DCFS Scholarship Opportunity for Current and Former Youth in Care
The annual academic scholarship program is taking applications for the upcoming school year through March 31.
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is currently accepting applications for the 2024 DCFS Scholarship Program. The program offers tuition money and academic fee waivers to current and former youth in care attending Illinois colleges after high school.
The program is available to youth:
- Who have an open DCFS case
- Whose cases were closed through adoption or guardianship
- Who aged out of care at 18 or older
Students interested in attending Illinois trade schools, community colleges, or traditional colleges or universities and who are at least 16 years old on March 31 may apply.
Scholarship recipients will receive:
- Up to five consecutive years of tuition and academic fee waivers to be used at participating Illinois state community colleges and public universities
- A monthly grant to offset other expenses
- A medical card
The program will select scholarship recipients based on:
- Their scholastic record and aptitude
- Community and extracurricular activities
- Three letters of recommendation from non-relatives
- A personal essay illustrating their purpose for higher education
This DCFS Scholarship Program tip sheet has more details about eligibility requirements, available benefits and what the scholarship does not cover.
DCFS encourages students to submit their applications before the March 31 deadline.
Last year, DCFS awarded scholarships to 259 college-bound youth, the most in the agency’s history.
For questions about the application process or for more information, contact the DCFS Office of Education and Transition Services at (217) 557-2689 or DCFS.Scholarship@illinois.gov.
See the 2024 scholarship press release for more details.
Award Opportunity for Students Who Fight Ableism in Education
The Heumann-Armstrong Award is for students in sixth grade and up, including higher education
Ableism can take many forms. It is discriminating against someone because of their disability. It can also include bullying, isolation or the refusal to give accommodations to a student with a disability.
Like other forms of discrimination, ableism shows up in ways that are both blatant and subtle.
The Heumann-Armstrong Award is for students in sixth grade and up, including higher education, who have experienced and shown a passion for fighting ableism in education.
The American Association for People with Disabilities, The Coelho Center and Equal Opportunities for Students (EOS) sponsor this award program.
The award started in May 2021. It is named for two disability rights champions:
- Judith (Judy) Heumann, a lifelong and internally recognized advocate for the rights of individuals with disabilities
- Elijah Armstrong, who has epilepsy and founded the EOS organization to help tell the stories of marginalized students in education
The award program defines a disability as any physical or mental condition that affects how someone attends classes, participates in extracurricular activities or socializes with classmates.
Students can submit an application in writing or by video. All applicants must be willing to do a video interview upon winning the award.
Six individuals will receive an education award that includes a $1,000 prize and a video interview posted on EOS social media platforms. Six semi-finalists will also receive recognition.
See the 2022-23 Heumann-Armstrong Award application page to apply.
You can also check out the Heumann-Armstrong Award frequently asked questions and the 2022-23 award opening video for more details.
The deadline to submit applications is July 22.
If you have questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.