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)
  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.

Application Materials and Checklist: 

1. Upload a scanned copy of your child’s handwritten essays on the application (with all four essay questions provided in one file). Essays questions are provided on our “Apply Now” page and on the application. 

2. Upload a scanned copy of 2018 filed income tax documents.

3. Upload a scanned copy of your child’s 7th grade report cards on the application. If you have any current 8th grade report cards, also upload on the application. If you receive your child’s 8th grade report cards after November 15th, please send a copy to our mailing address at 1074 W. Taylor, Mail Suite 201, Chicago, IL 60607. 

4. Upload a scanned copy of your child’s 7th grade Standardized Test Scores, i.e.TerraNova, ITBS or other.

5. Send one recommendation letter from either a Math teacher, English teacher, or Counselor (1 letter REQUIRED/no more than three will be accepted).   

 Please complete the online application form using the link. After you complete the first page, you will be able to save and continue your work (on a later date if you choose) or complete your application all at one time.

The application requires completing four, 250 words or one full page, handwritten in blue or black ink pen, essay questions.  Applicant should write essays on the template provided using the link below and then upload a scanned copy on the application.

Please download this PDF file, 2018-2019 Applicant Essay Questions & Info and print it out.  Then fill out the essays using a black or blue pen.   

In order to download this file to your computer, simply click on the light blue “2018-2019 Applicant Essay Questions & Info. Once it opens, use right-click the mouse and select “save as” and then name and save the file to your computer. (This works best using a Chrome browser)  You can open the file using adobe reader for free and print it out.

Summary of Essay and Application Materials:

  • One Letter of Recommendation submitted in a sealed envelope
  • Four Essay Questions
  • Copy of complete 7th grade report card
  • Copy of first quarter of 8th grade report card (if available)
  • Seventh-grade standardized test scores (Terra Nova, ITBS, ISAT or Other Test Scores).
  • Copy of 2018 tax form or other proof of income (W-2 alone or paycheck stubs are not acceptable).

**If you have difficulty uploading documents, they may be mailed to the below mailing address after completing and submitting the online application.

 **Letters of Recommendation must be in a sealed envelope & answer the following questions:

  • How long have you known this person?
  • What is the nature of your relationship?
  • Why is this person a good candidate for HFS?
  • Any additional may be added

Mail Recommendation Letters to:  

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

Important Dates

AUGUST 1 – Application opens and has two parts
          1. Online Application Form
          2. Send in Letters of Recommendation to HFS mailing address

OCTOBER 29, 2019-  7th & 8th Grade Night – Children of Peace School (1900 W. Taylor Street)  – 6:30-8pm


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.