Galesburg Promise

Galesburg Promise


Galesburg Promise is built on the belief that education is the key to regional vitality and economic development. It was established by the City of Galesburg and offers an incentive for students to graduate from high school and an opportunity for a post-secondary education to increase the pool of college graduates who can be gainfully employed in Galesburg and the surrounding area.


Galesburg Promise will pay up to 16 credits of tuition (excludes fees) per semester, up to a maximum of 64 credits for post-secondary education that will result in a degree or certificate from Carl Sandburg College. It is a last-dollar grant, which means that the student must apply for federal and state financial aid first as well as other scholarships. All scholarships must be applied first and the Galesburg Promise will provide the remainder of the cost of tuition after other financial aid, according to an arranged percentage based on the number of years of attendance in Galesburg District #205.



Graduate from Galesburg High School

  • Graduates must apply for the scholarship within 2 years of high school completion.


Submit an application

  • Complete and submit an application at
  • You will receive a welcome letter about 1 week after with your student ID, email and mySandburg login.


Apply for financial aid

  • Go to to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for both federal and state financial aid. Carl Sandburg College’s code is 007265.
  • Apply before February 15th.
  • If you are chosen for financial aid verification or additional information, you must supply the information requested within two weeks of receiving, even if you suspect you are not eligible for any financial aid, or you will be ineligible for the scholarship.


Complete the application for Galesburg Promise

  • Go to to apply by February 15th.
  • You must apply for the Galesburg Promise each year and for any other scholarships you qualify to receive through the Stars Application.
  • You will receive a letter confirming the number of years you were in the Galesburg public school system. If you question the length of attendance benefit (see FAQs on the reverse side of explanation of benefit), contact your school district’s Superintendent’s Office and they will inform us of any changes.


Request official transcripts

  • Send to: Carl Sandburg College, Attn: Admissions, 2400 Tom L. Wilson Blvd., Galesburg, IL 61401.


Take the Compass placement test

  • This untimed assessment test covers reading, writing and math, and will determine the level of classes you may begin.
  • Prepare for this test before you take it. Go to for practice tests and sample questions.
  • If you would like reading assistance to complete the test, please contact Disability Support Services at 309.341.5262.
  • Register at; or 309.345.3500.


Register for classes

  • Schedule an appointment with an advisor to register for courses by calling 309.341.5237.


Attend Charge Up orientation

  • Your academic advisor will sign you up to attend this orientation.
  • You will get your student ID photo taken.
  • Charge Up orientation will give you important information you need to begin taking classes at Sandburg.


Stay Eligible

•     No Show? You go! – Make sure to attend classes within the first 4 days, otherwise you will be dropped for non-attendance.

•     Maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA and successfully complete 67% of your classes with a passing grade.

•     If you lose Galesburg Promise due to poor academic performance, you may re-apply after improving your academic performance and continue to meet all criteria. You may be re-admitted to Galesburg Promise once.


Frequently Asked Questions


Do all students receive the same financial benefit?

No. The benefit is prorated based on the student’s length of attendance at Galesburg District #205 using the following scale:   

13 grades (K-12)…......100% 

12 grades……….………95%

11 grades………..……..90%

10 grades………..……..85% 

9 grades………..….80%

8 grades………..….75% 

7 grades………..….70%

6 grades………..….65%

5 grades…………..…….60%

4 grades……….…...…..55%

3 grades………………...50%

Fewer than 3 grades..0%


The length of attendance is the total of full grades a student completed in public school while living in the #205 School District as verified through school records. The percentage is the amount of tuition reduction that will be applied to the student’s account, up to a maximum of 16 hours each semester.


What if I am not covered for a 100% attendance benefit?

You are responsible for fees, books and the percent of  tuition not covered by Galesburg Promise. To make arrangements for payment, please contact the Business Office at 309.341.5210. For example, if you have completed 9 grades, your  Galesburg Promise would cover 80% of tuition.  The student will pay any fees shown on the student statement plus 20% of the tuition charged.  Scholarships or grants awarded to the student will reduce the Galesburg Promise to allow funding to remain available for future generations. 

How long am I eligible to receive Galesburg Promise?

Your first application for Galesburg Promise is due by February 15th of the year you graduate from High School or the year following high school graduation. Once you are accepted as a Galesburg Promise recipient, you may apply annually for a total of three years of funding toward a degree or certificate for a maximum of 64 hours or whichever comes first.


Is a new Galesburg Promise application required every year?

Yes. Each year you must complete the Galesburg Promise application and Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).


Does the Galesburg Promise cover the cost of books and fees?

No. The Galesburg Promise is applied to tuition and the student is responsible for fees and book costs. 


Do I have to be a full-time student in order to receive Galesburg Promise?

No.  Fall and Spring semesters, minimum enrollment is 9 credit hours.  Galesburg Promise will pay for a maximum of 16 hours each semester.  The minimum enrollment requirement does not apply to Summer semester.  


What if I decide not to attend after I have signed up for classes?

If you decide not to attend after signing up for classes, you must officially drop your classes before the refund date. Refund dates vary based on the class. You can find the refund date for each course on the class schedule. If you fail to withdraw before the refund date, you may be held financially obligated for the cost of the classes.


Will Galesburg Promise cover tuition for dual credit courses?

No. Students must have graduated from Galesburg High School. Grades from high school dual credit courses are counted in your college grade point average when being reviewed for Galesburg Promise.


Will summer classes be covered by Galesburg Promise?

Yes. However, students must attend the previous spring semester in the Promise Program in order to qualify for summer session funds.


How is the funding for the scholarship administered?

Awards are made on a first-come, first-served basis upon receipt of the Galesburg Promise application and FAFSA.


STARS Scholarship Application process is open from November 1st until February 15th each academic year, allowing students to apply for scholarships to be awarded the following academic year.  All completed scholarship applications must be submitted by February 15th. Visit to complete scholarship applications.


For further information concerning scholarships, contact the Foundation Office at 309.341.5349 or by e-mail.