SEAFellow Undergraduate Scholarship

Important: Deadline: April 1, 2024. Apply here

Northern Illinois University and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies annually offer a four-year tuition waiver scholarship for applicants who have successfully participated in either SEAYLP or PYLP, are applicants for a bachelor’s degree program, and will commence their studies in Fall. The competition opens on December 1 and closes on April each year.

Important: before you open the application, review the frequently asked questions below. Once you have reviewed them and have enough time to work on your application from start to finish, please apply online! Allow yourself two to three hours to complete.


This undergraduate scholarship is available to student participants who have successfully completed the Southeast Asia Youth Leadership Program (SEAYLP) or the Philippine Youth Leadership Program (PYLP) at Northern Illinois University. Applicants in Southeast Asia with leadership experience, community service and academic excellence will also be considered.


  • Be enrolled full-time (minimum 12 credit hours per fall and spring semesters)
  • Maintain good academic standing (minimum 3.0 GPA)
  • Complete your degree in four years
  • Serve as an ambassador of the SEAFellow program


  • May be used only for a bachelor's degree.
  • Must be used within four years of enrollment at NIU.

Award Amount

The SEAFellow Scholarship is valued at $19,580.24 per year (estimated annual tuition for NIU international students) and is renewable for four years provided recipient remains enrolled full-time and maintains good academic standing

Estimated Annual Academic Year (Costs Not Covered by Award)

Annual Fees

$5,306 (see below)

  • General Fee $2,214
  • Academic Program Enhancement Fee $500
  • Student Medical Insurance $2,592

Estimated Annual On-Campus Housing


Additional Fees and Costs

This amount may vary, depending on your program. Includes course material fees, books, etc.

Note: Computer science and engineering majors have different tuition. For more information on cost planning, see NIU's Planning and Cost Estimator.

Frequently Asked Questions

I was an adult leader in one of the NIU SEAYLP programs; am I eligible?

Regretfully, this scholarship is only available to SEAYLP student participants.

Will SEAYLP participants from the programs in 2023 and 2024 be eligible for this scholarship program?

Yes, they will.

May I use the scholarship for both my bachelor's degree and my master's degree study?

No. This scholarship may only be used for the undergraduate degree program, but there will be graduate SEAFellow tuition waiver scholarships available in the near future.

I'm already enrolled in a U.S. university in a bachelor's degree program. May I transfer to NIU and use the scholarship?

Yes! Please remember that you may only use the scholarship for the undergraduate degree.

As a J-1 participant in SEAYLP, a program funded by the U.S. government, I'm subject to the two-year home residency requirement. I haven't yet completed two years at home; can I still come back to the U.S. to enroll at NIU?

Yes, you can! We will ask you to apply for a new F-1 (Student) visa. Although the two-year home residency requirement bars you from getting the H-1B visa or another long-term visa, you are still eligible to apply for the F-1 visa. When you enroll at NIU, the International Student and Faculty Office advisors will help you understand more about your continuing obligations under the two-year home residency requirement from your J-1 period in the US.

Before I begin the application, what questions will I need to answer?
  • EAYLP/PYLP experience: Tell us about your SEAYLP experience. What were the results of your action plan, for example?
  • SEAYLP/PYLP Legacy: How have you used the skills developed in that program to contribute service and leadership to your community? What has been the legacy of SEAYLP in your life?
  • Career ambitions: What career will you pursue after graduation? What are your career goals and ambitions?