Wentcher Scholars Class of 2021

The CPS Wentcher Scholarship application opens Wednesday, December 13th, 2023 &
deadline is Monday, February 12th, 2024, 6pm

Today, we have over 1000 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 of undergraduate support 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

Open to  Chicago Public Schools seniors graduating June 2024.

Academic excellence

The Wentcher Foundation requires a minimum 3.0 unweighted GPA. Standardized test scores (SAT/ACT) are not  required.

Financial need

Scholars must be eligible to apply for federal financial aid (US Citizens, Legal Permanent Residents, or Five Side Eligible Non-Citizens). If you are not sure about your eligibility status, visit the Federal Student Aid website.

High character

Students students who have demonstrated high character and leadership at home, at school, or in their communities are encouraged to apply. Wentcher scholars often share the traits of being emotionally resilient and genuine. 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.

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, 2023

CPS Wentcher Scholarship Opens

February 12, 2024

CPS Wentcher Scholarship Closes (6:00pm Central)

March 2024

Finalists notified and invited to Interview

March - April 2024

Interviews take place

Mid-April 2024

New scholars notified of awards

How to apply

To apply for the CPS Wentcher Scholarship, click on the “Start Your 2024 Application” link. This will redirect you to the Wentcher Foundation’s application management platform, where you can complete and submit your application.

Please ensure you complete and submit your application by the deadline of February 12, 2024, at 6 PM Central Standard Time. 
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CPS Wentcher Scholarship Application Checklist


Applications are assessed between February and April. Finalist applicants will receive notifications and invitations to interview with our Scholar Selection Committee. Newly chosen scholars will be informed of their awards prior to May 1, which is National Decision Day.

Applicants are required to submit their FAFSA Submission Summary (formally known as the Student Aid Report), for the 2024-2025 academic year.  The student’s Student Aid Index is taken into account along with any recent household changes that have impacted the family’s finances and may not be reflected in the applicant’s FAFSA Summary.


Additionally, Wentcher Scholar Finalists must submit financial aid award letters from their top college choices.

This is to ensure a comprehensive overview of each applicant’s financial need.

CPS Wentcher scholarships can be applied toward tuition at any accredited, not-for-profit college or university in the United States that is eligible for Title IV federal student aid. Scholarship recipients have the freedom to choose any major offered by their selected institution.

The Wentcher Foundation staff can provide guidance on the application process and answer general questions about submitting your materials. However, they are unable to help with filling out your application or with the content of your application.

Each applicant will need to complete a CPS Wentcher Scholarship Application including:

  • Two Short Answer Essays
  • Official Transcripts
  • A Letter of Recommendation
  • 2024-2025 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