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University Partnership: The ACED Fellows Program at Illinois State University
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City Year is proud to partner with the ACED Fellows Program at Illinois State University, a graduate program equipping participants with the skills and tools of development professionals and offering 100% tuition waivers with graduate assistantships.



The Applied Community and Economic Development (ACED) 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 internship, students earn a master’s degree in

  • anthropology
  • applied economics
  • kinesiology and recreation
  • political science, or
  • sociology

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 ACED Fellows Program includes generous financial support, a truly interdisciplinary classroom, real-world experience, and individual attention.


ACED Fellows must 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. Service with City Year counts towards the requirement.

Learn more about the ACED Fellows Program and meet City Year alumni who graduated/enrolled in the ACED Fellows Program.


Benefits offered by ACED Fellows Program at Illinois State University

Scholarship Amount 100% tuition waiver
Graduate Assistantship
Yes, Fall/Spring stipend then paid internship
Number of Scholarships Awarded Annually All Admitted
Application Fee Waiver In some cases (see below)
Enrollment Deferral No (reapplication required)


Eligibility and Additional Information 

  • 100% Tuition Waiver. The award will be a 100% tuition waiver, for all admitted City Year participant
  • This waiver is renewable for a second year if the student continues to meet all eligibility and continuing program requirements.

  • Participants will receive a graduate assistantship in the first fall and spring semesters, which includes a stipend for working up to 20 hours/week. The program includes a paid 11-month, 35-hour-per-week internship in the second year, assuming all eligibility and continuing program requirements are met.

  • Tuition waivers and assistantships awarded to City Year corps members, alumni, and staff members with at least one year of service. 

  • Fee waiver eligibility:  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 also be eligible for an application fee waiver.  Contact for more information on requesting an application fee waiver.

To Apply

  • Click here to access Illinois State University’s ACED Fellows’ website and apply online.

  • To identify your City Year affiliation: Please list your City Year experience on your resume to identify your affiliation. 

  • Service Verification Letter: To apply to the ACED Fellows Program, 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 corps graduation month and year. This letter will be sent electronically by City Year to Admissions Office and added to your applicant file.

To Contact the Office of Admission 

Alumni Profiles 

Ramya Kumaran '12

Read Ramya's full profile

Connect with Ramya


Some examples of organizations hosting City Year alumni for their 11-month practicum with ACED Fellows are:

Mikva Challenge:

Housing Action Illinois:

East Central IL Area Agency on Aging:

Stevenson Center:

Please note that all admissions and scholarship decisions are made by the educational institution. Corps members, alumni 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.