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 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 Nancy Kalchbrenner Scholarship Academics, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior, Non-Traditional Rockford Public High Schools February 1
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
Closed Nettie and Jesse Gorov Scholarship Academics, Current College Student, Financial Need, GED Recipient, Non-Traditional Boone Co., Ogle Co., Stephenson Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed Northwest Community Center Scholarship Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate Rockford February 1
Closed Northwestern Illinois Building Trades Blais Family Scholarship Academics, Community Service, Graduating High School Senior, Trade Union NW Illinois February 1
Closed Paul and Ruth Neidhold Business Scholarship Business, Graduating High School Senior Harvard HS February 1
Closed Phyllis Howard Memorial Scholarship Academics, Current College Student, Financial Need, Fire Science, Firefighter, GED Recipient Boone Co., Ogle Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed Pi Gamma Omega Scholarship Academics, African American, Community Service, Female Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed R.I.S.E. Nursing Scholarship Current College Student, Non-Traditional, Nursing Boone Co., Ogle Co., Stephenson Co., Winnebago Co. February 1
Closed Randall A. Blank Memorial Scholarship Graduating High School Senior, High School Graduate, Police Science, Renewable Winnebago Co. 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
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 Rockford Area Habitat for Humanity College Scholarship GED Recipient, Non-Traditional, Renewable Greater Rockford 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 Rockton Lions Club Scholarship Academics, Community Service, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior Hononegah HS February 1
Closed Roger L. Ekstrom Memorial Scholarship Academics, Athletics, Graduating High School Senior Guilford HS February 1
Closed Senior Memorial Scholarship Academics, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior Rockford Public High Schools 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 Engineering Scholarship Academics, Community Service, Engineering, 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 Sorensen Memorial Theater Scholarship Academics, Community Service, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior, Theater Boone Co., 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 Taus Community Endowment Scholarship African American, Community Service, Female, Graduating High School Senior 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

Other Scholarships