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A student’s journey while in college is rife with challenges. They are faced with academic pressures as well as social pressures that leave them with a lot of stress to manage. For most, university life brings with it unfamiliar situations that, if handled incorrectly, could majorly impact their lives. Some students are lucky to have the support and guidance of family members during their undergraduate years, while others do not. The invaluable insight from a parent or sibling who has attended a university and graduated can mean the difference between triumph or failure for an incoming freshman. African-American students experience struggles which undoubtedly place them at a disadvantage. These student’s struggles differ slightly from those who have a large support network as they have less access to resources that could be beneficial during their undergraduate years. The lack of network does make it more likely they will not persist until graduation. The Giving Circle Scholarship Fund bridges the gap of financial instability and socio-emotional support that plague these students. It is our goal to tackle these inequities and provide a successful and balanced path towards completion!


The Giving Circle Scholarship Fund (GCSF) is a 501©3 privately-operated foundation focused on providing financial assistance to first-generation, African-American students throughout their undergraduate journey. GCSF also monitors the progress of the recipient and provides social/emotional support over the four years of their undergraduate career. We want our students to not only finish, but to finish WELL! 



  • The Giving Circle Scholarship Fund (GCSF) will support the successful completion of the four-year university career of an African-American student from the Chicagoland area.  

  • 95% of recipients of the GCSF scholarship grant will graduate from a four-year university with a minimum weighted G.P.A. of 3.0 or higher.


  • GCSF will award up to $3,000 per year, for four years during the Fall and Spring terms of the recipient's undergraduate career to offset the financial burden of higher education.


  • GCSF will select at least one recipient every year.

The Giving Circle Scholarship Fund was founded to assist an African American student from the Chicagoland area in obtaining their undergraduate degree by providing them with financial assistance and supporting their collegiate development. 

Financial Assistance 
An award made on behalf of the Giving Circle Scholarship Fund is based on academic performance, leadership potential, level of perseverance, and community involvement. Scholarships are awarded by semester, provided funds are available. Scholarships from the Giving Circle Scholarship Fund should be used for education-related expenses such as tuition and course material. 

Scholarship Awards 
The Giving Circle Scholarship Fund awards scholarships through a comprehensive process. Areas that are reviewed by the Committee include Academic Accomplishments, Community Service, References, Short Essay Prompts and Financial Need.  The Giving Circle Scholarship Fund pays funds directly to educational institutions. Scholarships are awarded by semester, considering the recipient is compliant. Scholarships awarded are based upon the availability of funds and qualifying criteria. 

Applicants must be completing high school with a minimum weighted GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. 

Applicants must be accepted as a full-time student at a college or university for the upcoming academic semester. The college or university will receive the funds directly on behalf of the awarded student. 

Preference will be given to those with a great financial need.

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