Elsie Jefko Carlson Scholarship

Elsie Jefko Carlson Scholarship

To help single parents improve their career opportunities through higher education. 

Not Accepting Scholarships at This Time Not Accepting Applications This scholarship is not accepting applications at this time. Learn How to Register & Apply


Being a single parent can present many obstacles to completing your education. What have you learned through your journey, and how will your experience aid you in being successful not only in college but in life?


Applicant must:

  • Be a single parent;
  • Be a permanent resident of Winnebago County;
  • Demonstrate financial need; and
  • Plan to attend college, university, or trade school, in the upcoming school year.

The Elsie Jefko Carlson Scholarship recipient may attend a college, university or trade school. Past recipients may reapply.



Small in stature but huge in heart, perseverance, and faith, Elsie Jefko Carlson was determined to give her family stability and love even in the face of tragedy.  At twenty-eight years young, Elsie was widowed with eight children.  There are few that would have the strength to carry on, but at the heart of her strength was her faith.  She raised her family in Rockford and instilled in her children the importance of an education, charity, and respecting all others.  She kept her family together with her unfaltering faith and determination.  Elsie raised her children alone with hard work, love, and grace.  She took on small jobs and later became a business manager and truly showed what you can do by believing in yourself and living with the spirit of giving to others. She married again later in her life, and she lived each of those years with a true sense of joy. Elsie Jefko Carlson will always be remembered by those who had the privilege of knowing her – her smile, the twinkle in her eyes, and a huge heart of gold. Paying it Forward, the family hopes that all recipients of this scholarship carry on in a manner that reflects Elsie’s zest for life and true love of family.