Illinois Scholarships for College

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Whether you were born and raised in Illinois or are a newcomer, there's a world of financial aid waiting to help you turn your collegiate dreams into reality. In this guide to Illinois scholarships for college, we'll explore financial aid options, uncovering insider tips along the way!

List of Illinois Scholarships for College

Check out our list of 161,818 Illinois Scholarships for College worth $772M.

Single Parent Scholarship

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Award Amount
$1,000 Award Amount
Total Award Amount
1 Award
Scholarship Deadline
Jul 2, 2024 Deadline

The law office of Newland & Newland, LLP provides exceptional representation and trusted legal guidance to injury victims and their families throughout Cook County and the surrounding areas. Our Arlington Heights personal injury law firm is passionate about supporting the local community and our fellow legal professionals. We aspire to help single parents and their children overcome the challenges preventing them from pursuing higher education by providing the Newland & Newland Single Parent Scholarship. Our team is offering an award worth $1,000 to single parents and children of single parents who are pursuing a career in law.
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Hometown Pride Scholarship

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Award Amount
$1,000 Award Amount
Total Award Amount
1 Award
Scholarship Deadline
Aug 31, 2024 Deadline

At The Kryder Law Group, LLC Accident and Injury Lawyers, we take special pride in serving the people of Illinois and being able to call this state our home. Whether you lived in your hometown or state your whole life, or call a new place your home, we want to hear all about why where you came from is important to you. Through our 2023 Hometown Pride Scholarship, we will award one deserving student with $1,000 to assist them in obtaining their education and their future endeavors. To learn more and apply, visit our scholarship page.
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Goostree Law Group Bright Futures Scholarship

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Award Amount
$2,500 Award Amount
Total Award Amount
1 Award
Scholarship Deadline
Sep 23, 2024 Deadline

The Goostree Law Group gladly offers financial assistance to college and university students twice a year through our Bright Futures Scholarship. This award opportunity is provided to students with demonstrated financial need who exhibit leadership, determination, and passion in their academic studies and personal lives. The Goostree Law Group Bright Futures Scholarship provides one student each semester with the opportunity to receive $2,500. The award may be used toward the student’s educational expenses, including tuition and books.
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HLSF First Year Law Student Scholarship

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Award Amount
$3,000 Award Amount
Total Award Amount
3 Awards
Scholarship Deadline
Dec 15 Deadline

This scholarship is available for first-year Hispanic law students attending a law school in Illinois.
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Illinois CPA Society Exam Award

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Award Amount
$750 Award Amount
Total Award Amount
10 Awards
Scholarship Deadline
Jan 30 Deadline

Illinois residents with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher who demonstrate financial need and are pre-approved to sit for the CPA Exam are eligible for this award. The award is to be used as reimbursement of the NASBA fee.
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Illinois Wesleyan University Alumni Scholarship

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Award Amount
$66,000 Award Amount
Total Award Amount
500 Awards
Scholarship Deadline
Feb 1 Deadline

This award is for U.S. high school students who plan to attend Illinois Wesleyan University (IWU). The student must demonstrate outstanding academic achievement, as determined by high school GPA and results from the SAT or ACT.
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Monetary Award Program (MAP)

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Award Amount
$2,871 Award Amount
Total Award Amount
147,210 Awards
Scholarship Deadline
Feb 15 Deadline

The Monetary Award Program (MAP) provides grants, which do not need to be repaid, to Illinois residents who attend approved Illinois colleges and demonstrate financial need.
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Robert Sherman Fine Art Scholarship

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Award Amount
$1,000 Award Amount
Total Award Amount
1 Award
Scholarship Deadline
Mar 30 Deadline

This scholarship is open to graduating high school seniors who reside in Glenview, Illinois, or attend a high school in District 225. Students must be planning to major in a visual art in college, and must submit samples of their artwork.
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Advancing Women in Accounting Scholarship

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Award Amount
$4,000 Award Amount
Total Award Amount
5 Awards
Scholarship Deadline
Apr 1 Deadline

Illinois women who attend an Illinois institution and plan to sit for the CPA exam within three years are eligible for this award. Students must be college seniors or graduate students and have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
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Illinois CPA Society Accounting Scholarship Program

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Award Amount
$2,000 Award Amount
Total Award Amount
6 Awards
Scholarship Deadline
Apr 1 Deadline

College seniors or graduate students who are residents of Illinois currently enrolled in an accounting program at an Illinois institution with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher are eligible to apply for this award. Students must complete an equivalent of four years of education by Aug. 31, and plan to take additional courses in the following year in order to meet the requirements to sit for the CPA examination in Illinois.
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'REACh Your Goals' Scholarship

