Top 20% Scholarship - Southwestern Illinois College

To be eligible for the 2024-2025 Top 20% Tuition Scholarship Program, students must:

  1. Be a resident of Community College District 522 at the time of high school completion AND during attendance at SWIC.
  1. Be eligible to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Illinois Alternative Application for Student Aid.
  2. Achieve Top 20% of one of the following categories:

Class Rank

High school graduate ranked in the top 20% of the graduating high school class on the final high school transcript.

Test Scores

High school or homeschool graduate placed into the 80th or higher percentile on the ACT or SAT examination. Required SAT score 1190 or higher. Required ACT score: 25 or higher

  • Required SAT score: 1190 or higher
  • Required ACT score: 25 or higher


High school or homeschool graduate earning a 3.5 or higher SWIC GPA for 8 or more hours of dual credit or dual enrollment coursework completed prior to high school graduation.

High School Equivalency

High school equivalency completers that score in the top 20% of their equivalency group on GED or other high school
equivalency test.

PLEASE NOTE: High school completion refers to high school graduates, high school equivalency completers, and homeschool graduates. Homeschool graduates must be 16 years of age or older.

All applicants must meet all of the following non-negotiable conditions. Failure to do so will result in loss of the scholarship for which there is no appeal process to regain.

  1. All recipients of this scholarship must be a resident of Community College District 522 at the time of high school completion and during attendance at SWIC.
  2. Every new academic year, students must renew the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before the start of the fall term. A student’s financial aid file must be complete with an official financial aid award before receipt of the scholarship. The deadline to complete all necessary FAFSA-required paperwork and scholarship application is the 2nd week of the 1st semester of attendance. SWIC’s school code is 001636.
  3. A complete Top 20% Application (including all required application information) must be submitted by the second week of the first semester of attendance following high school completion.
  4. The scholarship must be used toward enrollment within the academic year immediately following high school completion: Fall (8/17/2024), Spring (1/11/2025) or Summer (6/2/2025). The scholarship may be used for the summer semester immediately following high school completion only if continuously enrolled in the fall semester of the following academic year and attends the fall semester. This will be evaluated at the time of awarding and will be based on the first high school credential received.
  5. High school graduates ranked in the top 20% of their graduating class must provide an official final high school transcript including the number of students in the class and the individual class rank or official record of a qualifying ACT/ SAT score. If the official transcript has already been sent to Enrollment Services, please notify the Financial Aid Office.
  6. High school equivalency completers must be ranked in the top 20% of their equivalency group. Proof must be provided by submitting a non-returnable copy of their high school equivalent certificate and an official letter from the Adult Basic Education Office identifying them as scoring in the top 20% of their equivalency group.
  7. ACT or SAT scores for high school graduates or homeschool graduates must have a composite score of 25/36 or higher on the ACT test or 1190/1600 or higher on the SAT test. Proof must be provided by submitting a non-returnable copy of official test scores or scores must be documented on official high school transcript.
  8. If the student attends any other college, university, trade school, etc. after high school completion, before attending SWIC, the student is not eligible to apply for the scholarship.
  9. Students may receive the scholarship for up to six semesters of continuous enrollment. Summer attendance is not required, but the scholarship will be awarded unless otherwise requested in writing. Students must enroll in consecutive fall and spring semesters. A gap between fall and spring terms will result in the loss of the scholarship (excluding the summer semester).
  10. To maintain continuous scholarship eligibility, students must maintain a 3.0 semester GPA and a cumulative completion rate of 67%, regardless of the source of tuition payment. The cumulative completion rate may be calculated by dividing the total hours earned by the total hours attempted.
  11. The Top 20% scholarship pays tuition only for classes that appear on the student’s academic transcript. It does not pay fees, books, fees associated with proficiency examinations, or fees for dropped classes that are not on the transcript (tuition cost).
  12. Students must be degree or certificate-seeking at SWIC to receive the scholarship.