Wentcher Scholars Class of 2023

High Character? Bold Dreams? Ready to make an Unlimited Impact?

Today, we have over 1,000 alumni and current Wentcher Scholars who are already changing the world. Are you ready to become one of them?

When you become a Wentcher Scholar, you receive a scholarship award of up to $10,000 a year, renewable for four years plus:

Criteria to apply

The Wentcher Foundation identifies students nearing graduation from Chicago Public Schools (CPS) who exemplify academic excellence, high character, and demonstrate financial need.

Chicago public schools senior

Applicant must be a Chicago Public Schools senior graduating in June 2024.

Academic excellence

The Wentcher Foundation requires a minimum 3.0 unweighted GPA.   Standardized test scores are not required. 

Financial need

Scholars must be eligible to receive federal financial aid. Applications from US citizens, legal permanent residents, and FAFSA-eligible noncitizens will be considered. If you are not sure about your eligibility status, visit the Federal Student Aid website.

High character

Students who are well-rounded in extracurricular activities, leadership experience, honors and achievements. During our interview process, we ask students about their achievements, the obstacles they’ve overcome, and the dreams that they wish to fulfill. Wentcher Scholars often share the traits of being emotionally resilient and genuine. Like our founder, Ernie Wentcher, they are team players and leaders.

Oakton Wentcher scholars

The Wentcher Foundation awards up to 10 scholarships a year to high-achieving students who enroll at Oakton College.

Through the legacy of Ernie Wentcher, Oakton Wentcher Scholars are eligible for up to $3,500 a year for two years plus an opportunity for a two-year transfer scholarship to help complete a Bachelor’s degree. For more information on the Oakton program, click here.

Chicago Public School

December 13, 2023

Application Opens

February 12, 2024

Application Closes (6pm Central)


Finalists notified and invited to Interview

Late March - Early April

Finalist Interviews 

Late April

New scholars notified of awards

How to apply

The Wentcher Foundation hosts the CPS Wentcher Scholarship application using the WiveHive Scholarship Management system. By clicking the APPLY link you will be redirected to their page to complete and submit your application.W

The deadline to complete the application is fEbruary 12, 2024.

CPS Application Checklist


Applications are reviewed between February and March.   Applicants selected as finalists will be notified in March and invited to interview in-person with members of our Scholar Selection Committee.  New scholars will be notified of their awards before the national commitment deadline.

Applicants must submit a copy of their FAFSA Submission Summary (FSS) that includes their Student Aid Index (SAI) following their successful completion of the FAFSA.  The student’s SAI will be considered along with any recent household changes that have impacted the families finances and may not be reflected in the applicant’s FSS.   Finalists will be required to provide financial aid award letters from your selected institution to determine your level of unmet financial need after federal, state, and other sources of aid have been awarded.

Chicago Public Schools Wentcher Foundation scholarships may be used at any accredited, not-for-profit, Title IV eligible college or university of the student’s choice within the United States.   Scholars may select the major of their choice within that institution.

Wentcher Foundation staff are available to support general inquiries around the application and how to submit your materials.  Wentcher Foundation staff cannot assist you in completion of your application or its contents.   

The majority of the application can be completed by the student entering their information directly into the WizeHive online application system.   However, several attachments are required including your high school transcript, a letter of recommendation, and FAFSA Submission Summary.

“Be generous with others – they have much to offer and no matter how talented you are, you can’t accomplish much, if anything, without others.”
- Ernie Wentcher