Wentcher Scholars Class of 2023


The CPS Wentcher Scholarship application opens Monday, December 13th 2021 &
deadline is Friday, February 4th, 2022

Today, we have over 800 current and alumni 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 the same year they are enrolling in college.

Academic excellence

The Wentcher Foundation requires a minimum 3.0 unweighted GPA. Standardized test scores (SAT/ACT) are no longer a requirement.

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 Community 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 Wentcher Scholarship program, click here.

Chicago Public Schools

December 13, 2021

CPS Wentcher Scholarship Opens

February 4, 2022

CPS Wentcher Scholarship
Deadline (at 11:59pm Central)

Early April 2022

Finalists notified and invited to Interview

Mid-late April 2022

Interviews held via Zoom

Early May 2022

New scholars notified of awards

How to apply

The Wentcher Foundation hosts the CPS Wentcher Scholarship application on CommunityForce. By clicking the Start Your 2022 Application link you will be redirected to their page to complete and submit your application.

The CPS Wentcher Scholarship application opens Monday, December 13th 2021 & the deadline to complete the application is Friday, February 4th, 2022.

CPS Application Checklist


Applications are reviewed between February and March. Applicants selected as finalists will be notified at the beginning of April and invited to interview with members of our selection committee over Zoom in mid-late April. New scholars will be notified of their awards by early May, before national decision date, if possible.

Applicants must submit a copy of their Student Aid Report (SAR), following their completion of the FAFSA for the 2022-2023 Academic Year. The student’s EFC is taken into account along with any recent household changes that have impacted the families finances and may not be reflected in the applicant’s Student Aid Report. 

For finalists, the foundation also requests you provide financial aid award letters from your selected institution to understand the fullness of your financial circumstances, including how much grant aid you are receiving from federal, state, and other sources.

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 into the CommunityForce online application system, however several attachments are required. These include your High School transcript, a letter of recommendation, and Student Aid Report.

“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