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Award Amount
$2,000 Award Amount
Total Award Amount
5 Awards
Scholarship Deadline
Apr 1 Deadline

This award is available for U.S. undergraduate and graduate students who are 25 years of age or older and reside in the greater Chicagoland area. Students must be enrolled in or admitted to a degree or certificate program at a college or university that is a member of the REACh organization and have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
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PFLAG Deerfield Jean Paul Ohadi Scholarship

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Award Amount
$1,000 Award Amount
Total Award Amount
3 Awards
Scholarship Deadline
Apr 1 Deadline

This scholarship is available for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students who reside in Illinois. Applicants must be between the ages of 17 and 22 and must be enrolled as or accepted as an undergraduate student at the time of application.
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Illinois CPA Society Textbook Scholarship

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Award Amount
$500 Award Amount
Total Award Amount
5 Awards
Scholarship Deadline
Apr 1 Deadline

College juniors, seniors and/or graduate students who are Illinois residents currently attending an accounting program of study at an Illinois college or university are eligible for this award. Students must demonstrate financial need and have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
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Coors Light Climb On Scholarship

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Award Amount
$2,500 Award Amount
Total Award Amount
3 Awards
Scholarship Deadline
May 24 Deadline

This undergraduate award is for current high school seniors and college stduents of Latino descent studying at a community college or university in Chicago, IL. Applicants must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
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Hershey Company Tribal Scholarship - Non-Tribal College Students

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Award Amount
$2,500 Award Amount
Total Award Amount
27 Awards
Scholarship Deadline
May 31 Deadline

This scholarship is open to U.S. undergraduate students of American Indian or Alaskan Native descent who have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher and are majoring in math, technology, science, engineering and/or business. Priority is given to students who are studying in or residents of Illinois, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia.
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Horatio Alger Illinois Scholarship Program

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Award Amount
$10,500 Award Amount
Total Award Amount
17 Awards
Scholarship Deadline
Oct 25 Deadline

This award is for high school seniors with a grade point average of 2.0 or higher who demonstrate critical financial need and are residents of Illinois.
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Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship

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Award Amount
$27,856 Award Amount
Total Award Amount
285 Awards
Scholarship Deadline
Oct 30 Deadline

This scholarship is for high school seniors who have caddied, successfully and regularly, for two or more years at a Western Golf Association (WGA) member club. Eligible students must also have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and have taken the ACT; students must also attend an eligible college as defined by the Evans Scholars Foundation.
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Dan L. Meisinger, Sr. Memorial Learn to Fly Scholarship

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Award Amount
$2,500 Award Amount
Total Award Amount
1 Award
Scholarship Deadline
Nov 27 Deadline

This award is for college sophomores, juniors and/or seniors who are currently enrolled in an aviation program and have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Preference is given to residents of Kansas, Missouri or Illinois.
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AGCO Manufacturing Locations Scholarship Program

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Award Amount
$3,000 Award Amount
Total Award Amount
3 Awards
Scholarship Deadline
Jan 14 Deadline

These scholarships are for students who are residents of Georgia, Illinois, Kansas or Minnesota. And, who are a high school senior or college student pursuing a two or four-year degree in any major. Applicants have participated in community service, demonstrate financial need and reside near Jackson, Minnesota.
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Bucknell University Campus Enrichment Scholarship

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Award Amount
$100,000 Award Amount
Total Award Amount
1 Award
Scholarship Deadline
Jan 15 Deadline

This award is available for U.S. students enrolling at Bucknell University. First generation college students, students from outside the university's traditional geographic area, and those who bring cultural and intellectual diversity to the campus will be considered.
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James M. and Virginia M. Smyth Scholarship Fund

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Award Amount
$8,000 Award Amount
Total Award Amount
1 Award
Scholarship Deadline
Jan 22 Deadline

This scholarship is open to U.S. undergraduate students who are majoring in the arts/sciences, human services, music, or ministry. Students must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher and demonstrate financial need. Preference will be given to applicants from Missouri, Mississippi, Georgia, Illinois, Oklahoma, Texas, and Tennessee.
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AIST Midwest Member Chapter Scholarship

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Award Amount
$42,000 Award Amount
Total Award Amount
14 Awards
Scholarship Deadline
Jan 31 Deadline

This scholarship is available for U.S. high school seniors and undergraduate students in Northwestern Indiana, Northern Illinois, Wisconsin, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa who are planning to major in engineering and pursue a career in iron and steel technology. Applicants must be AIST Midwest Chapter members or dependents of AIST Midwest Chapter members.
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Chicago Graduate Scholarship

