August 5, 2022

Mayor Lightfoot and the Department of Family and Support Services Announce Community Services Block Grant Scholarships Available for Chicago Residents

Chicago residents can now apply and further their education

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

CHICAGO — Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Family & Support Services (DFSS) Commissioner Brandie Knazze today announced that $230,000 in Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) scholarships are now available for Chicago residents seeking to continue their education. Residents have until Friday, August 26, 2022, at midnight to apply. The announcement coincides with the launch of a new online application portal. Built to simplify the application process and provide even greater access to students, individuals can now apply online at 

"Our city is rife with opportunities for residents to reach their greatest potential, and we are committed to opening pathways to those opportunities," said Mayor Lightfoot. "Finances are often a critical barrier to secondary education, and these scholarships will break down that barrier for our recipients. I'm pleased to give families a chance to focus on their educational and career growth and accomplishments with this funding."  

The CSBG Scholarship Program offers financial aid ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 for income-eligible residents of the City of Chicago who demonstrate academic achievement, career potential, and educational motivation. Income requirements can be found on the aforementioned website. Displaced and under-employed workers, high school graduates (or equivalent), and those aspiring to higher education and employment are encouraged to apply.  

“DFSS is here to support students on their path to success, and we look forward to lessening the financial burden of secondary education,” DFSS Commissioner Brandie Knazze said. “This year, our scholarships will support at least 70 students as they continue to learn and grow.” 

The project is supported by funds provided under the Community Services Block Grant Program administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. This is the second year in which the City has provided $230,000 in funds to support students, a marked increase from previous allotments of $100,000. 

Recipients can use their awards to attend post-secondary education at any accredited institution of higher education or vocational training in the State of Illinois for the 2022-2023 academic year. Funds can be applied toward tuition, uniforms, study-related fees, and books. Scholarship awards must be used for the 2022 fall semester/quarter. 

Analysis of last year’s recipients show attendance at both city and state institutions, including: 

  • Chicago State University 
  • Bradley University 
  • DePaul University 
  • Harold Washington College 
  • Kennedy King College 
  • Wilbur Wright College 
  • Lutheran School of Theology 
  • Moody Bible Institute 
  • North Park University 
  • Northern Illinois University 
  • Pacific College of Health and Science 
  • Resurrection University 
  • University of Illinois at Chicago 
  • University of Illinois at Urbana 

"In 2021, I was unemployed due to my employer going out of business. However, my daughter received $4,500 from the CSBG Scholarship,” said Louversia Gilbert, parent of a 2021 recipient. “That support prevented me from having to choose her tuition over our household needs.”  

Candidates must submit a complete scholarship application with all required documents and provide proof of residency and income eligibility, which can be found on the scholarship’s website. There is no age requirement. Applicants are also required to write an essay in response to one of five different prompt questions, primarily underscoring their needs and goals.  

Recipients will be notified of their status by September 30th and will receive funds for their education by October.

For more information on CSBG Scholarships, please email:  


About the Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) 

DFSS works with community partners to connect Chicago residents and families to resources that build stability, support their well-being, and empower them to thrive. As the 5th largest City agency and one of the largest social service funders in Chicago, DFSS provides direct services at six Community Service Centers, six Regional Senior Centers, and through partnerships with 360 community-based organizations across the city. In total, DFSS services and funding support over 400,000 vulnerable Chicagoans each year. Connect with DFSS on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Learn more about DFSS at