Illinois Federation of Business Women's Clubs, Inc.

State Scholarship Program

To further expand our commitment to education, our membership approved funding for a state scholarship program with specific eligibility criteria for returning students and high school students. For 2020, we hope to award six $2000.00 scholarships to qualified applicants. 

Scholarship winners must be willing to participate in our Speak-Off Competition at our State Convention to be held in Champaign on Saturday, May 2, 2020.  Our Speak-Off provides an excellent developmental opportunity for our scholarship winners to network with our members, learn about our mission, and get the experience of speaking before and interviewing with friendly faces. Competition details are included below.

Listed below are the applications and requirements for returning students and for incoming freshmen students.  If you meet the criteria and are willing to compete in our Young Professional/Career Professional Speak-Off Competition, please download the appropriate application and follow the instructions.

Applications must be received electronically or postmarked by March 1, 2020, to be considered. Winners will be notified by phone no later than March 20, 2020.


Application for Returning Students (PDF)

Eligibility criteria for returning students:

1. Applicant must be female, a U.S. citizen, and a resident of the state of Illinois.

2. Applicant must possess a high school diploma or GED and be currently enrolled in an accredited trade school, college, or university with a minimum of six (6) credit hours.

3. Applicant must hold a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4-point scale as of the completion of the Fall 2019 semester.

4. While not a sole determining factor, preference may be given to qualified applicants demonstrating financial need.

5. Successful applicants must be willing and available to compete in the Young Professional/Career Professional public speaking competition at the IFBWC State Convention on Saturday, May 2, 2020, in Champaign, Ill. Competition results will not affect the scholarship award; however, failure to participate will result in forfeiture of the award.

6. Application must include the following:  

  • a cover letter requesting consideration of application;
  • a completed application form with all requested information, signatures, and dates;
  • a 200-300 word essay (typed) identifying her career objectives and explaining how she plans to use this scholarship to achieve those objectives (if applicant is enrolled in a Master’s program, her essay should include how this additional education will assist her in the employment world);
  • a high school transcript, proof of graduation or GED completion, and a higher education transcript that includes all grades received through the Fall 2019 semester; and
  • two (2) signed letters of recommendation from professional, advisory, or education references (may include, but not limited to, teachers, coaches, sponsors, mentors, or advisers; avoid personal references like relatives, neighbors, or friends).

Application for Incoming Freshman Students (PDF)

Eligibility criteria for incoming freshmen:

1. Applicant must be female, a U.S. citizen, and a resident of the state of Illinois.

2. Applicant must be a graduating senior in 2020 or earlier who has been accepted to attend an accredited trade school, college, or university as a full-time incoming freshman for the Fall 2020 semester.

3. Applicant must hold a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4-point scale as of the completion of the Fall 2019 semester.

4. While not a sole determining factor, preference may be given to qualified applicants demonstrating financial need.

5. Successful applicants must be willing and available to compete in the Young Professional/Career Professional public speaking competition at the IFBWC State Convention on Saturday, May 2, 2020, in Champaign, Ill. Competition results will not affect the scholarship award; however, failure to participate will result in forfeiture of the award.

6. Application must include the following:  

  • a cover letter requesting consideration of application;
  • a completed application form with all requested information, signatures, and dates;
  • a 200-300 word essay (typed) stating the applicant’s future educational plans and goals, including the profession she hopes to enter and an explanation as to why she has chosen this field of study;
  • a high school transcript that includes all grades received through the Fall 2019 semester; and
  • two (2) signed letters of recommendation from professional, advisory, or education references (may include, but not limited to, teachers, coaches, sponsors, mentors, or advisers; avoid personal references like relatives, neighbors, or friends).

For more information on the Speak-off competition, please click on the links below:

The event will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 2, 2020, and should conclude by Noon. If you are chosen as a scholarship winner, more information will be provided regarding the Speak-Off competition. Winners will be notified by phone no later than March 20, 2020.



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