Top Illinois Scholarships in 2022 - Scholarships360 (2023)


Top Illinois Scholarships in 2022

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Gabriel Jimenez-Ekman is a content editor and writer at Scholarships360.He has managed communications and written content for a diverse array of organizations, including a farmer’s market, a concert venue, a student farm, an environmental NGO, and a PR agency.Gabriel graduated from Kenyon College with a degree in sociology.

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Kayla Korzekwinski is a Scholarships360 content writer. She earned her BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied Advertising/PR, Rhetorical Communication, and Anthropology. Kayla has worked on communications for non-profits and student organizations. She loves to write and come up with new ways to express ideas.

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Illinois, also known as the “Land of Lincoln,” is home to some of the most renowned colleges in the Midwest. From the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to Northwestern, there is a college for any student! Illinois scholarships are also available to help pay for college. The following list contains some of the best scholarships to help make your Illinois education a reality.

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Keep on reading to learn more about the top Illinois scholarships including deadlines, award amounts, and eligibility requirements.

Jump ahead to:

  • Illinois student loan debt snapshot
  • Top Illinois scholarships
  • Merit scholarships at Illinois colleges and universities
  • Additional Illinois resources
  • Frequently asked questions

Illinois college loan debt snapshot

According to the Department of Education, Illinois residents owe $61.6 billion in federal student loan debt, with 1,631,500 student borrowers owing an average of $37,757 each (this does not include private loans). In Illinois, 54.5% of student loan borrowers are under the age of 35. As you are starting your higher education journey, remember that scholarships allow students to take less loans. Make sure that you apply to as many as you qualify for.

Top Illinois scholarships

Illinois Water Environment Association Clean Water Scholarship

  • Eligibility: Illinois residents or students attending a college or university in Illinois, who have a 2.5+ GPA. Must have completed at least 2 years of undergraduate study or be in a graduate program. Must enroll full-time. Must be studying a water-related field of study such as civil or environmental engineering, environmental science, or wastewater systems operation
  • Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: End of January annually

Community Foundation of Northern Illinois scholarships

  • Eligibility: Over 90 scholarships with different criteria, but all meant to serve residents of Northern Illinois, especially students in Boone, Ogle, Stephenson, and Winnebago Counties
  • Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: February 1 annually

Soil and Water Stewardship Scholarship

  • Eligibility: Students with a minimum 3.0 GPA enrolled or planning to enroll full-time in a 2-year or 4-year program pursuing a degree in natural resource fields. Must have a permanent residence in Boone, Cook, Dekalb, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, Will or Winnebago Counties
  • Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: February 15 annually

Association for Women in Communications (AWC) Springfield Educational Scholarship

  • Eligibility: Undergraduate juniors or seniors, or graduate students, who are either from Central Illinois or attending school in Central Illinois. Must be majoring in majoring in communications, journalism, public relations, marketing, graphic design, videography, photography, or related fields, and be pursuing a career in communications or a related field
  • Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: March 1

Friends of Volo Bog Environmental Studies/Natural Science Scholarship Program

  • Eligibility: High school seniors residing in Lake, McHenry, Kane, Cook, DuPage, Kendall, or Will County who maintained a B average for their first 3 years of high school and who plan to pursue a career that helps preserve the natural environment. Continuing college applicants can also apply if they reside in one of those counties and obtained a B average from a high school there, and have maintained one in college
  • Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: March 31

Palumbo Family Foundation Scholarship Program

  • Eligibility: High school seniors, undergraduate students, and students at vocational programs with a minimum 3.0 GPA who are residents of Cook, Dupage, Kane, Lake, or Will Counties
  • Amount: $2,000 – $11,000. Varies based on scholarship
  • Deadline: March 31 (Opens January 1)

Lombard Area American Association of University Women “Return to Learning” Scholarship

  • Eligibility: Female residents of the Lombard Area (Addison, Glen Ellyn, Glendale Heights, Lombard, Oakbrook Terrace, Villa Park, or Wheaton) enrolled or planning to return to school after an interruption in their studies. Special consideration will be given to applicants who are pursuing studies in STEM fields.
  • Amount: $5,000
  • Deadline: Early April

Chicago Engineers Foundation High School Graduate Award

  • Eligibility: Live or go to high school in the City of Chicago. Must be accepted at an engineering program within a four-year accredited college/university for the upcoming school year. Proof in the form of an acceptance letter from the college/university is required
  • Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: Early April

Corporate Relocation Council of Chicago Scholarship

  • Eligibility: Students in the Chicagoland area with a 3.0+ GPA whose parents relocated a distance greater than 50 miles, and who had to change schools, for their job. Relocation should have taken place between grades 9 and 12. Must be a senior at a Chicagoland high school (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, Will counties in Illinois)
  • Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: Early April

Chicago Coalition for the Homeless Scholarship

  • Eligibility: Chicago high school seniors with a2.5+ GPA who plan on enrolling in a 2- or 4-year program who have experienced homelessness, living in a shelter, on the street, or doubled-up in someone else’s home. Must be able to prove that they have experienced this. Youth leaders who are active with CCH or former youth client of the CCH Law Project can also apply if they are no older than 24 by the end of April in the year they apply
  • Amount: $3,500
  • Deadline: Late April

Korean American Scholarship Foundation Midwestern Regional Chapter Scholarship

  • Eligibility: Students of Korean heritage who live in the Midwestern region, demonstrate financial need, and have a 3.0+ GPA. High school seniors, undergrad students, and graduate students can all apply
  • Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: June 30

BLM² Scholarship

  • Eligibility: Illinois residents. Must be a graduating high school senior in the year of the award. Must have a 3.0+ GPA. Must enroll full-time. Must be a minority (African American, Hispanic, Asian or Pacific American, or Alaska Native, etc.)
  • Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: Early July

University of Chicago’s Chicago Police and Fire Scholarship

  • Eligibility: Students admitted to University of Chicago who are children of active firefighters and police officers, or firefighters and police officers who died in the line of duty
  • Amount: Full tuition at University of Chicago
  • Deadline: November 2 for early decision and January 4 for regular decision

Golden Apple Scholars of Illinois

  • Eligibility: Must be named a Golden Apple Scholar by the Golden Apple Foundation. All Scholars agree to teach for five years in an Illinois School of Need. Must be a resident of Illinois. Be enrolled at a 4-year institution designated as a participating college by the Golden Apple Foundation. Be attending school to teach. Have a 2.5+ GPA as a college sophomore, junior or senior
  • Amount: $2,500 for freshman and sophomores; $5,000 as a junior or senior
  • Deadline: Visit website to learn more about application process

Merit scholarships at Illinois colleges and universities

University of Chicago

  • Eligibility: Determined based on admission application
  • Amount: At least $2,000
  • Deadline: Automatically considered upon admission to University of Chicago

University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign

  • Eligibility: Variety of merit-based scholarships for incoming first-year students, both residents and non-residents
  • Amount: $2,000 – Full tuition; varies based on scholarship
  • Deadline: Automatically considered upon admission to UIUC

Northwestern University

  • Eligibility: Northwestern University scholarships are based on financial need and decision is made based on admission application
  • Amount: $250 – $40,000
  • Deadline: Considered upon admission to Northwestern

University of Illinois – Chicago

  • Eligibility: Must be an Illinois resident and senior graduating from an Illinois high school. Be ranked 1st in your graduating class or have a 3.8+ GPA. Have an ACT of 33 or SAT score of 1450
  • Amount: up to $10,000 per year
  • Deadline: Complete admission application by December 1

Illinois Institute of Technology

  • Eligibility: Incoming first-year students to IIT. Must display outstanding academic and extracurricular achievement and leadership
  • Amount: Up to full cost of tuition
  • Deadline: Varies based on scholarship between November 15, January 15, and March 1

Principia College

  • Eligibility: Incoming first-year students to Principia College. Have a 3.6+ GPA
  • Amount: $5,000 – $25,000 per year
  • Deadline: Considered upon admission to Principia College

Additional Illinois resources

Illinois Student Assistance Commission

Provides a variety of scholarships funded through annual appropriations by the Illinois General Assembly and the Governor. Scholarships are available for students studying teaching, nursing, and show financial need.

Nursing Education Scholarship Program

Students pursuing a certificate in practical nursing, an associate degree in nursing, a hospital-based diploma in nursing or a bachelor’s or graduate degree in nursing and demonstrate financial need can be eligible for tuition assistance through this program. The application cycle for this scholarship is from March 1 through April 30.

First Phoenix Scholarship University of Chicago

All first-generation college students will be awarded a $20,000 scholarship over four years as part of the First Phoenix Scholarship program. Awards are made to students whose parents did not attain a degree from a four-year college or university. Applicants who qualify will automatically be considered and need not submit any additional materials beyond the application for admission.

Frequently asked questions

Does Illinois offer free college?

The state of Illinois does not have a program that covers full tuition, but several universities in Illinois have scholarships that cover full tuition including University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Northeastern Illinois University, and more.

Keep reading

  • Top scholarships for women
  • Top no-essay scholarships
  • Easy scholarships to apply for
  • Top scholarships for high school seniors
  • Top scholarships for Black students


How do you get a 2022 full-ride scholarship? ›

How can students win a full-ride scholarship?
  1. Plan ahead. Students should start doing research as soon as they start high school. ...
  2. Keep grades up. Students should demonstrate academic excellence. ...
  3. Be a leader. ...
  4. Get involved. ...
  5. Build relationships with mentors. ...
  6. Find strengths. ...
  7. Submit a great scholarship application.
26 Jul 2022

How can I increase my chances of winning a scholarship? ›

5 Ways to Increase Your Chances of Winning a Scholarship
  1. Treat scholarship applications like a job. ...
  2. The more involved, the less amount of competition. ...
  3. Look for local scholarships. ...
  4. Find scholarships that fit your unique personality. ...
  5. Don't forget to look at your part-time job or your parent's job.
28 Jun 2022

What is the probability of winning a scholarship? ›

Odds of Winning a Scholarship

Only about 1 in 8 college students wins a scholarship, and the average amount used to pay for college is about $4,200 a year. Very few students win $25,000 or more in scholarships each year (only about 0.1%). Among the students who win scholarships, 97% win $2,500 or less.

How do I guarantee a full ride scholarship? ›

Full-ride academic scholarship: Be at the top of your class with a great GPA, take AP/honors classes, and get perfect (or close to perfect) SAT or ACT scores. Along with academic merit, it also helps to also have leadership skills or community involvement, too (see below).

What GPA do you need for a full ride scholarship? ›

Though a 3.0 or higher GPA increases your chances of earning a larger scholarship, you can still receive one if you have a GPA lower than 3.0. Some scholarships place importance on other criteria, such as financial needs, volunteer experience or involvement in a sport or club.

Which scholarship gives the most money? ›

Featured Online Schools
Miss AmericaAdditional Information Amount Awarded: Varies, up to $12,000 Deadline: Varies
Coca-Cola Scholars FoundationAdditional Information Amount Awarded: Up to $20,000 Deadline: August
Buick AchieversAdditional Information Amount Awarded: $25,000 Deadline: Varies
7 more rows

What school gives the most scholarships? ›

The 50 colleges that offer the most student aid
RankCollegeStudents receiving need-based aid
1Columbia University2,973
2Yale University2,732
3Williams College1,014
4Amherst College1,066
46 more rows
29 Oct 2018

What is a good number of scholarships to apply to? ›

For those that want solid numbers, on average, many of the students I work with are applying for anywhere between 3-7+ scholarships, each, per week.

What is a good amount for a scholarship? ›

Most students can expect to receive $5,000 to $10,000 in scholarships, but that varies widely based on the cost of attendance at the college and how hard the student works on the application process.

How many scholarships should I apply for? ›

How many scholarships should you apply for? The short answer is that you should apply to as many as you can, as early as you can. This means that you need to be looking early, and finding out when deadlines are. But remember, you don't want to make a career out of scholarship searching and application.

How much does the average student win in scholarships? ›

The U.S. Department of Education awards an estimated $46 billion in scholarship money annually. The average scholarship is worth $7,400.

