requires Applied Community and Economic Development Fellows to have at least one year of full-time experience in community development or social services or the equivalent (1,700 hours)—as either a paid professional or a volunteer—prior to starting classes. Therefore, the tuition waiver and assistantships will be awarded to City Year AmeriCorps members, alums and staff members who complete at least one year of service or work.

Eligible programs

Additional benefit

  • Application fee waiver
  • Enrollment deferral: Accepted applicants may be able to defer enrollment up to one year if they choose to serve additional time with City Year. This will be assessed on a case-by-case basis with the admissions department and the home department. Deferral is possible, but not guaranteed.

Why City Year loves Illinois State University’s Applied Community and Economic Development Fellows Program

The Applied Community and Economic Development Fellows Program at Illinois State University is designed for AmeriCorps alums and staff to take their careers to the next level. Through coursework and an 11-month paid professional practice (internship), students earn a master’s degree in anthropology, applied economics, political science, kinesiology and recreation or sociology while gaining exposure to all five perspectives. Within each degree program, the applied community/economic development subplan covers a range of topics including project design and management, grant writing and other subjects in administration and planning.

The programs are designed for completion of at least two-thirds of academic credits while students are on campus during their first year. After the on-campus coursework, Fellows complete 11-month paid professional practice internships.

To apply

Visit the Applied Community and Economic Development Fellows’ admissions website to apply online.

To identify your City Year affiliation

Please list your City Year experience on your résumé to identify your affiliation.

To access the application fee waiver and apply for the scholarship

If you are currently serving as a City Year AmeriCorps member or if you are an alum who meets economic hardship criteria following federal income guidelines, you may be eligible for an application fee waiver. Visit for more information on accessing the application fee waiver.

To apply to the Fellows Program and be considered for the scholarship, a service verification letter must be requested by emailing with “Illinois State University’s ACED Fellows: City Year verification letter request” in the subject line. Within the email, include the site where you served and your AmeriCorps graduation month and year. This letter will be sent electronically by City Year to the admissions office and added to your applicant file.

To contact the admissions office

Please call (309) 438-7090 or email with any questions.

Please note that all admissions and scholarship decisions are made by the educational institution. AmeriCorps members, alums and staff interested in these scholarships must complete the full application process for the institution. Please pay close attention to deadlines and consider beginning work on your applications early in the year.

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