CFNIL Scholarships - 90+ funds. $350,000+ in awards. One application.

CFNIL Scholarship Application Open Now

Today, December 1, is opening day for the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois (CFNIL) scholarship application! With just one online application students access over 90 unique scholarships awarding more than $350,000 this year alone. The application, accessed at will close February 1, 2022. 

Each of CFNIL’s scholarships were established by individuals or organizations that recognize the importance of helping students achieve their educational goals, now and in perpetuity. The donors selected the criteria for each scholarship, based on their interests and the community’s need. 

CFNIL scholarships are for students in Boone, Ogle, Stephenson and Winnebago Counties, and each scholarship has unique criteria. There are scholarships for graduating high school seniors, non-traditional students, students with financial need, student athletes, students of color, and students pursuing careers in teaching, STEM, business, fire science, and healthcare. Some scholarships are renewable for up to four years. The diversity of scholarship offerings reflects the diversity of CFNIL’s donors and the communities of northern Illinois.

“Administering a scholarship program is a privilege on many levels: helping students across our region achieve their educational aspirations, honoring the generosity of generations of donors, and seeing first-hand the dedication and care of over 100 community volunteers as they review applications.” said CFNIL President Dan Ross. “Investment in the students of northern Illinois is truly an investment in our future, and year after year the exceptional efforts of these students, revealed through their scholarship applications, reassures us that our future is in very good hands.”

All scholarship applications must be submitted through CFNIL’s online application portal. Once registered for the portal, students answer questions about their academics, background, and extracurricular activities. From these answers, applicants will be automatically matched to all scholarships for which they are eligible. Applications are read and scored by committees of volunteers who use a “blind” review process and make award recommendations to CFNIL’s Board of Trustees. Scholarship recipients are announced in late April. Awards are sent directly to the school the recipient will be attending. Interested students should visit to learn more and apply.