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. 

View Past Year's CFNIL Scholarship Recipients

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 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 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 University of Michigan Scholarship Academics, Current College Student, GED Recipient, Graduating High School Senior, Non-Traditional University of Michigan 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 Walter K. Raczynski Family Scholarship Academics, Financial Need, Graduating High School Senior, Renewable Boone 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 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 William Pigott Memorial Scholarship Academics, Engineering, Graduating High School Senior Boone Co., McHenry 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 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 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 Zeta Chapter Memorial Award Academics, Female, Graduating High School Senior, Teaching Boone Co., Winnebago Co. February 1

Other Scholarships