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The Illinois Federation of Teachers supports the continuing education of high school seniors by awarding two scholarships annually. The scholarships were established by the IFT to assist students with pursuing education beyond high school and to promote an understanding of the labor movement in young people that will endure for generations to come. Each scholarship has specific eligibility criteria and strict, unique deadlines, so applicants should review the application forms and eligibility requirements carefully before applying.

Annual Scholarships

Carl J. Megel Special Education

Honoring AFT President Emeritus Carl J. Megel

IFT educators have a unique opportunity to help special education students pursue higher education or career training by sponsoring them for the union’s Carl J. Megel Special Education Scholarship.

In 2024, the IFT will award one $20,000 Megel scholarship ($5,000 each year for four years) to a deserving high school senior who is enrolled in a special education school, class, or program for students with disabilities. Applicants must be high school seniors who will graduate in 2024.
IFT members who work directly with (or previously worked with) an eligible student must provide a letter of sponsorship for the applicant. (Children of IFT members may also apply.)

2024 Scholarship recipient will be announced soon!



Honoring late AFT Secretary-Treasurer Robert G. Porter


The Illinois Federation of Teachers shall provide annually two $20,000 scholarship awards ($5,000 each year for four years) to current high school seniors with no less than a cumulative "B" grade average. Successful applicants must plan to attend full-time at an Illinois public university and maintain at least a "C" cumulative grade average after graduating from high school.

An applicant must be the child of a currently employed, active member in good standing of the Illinois Federation of Teachers, the child of a member of an IFT retirees chapter, or the child of a deceased member who was in good standing with the Illinois Federation of Teachers at the time of death.




2024 Scholarship recipients will be announced soon!

AFT Robert G. Porter Scholars program

The AFT Robert G. Porter Scholars Program offers four 4-year, $8,000 post-secondary scholarships to students who are dependents of AFT members, as well as 10 one-time $1,000 grants to AFT members to assist with their continuing education.

Application period has ended.

cfl william A. Lee memoriaL scholarship

The Chicago Federation of Labor will award 10 scholarships, valued at $2,000 each, to 10 high school seniors. Students or their parents must belong to a union affiliated with the Chicago Federation of Labor.

Application period has ended. 

Union Plus Scholarship

Sponsored by the Union Plus Education Foundation. The program is open to members, spouses and dependent children of unions participating in any of the Union Plus programs.

Application period has ended.


Laura kleinhans

PSRP Member | IFT Local 571

When my sons received their congratulatory letter, I was proud of them but also proud that I work with an organization that supports my whole family.

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Helping IFT families with the cost of college


rachel cuculich

IFT Robert G. Porter Scholarship Recipient

Winning the IFT Robert G. Porter Scholarship was such an incredible honor for me. It brought me one step closer to a career in education, specifically working with students that have disabilities.


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