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. 

Community Foundation of Northern Illinois 2021 Scholarship Report: What if a whole community paid it forward? Background image blue and green texture and white arrows pointing to the right.

2021 CFNIL Scholarship Report

The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois (CFNIL) is pleased to announce its 2021 scholarship recipients: 175 scholarships worth up to $335,874 to local students. The scholarships will support the post-secondary educational aspirations of 140 local students from 28 high schools.

Meet the CFNIL Scholarship Class of 2021

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 Charles Lee Anderson Memorial Scholarship Current College Student, GED Recipient, Graduating High School Senior Rock Valley College, Sycamore HS February 1
Closed 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
Closed John E. Lindley Memorial Swim Scholarship Athletics, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior Rockford HS February 1
Closed Deborah Jean Rydberg Memorial Scholarship Athletics, Female, Graduating High School Senior Guilford HS February 1
Closed 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
Closed John Flynn Memorial Scholarship Community Service, Graduating High School Senior Pecatonica HS February 1
Closed Dorothy Cleland Memorial NSDAR Scholarship Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed William Pigott Memorial Scholarship Academics, Engineering, Graduating High School Senior Boone Co., McHenry Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed 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
Closed Dr. Constance L. Goode Memorial Scholarship African American, Community Service, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate, Teaching Rockford Public Schools February 1
Closed William R. Durham Drama/Theater Scholarship Academics, GED Recipient, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate, Teaching, Theater Boone Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed Keith Maffioli Scholarship Academics, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior Boone Co., Ogle Co., Stephenson Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed Dr. Gussie M. Ware Memorial Scholarship Black, Female, GED Recipient, Graduating High School Senior Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed WoTM Scholarship GED Recipient, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate, Manufacturing, Vocational Studies Boone Co., Ogle Co., Rock Co., Stephenson Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed Kjellstrom Women's Scholarship Initiative Female, GED Recipient, High School Graduate, Non-Traditional Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed Dr. Loomis / Rockton Lions Club Scholarship Academics, Community Service, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior Hononegah HS February 1
Closed WoTM Ruthann Gaston Women in Engineering Scholarship Current College Student, Engineering, Female, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate, Renewable Boone Co., Ogle Co., Stephenson Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed League of Women Voters of Greater Rockford Scholarship Academics, Civic Engagement, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate Boone Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed Early Childhood Educators Scholarship Education, GED Recipient, Non-Traditional Boone Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed Zeta Chapter Memorial Award Academics, Female, Graduating High School Senior, Teaching Boone Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed Leonard D. Carmichael Community Service Scholarship Community Service, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior Rochelle HS February 1
Closed Paul and Ruth Neidhold Business Scholarship Business, Graduating High School Senior Harvard HS February 1
Closed Elsie Jefko Carlson Scholarship Financial Need Winnebago Co. Any post-secondary, Any public or private high school February 1
Closed Lieutenant Kelli Ingardona Memorial Scholarship Current College Student, Financial Need, Fire Science, GED Recipient, High School Graduate Boone Co., Ogle Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed Era L. and Frances L. Walker Scholarship Academics, African American, Community Service, Graduating High School Senior, Male Rockford Public Schools 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 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 June 7
Closed La Voz Latina Scholarship Academics, Graduating High School Student, Hispanic Boone Co., Jo Daviess Co., Stephenson Co., Winnebago Co. January 15
Closed Soil and Water Stewardship 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 7
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 Chief David G. Bailey Fire Science Scholarship Fire Science, Firefighter, High School Graduate Boone Co., Ogle Co., Stephenson Co., Winnebago Co. Rolling