Tuition Support (Scholarships)

How do I apply for tuition support?

We have ample resources from our donors and are pleased and honored to make them available to anyone wishing to take our courses.

What is your tuition support policy?

The Wilmette Institute’s tuition support policy is as follows:

  1. Ideally, everyone should pay something toward our courses, however small. But this may be impossible in some cases because of personal circumstances or geographical location.
  2. No one should be excluded from our courses based on finances.
  3. We are able to accept credit cards, checks, and cash, and can accept up to four installment payments (three for credit students).
  4. We are independent of the Bahá’í Fund and must cover our expenses to keep our doors open.
  5. We ask people to consider their expenses carefully and let us know what they can fairly and reasonably afford, just as they might when considering what they owe Huququ’llah.

Why does the Wilmette Institute charge for its courses?

The Institute was mandated to be independent of the Baha’i funds when it was established in 1995, and to date we have covered all our expenses through tuition charges and fund raising. We have to pay staff, we provide many faculty an honorarium for their many hours of professional teaching efforts for our learners, and we have numerous software, communications, and publicity expenses, like any professional organization would. We have also found that when people pay something, however small, they take the course more seriously.

We are, however, developing courses for youth or members of the community of interest that will be free or have a small nominal charge only. To cover our costs and provide ample scholarship discounts to those who need them, the Institute does fund raising.

How much do online courses cost? 

It depends on the course. Before you register, you can click on the Fees page to check on the fees and discount deadlines for your course. The “base rate” (for one learner) is usually $75 for a 7-week course. Senior citizens, pioneers, and students get a 20% discount.

New: In 2020, First-Time Wilmette Institute students will get a 30% discount.

For groups, creating the group and registering the first person costs the “base rate” and each additional group member is registered at a 40% discount. Our registration system automatically gives a ten percent discount for a registration a month or more in advance. The base rate for shorter courses is between $30 and $50.

Cvent registration page header showing fees page link on right side

Note: a “senior citizen” is 65 or older; groups can have up to 10 members. See Study Group Benefits for more information on Study Groups.

May I pay in installments? 

Yes. If you are unable to pay full tuition at the time of registration, you may pay in up to four monthly installments.

As of June 2019 and until further notice, if you need tuition support or an installment payment plan, first submit an online TS2019 application or WITS (2020) application and await further instructions. You can expect a response to your application within 48 hours.

After your tuition support and/or installment plan is approved, you will be able to register with a downpayment. The Institute will then schedule the remaining payments for you. Often, people find that installments solve their payment problem without the need to ask for tuition suport.

May I contribute to the Tuition Support (aka “scholarships”) Fund? 

Absolutely! See our latest appeal. Checks made out to “Wilmette Institute” may be mailed to us at Wilmette Institute, Bahá’í National Center, 1233 Central St., Evanston, IL 60201. Please specify they are for the “tuition support fund.” You may also contribute through the National Bahá’í Fund’s Online Contribution System. This is accessed through the password-protected section of the US Bahá’í website: