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Serving DeKalb County, IL Since 1993

Applying for a Scholarship

Scholarship funds are an easy way to support continuing education in our community. To date, over 70 scholarship funds exist at the DeKalb County Community Foundation. The majority of these scholarships are administered through local high schools. Please contact a school counselor at your local high school for application information.

The scholarship opportunities below are the only scholarships administered through the Community Foundation. Application length and requirements vary between each. Subscribe to the our e-newsletter "What Gives!" to know when scholarship applications are available.

Please be aware, all recipients of DeKalb County Community Foundation held scholarships must provide a completed Scholarship Acceptance Form. For questions or additional information, please contact Tiffany McQueen Lewis, Grants Director, at 815-748-5383 or grants@dekalbccf.org.

See recent recipients and learn a little more about scholarship opportunities!

Scholarship Opportunities

CHS Elburn Scholarship

Currently accepting grant applications through March 27, 2020.

The CHS Elburn Scholarship is available for high school graduates and current undergraduate students at an accredited college or university. Applicants must be a family member of an eligible CHS Elburn customer or a family member of a CHS Elburn employee. View guidelines. Applications available in the spring of each year.

2018 scholarship recipients - Joshua Anderson, Jacob Beachem, Catherine Bend, Karrigan Cowan, Erin Fidler, Megan Fidler, Tatum Glendenning, Nolan Govig, Mitchell Halat, Anne Klein, Delyn Marshall, Ethan Plote, Ryan Storjohann, and Jessica Yaeger


Fourteen CHS Elburn Scholarships were awarded in 2018. Each student received $1,000 in educational support towards an accredited college or university.

Palmer Family Music Education Scholarship

Currently accepting grant applications through March 27, 2020.

High school graduates of a DeKalb County high school planning to pursue a career in the field of music are eligible to apply for the Palmer Family Music Education Scholarship. The scholarship will be awarded by a committee composed of several individuals from various musical backgrounds and representing many communities throughout DeKalb County. View guidelines. Applications available in the spring of each year.

2019 scholarship recipient - Devonte Merrick

See past recipients of the Palmer Family Music Education Scholarship


Siblings Roger and Gary Palmer congratulate Devonte Merrick, recipient of the 2019 Palmer Family Music Education Scholarship award.

Donald and Patricia Pritchard Scholarship (NEW in 2020)

Currently accepting grant applications through March 27, 2020.

The Donald and Patricia Pritchard Scholarship benefits a high school senior in DeKalb County who plans to attend the University of Illinois College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences. Eligible applicants must be a graduating high school senior, a resident of DeKalb County with plans to attend the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana, and intends to major in an agriculture related field. View guidelines. Applications available in the spring of each year.


Renaissance Scholarship

The Renaissance Scholarship offers a $1,000 initial scholarship renewable for up to three years to an individual returning to school for his or her undergraduate degree after being a part of the work force. View guidelines. Applications available in spring 2020.

2019 scholarship recipient - Shannon Alamia

See past recipients of the Renaissance Scholarship


Renaissance Scholarship recipient Shannon Alamia and Community Foundation Grants Director Tiffany McQueen Lewis.

Spinoso Masters Scholarship

The Spinoso Masters Scholarship provides a scholarship for up to $10,000 to a deserving student to cover tuition costs of post-undergraduate or masters studies. Eligible applicants must have graduated from a DeKalb County High School but do not need to currently live in DeKalb County. View guidelines. Applications available in spring 2020.

2019 scholarship recipients - Luke Hoppenworth, Bridget Ivanic, Drew Paszotta, Kelsey Peifer, and Ryan Schultz.

See past recipients of the Spinoso Masters Scholarship


2019 Spinoso Masters Scholarship recipients Luke Hoppenworth, Bridget Ivanic, Drew Paszotta, Kelsey Peifer, and Ryan Schultz.

Jeffrey A. Trail Memorial Scholarship (NEW in 2020)

Currently accepting grant applications through March 27, 2020.

The Jeffrey A. Trail Memorial Scholarship provides an initial monetary award every year to a recent high school graduate from DeKalb County who is in the first year at one of the five U.S. service academies and who has been chosen from among that year’s applicants. The selected student will receive an additional stipend each year that he or she continues at the academy. Completion of the four-year undergraduate program would result in total assistance amounting to $5,000. View guidelines. Applications available in the spring of each year.


Harold P. Wells Scholarship

Currently accepting grant applications through March 27, 2020.

Eligible applicants to the Harold P. Wells Scholarship are employees and family members of the employees of the DeKalb Fire Department and graduates of the Kishwaukee Education Consortium's Fire Science Program. The Wells Scholarship can be used to offset expenses for any educational purpose. Some examples include college tuition, any fire course, educational short courses, conferences and camps, such as music and space camp, etc. View guidelines. Applications available in the spring of each year.

2019 scholarship recipient - David DeLille

See past recipients of the Harold P. Wells Scholarship


Harold P. Wells Scholarship recipient David DeLille (right), poses for a check presentation with donor Drew Wells.

Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Scholarships

The Community Services Block Grant scholarships are not granted through the DeKalb County Community Foundation. CSBG Scholarship are made possible through DeKalb County Community Action.

CSBG Scholarships are designed to help low-income DeKalb County residents pay for post-secondary educational expenses. Apply or learn more about the CSBG Scholarship.