Scholarships

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Thanks to the generosity of local donors and the hard work of scholarship reviewers, the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois has recently finished its 2019 - 2020 scholarship season, making 176 awards worth up to $305,046 to local students. The scholarships will support the post-secondary educational aspirations of 144 students from 27 local high schools.

90+ Unique Scholarships, Just ONE Application!

Applying for scholarships from the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois is easier than ever. There is just one application and one deadline. 

Access the CFNIL Scholarship Application Portal

Need help getting started? Visit the Scholarship Resources page to learn how to apply!

CFNIL’s scholarship funds were created by donors that recognize the importance of helping students achieve their educational goals, now and in perpetuity. The funds’ creators selected the criteria based on their interests and the community’s need. Many of CFNIL’s scholarships are memorials, which celebrate the life and passions of individuals.

The diversity of scholarship offerings reflects the diversity of CFNIL’s donors and the communities it serves. The majority of scholarships are for current college students and graduating high school seniors in Boone, Ogle, Stephenson and Winnebago Counties. Scholarships are available based on a variety of factors: community engagement; academic achievement; financial need; athletic participation; field of study; and many more. There are scholarships for non-traditional, minority, and first-generation college students. Nearly two dozen scholarships are available for students who have a high school diploma OR a GED — learn more on the Scholarship Resource page.

The applications are read and scored by committees of volunteers who use a “blind” review process and make recommendations to CFNIL’s Board of Trustees. Scholarship recipients are announced in late April. Awards are sent directly to the recipient’s post-secondary institution.

Questions? Need help getting started? Contact Ciara!

Ciara Stahly, Program Officer
Ciara Stahly
Program Officer
Phone: 779-210-8209
Email: Ciara Stahly

The majority of the scholarship funds CFNIL administers are included in the application for the main scholarship cycle (open Dec. 1 – Feb 1). Those funds are listed in the first table below. The remaining scholarships, listed in the second table below, run on a different timeline or are administered by outside organizations. Click on the fund name for details on how to apply for these scholarships. 

CFNIL Administered Scholarships

Status Scholarship Name Type Region Schools Deadline
Closed Alpha Delta Kappa Xi Education Scholarship Current College Student, Teaching Boone Co., Ogle Co., Stephenson Co., Winnebago Co. Any post-secondary February 1
Closed Amanda Reed Memorial Scholarship Community Service, GED Recipient, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate Boone Co., Ogle Co., Stephenson Co., Winnebago Co. Any public or private high school February 1
Closed Amber Huber Memorial Scholarship Athletics, Female, Graduating High School Senior, Renewable Byron HS February 1
Closed Anna Schiller Scholarship Community Service, Graduating High School Senior Rockford Christian HS February 1
Closed Annie and Oscar Blackwell Scholarship Fund Rockford Public High Schools February 1
Closed Anthony and Charlotte Kinney Scholarship Academics, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate, Renewable, Teaching Pecatonica HS February 1
Closed Ashley E. Ketcher Memorial Scholarship Arts, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior Auburn HS February 1
Closed Beta Gamma Recruitment Grant Female, Graduating High School Senior, Teaching Boone Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed Betty Harlan Memorial Art Scholarship Arts, Graduating High School Senior Boone Co., Ogle Co., Winnebago Co. Any public or private high school February 1
Closed Billy Smith Memorial Scholarship Academics, Athletics, Graduating High School Senior February 1
Closed Buster Lindsay Memorial Scholarship Athletics, Graduating High School Senior Jefferson HS February 1
Closed Carolyn Wones Recruitment Grant Academics, Female, Graduating High School Senior, Teaching February 1
Closed Charles Lee Anderson Memorial Scholarship Current College Student, GED Recipient, Graduating High School Senior Rock Valley College, Sycamore HS February 1
Closed Community Foundation Scholarship Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed Deborah Jean Rydberg Memorial Scholarship Athletics, Female, Graduating High School Senior Guilford HS February 1
Closed Dorothy Cleland Memorial NSDAR Scholarship Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed Dr. Constance L. Goode Memorial Scholarship African American, Community Service, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate, Teaching Rockford Public Schools February 1
Closed Dr. Gussie M. Ware Memorial Scholarship Black, Female, GED Recipient, Graduating High School Senior Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed Dr. Loomis / Rockton Lions Club Scholarship Academics, Community Service, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior Hononegah HS February 1
Closed Early Childhood Educators Scholarship Education, GED Recipient, Non-Traditional Boone Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed Elsie Jefko Carlson Scholarship Financial Need Winnebago Co. Any post-secondary, Any public or private high school February 1
Closed Era L. and Frances L. Walker Scholarship Academics, African American, Community Service, Graduating High School Senior, Male Rockford Public Schools February 1
Closed Ernest and Charlene Stachowiak Memorial Scholarship Current College Student, Financial Need, Non-Traditional February 1
Closed Frances Grant Triebel Memorial NSDAR Scholarship Academics, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate U of I at Urbana-Champaign February 1
Closed Gary S. Wilmer / RAMI Music Scholarship GED Recipient, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate, Music Boone Co., Ogle Co., Winnebago Co. February 1

Other Scholarships

Status Scholarship Name Type Region Schools Deadline
Closed Bonnie Sorenson Scudder Scholarship Education, Female, Graduating High School Senior, Teaching Harvard HS February 1
Open Chief David G. Bailey Fire Science Scholarship Fire Science, Firefighter, High School Graduate Boone Co., Ogle Co., Stephenson Co., Winnebago Co. Rolling
Closed Diane Thompson-Wells Memorial Scholarship Current College Student, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate, Non-Traditional, Phantom Regiment Members in the U.S. USA May 20
Closed Helen R. (Finley) Loescher and Stephen B. Loescher Scholarship Arts, Education, Graduating High School Senior Freeport HS February 1
Open Joan Stonecipher Scholarship Current College Student, Dance, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate, Non-Traditional Greater Rockford Rolling
Closed Kari Lotko Memorial Scholarship St. Rita Graduates Boylan Catholic HS February 1
Closed La Voz Latina Scholarship Academics, Graduating High School Student, Hispanic Boone Co., Jo Daviess Co., Stephenson Co., Winnebago Co. January 18
Closed Leopold Education Project Scholarship Academics, Conservation, GED Recipient, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate NE Illinois February 15
Open Richard J. Schnell Memorial Scholarship Current College Student, Dental, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate, Non-Traditional June 19