Rockford scholarship fair pairs students with money for college

Education Matters

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The cost of a higher education can prevent some students from pursuing a degree, but a new foundation hopes to make it cheaper with a Community Scholarship Fair.

The Community Foundation of Northern Illinois, the Rockford Public Library, and Rock Valley College Foundation teamed up for the event.

Boylan High School senior Natalie Muldowney plans to go into pre-med after graduation. For her, visiting the annual Community Scholarship Fair makes the whole process a little easier.

“The college search and especially the scholarship search is like, super hectic,” she said.

To simplify the search, representatives from more than 20 organizations met at the Mendelssohn Club, at 4601 Dellview Drive, to talk to students and their parents about local scholarship opportunities, and there are plenty. More than $600,000 worth is available to all types of students pursuing varying degrees.

“They get as specific as a student who went to Durand High School and shops in Durand, to as broad as a student who graduated from Rockford Public Schools. So there is a wide variety of scholarships that are available,” said Jennifer Smith, Engagement Director for CFNI.

Current college students and graduating high school seniors in Winnebago, Boone, Stephenson and Ogle counties can apply. Scholarships are based on a variety of factors including things like community involvement, academic achievement, and financial need.

“The cost of college is very expensive and continues to rise,” Smith said. “So, we always encourage everyone apply, apply, apply to whatever you might be eligible for. If you don’t apply you don’t have a chance to win those dollars. And there are lots of dollars right here in our community that are designated for students from our local schools.”

Muldowney said the many organizations offering financial assistance is a testament to the community.

“It just shows me how much effort is going into building up Rockford. And it just inspires me at least to come back to Rockford and try to help build it up myself too if I can,” she said.

Organizers say their goal is to make sure students reach their full potential.

“Everyone of them has a dream for what they want to do with their life. And it’s pretty exciting to be able to connect them, almost everyone, we connect them directly to a scholarship. This is for you,” Smith said.

If you missed the scholarship fair, you can visit the following links for more information:

Community Foundation of Northern Illinois

Rock Valley College Foundation

Rockford Public Library

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