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Award Amount
$25,000 Award Amount
Total Award Amount
5 Awards
Scholarship Deadline
Feb 1 Deadline

This scholarship is available for Jewish graduate students who immigrated to the United States through the assistance of HIAS Chicago and/or applied for permanent residency or citizenship with the assistance of HIAS Chicago between Jan. 1, 2000 and the present. The student must have lived in the United States since March 1 or earlier.
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Chicago Benton Bernstein Scholarship

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Award Amount
$25,000 Award Amount
Total Award Amount
5 Awards
Scholarship Deadline
Feb 1 Deadline

This scholarship is available for Jewish graduate students who immigrated to the United States through the assistance of HIAS Chicago and/or applied for permanent residency or citizenship with the assistance of HIAS Chicago between Jan. 1, 2000- present. The student must be enrolled in professional study in one of the helping professions.
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Era L. and Frances L. Walker Scholarship

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Award Amount
$10,000 Award Amount
Total Award Amount
1 Award
Scholarship Deadline
Feb 1 Deadline

The Era L. and Francis L. Walker Scholarship is a named scholarship from the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois that aims to help African American males who are graduating high school seniors from a Rockford Public School to pursue higher education.
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EXPERT INSIGHT Illinois is home to some of the world's most prestigious institutions including the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Northwestern University, and the University of Chicago. These schools are known for academic excellence and attract students from around the world. Illinois is also a leader in terms of making college more accessible and affordable. Grant programs like MAP and the Illinois Dream Fund provide generous support to lower and middle class families as well as undocumented students. MAP can also be used at either public or private schools such as Roosevelt, DePaul, Loyola, or Benedictine University. While generous, grants alone often do not cover all a student's educational expenses. For this reason, I encourage all Illinois students I mentor to apply for private scholarships as well.
-John Hall (BA, MBA, EdD) Expert Quote from John Hall

Considering a college education in Illinois? From bustling Chicago to the serene landscapes of downstate Illinois, the state offers a diverse array of institutions and financial aid options. In this guide, we’ll dive into the world of Illinois scholarships for college, providing invaluable insights and resources to help students unlock the doors to affordable education.

Whether you’re from Illinois or considering making it your home for higher education, let’s explore the pathways to academic success through scholarships designed specifically for you!

Understanding Scholarships in Illinois

The city skyline glows brightly at night, reflecting vividly on the calm lake waters.

As you navigate the bustling streets of Chicago for the first time or soak in the serene beauty of downstate Illinois, one thing’s for sure: your college journey is going to be exciting!

But let’s face it — college isn’t just about late-night study sessions and cramming for exams. It’s about seizing opportunities, chasing dreams, and making memories that will last a lifetime. We believe that every student deserves a shot at achieving their academic aspirations.

That’s where scholarships come in. But how do you find them?

How Do You Find Illinois Scholarships?

As you prepare for college in Illinois, it’s important to recognize the significant financial investment that higher education entails. Tuition costs, textbooks, housing, and other expenses can quickly add up, placing a considerable strain on students and their families.

In a state like Illinois, where the cost of living and tuition rates can be high, scholarships play a crucial role in ensuring that students from all backgrounds have access to quality education.

By alleviating the financial burden of college, scholarships can enable you to fully immerse yourself in your studies, explore extracurricular activities, and engage in meaningful experiences that contribute to your personal and academic growth. Here are some tips for finding scholarships:

  • Utilize Scholarship Search Engines: Websites like UNIGO offer comprehensive databases of scholarships tailored to Illinois residents. Use these platforms to search for scholarships based on your background, interests, and academic achievements.
  • Check with Educational Institutions: Reach out to the financial aid offices of colleges and universities in Illinois to inquire about institutional scholarships. Many schools offer merit-based and need-based scholarships to incoming students, so be sure to explore all available options.
  • Research State and Local Scholarships: Illinois offers a variety of scholarships specifically for residents of the state.
  • Review Professional Associations and Organizations: Many professional associations and organizations in Illinois offer scholarships to students pursuing careers in specific fields. Whether you’re interested in healthcare, engineering, or the arts, there may be scholarship opportunities available through professional associations in your chosen field.
  • Tap into Ethnic, Cultural, and Minority Resources: Explore scholarships offered by ethnic, cultural, and minority organizations in Illinois. These organizations often provide scholarships to students of specific ethnicities, backgrounds, or identities, so be sure to research and apply for scholarships that align with your identity and experiences.

