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The Illinois Federations 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.


The Carl J. Megel Special Education Scholarship
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 2017, the IFT will award one $1,000 Megel scholarship 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 2017.
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.) The application deadline is March 3, 2017.

Find the 2017 Megel Application here.

The IFT Robert G. Porter Scholarship
Honoring late AFT Secretary-Treasurer Robert G. Porter

The Illinois Federation of Teachers shall provide annually two $6,000 scholarship awards ($1,500 each year for four years) to current high schools 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. The award is unrestricted as to race, religion or political affiliation. An applicant must be the son or daughter of a currently employed, active member in good standing of the Illinois Federation of Teachers, the son or daughter of a member of an IFT retirees chapter or the son or daughter of a deceased member who was in good standing with the Illinois Federation of Teachers at the time of death.


The deadline for the 2017 Porter Scholarship is Friday, December 9, 2016. Information and an application are available here. Winners will be announced in the spring of 2017.

American Federation of Teachers (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.

Visit the AFT website for additional information.

Chicago Federation of Labor William A. Lee Memorial Scholarship

The Chicago Federation of Labor will offer five (5) academic-based scholarships and five (5) random-drawing scholarships in the amount of $2,000 to students graduating from a Chicago or suburban high school. Students or their parents must belong to a union affiliated with the Chicago Federation of Labor and may apply in only one of the two categories.

Applications are available in January each year, and the deadline to apply is February 15. More information as well as the applications can be found on the CFL website.

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.

Winners are chosen based on academic achievement and potential, character, leadership, social awareness, career goals and financial need. Applications are judged by a committee of impartial post-secondary educators.

The deadline for the 2017 Union Plus Scholarship is Tuesday, January 31, 2017.

Find the 2017 Union Plus Application here.



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