The Fred S. Bailey Fellowship for Community Leadership, Service, and Activism supports University of Illinois Urbana campus graduate and professional students who have shown passion, creativity, innovation, and commitment through community organizing, activism, and/or service in one or more of the following areas: social justice, environment,global engagement and/or interfaith cooperation. 

Award amount

A $12,600 (9 month) stipend.

Tuition and fee waivers are included for most recipients excluding those in cost recovery or self-supporting programs. Please contact your departmental representative for its policy on courtesy tuition waivers.

Please note: The recipient of the Fellowship will be responsible for any and all income tax liability that may result from receipt of the Fellowship.


  • Candidates must demonstrate passion, commitment, leadership and impact towards Social Justice, Environment, Faith in Action, and/or International issues
  • Candidates must demonstrate how their efforts represent new and innovative ways to address Social Justice, Environment, Interfaith Cooperation and/or Global Engagement and/or have significantly expanded existing efforts.
  • Applicants in all academic disciplines are eligible. Applicants must be pursuing a doctorate, master's or professional degree. Tuition and partial fee waiver may not be available for students in all programs, particularly cost recovery or self-supporting programs. Please contact your departmental representative for its policy on courtesy tuition waivers.
  • Must be enrolled as a graduate or professional student at the Urbana campus of the University of Illinois as of August 26 of the funded year.

Application Timeline

November 15 – Applications for 2017-18 open online
February 15 – Application submission deadline
February 21- Reference letter submission deadline
April 15 – Applicants notified of decisions


Selection Process

Fred S. Bailey Fellowship Applications will be evaluated and selected using a two-stage process.

Stage 1:The Fred S. Bailey Scholarship Committee will screen each application to confirm the eligibility of the applicant and completion and submission of the application per the guidelines described below.

Each Application will be evaluated on its merits with emphasis on the candidate's past impact and leadership in relation to community leadership for service and activism.  At the conclusion of Stage 1, the committee will identify up to 7 finalists to move on to Stage 2.

Stage 2: Selected finalists will be notified and asked to complete an in person interview with the Fred S. Bailey Fellowship Committee in early April.  If an in person interview is not possible, a phone interview with the committee will be arranged.  At the conclusion of these interviews, the Committee will select up to 2 Fellows and notify all applicants of their decision no later than April 15.

Program Requirements

Graduate Bailey Fellows work with the Bailey Scholarship Director to develop an engagement plan based on their unique interests and skills.  Past projects include: a culturally responsive immigrant health fair, development of an assessment plan for a YMCA mentoring program, developing a training program for undergraduates learning to build workshops, developing a training program for mentors at C.U. SUCCEED and more!

Resources for Applicants



The fellowship application for graduate and professional students will be available beginning December 15. The deadline to submit a fellowship application is February 15.

Fellowship applicants will be notified of the committee's final awards decisions by April 15.

You can request a copy of your official transcript from the U of I Office of the Registrar or check with your high school guidance counselor. If you are a current U of I student, you can order an electronic copy of your transcript and directly upload it to your application.

For more information, visit the Registrar Transcript Site. If your undergraduate institution does not offer an electronic transcript option, use a scanner to create a pdf of your transcript or contact Kasey Umland, Bailey Scholarship Director at (217) 337-1514 for more options.

DON'T wait until the last minute. It takes the Office of the Registrar approximately 5 days to process your request. The YMCA will give a 10 day grace period after the deadline to receive transcripts but you don't want all of your hard work to be wasted because you did not order a transcript!

Yes, you may apply for a Bailey Fellowship even if you will not be enrolled in the spring.  However, the Bailey Scholarship award is divided amongst two semesters so you would only receive ½ of the total award possible (i.e. $6300 for the fall semester)

There is no minimum GPA required to be eligible as a Bailey Fellow. However, academic achievement is considered in evaluating applications.

There is no income requirement to be eligible as a Bailey Fellow. However, financial need is considered in evaluating applications.

The Bailey Committee appoints a special Fellowship Selection Committee each spring. This committee is made up of University YMCA board members, Y alumni, community leaders and activists, and University of Illinois faculty and staff. To learn more about volunteer opportunities with the Bailey program, email or call (217) 337-1514.

A good reference should be familiar with your involvement and impact in your community. References can be an advisor, an instructor, a fellow organization member, a volunteer supervisor, a community leader, or anyone else who can speak to your character, passions, leadership, and how you are making a difference.

Students who have received a Bailey Fellowship may NOT reapply for the fellowship.  Students who received a Bailey award as an undergraduate are eligible to apply as a graduate or professional student at UIUC for the fellowship.

All Bailey Scholarships are reported to the University of Illinois' Office of Student Financial Aid office and are considered part of your total financial aid.  Every individual student's financial aid package is unique, and therefore this award may have no effect on one student's financial aid package while it could replace a grant, loan, or other award in another student's financial aid package.  The Fred S. Bailey Scholarship program does not have access to individual student's award information.  To learn more about how the Bailey Scholarship could impact your financial aid, we encourage you to contact the Office of Student Financial Aid at or (217) 333-0100