Is getting a full scholarship hard? ›

How hard is it to get a full ride scholarship? Less than 1 percent of students get full ride scholarships, showing just how difficult it is to earn one. However, with the right background, proper planning and by knowing where to look, your chances of landing a full ride scholarship can increase.

Is a 5000 dollar scholarship good? ›

Scholarship award amounts vary across the board, but $5,000 can go a long way toward tuition, books, housing, and many other education-related expenses.

What is the hardest scholarship to get? ›

Top 10 Hardest Scholarships to Get
  • Rhodes Scholarship.
  • Fullbright Scholarship.
  • Gates Cambridge Scholarship.
  • Princeton Scholarship.
  • Mitchell Scholarship.
  • Churchill Scholarship.
  • Marshall Scholarship.
  • Jardine Scholarship.
23 Sept 2020

Can you negotiate a full ride scholarship? ›

You can always negotiate your merit aid package. If you are accepted to multiple schools, and your first choice is more expensive than your second choice, call the school to negotiate.

Do full ride scholarships cover everything? ›

A full-ride scholarship covers your entire college costs, such as tuition fees, room and board, class materials, transportation, and even study-abroad programs.

How do you know what scholarships I qualify for? ›

Try these free sources of information about scholarships:
  1. the financial aid office at a college or career school.
  2. a high school or TRIO counselor.
  3. the U.S. Department of Labor's FREE scholarship search tool.
  4. federal agencies.
  5. your state grant agency.
  6. your library's reference section.

What is the highest GPA you can get? ›

Generally, most high schools subtract (. 3) for a minus grade and add (. 3) for a plus grade, where 4.0 is considered the highest GPA. Though the calculation of average GPA is quite simple on a 4.0 scale, you can always contact your school's counselor's office for better estimation and results.

What GPA is required for Harvard? ›

Most students admitted to Harvard have an unweighted GPA of 4.18 or above, so you'll need to have at least a 4.2 to be seriously evaluated. To meet the Harvard requirements, you'll have to score primarily A's on your high school courses.

Which scholarship is best for students? ›

Top scholarships for Undergraduates – National and International...
  • CLP India Scholarship Scheme.
  • Sitaram Jindal Foundation Scholarship Scheme.
  • NIU Scholarship cum Admission Test (NSAT)
  • Raman Kant Munjal Scholarship.
  • Dr. ...
  • ICTS – S. N. Bhatt Memorial Excellence Fellowship Program.
  • ICAI Commerce Wizard.
  • The Anant Fellowship.
20 Sept 2022

What state gives the most scholarships? ›

The top 10 best states for collegiate athletic scholarships:
RankStateNumber of Scholarships per 100,000 people
6 more rows
2 Aug 2022

How much money is the Coca Cola scholarship? ›

Coca-Cola Scholars Program Scholarship – High school seniors with a minimum 3.0 unweighted GPA may apply on our website in August of their senior year until the October 31 deadline. 150 Coca-Cola Scholars are selected each year to receive this $20,000 scholarship.

What is the best month to apply for scholarships? ›

While the entire period can be filled with critical application dates, October is one of the most popular months for scholarship deadlines, so it's worth taking some time to keep an eye count this time of year, especially.

What are three websites to find scholarships? ›

Here are some of the best scholarship websites to assist you in your search:
  • Fastweb.
  • Cappex.
  • Niche.
  • Chegg.
  • Peterson's.
  • Unigo.
  • Scholly.
24 Nov 2021

What is the easiest way to get a scholarship? ›

  1. Use a free scholarship search site.
  2. Check out local organizations and nonprofits.
  3. Contact colleges about institutional scholarships.
  4. Earn a merit scholarship.
  5. Apply to scholarships based on majors.
  6. Take advantage of employer scholarships.
  7. Try for an athletic scholarship.

What is the most famous scholarship? ›

The Rhodes Scholarship is the oldest graduate fellowship in the world, and probably the most famous.

What is the maximum amount of scholarships that a student can receive? ›

In general, there is no limit to the number of combined scholarships and grants a student can receive, although the award totals may be restricted by the cost of attendance at a student's school.

