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. 

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 Jouris Family Scholarship Academics, Graduating High School Senior, Mathematics, Physical Sciences Winnebago Co. Not accepting applications in this school year
Closed Larry and Betty McGee Scholarship Community Service, Computer Science, Current College Student, Engineering, Financial Need, GED Recipient, Sciences, Technology Winnebago Co. Not accepting applications in this school year
Closed My Heart is in Art Scholarship Academics, Arts, Education, Graduating High School Senior, Visual Arts Boone Co., Stephenson Co., Winnebago Co. Not accepting applications in this school year
Closed Nathaniel Martin "Scared Man Can't Win" Memorial Scholarship African American, Community Service, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate, Male Rockford Public High Schools Not accepting applications in this school year
Open Anthony and Charlotte Kinney Scholarship Academics, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate, Renewable, Teaching Pecatonica HS February 1
Open Taus Community Endowment Scholarship African American, Community Service, Female, Graduating High School Senior Winnebago Co. February 1
Open International Management Council (IMC) Scholarship Academics, Business, Community Service, Graduating High School Senior Winnebago Co. February 1
Open It's Up To Me Scholarship Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior, Students With Disabilities Boone Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Open Billy Smith Memorial Scholarship Academics, Athletics, Graduating High School Senior February 1
Open 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
Open Jack Lovejoy Vocational Scholarship Community Service, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate, Vocational Studies Hononegah HS February 1
Open Buster Lindsay Memorial Scholarship Athletics, Graduating High School Senior Jefferson HS February 1
Open 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
Open Janet L. Williams Mathematics Scholarship Computer Science, Engineering, Graduating High School Senior, Mathematics, Teaching Hononegah HS February 1
Open Carolyn Wones Recruitment Grant Academics, Female, Graduating High School Senior, Teaching February 1
Open University of Michigan Scholarship Academics, Current College Student, GED Recipient, Graduating High School Senior, Non-Traditional University of Michigan February 1
Open John E. Lindley Memorial Swim Scholarship Athletics, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior Rockford HS February 1
Open Charles Lee Anderson Memorial Scholarship Current College Student, GED Recipient, Graduating High School Senior Rock Valley College, Sycamore HS February 1
Open 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
Open John Flynn Memorial Scholarship Community Service, Graduating High School Senior Pecatonica HS February 1
Open Deborah Jean Rydberg Memorial Scholarship Athletics, Female, Graduating High School Senior Guilford HS February 1
Open Wilbur and William Cummings Memorial Scholarship Civic Engagement, Dental, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate, Medical, Medical Sciences, Nursing, Renewable Belvidere February 1
Open Karen and Robert Harter Recruitment Grant Current College Student, Education, Female, GED Recipient, Mathematics, Non-Traditional, Nursing, Sciences Boone Co., Ogle Co., Stephenson Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Open Dorothy Cleland Memorial NSDAR Scholarship Winnebago Co. February 1
Open William J. Galaway Library and Information Science Scholarship Academics, Current College Student, GED Recipient, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate, Library Sciences, Non-Traditional Boone Co., Ogle Co., Stephenson 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 March 15
Closed 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 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 June 19
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
Open Joan Stonecipher Scholarship Current College Student, Dance, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate, Non-Traditional Greater Rockford Rolling
Open La Voz Latina Scholarship Academics, Graduating High School Student, Hispanic Boone Co., Jo Daviess Co., Stephenson Co., Winnebago Co. January 18