Application Guidelines


Eighth-grade students who satisfy the required criteria listed below are encouraged to apply for an HFS Chicago Scholarship. It may not be necessary to exhibit all five elements listed. However, the more of these criteria you possess, the better your chances of being selected as a Scholar. You must plan to attend (and eventually gain acceptance to) a private high school that requires tuition.

Basic requirements are as follows:

  1. Grade Point Average of 3.0 or above (B average or above for 7th and 8th grades) 
  2. Average to above-average standardized test scores, i.e. TerraNova, ITBS, ISAT, or Other scores (from seventh grade or most recent test scores)
  3. Evidence of leadership potential
  4. Evidence of positive academic work ethic
  5. Demonstration of financial need (family income must be less than $55,000 to apply–if extenuating circumstances, please note this in your application. 

Students who are accepted as Scholars must agree to the terms outlined in the HFS Scholarship Agreement for Success, which includes expectations for academic standards, commitment to community service, and active participation in HFS sponsored events and mentoring. Additionally, all incoming Scholars are required to attend and successfully complete summer enrichment courses offered by HFS in preparation for high school. Tuition for this summer program is covered by HFS.

Supporting Documents

The following documentation is required to complete each application file.
All supporting documents, except the HFS recommendation form, should be mailed together in ONE envelope to the address provided below or uploaded to the online application.
The HFS recommendation form should be completed online separately by the recommender(s).

  • Four handwritten essays – PRINT these pages and complete – Applicant Essays
  • Income verification (provide at least one of the following)
    • Most recent Federal Tax Return – form 1040 – pages 1 and 2
    • Letter, on letterhead, from employer indicating cash wages paid
    • Documentation for SSI or other benefits
  • Final 7th grade report card
  • Current 8th grade report card
  • 7th grade standardized test scores or most recent test scores

HFS Recommendation form submitted by a Math teacher, English teacher, or counselor is also required for each application file. Each applicant must have at least one recommendation form submitted on their behalf. No more than 3 recommendation forms will be accepted for each applicant.

Application Materials and Checklist: 

1. Complete the online application.

2. Students must hand-write responses to the four essay questions in black or blue ink. The application requires completing four, 250 words or one full page, handwritten in blue or black ink pen, essay questions.  Applicants should write essays on the essay question template provided using the link provided and then upload a scanned copy on the application.

3. Submit all supporting documents; essays, income verification, 7th grade report card, 7th grade standardized test scores, current 8th grade report card.

4. One HFS recommendation form submitted by either a Math teacher, English teacher, or Counselor (1 form REQUIRED/no more than three will be accepted).

How to submit supporting documents (choose one):

1. Mail all documents:

HFS Chicago Scholars
Attention: Application Review Board
1074 West Taylor Street, Mail Suite#201
Chicago, IL 60607


2. Upload all documents to the online application


Important Dates

AUGUST 1 – Application opens and has two parts
          1. Online Application Form
          2. UPload or send in HFS Recommendation form to the HFS mailing address above

OCTOBER 20, 2022-  HFS Open House | 6:00-7:30PM | EVENT CLOSED

NOVEMBER 15th- Application for the class of 2027 closes- all supporting materials must be uploaded or postmarked

JANUARY  Applicants notified if selected for an interview. Reminder to Candidates–Apply for financial aid at your prospective high schools.

FEBRUARY  Interviews (appointment only).

MARCH  Applicants are notified if selected for a scholarship.

APRIL  Acceptance of Scholarship forms due with final high school choice, proof of high school registration, and results from the high school entrance exam.