Can you get too many scholarships? ›

Too Many Scholarships Affect Financial Aid

You're required to report any sort of outside scholarships or financial aid to your college, so your institutional aid can be adjusted accordingly. Basically, the more outside scholarship money you get, the less money the school itself will give you.

Can I apply for 2 scholarships? ›

Dear aspirant, If you are applying for NSP scholarships then you cannot apply for two scholarships at a time as this is one of criteria for the nsp that you can avail any other scholrship if you are taking one of the scholarship.

Why are scholarships so hard to find? ›

It's very hard to get college scholarship because a student has to go through various levels to get selected. The criteria or the process may vary from college to college. Some of the criteria college follow are academic qualifications, scholarship test, interview etc.

What percentage of students get a scholarship? ›

7% or 1 in 8 students are likely to receive a scholarship. Only 0.2% of students receive upwards of $25,000 in scholarships. 5% of students in bachelor programs got enough of scholarships to cover 100% of costs.

Do scholarships expire? ›

Depending on the rules, scholarship winners often have to use the funds by a certain timeline, or the money will be forfeited. While some scholarships renew their funds for four years, others do not. Most scholarship prizes can only fund college tuition for one year, and expire after that use.

What ACT score is needed for a full ride? ›

Overall, my research so far has been surprising in that there are a few schools that will offer full-tuition scholarships starting in the 22 – 25 ACT range, but most full-ride scholarships require a 28 ACT or higher.

What scholarships can I get 2022? ›

Top scholarships for college students in 2022:
  • $10,000 “No Essay” Scholarship.
  • $2,000 Nitro College Scholarship – No Essay.
  • Niche $50,000 “No Essay” Scholarship.
  • $2,000 “No Essay” College Scholarship.
  • $2,000 Student-led Virtual Tour Scholarship.
  • “Be Bold” No-Essay Scholarship.
  • “Outstanding Undergraduate” Essay Scholarship.

Can I get a full ride scholarship with a 4.0 GPA? ›

Generally though, the higher your GPA, the better the chance for a full scholarship. However, a 4.0 GPA in the most rigorous classes is not going to guarantee you a full ride scholarship.

Can I get a full ride scholarship with a 3.5 GPA? ›

Several scholarships have minimum GPA requirements which applicants must meet to be eligible for scholarship awards. Thankfully, a 3.5 GPA opens the door to many of these scholarships. Some students might even be able to cover the full cost of their college tuition through these scholarships.

Which college gives the most merit scholarships? ›

13 Colleges That Give Merit Aid to the Most Students
Trinity University (TX)53%
Samford University (AL)50%
The University of the South (TN)49%
Gonzaga University (WA)48%
10 more rows

Which college gives the most scholarships? ›

The 50 colleges that offer the most student aid
RankCollegeStudents receiving need-based aid
1Columbia University2,973
2Yale University2,732
3Williams College1,014
4Amherst College1,066
46 more rows
29 Oct 2018

Will a 29 ACT score get you a scholarship? ›

A 29 ACT score will earn you a good amount of merit aid from potential colleges and universities, as well as from third-party scholarship providers.

What is the most common scholarship? ›

Most Popular Scholarships for College Students in 2022
Name of ScholarshipMaximum AwardDeadline Month
Coca-Cola Scholars Program Scholarship Program$20,000October
Burger King Scholars Program$25,000January
AXA Achievement Scholarships$25,000December
Gates Millennium Scholars ProgramCOA - Other AidJanuary
6 more rows

What is the best place to look for scholarships? ›

Try these free sources of information about scholarships:
  • the financial aid office at a college or career school.
  • a high school or TRIO counselor.
  • the U.S. Department of Labor's FREE scholarship search tool.
  • federal agencies.
  • your state grant agency.
  • your library's reference section.

What GPA can get you into Harvard? ›

It is tough to get into Harvard. The university receives applications from more qualified applicants than they can accept, and most applicants have at least a 4.18GPA. Meeting GPA and SAT/ACT requirements (although these are now optional) will help you get through the first round of filters.


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