How Do I Apply for Scholarships in Illinois?

As you start looking to secure scholarships to support your educational journey in Illinois, it may feel overwhelming. But here are some essential tips to help you navigate the application process with confidence:

Tip #1: Craft a Compelling Personal Statement
A personal statement is your chance to showcase your achievements, goals, and aspirations. Take the time to craft a narrative that authentically reflects who you are and why you deserve the scholarship.

Tip #2: Gather Strong Letters of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation provide valuable insight into your character and abilities. Reach out to individuals who can speak to your qualifications and request letters well in advance of application deadlines.

Tip #3: Meet Application Deadlines
Organization is key. Keep track of application deadlines and submit your materials well in advance to avoid missing out on opportunities.

Tip #4: Follow Application Instructions Carefully
Pay close attention to application instructions and ensure that you provide all required documents and information. Double-check your application for completeness and accuracy before submitting it.

Tip #5: Prepare for Interviews
Some scholarships may require interviews. Prepare by researching the scholarship organization, practicing common interview questions, and showcasing your qualifications with confidence.

Tip #6: Seek Feedback
Get feedback from mentors or peers. Use their input to refine and strengthen your application materials before submission.

Tip #7: Stay Persistent and Keep Applying

Scholarship applications can be competitive, but don’t let setbacks deter you. Stay persistent, continue honing your materials, and keep applying for opportunities aligned with your goals. With dedication, you can increase your chances of securing valuable financial aid for your education in Illinois.

Merit-Based Scholarships in Illinois

https://drive.google.com/file/d/13d3fG87ONktE56_sLRUhUB265nXQHM_e/view?usp=drive_link

Trying to find merit-based scholarships in Illinois can be both exciting and daunting. These scholarships recognize students for their exceptional academic performance, leadership skills, and extracurricular achievements. They serve as a valuable form of financial aid, rewarding students who have demonstrated excellence in various aspects of their academic journey.

Examples of merit-based scholarships in Illinois include the Illinois State Scholars Program, which honors top-performing high school seniors based on their academic achievements and extracurricular involvement. 

Understanding the eligibility criteria, application process, and deadlines for these scholarships is essential for maximizing your chances of success. By staying informed and proactive, you can unlock the doors to valuable financial assistance that will support you on your educational journey in Illinois.

Scholarships for High School Students in Illinois

It’s never too early to start preparing for college! High school student scholarships help alleviate the financial burden of college tuition while rewarding you for your hard work and achievements during your high school years. 

An example of scholarships for high school students in Illinois includes the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), which offers financial aid to graduating seniors based on academic merit, financial need, or specific criteria such as minority status or military service. Additionally, many local organizations, businesses, and foundations offer scholarships to students within their communities, providing further opportunities for financial support.

Scholarships for High School Seniors in Illinois

Here are some examples of scholarships for high school seniors in Illinois:

  • Illinois State Scholar Program: This prestigious program, administered by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), recognizes outstanding academic achievement among Illinois high school seniors. Recipients of the Illinois State Scholar designation receive a monetary award to help cover tuition costs at participating Illinois colleges and universities.
  • Chicago Scholars Program: Designed to empower and support students from under-resourced communities in Chicago, the Chicago Scholars Program provides comprehensive college access and success support. High school seniors selected as Chicago Scholars receive financial assistance, mentorship, and access to resources to help them succeed in college and beyond.
  • Community Foundation Scholarships: Many community foundations throughout Illinois offer scholarships to high school seniors in their respective regions. These scholarships may be based on academic achievement, financial need, community involvement, or specific criteria set by the foundation.

Scholarships for College Students in Illinois

Waterfall wall glowing in the twilight of at Ferne Clyffe Waterfall Trail.

As you embark on your higher education journey in Illinois, don’t forget to explore scholarship opportunities tailored to your racial background. The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation Scholarship and the Illinois Latino Legislative Caucus Foundation Scholarship are two noteworthy avenues for students seeking financial support. 

These scholarships are designed to empower students of Black and Latino heritage, respectively, by providing financial assistance, mentorship, and networking opportunities. Whether you’re pursuing a degree at a college or university in Illinois, these scholarships offer invaluable resources to help alleviate the financial burden of your education while fostering personal and professional growth.

Scholarships for Graduate Students in Illinois

Are you a graduate student in Illinois? According to the NCES, “postsecondary institutions in the United States1 conferred 1.1 million graduate degrees” in the 2020-2021 academic year. With so many individuals attending graduate school, there is a significant need for scholarships. One scholarship option for graduate students is The Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois Program. 

