Scholarships

Scholarships are a crucial component of equitable education. By securing scholarships for students of all backgrounds, we are working to ensure that no student is denied a college education because they lack the financial means. We are featuring three essential scholarships campaigns: the Dream Fund, UNCF Scholarships, and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. Each is raising money to make college accessible for CPS students.

Choose from one of our three featured funds or select “Split My Contribution” to split your donation between all three campaigns.

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Dream Fund

CPS’s DREAMers—undocumented students granted the right to live and study in the U.S. under 2012’s federal DACA program—are not eligible for financial aid or MAP grants provided by the State of Illinois. That makes achieving a college education even more difficult for a group of students already shouldering the many burdens on non-citizenship.

The Dream Fund seeks to lend a hand to our DREAMers by offering talent- and need-based college scholarships to qualifying students.

Your contribution to the CPS Dream Fund helps provide a college education to a high-achieving CPS DREAMer who might not otherwise have the financial wherewithal to attend college.

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UNCF Scholarships

For nearly half a century, Chicago Public Schools has worked closely with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization, to raise funds for deserving college-bound students.

The funds raised from this campaign will be awarded as scholarships to students at CPS who plan to attend a historically black college or university (HBCU) or any other four-year accredited U.S. college or university in the fall of 2019.

Your contributions can change the course of a student’s life and make it possible for them to pursue their educational goals and aspirations.

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Hispanic Scholarship Fund

For over 20 years, CPS has supported the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF), the nation’s largest not-for-profit organization that awards exceptional Hispanic Americans with scholarships and provides support services to ensure they successfully complete a higher education.

Through this partnership, HSF is helping support programs that benefit Chicago’s scholars and K-12 students, including scholarships that allow more Hispanic-American CPS students to continue their education after high school.

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Recipient Stories

Karla Bernal

As a DACAmented student, CPS alumnus Karla Bernal was granted the right to live and study in the U.S. under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival Program (DACA). She was, however, ineligible for financial aid for college. Fortunately, Karla’s achievement as a student qualified her for a scholarship from the Dream Fund. Thanks in part to that support, Karla was able to attend Dominican University, where she became a Golden Apple Pathway Scholar and graduated with a degree in Early Childhood Education. Now, Karla has returned to CPS as a teacher at Columbia Explorers Academy.

Keylen Lyons

After the death of his mother and grandfather when he was young, Keylen Lyons was raised by his grandmother. “The only dream she had was for me to graduate,” Keylen said. Unfortunately, after she too passed away when Keylen was just 17, Keylen was at the brink of dropping out of school. That’s when the United Negro College Fund stepped in to offer Keylen a college scholarship, providing him the motivation to keep going and graduate high school. Today, Keylen is a senior at Morehouse College and a student-teacher at Barack and Michelle Obama Elementary School in Atlanta. He is majoring in Early Childhood Education.

Omar Ortiz

Omar Ortiz was born in Chicago and attended CPS. Omar was determined to pursue a higher education, but he wasn’t sure how he would pay for it. In 2016, Omar was awarded a scholarship as a semi-finalist for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund’s Leaders in Education Male Scholar of the Year Award. Today, Omar is completing a double major in Finance and Marketing at DePaul University.

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