2019-2020 Urban League Scholarship


    Chicago Urban League scholarships are available to any person pursuing an undergraduate degree at an institution of higher learning to provide financial assistance for college. Scholarships are awarded up to $5,000. Applications are due by March 31, 2019.

    For 102 years, the Chicago Urban League has been at the forefront of creating opportunities for African Americans to empower themselves and their communities. We are motivated by a vision that a strong African American community makes a better Chicago. The CUL Scholarship Program includes awards funded by various donors in order to support students needing financial assistance to begin, continue or complete their post-secondary education. 

    To qualify for a Chicago Urban League scholarship, you must:

    - Possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale)

    - Meet student status requirements for specific awards:

    • Enrolled as a full-time, undergraduate student in a degree-granting program or
    • Expecting to graduate this year from high school and enroll in a full-time undergraduate degree-granting program or
    • Completing a two-year college program and expecting to enroll in a degree-granting program at a four-year institution
    • Demonstrate financial need
    • Selected students for scholarships must commit future engagement with Chicago Urban League through programming or volunteerism

    How are awardees selected?

    • First, the Scholarship Program Committee evaluates applicant eligibility based on financial need, academic achievement and funder focus. In the case of equivalent academic achievement, students with the greatest financial need are given priority. Financial need is determined by the Student Aid Report (SAR), which is provided 3-6 weeks after filing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and includes the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculation.  
    • Second, eligible applicants are interviewed in person by teams of 2-3 Scholarship Program Committee members. 
    • Third, the full Scholarship Program Committee reviews interview team recommendations and makes final award recommendations to the CUL’s Center for Student Development leadership.
    • Unless specified by the funder, scholarships are not renewable and are only applicable to one school year. 

    What is the application process?

    To be considered for a Chicago Urban League scholarship award, you must provide the following items:

    • Completed scholarship application
    • One Picture
    • One typed essay
    • One letter of recommendation (school counselor/teacher)
    • One letter of recommendation (non-family)
    • Official transcript of grades (most recent high school transcript for seniors or college transcript for post-secondary students) sent directly to CUL by the school
    • Student Aid Report (SAR)


    • Proof of financial status/income (most recent tax returns or documentation of SSI, public aid or unemployment)
    • Proof of current enrollment or acceptance in a college/university

    What is the application and selection timeline?

    The following are key dates for the Chicago Urban League Scholarship Program:

    March 1, 2019:

    Application process opens and available electronically

    March 31, 2019:

    Deadline for all application materials

    April 30, 2019:

    Completion of application pre-review by Scholarship Program Committee and notification of interviewees and non-interviewees 

    May 31, 2019:

    Interviews completed

    June 14, 2019:

    Awards Notification

    August 1, 2019:

    Awards Disbursement


    How will I be notified about whether or not I am selected to receive an award?

    All applicants who are interviewed will be notified about the Chicago Urban League’s decision regarding a scholarship award in writing no later than June 14, 2019.

    Note:  Salaried employees of the Chicago Urban League, CUL scholarship sponsors and members of the immediate family of any such persons are not eligible to apply to the program. The term “immediate family” includes spouses, siblings, parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren and “in-laws,” by current or past marriage(s), remarriage(s), adoption, co-habitation or other family extension.


     To apply for a scholarship, click here.