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 Past 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
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 Sorensen Memorial Architecture Scholarship Academics, Architecture, Community Service, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior Boone Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed Sorensen Memorial Music Scholarship Academics, Community Service, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior, Music Boone Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed Community Foundation Scholarship Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed Rockford Products Corporation Foundation Scholarship Business, Community Service, Engineering, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate Boone Co., Ogle Co., Stephenson Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed Sorensen Memorial Theater Scholarship Academics, Community Service, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior, Theater Boone Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed Anna Schiller Scholarship Community Service, Graduating High School Senior Rockford Christian HS February 1
Closed Susan Kay Munson Gilmore Memorial Scholarship Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate, Vocational Studies Guilford HS, Mendota Township HS February 1
Closed Walter K. Raczynski Family Scholarship Academics, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior, Renewable Boone Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed Annie and Oscar Blackwell Scholarship Fund Rockford Public High Schools February 1
Closed Taus Community Endowment Scholarship African American, Community Service, Female, Graduating High School Senior Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed Howard D. Colman Scholarship Academics, Computer Science, Engineering, Graduating High School Senior, Technology Boone Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed Anthony and Charlotte Kinney Scholarship Academics, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate, Renewable, Teaching Pecatonica HS February 1
Closed Terrance Freeman Sr. Memorial Scholarship Academics, Current College Student, Financial Need, Fire Science, Firefighter, GED Recipient, Non-Traditional Boone Co., Ogle Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed International Management Council (IMC) Scholarship Academics, Business, Community Service, Graduating High School Senior Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed Billy Smith Memorial Scholarship Academics, Athletics, Graduating High School Senior February 1
Closed Tyler Kinison Memorial Scholarship Academics, Current College Student, Financial Need, Fire Science, Firefighter, GED Recipient, Non-Traditional Boone Co., Ogle Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed It's Up To Me Scholarship Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior, Students With Disabilities Boone Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed Buster Lindsay Memorial Scholarship Athletics, Graduating High School Senior Jefferson HS February 1
Closed University of Michigan Scholarship Academics, Current College Student, GED Recipient, Graduating High School Senior, Non-Traditional University of Michigan February 1
Closed Jack Lovejoy Vocational Scholarship Community Service, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate, Vocational Studies Hononegah HS February 1
Closed Carolyn Wones Recruitment Grant Academics, Female, Graduating High School Senior, Teaching February 1
Closed Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 984 Scholarship Descendant of Vietnam Veterans, GED Recipient, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate Boone Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed Janet L. Williams Mathematics Scholarship Computer Science, Engineering, Graduating High School Senior, Mathematics, Teaching Hononegah HS February 1
Closed Charles Lee Anderson Memorial Scholarship Current College Student, GED Recipient, Graduating High School Senior Rock Valley College, Sycamore HS February 1

Other Scholarships

Status Scholarship Name Type Region Schools Deadline
Closed Leopold Education Project Scholarship Academics, Conservation, GED Recipient, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate NE Illinois February 15
Closed Richard J. Schnell Memorial Scholarship Current College Student, Dental, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate, Non-Traditional July 3
Closed Helen R. (Finley) Loescher and Stephen B. Loescher Scholarship Arts, Education, Graduating High School Senior Freeport HS February 1
Closed Kari Lotko Memorial Scholarship St. Rita Graduates Boylan Catholic HS February 1
Closed Bonnie Sorenson Scudder Scholarship Education, Female, Graduating High School Senior, Teaching Harvard HS February 1
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 La Voz Latina Scholarship Academics, Graduating High School Student, Hispanic Boone Co., Jo Daviess Co., Stephenson Co., Winnebago Co. January 8
Open Joan Stonecipher Scholarship Current College Student, Dance, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate, Non-Traditional Greater Rockford Rolling
Open Chief David G. Bailey Fire Science Scholarship Fire Science, Firefighter, High School Graduate Boone Co., Ogle Co., Stephenson Co., Winnebago Co. Rolling