Community Foundation of Fox Valley: 200 College Scholarships, 1 Application, More Than $1.4 Million Will Be Awarded

Community Foundation of Fox Valley: 200 College Scholarships, 1 Application, More Than $1.4 Million Will Be Awarded

On the hunt for college scholarships?

On Monday (Nov. 22, 2021), the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley will open its application for nearly 200 different scholarships totaling more than $1 million in scholarships, available exclusively to area high school, college and graduate students.

Completing just one application makes students eligible to be considered for one of nearly 200 different scholarship funds for the 2022-23 academic year. Many are based on financial need. Others reward merit and academic achievement.

Some are niche scholarships for specific fields of study. Others are renewable for up to four years.

To apply, visit starting Nov. 22 to access the application, general policies, the list of materials needed to apply, primary eligibility requirements, types of scholarships available, and location-based opportunities. Applications are due Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022.

Scholarships are available to local students who live in the Greater Aurora Area, the TriCities and Kendall County in Illinois. Students apply to the Community Foundation Scholarship Program as a whole, not for a particular scholarship, and are considered for any scholarship in which they are eligible.

“The Community Foundation is proud to support local students with their continued education,” said Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley Scholarship Program Manager Beth Christoffel. “Last year, 320 Fox Valley-area students received more than $1.4 million through our scholarship program. Since 1948, the CFFRV has awarded more than $20 million in scholarships.”

“This scholarship will help me achieve my dream of becoming a doctor and I am forever thankful for your support.”
– 2021-22 Scholarship Program recipient

How It Works

The Community Foundation Scholarship Program consists of nearly 200 separate scholarship funds created by individual donors who establish specific criteria for the administration of their scholarships. One commonality is applicants must plan to attend an accredited postsecondary institution within the U.S. on a full-time basis.

Applications are reviewed by the CFFRV Scholarship Committee, consisting of local residents who volunteer their time and skills to participate in the review process. Although a student may be eligible for several different scholarships, only one scholarship may be received by any one student in any given year to help as many individual students as possible.

Students who submit applications by the Jan. 18 deadline will receive award decisions in early May 2022.

Sample Scholarship Funds

Just a few of the nearly 200 individuals, businesses, and organizations who make these awards possible through the Community Foundation include:

The Jerry J. Murphy MSW Scholarship Fund, established in 2015, provides scholarships to students of Latino descent who are pursuing a Master of Social Work degree. Murphy, now retired, served Kane County residents for 28 years as Executive Director of the INC Board, a community mental health funding alliance.

Danny McCue

The Danny McCue Memorial/Aurora Firefighters Scholarship, established in 2005, provides scholarships to students who are employed by the Aurora Fire Department or to students whose parents or grandparents are employed by or retired from the Aurora Fire Department. McCue (1955-2005) was a graduate of East Aurora High School.

The George & Elaine Hettrich Scholarship Endowment Fund, established in 2007, awards scholarships to students graduating from high schools located in Oswego District 308. Scholarships support students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing or a field of their own choosing. George Hettrich is a lifetime resident and farmer in Oswego Township. He served in several Oswego Township and Kendall County elective offices. Elaine Hettrich was employed by Copley Hospital and later served 25 years as a nurse for the Oswego School District.

The Swami Vivekananda Scholarship was created in 2017 by the City of Aurora’s Indian American Community Outreach Advisory Board (IACOAB) to support college-bound high school seniors who have demonstrated exemplary community service with financial assistance to further their education in a field of their choice.

The Albert M. Zari Scholarship Fund, established in 2014, provides scholarships to students pursuing an undergraduate degree in accounting, aeronautics/ aerospace science, agriculture, business, communications, computer science, electronics, engineering, finance, information systems, medicine, or pharmacy. Students continuing their studies in trade schools are also eligible. Eligibility is reserved for students graduating from public high schools in Batavia, Geneva, St. Charles, Oswego, Sycamore, DeKalb, Kaneland, Yorkville or Plano. Zari, founder of A.M. Zari Construction Company, helped build the runways at O’Hare Airport.

The Dr. William H. Blackburn Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund, established in 1985, is for graduate level students studying in the field of medicine. Dr. Blackburn practiced at Dreyer Medical Clinic from 1942 until 1985, was Chief of Staff at Copley Memorial Hospital and St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, and was president of the Greater Aurora Chamber of Commerce.

Past Scholarship Program Recipients

More than 170 former Community Foundation Scholarship Program recipients or their families have shown their appreciation for the support they received by contributing to the Community Foundation Alumni Scholarship Endowment Fund. View the full list here.

Facts and Figures: 2021-22 Scholarship Program

  • The Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley awarded more than $1,441,850 in scholarships to area students through its 2021-22 Scholarship Program (for use during the next four years).
  • In 2021, 606 applications were received and 320 scholarships were awarded. That’s more than 50%t. View the full list here.
  • About 69% were one-year scholarships; 31% were renewable up to three years, for a maximum of four years.
  • The most common scholarship award amount is $1,000 for a single year.
  • The breakout of niche scholarship for specific fields of study was:
    • Stem fields — 68%
    • Arts, education and humanities — 19%
    • Business and trades — 11%
    • Politics and government — 1%
    • Undeclared — 1%
  • About 63% went to graduating seniors; 37% went to returning college or grad students.
  • About 61% were traditional awards; 39% were merit awards.
  • The Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley has awarded more than $20 million in scholarships since 1948.

About the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley

The Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley is a collection of individual funds and resources given by local citizens to support the quality of life in the Fox River Valley in Illinois.

Founded in 1948, the CFFRV is a nonprofit, tax-exempt, public charity that allows individuals, businesses and other nonprofit organizations to establish permanent endowment and temporary funds within the confines of one large foundation. Foundation funds are used to provide grants to non-profit organizations and scholarships to area students. The CFFRV serves the Greater Aurora Area, the TriCities and Kendall County in Illinois.

For more information, visit or follow the Foundation on Facebook.

SOURCE: Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley news release