High Character?
Bold Dreams?

We believe in scholars like you.

In 2022, we celebrated four major milestones at the Wentcher Foundation:

Our founder Ernie Wentcher believed that a student with a good education could achieve anything. No dream was too big. With high character and a desire to succeed, a Chicago-area student can move mountains. That's exactly what Wentcher Scholars do.

Ernie Wentcher established the Wentcher Foundation to support academically strong, high-character students with financial need in accessing higher education.
More than 1000 scholars, both current and alumni, have benefitted from renewable scholarship awards, enabling them to enroll and successfully complete their college education.
The Wentcher Foundation has invested over $20 million in renewable scholarships for Chicago-area students.
Wentcher Scholars embody Chicago's rich diversity, coming from more than 36 zip codes and representing 61 out of the city's 77 community areas.
Wentcher Scholars have attended more than 159 different institutions across the country.
93% of Wentcher Scholars have successfully graduated from college.
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The Wentcher Impact:
As Told By Our Scholars

I was struck by the philosophy behind the Wentcher scholarship—that it is not a handout but an investment in the individual to make a positive contribution to society. When someone makes an investment in you, you are all the more likely to want to give back and to make the most of what you’ve been given. The impact of the Wentcher scholarship was enormous. Not only did it take the financial burden off of my parents, it allowed me to fully devote myself to academics.

Troy Boccelli

Wentcher Scholar

Walter Payton College Prep HS, 2014
Harvard University, 2018

Securing the Wentcher Scholarship gave me the opportunity to focus on my studies and enjoy the full breadth of my college experience without having to worry about the financial burden of higher education. Each semester, I felt supported and nurtured by the Wentcher Foundation.

Toccarra Castleman

Wentcher Scholar

Curie Metro HS, 2002
University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign, 2006

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