Scholarships

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: the application opens on December 1st and closes February 1st, every year.

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.

While the majority of the scholarship funds CFNIL administers are included in the application for the main scholarship cycle (open Dec. 1 – Feb 1 each year), several additional scholarships run on a different timeline or are administered by outside organizations. The first table below lists the standard CFNIL Scholarships. The second table at the bottom of the page lists the non-standard scholarships; click on each scholarship name for details on how to apply for these non-standard scholarships. 

View Last Year's CFNIL Scholarship Recipients

Questions? Need help getting started? Contact Ciara!

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

CFNIL Administered Scholarships

Status Scholarship Name Type Region Schools Deadline
Open Alpha Delta Kappa Xi Education Scholarship Current College Student, Teaching Boone Co., Ogle Co., Stephenson Co., Winnebago Co. Any post-secondary February 1
Open 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
Open Amber Huber Memorial Scholarship Athletics, Female, Graduating High School Senior, Renewable Byron HS February 1
Open Anna Schiller Scholarship Community Service, Graduating High School Senior Rockford Christian HS February 1
Open Annie and Oscar Blackwell Scholarship Fund Rockford Public High Schools February 1
Open Anthony and Charlotte Kinney Scholarship Academics, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate, Renewable, Teaching Pecatonica HS February 1
Open Ashley E. Ketcher Memorial Scholarship Arts, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior Auburn HS February 1
Open Beta Gamma Recruitment Grant Female, Graduating High School Senior, Teaching Boone Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Open Betty Harlan Memorial Art Scholarship Arts, Graduating High School Senior Boone Co., Ogle Co., Winnebago Co. Any public or private high school February 1
Open Billy Smith Memorial Scholarship Academics, Athletics, Graduating High School Senior February 1
Open Buster Lindsay Memorial Scholarship Athletics, Graduating High School Senior Jefferson HS February 1
Open Carolyn Wones Recruitment Grant Academics, Female, Graduating High School Senior, Teaching February 1
Open Charles Lee Anderson Memorial Scholarship Current College Student, GED Recipient, Graduating High School Senior Rock Valley College, Sycamore HS February 1
Closed Cheri Nordenberg Greenlee Memorial Scholarship Current College Student, Financial Need, GED Recipient, High School Graduate Boone Co., Northern IL, Ogle Co., Stephenson Co., Winnebago Co. Any post-secondary, Any public or private high school Not accepting applications in this school year
Closed Daniel Edwards Memorial Scholarship Financial Need, Non-Traditional, Trade Union, Vocational Studies Ogle Co. Not accepting applications in this school year
Open Deborah Jean Rydberg Memorial Scholarship Athletics, Female, Graduating High School Senior Guilford HS February 1
Open Dorothy Cleland Memorial NSDAR Scholarship Winnebago Co. February 1
Open Dr. Constance L. Goode Memorial Scholarship African American, Community Service, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate, Teaching Rockford Public Schools February 1
Open Dr. Gussie M. Ware Memorial Scholarship Black, Female, GED Recipient, Graduating High School Senior Winnebago Co. February 1
Open Dr. Loomis / Rockton Lions Club Scholarship Academics, Community Service, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior Hononegah HS February 1
Open Early Childhood Educators Scholarship Education, GED Recipient, Non-Traditional Boone Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Open Elsie Jefko Carlson Scholarship Financial Need Winnebago Co. Any post-secondary, Any public or private high school February 1
Open Era L. and Frances L. Walker Scholarship Academics, African American, Community Service, Graduating High School Senior, Male Rockford Public Schools February 1
Open Ernest and Charlene Stachowiak Memorial Scholarship Current College Student, Financial Need, Non-Traditional February 1
Open Frances Grant Triebel Memorial NSDAR Scholarship Academics, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate U of I at Urbana-Champaign February 1

Other Scholarships

Status Scholarship Name Type Region Schools Deadline
Open 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
Open 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
Open 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 15
Closed Richard J. Schnell Memorial Scholarship Current College Student, Dental, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate, Non-Traditional July 3
Open Soil and Water Stewardship Scholarship Academics, Conservation, GED Recipient, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate NE Illinois February 15