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Knox College Prairie Fire Flagship Match

Prairie Fire Flagship Match


Office of Admission

2 E. South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401




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Prairie Fire Flagship Match

Private Education at a Public Price

With the Knox College Prairie Fire Flagship Match, eligible students from 39 states across the U.S. pay the same tuition to attend Knox as their home state’s flagship public university. Students from other states—and international students—pay no more than the cost of Illinois’ flagship rate.

Am I eligible?

  • Achieve an unweighted GPA of 3.5 in college preparatory courses (English, Math, Science, Social Studies, Languages), or as a transfer student, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in college courses.
  • Be a resident of one of the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin.
  • Residency is based on the parents’ state of residence (or an independent student’s state of residence) as listed on the FAFSA. Submit your FAFSA to Knox by January 15. International students should submit the International Student Financial Aid Application.
  • If you are a resident of a location not listed above or an international student, we will guarantee a Flagship Match Scholarship equal to the Illinois flagship rate.
  • Apply and be admitted to Knox College as new student enrolling at Knox for the first time in the 2023-24 academic year.
  • Remain enrolled full-time at Knox and in good academic and social standing. You must also reside on campus with a full meal plan.

How does it work?

  • At the time of admission, you’ll be notified of any Knox merit-based scholarships for which you qualify. If the remaining cost for tuition and mandatory fees is greater than the flagship rate for which you qualify, we will offer an additional scholarship to bring the cost down to the flagship rate.
  • Rates represent the published tuition and mandatory fees for the flagship public university in each eligible state.
  • If you are eligible for state or federal grants, loans, work study awards, or outside scholarships, you will receive these in addition to your Knox scholarships and grants, further reducing the cost of attending Knox.
  • The total of scholarship awards, including Knox Flagship Match Scholarship, will remain fixed through the completion of your Knox bachelor’s degree, up to a maximum of four years (12 terms).

Frequently Asked Questions

  • The criteria for a “flagship” differs in each state. A state “flagship” is most likely a large university with the highest research profile and doctoral programs, and in many cases, the oldest and most sought-after public institution. These “flagships,” due to their reputation or status, receive large numbers of applications, resulting in relatively low acceptance rates. The Prairie Fire Flagship Match program uses the College Board definitions of flagship universities in each state as a guide.

  • Yes. Even if you don’t meet the eligibility requirements for the Prairie Fire Flagship Match, you can apply for other Knox scholarships and need-based financial aid. Scholarships recognize both your academic achievements and special talents, personal qualities, and accomplishments beyond the classroom. About 80% of Knox students receive need-based financial aid, including grants, student loans, and/or campus employment.

  • A great number of students and those who influence their college choices may believe they must attend a large state school because they can’t afford a private college education. 

    Very talented students may see their state’s flagship university as the most desirable of their public options, even though a campus of 30,000 – 50,000 students and very large classes may not be what students are truly looking for. 

    The perception that a private education is more expensive and unattainable may result in students ruling out applying to a highly ranked private college like Knox. With the Prairie Fire Flagship Match, very talented students know that an education at a private college—with small classes and immersive educational experience opportunities in and out of the classroom—is affordable.

  • Over time, decreased state funding and rising costs have resulted in increases to tuition and fees, and state scholarship programs have not kept up with these increases. Cost increases at many state institutions are now presented as added fees and additional course-specific fees. Many flagships may even charge higher tuition for business classes, courses taught by professors (not teaching assistants), or some STEM classes. You may not know that prior to the introduction of the Prairie Fire Flagship Match this year, it was entirely possible to receive a Knox private college education for about the same price as a state school, no matter what you want your Knox educational experience to be.

  • More than 40% of flagships have acceptance rates below 60%. Talented students have many other high-quality, world-class educational options like Knox, which aims to make attending a highly-ranked private college possible.

  • Check with your state’s scholarship website to see if they allow you to use your award outside of your state for a private institution. If you live in Illinois, you can use your MAP grant at Knox. These will be applied to your Knox award to further reduce your tuition below the University of Illinois rate.

  • Yes, qualified U.S. Citizens living abroad or in a U.S. territory will be awarded the Prairie Fire Flagship Match at the Illinois rate.

  • Yes, your Prairie Fire Flagship Match tuition rate will be based on your state of residence.

  • The Prairie Fire Flagship Match is a scholarship program. The award you receive in year one, based on the flagship state tuition in your state the year you apply to Knox College, is awarded as a merit scholarship. If you maintain good academic standing, that scholarship will renew at the same amount each year for 4 years. Knox College tuition and fees could increase each year that you are enrolled and financial aid packages may be adjusted depending on your specific family circumstances.

  • The Prairie Fire Flagship Match and our other merit scholarships are renewable for four years (8 fall/spring semesters), as a Knox College education is specifically designed to be completed in four years. 

By The Numbers

Knox Typical Flagship Public U.
Student-Faculty Ratio 11:1 18:1
Classes With <20 Students 77% 40%
Percent Of Financial Need Met 90% 66%
Students Living On Campus 90% 40%

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Printed on Saturday, June 10, 2023