Can I get a deferment for the service requirement?
The service requirement must be completed within 8 years of graduation. This should allow enough time to get a Master's degree in a 2-year program. If you decide that you do not want to teach or you teach in a district that is not “high-need,” then it becomes a loan which must be paid back within 8 years of your graduation date. If extenuating circumstances arise and the service requirement cannot be completed within 8 years, contact Dr. Wilson to discuss options.  These situations will be handled on an individual basis.

Where can I teach?
You are not restricted to teach in DuPage County, Cook County or its collar counties or even in Illinois.  However, you are required to teach in a "high-needs" school district and you will have to provide documentation that the district is "high-needs". You will need to have your school district superintendent complete a form and send it to Dr. Wilson.

What is the definition of a "high-needs" school district?
The NSF definition of a "high-needs" school district is as follows:

  1. a high percentage of individuals from families with incomes below the poverty line.  This criterion is the easiest one to measure.
  2. a high percentage of secondary teachers not teaching in the content area in which they were trained to teach. 
  3. a high teacher turnover rate.  

Will it be difficult to find employment in a high needs school district? It should not be…  Based on data from the annual IBSE “Educator Supply and Demand in Illinois” reports, there were unfilled positions for teachers in mathematics, physics and chemistry for the last several years.  Also, Benedictine frequently uses 23 schools for student placement sites that are considered “high needs”. 

I am a transfer student. Can apply for a scholarship?
To qualify for a BEST scholarship, you must be accepted into the Teacher Education Program.  The rules for acceptance include a 3.0 cumulative GPA for at least 6 semester hours at Benedictine University.  For the complete checklist, see the School of Education homepage.  Also see the BEST Teacher Scholarship Requirements.

Can international students apply?
The National Science Foundation requires that recipients be U.S. citizens, Nationals, or Permanent Resident Aliens.


Who can I contact for additional information?
Allison K. Wilson, Ph.D.
BEST Coordinator
awilson@ben.edu
630-829-6520

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Robin Rylaarsdam, Ph.D
Acting Dean of the College of Science

Tonia Rucker, Assistant to the Dean
Email: trucker@ben.edu
Phone: (630) 829-6187
Fax: (630) 829-6186

Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

By Mail:
Benedictine University
5700 College Road
Birck Hall Room 119
Lisle, IL 60532