3 cycles, 127+ scholarships, $500K+ awarded, just one stop.
CFNIL is the region's largest private scholarship provider, with over 125 unique scholarships to award this year. We have worked hard to make applying for Community Foundation of Northern Illinois scholarships as simple and efficient as possible. There are three cycles, each with their own application and timeline. Each cycle's application is accessed via CFNIL's online application portal.
|CYCLE NAME||APPLICATION WINDOW||CYCLE SPECIFICS|
|November 1 -|
One app, three scholarships:
|December 1 -|
One app, 120+ scholarships.
|March 1 -|
One app, four scholarships:
Need help getting started? Visit our Scholarship Resources page to learn how to apply!
CFNIL’s scholarship funds were created by donors who 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 needs. 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. Most scholarships are for current college students and graduating high school seniors in Boone, Ogle, Stephenson, and Winnebago Counties. Scholarships are available based on various 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 with 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 by May 1, and recipients, donors, reviewers, and supporters are invited to an annual Scholarship Award Night ceremony in mid-June. Awards are sent directly to the recipient’s post-secondary institution.