Scholarship Services

College is expensive. The Jewish community, through the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, can help.

How it works

We administer educational scholarship funds from the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago to help Jewish college and graduate students offset some of their financial burden. Assistance is available for those with financial need who are pursuing careers in the helping professions. Scholarships range up to $8,000, and are renewable.

The deadline to apply for a scholarship for the 2021-2022 academic year is February 1, 2021. 

If you have any questions or would like more information, please call us at 312.673.3444 or e-mail us at

You are eligible to apply if you:

  • Are Jewish
  • Were born and raised in Chicago metropolitan area*, including Lake County, Indiana; or one continuous year of full-time employment in the Chicago metro area prior to enrollment
  • Intend to remain in the Chicago metropolitan area after completing school
  • Are entering an accredited graduate program in a helping profession** on a full-time basis for the full 2021-2022 academic year or
  • Are entering your junior or senior year of an accredited bachelor’s degree program in a helping profession on a full-time basis for the full 2021-2022 academic year
  • Demonstrate financial need and career promise
  • Are available for an interview between March 1 and April 20, 2021

*Chicago metropolitan area includes Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties.

**Applicants must demonstrate career promise in a helping profession such as:

  • BUSINESS (undergraduate at U.I.U.C. only)
  • COMMUNICATIONS at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign only
  • EDUCATION - journalist, Jewish studies, teacher
  • LAW
  • MEDICINE - audiologist, chiropractor, dental hygienist, dentist, doctor, geneticist, nurse, occupational therapist, optometrist, pharmacist, physician’s assistant, physical therapist, researcher, speech therapist, veterinarian
  • PERFORMING/FINE ARTS - actor/actress, artist, musician, photographer, poet, playwright, sculptor
  • SOCIAL SERVICE - gerontologist, psychologist, social worker, therapist/counselor
  • THE RABBINATE - cantor, rabbi
  • TECH/SCIENCES - architect, biomedical engineer, biochemist, chemist, engineer, computer scientist, environmental engineer, mathematician, other sciences

If you’re not sure if your educational path qualifies as a helping profession, please check with us at 312.673.3444 to verify eligibility before completing application. School acceptance is not required at time of scholarship application.

Why it works

Each year approximately $500,000 in scholarship assistance is made available. We process academic scholarship applications from eligible students who have financial needs that cannot be fully met by other appropriate resources.

New applicants must also submit these forms by email, fax or US mail:

Letter of Reference Form (2 Letters of Reference required)

Certification Form

Fill out the Scholarship Application online

Take the first step

Have any questions or want to learn more about our scholarship program? Speak directly with us at 312.673.3444 or email us at

For information regarding the Jewish Federation Shirley Ehrlich Student Loan Program.