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Prairie Promise


Office of Student Financial Services

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401


800-678-KNOX (Toll Free)

309-341-7453 (Fax)


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Meeting 100% of Financial Need for Illinois Students

The Prairie Promise is all about helping Illinois students to attend one of the best liberal arts colleges in the country—right here in their home state.

For Illinois residents, enrolling at Knox for the first time in Fall 2022 or beyond, we promise to meet 100% of demonstrated financial need. To put it simply, we will offer you a financial aid package that is competitive with almost any college or university in the Midwest, public or private.

The Prairie Promise is our commitment to make sure that every student in Illinois, regardless of their personal financial situation, has an opportunity to experience the transformational power of a Knox education.

What does this mean in actual dollars? Here are two examples:

  • A family of four with an income of $39,000, typical assets, and one child attending Knox could expect a financial aid package of $61,400, leaving a balance due for tuition, fees, room, and board of $2,200 for the year.
  • A family of four with an income of $90,000, typical assets, and one child attending Knox would receive a financial aid package of $50,400, leaving a balance due for tuition, fees, room, and board of $13,200 for the year.

What are the specific numbers for you and your family? Apply for admission and financial aid and find out!

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At Knox, you join a community with a long-standing history of making college affordable to students of all financial means, and we’re one of the most diverse, vibrant colleges in the country:

  • Twenty percent of our students are the first in their family to attend college
  • Nearly 30% are students from underrepresented backgrounds
  • Almost 20% come from overseas

You’ve worked hard to attend a highly ranked college. When you choose Knox you will attend a college recognized as:

  • A Best Value by US News
  • A top 50 College by Washington Monthly for 10 years in a row
  • One of America’s Colleges That Change Lives

Knox offers you extraordinary opportunities to pursue your educational passions—our pre-professional programs in business, engineering, law, and health professions, and our traditional liberal arts offerings, such as creative writing, environmental science, journalism, political science, public policy, anthropology and sociology, and so much more. Choose from nearly 100 and minors, or create your own interdisciplinary path.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Your need will be based upon the data provided by you and your family on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), along with an expected minimum student contribution.

  • Your financial aid award may include federal and state grants, Knox College grants and scholarships, federal student loans, and/or a campus employment award, as well as any outside scholarships that you may receive.

    Loans included with your financial aid award will be limited to the Federal Direct Student Loan. We’ll never meet your need by including a parent PLUS loan or private loan in your aid award—that’s our promise.

  • Yes. Federal and state grants are used to meet the Prairie Promise. They will be part of your financial aid award.

  • Your Knox merit scholarships will be used to meet the Prairie Promise and will be part of your financial aid award.

  • Students must complete the financial aid application process and have their financial need determined each year. If your income and assets fluctuate, the amount of your financial aid award may differ based on the information submitted in subsequent years.

  • Most scholarships that you receive from outside sources will help to reduce the amount you have to pay. Some outside scholarships can only be applied toward the cost of tuition, while others can be used to meet any of your college expenses, such as room, board, books, and other expenses.

    If you receive outside scholarships that can only be used for tuition, be aware that the total of these awards, along with any grants and scholarships you receive from Knox, federal, and state sources, cannot typically exceed the cost of tuition. You should definitely apply for as many outside scholarships as possible to reduce your college costs.

  • Yes. The amount of your financial aid award may vary depending on the information submitted on your financial aid application in subsequent years.

  • First-year students should apply for admission and financial aid by the Early Action deadlines of November 1 or December 1, or by the Regular Decision deadline of January 15.

  • Undocumented students from Illinois may be eligible for a Illinois MAP Grant by completing the RISE Act Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid and the Financial Aid Application for Students Ineligible for Federal Financial Aid (PDF). If you’re eligible for a MAP Grant, you’ll also be eligible for the Knox Prairie Promise.

  • At this time, the Prairie Promise is a pilot program available only for Illinois residents enrolling at Knox for the first time in Fall 2022 or beyond.

  • Yes. The Prairie Promise is available to first-year and transfer students who are residents of Illinois and will be enrolling at Knox for the first time in Fall 2022 or beyond.

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Printed on Saturday, May 18, 2024