Scholarships

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Thanks to the generosity of local donors and the hard work of scholarship reviewers, the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois has recently finished its 2019 - 2020 scholarship season, making 176 awards worth up to $305,046 to local students. The scholarships will support the post-secondary educational aspirations of 144 students from 27 local high schools.

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 Zeta Chapter Memorial Award Academics, Female, Graduating High School Senior, Teaching Boone Co., 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 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 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 William Pigott Memorial Scholarship Academics, Engineering, Graduating High School Senior Boone Co., McHenry Co., Winnebago Co. 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 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 Walter K. Raczynski Family Scholarship Academics, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior, Renewable Boone Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed 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
Closed University of Michigan Scholarship Academics, Current College Student, GED Recipient, Graduating High School Senior, Non-Traditional University of Michigan February 1
Closed 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
Closed 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
Closed Taus Community Endowment Scholarship African American, Community Service, Female, Graduating High School Senior Winnebago Co. 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 Sorensen Memorial Theater Scholarship Academics, Community Service, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior, Theater 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 Sorensen Memorial Engineering Scholarship Academics, Community Service, Engineering, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior Boone Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed Sorensen Memorial Architecture Scholarship Academics, Architecture, Community Service, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior Boone Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed Senior Memorial Scholarship Academics, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior Rockford Public High Schools February 1
Closed Roger L. Ekstrom Memorial Scholarship Academics, Athletics, Graduating High School Senior Guilford HS February 1
Closed Rockton Lions Club Scholarship Academics, Community Service, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior Hononegah HS 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 Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity College Scholarship GED Recipient, Non-Traditional, Renewable Greater Rockford 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 Richard Dopp Memorial Scholarship Academics, Accounting, Community Service, Graduating High School Senior, Medical Sciences Boone Co., Ogle Co., Stephenson Co., Winnebago Co. February 1

Other Scholarships

Status Scholarship Name Type Region Schools Deadline
Open Richard J. Schnell Memorial Scholarship Current College Student, Dental, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate, Non-Traditional July 3
Closed Leopold Education Project Scholarship Academics, Conservation, GED Recipient, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate NE Illinois February 15
Closed La Voz Latina Scholarship Academics, Graduating High School Student, Hispanic Boone Co., Jo Daviess Co., Stephenson Co., Winnebago Co. January 18
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
Closed Helen R. (Finley) Loescher and Stephen B. Loescher Scholarship Arts, Education, Graduating High School Senior Freeport 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 May 20
Open Chief David G. Bailey Fire Science Scholarship Fire Science, Firefighter, High School Graduate Boone Co., Ogle Co., Stephenson Co., Winnebago Co. Rolling
Closed Bonnie Sorenson Scudder Scholarship Education, Female, Graduating High School Senior, Teaching Harvard HS February 1