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The application program will be available again in April. Please return then to view the updated Eligibility and Awards for the upcoming academic year! If you are an applicant who would like to discover more scholarship opportunities you might qualify for, please continue to the Scholarship America Hub and sign up!

William J. Cook Scholarship Fund
Application status: Closed

The Chicago Community Trust, our region’s community foundation, partners with donors to leverage their philanthropy in ways that transform lives and communities. The Trust, together with its donors, grants more than $160 million annually to nonprofits working to develop new audiences to sustain the region’s vibrant arts organizations, protect the human services safety net for the most vulnerable residents in the region, stem the devastating effects of foreclosures on our neighborhoods, elevate teaching to meet world-class standards, and improve conditions for healthy and active lifestyles. By connecting the generosity of donors with the needs of the community, the Trust ensures that our region thrives today and for future generations.

The Chicago Community Trust established the William J. Cook Scholarship Fund to assist male high school seniors from Cook County, Illinois who plan to continue their education in college programs. Renewable scholarships are offered each year for full-time study at an accredited four-year institution of the student’s choice.

The program is administered by Scholarship America®, the nation’s largest designer and manager of scholarship, tuition assistance, and other education support programs for corporations, foundations, associations, and individuals. Eligibility for individual programs is determined at the sole discretion of the sponsor, and eligible applications are reviewed by Scholarship America’s evaluation team. Awards for this scholarship are granted to eligible recipients without regard to creed, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin.

Applicants to the William J. Cook Scholarship Fund must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Male high school seniors attending a high school in Cook County, Illinois, and
  • Must enroll in full-time undergraduate study at an accredited four-year college or university in the fall immediately after graduating from high school.

Award Information:

  • If selected as a recipient, the student will receive a $3,000 award.
  • Up to 84 awards will be granted.
  • Awards may be renewed up to four additional years or until a bachelor’s degree is earned, whichever occurs first. Renewal requirements include satisfactory academic performance, full-time enrollment in an accredited four-year college or university.
  • Awards are for undergraduate study only.


Applicants will be notified in June. Not all applicants to the program will be selected as recipients.

Payment of Scholarships

Scholarship America processes scholarship payments on behalf of The Chicago Trust for the William J. Cook Scholarship Fund. Payment is made in early August.

Scholarship recipients are selected on the basis of:

  • Academic record
  • Demonstrated leadership and participation in school and community activities
  • Honors
  • Work experience
  • Statement of career and educational goals and objectives
  • Unusual personal or family circumstances
  • An online recommendation
  • Financial need

Selection of recipients is made by Scholarship America. All information is considered confidential and is reviewed only be Scholarship America and The Chicago Community Trust. In no instance does any officer or employee of The Chicago Community Trust play a part in the selection. All applicants agree to accept the decision as final.

As part of your application, you must upload the following document:

  • A current, complete transcript of grades. Grade reports are not accepted. Unofficial or online transcripts must display student name, school name, grades and credit hours for each course and term in which each course was taken.

One online recommendation form must be submitted on your behalf no later than May 11, 2021 3:00 pm.

Your application is not complete unless all required documents are submitted electronically through the Scholarship America Student Hub.

The Chicago Community Trust has partnered with Scholarship America. Select the button below to be directed to the Scholarship America Student Hub!