Almost every College or University, public or private, will have some merit based scholarships in addition to the need based financial aid that is available. With the number of Colleges and Universities available nationwide, there is not a feasible way to list every school's scholarships. To provide a sample of the number and range of scholarships available, scholarships at all of the Illinois State Schools, Elgin Community College, and at Harper College have been listed below. In addition to strictly merit based (GPA and/or test scores) scholarships, some schools also have scholarships available within certain departments or that are available to students based on non-academic criteria such as legacy scholarships (parents attended the school), being the first in your family to attend college, or some other criteria unique to that school.
Often, school based scholarships are the EASIEST scholarships to apply for. Sometimes just applying to the school itself ensures your eligibility for the scholarship! So, school-based scholarships should be one of the first areas you research. Keep in mind that for school based scholarships, you are only competing with the other students who are going to that school.
Every school is different and has different procedures in terms of their scholarship applications. Some schools will consider you for any scholarship as part of your application. Other schools while others will require you to apply for each specific scholarship. Finally, with some schools you will be considered for some scholarships automatically, while others will require specific applications.
The key is to research the scholarships at the schools you're applying to and follow the individual instructions. if you're not sure where to start looking on a schools website, look for either a scholarship "link" on the Admissions page or the Financial Aid page, or just use the magnifying glass to search on the school's website.
School Scholarship Page
Chicago State University - Scholarships Page
Eastern Illinois University
Elgin Community College
Northeastern Illinois University
Northern Illinois University https://www.niu.edu/financial-aid/scholarships/index.shtml Southern Illinois University, Carbondale https://scholarships.siu.edu/ Southern Illinois University, Edwarsdville https://www.siue.edu/financial-aid/types-of-aid/scholarships.shtml University of Illinois, Chicago https://financialaid.uic.edu/types-of-aid/scholarships/ University of Illinois, Springfield www.uis.edu/financialaid/scholarships University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign https://www.admissions.illinois.edu/invest/scholarships Western Illinois University www.wiu.edu/student_services/scholarship