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.

Supporting Documents

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

  • Four handwritten essays – PRINT these pages and complete – TBA
  • Income verification (provide at least one of the following)
    • 2019 Federal Tax Return – form 1099 – 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

letter of recommendation from a Math teacher, English teacher, or counselor is also required for each application file. Each applicant must have at least one letter of recommendation. No more than 3 letters of recommendation will be accepted for each applicant. Each letter must be in a sealed envelope mailed by the recommender & answer the following questions:

  • How long have you known the applicant?
  • What is the nature of your relationship to the applicant?
  • Why is the applicant a good candidate for HFS?
  • Any additional information may be added to help the Applicant Review Board understand the student’s eligibility for the program.

Application Materials and Checklist: 

1. Complete the online application. [Link TBA]

2. Students must hand write responses to the four essay question in black or blue ink.

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

4. 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, (TBA) and print it out.  Then fill out the essays using a black or blue pen.   

Mail Supporting Documents and 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 21, 2021-  HFS Open House | 6:00-7:30PM | Location TBD

NOVEMBER 15, 2021- Application for class of 2026 closes

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.