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 Beta Gamma Recruitment Grant Female, Graduating High School Senior, Teaching Boone Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Open Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity College Scholarship GED Recipient, Non-Traditional, Renewable Greater Rockford February 1
Open Howard and Eithal Curry Elementary Education Recruitment Grant Education, Female, Graduating High School Senior, Teaching Boone Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Open Amber Huber Memorial Scholarship Athletics, Female, Graduating High School Senior, Renewable Byron HS February 1
Open Roger L. Ekstrom Memorial Scholarship Academics, Athletics, Graduating High School Senior Guilford HS February 1
Open Sorensen Memorial Engineering Scholarship Academics, Community Service, Engineering, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior 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 Senior Memorial Scholarship Academics, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior Rockford Public High Schools February 1
Open Sorensen Memorial Music Scholarship Academics, Community Service, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior, Music Boone Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Open Community Foundation Scholarship Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior Winnebago Co. February 1
Open Sorensen Memorial Architecture Scholarship Academics, Architecture, Community Service, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior Boone Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Open Sorensen Memorial Theater Scholarship Academics, Community Service, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior, Theater Boone Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Open Anna Schiller Scholarship Community Service, Graduating High School Senior Rockford Christian HS February 1
Open 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
Open Walter K. Raczynski Family Scholarship Academics, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior, Renewable Boone Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Open Annie and Oscar Blackwell Scholarship Fund Rockford Public High Schools February 1
Open Susan Kay Munson Gilmore Memorial Scholarship Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate, Vocational Studies Guilford HS, Mendota Township HS February 1
Open Howard D. Colman Scholarship Academics, Computer Science, Engineering, Graduating High School Senior, Technology Boone Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
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

Other Scholarships

Status Scholarship Name Type Region Schools Deadline
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 18
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
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
Open Joan Stonecipher Scholarship Current College Student, Dance, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate, Non-Traditional Greater Rockford Rolling