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 Amanda Reed Memorial Scholarship Community Service, GED Recipient, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate Boone Co., Ogle Co., Stephenson Co., Winnebago Co. Any public or private high school February 1
Closed Richard L. Bernardi Memorial Scholarship Current College Student, Financial Need, GED Recipient, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate Rock Valley College February 1
Closed Hazel Mortimer Hyde Memorial Conservation NSDAR Scholarship Academics, Conservation, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed Ashley E. Ketcher Memorial Scholarship Arts, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior Auburn HS February 1
Closed Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity College Scholarship GED Recipient, Non-Traditional, Renewable Greater Rockford February 1
Closed Hegel Family Soccer Scholarship Academics, Athletics, Community Service, Graduating High School Student Hononegah HS February 1
Closed Beta Gamma Recruitment Grant Female, Graduating High School Senior, Teaching Boone Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed Roger L. Ekstrom Memorial Scholarship Academics, Athletics, Graduating High School Senior Guilford HS February 1
Closed Howard and Eithal Curry Elementary Education Recruitment Grant Education, Female, Graduating High School Senior, Teaching Boone Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed Amber Huber Memorial Scholarship Athletics, Female, Graduating High School Senior, Renewable Byron HS February 1
Closed Senior Memorial Scholarship Academics, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior Rockford Public High Schools February 1
Closed Sorensen Memorial Engineering Scholarship Academics, Community Service, Engineering, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior Boone Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
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 Willard J. Corbett & Alice C. Corbett 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

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 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