2020 College scholarship applications due in mid-April

Applications are due in mid-April for $2,500 renewable college scholarships, awarded by the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless to students who succeed in school despite coping personally with homelessness.

The 2020 scholarships will be presented Tuesday, June 23 at an event hosted at Loyola University Chicago.

Graduating seniors from Chicago and suburban schools are eligible to apply, as well as DREAMers, CCH youth leaders, and former CCH legal aid clients who are younger than age 24 as of April 15. Scholarship winners receive a total of $10,000 to complete their bachelor’s degree. Five new winners will be selected this spring.

Applicants must meet two deadlines: Submit an online or paper application with brief personal essays by Monday, April 13 at 5 p.m.

Also, by Wednesday, April 15 at 5 p.m., applicants must have submitted all required supplemental materials, including transcript, two letters of recommendation, and homeless verification form.

Access the application here. 

Applicants, take care to submit well-written answers to the essay questions, as your application will be read by the selection committee. Write essay answers that fit within the listed word limits – these answers cannot be shorter or longer than what is required.

If you would like to prepare your answers to the questions in another document and copy and paste them into the online application once you are finished, you can find a list of the essay questions in this document, which you may use for preparation of the essays only.

CCH’s 2020 scholarship awards event on June 23 will return to Loyola University Chicago, but in a new location: Beane Hall in Loyola’s Lewis Towers, 111 East Pearson Street.

A 5:30 p.m. reception will precede the one-hour awards event at 6 p.m. For a second year, CCH is honored to have Associated Bank serve as event sponsor.

New and returning scholars at the 2019 awards event (Photo by Allison Williams)

To showcase the promise and tenacity of students who coped with homelessness, the CCH Law Project created a scholarship program in 2004. The program was the next step for a legal aid program that focuses its casework on helping homeless students and unaccompanied youth. Patricia Rivera, then director of the Chicago Public Schools’ Homeless Education Program, collaborated with CCH in creating the scholarship, and was the first of the private donors to fund the scholarships.

By 2019, 20 scholarship recipients have graduated with bachelor’s degrees, 43% of students eligible to do so. This compares well per a national study that showed just 11% of students from the lowest income bracket ($34,160 or lower) had earned a bachelor’s by age 24 (University of Pennsylvania and Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education, 2016).

During the 2019-20 school year, 20 students attend colleges and universities in Illinois, Missouri, and Wisconsin, and historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in Alabama, Mississippi, and Washington, D.C.

The program also gives $500 book awards to scholarship recipients who go on to pursue graduate study, with four young women assisted this year.

CCH scholarships are funded by private donors and several groups: Associated Bank, Jill L. Meinzer Scholarship Fund, The Osa Foundation and Robin Lavin, Susan W. Pearson Memorial Fund, and the Sisters of Charity, BVM. The program also benefited by early grants from the Alvin H. Baum Family Fund and a $10,000 challenge grant from Elaine’s Hope, funded by the late educator Rhonda Purwin.

More information, including detailed eligibility guidelines, are available here.

Contact Intake Specialist Christy Savellano for more information.

– Anne Bowhay, Media