This program aims to recruit and prepare talented individuals to become exceptional teachers in high-need schools throughout Illinois. College students pursuing teaching degrees at participating Illinois universities are eligible to apply for the Golden Apple Scholars Program. Recipients receive financial assistance, mentorship, and professional development opportunities to support their journey to becoming effective educators. 

Grants for Students in Illinois

Looking for options other than scholarships? Grants provide valuable financial assistance to students based on financial need, background, and other eligibility criteria. In Illinois, various grant programs are available to help students cover the costs of their education, including tuition, fees, and other expenses. 

You can obtain grants through the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Keep in mind that some grants may require you to meet specific requirements to maintain eligibility.

Illinois Scholarships for Out-of-State Students

Considering a move to Illinois for higher education and career prospects? You’re in luck! Illinois offers scholarships specifically tailored for out-of-state students, making it an attractive destination for pursuing your academic and professional goals.

With its world-class universities, vibrant job market, and diverse communities, Illinois is a great spot for personal and intellectual growth. By taking advantage of these scholarship opportunities, you can not only offset the cost of tuition but also immerse yourself in a fulfilling academic and professional journey.

What Illinois Colleges Provide Full-Ride Scholarships?

Wondering which colleges in Illinois offer full-ride scholarships? These are just a few examples of the many Illinois colleges that prioritize making higher education accessible and affordable for all students through full-ride scholarship opportunities:

The University of Chicago offers the UChicago Empower Initiative, which provides full-tuition scholarships to students from families with incomes below $125,000, along with additional financial aid to cover room and board for eligible students.

Northwestern University offers the Northwestern Scholarship, which covers the full cost of attendance for admitted students with demonstrated financial need, ensuring that all students have access to a world-class education regardless of their financial circumstances.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers the Illinois Commitment program, which guarantees full tuition and fees for in-state students from families with incomes below $67,100. Additionally, the university provides need-based aid to cover additional expenses such as room and board for eligible students.

10 Scholarships in Illinois You Should Apply For

Navy Pier's Ferris wheel against Chicago skyline and Lake Michigan's sparkling waters.

Now that you know all about how to apply for scholarships and what your financial aid options are in Illinois, here are 10 scholarships that you should consider applying for:

  1. Illinois CPA Society Accounting Tuition Scholarship: This scholarship is awarded to students pursuing a degree in accounting at an Illinois college or university. Recipients must demonstrate academic excellence and financial need.
  2. Roosevelt University Presidential Scholarship: The Presidential Scholarship at Roosevelt University is awarded to incoming freshmen who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement, leadership potential, and commitment to their community.
  3. Illinois AMVETS Service Foundation Scholarships: These scholarships are available to Illinois high school seniors who are the children or grandchildren of veterans. Recipients are selected based on academic achievement, extracurricular involvement, and financial need.
  4. Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation Illinois Scholarships: This scholarship is awarded to children of Marines and Navy Corpsmen from Illinois. Recipients must demonstrate academic excellence, leadership, and financial need.
  5. American Legion Illinois Scholarships: The American Legion offers various scholarships for Illinois students, including the American Legion Illinois Boys State Scholarship and the American Legion Illinois Girls State Scholarship. These scholarships are awarded to participants of the Boys State and Girls State programs who demonstrate academic excellence and leadership skills.
  6. Chicagoland Golf Caddie Scholarship: This scholarship is available to high school seniors who have caddied for at least two seasons at a participating Chicagoland golf club. Recipients must demonstrate financial need, academic achievement, and caddie performance.
  7. Illinois Federation of Teachers Scholarships: The Illinois Federation of Teachers offers scholarships to high school seniors who are the children of members or members of affiliated unions. Recipients are selected based on academic achievement, leadership, and community involvement.
  8. National Italian American Foundation Scholarships: These scholarships are available to Italian American students from Illinois who demonstrate academic achievement, leadership, and commitment to their heritage. Recipients are selected based on academic merit and financial need.
  9. Illinois Chemical Education Foundation Scholarships: These scholarships are awarded to Illinois high school seniors who plan to pursue a degree in chemistry or chemical engineering at an Illinois college or university. Recipients must demonstrate academic excellence, leadership, and involvement in chemistry-related activities.
  10. Illinois Retail Merchants Association Educational Foundation Scholarships: The IRMA Educational Foundation offers scholarships to Illinois students pursuing degrees in retail-related fields such as business, marketing, and hospitality management. Recipients are selected based on academic achievement, leadership, and career goals in the retail industry.