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Each year, the Foundation awards financial assistance to increased numbers of students. Thanks to the unflagging generosity of many donors, the Foundation is able to provide career-oriented scholarships in automotive technology, business, engineering and manufacturing, healthcare, and law enforcement, along with diverse awards for students majoring in any field who intend to transfer to a four-year college or university.

As public funding diminishes, students must take on the financial burden of increasing costs or be forced out of higher education altogether - unless we fill the gap with private resources. Gifts to the Scholarship Fund will help defray up to one year of tuition and fees for students in need. To date the Foundation has awarded more than $3 million, helping more than 2,000 students advance their education

Establishing a Scholarship
Donors may establish a scholarship in two ways:

  • Annual scholarships: initiated by direct gifts of the exact amount needed for an award to student scholars. A one-time contribution can be awarded as an annual scholarship to a student or students. The scholarship may be renewed with an annual gift from a donor.
  • Endowed scholarships: provide funds for the scholarship in perpetuity but require a minimum amount of $10,000 to establish and to activate.

Scholarships are known by a name designated by the donor. For a complete list of scholarships, go to

Awarding a Scholarship
Each year the Office of Student Financial Assistance publishes a brochure, Scholarship Opportunities at Oakton, listing the available scholarships and their criteria. Information also is available on the College's Web site.

In the spring, a Scholarship Committee comprising faculty, staff, administrators, and students, review the applications and select the scholarship winners. Scholarships typically provide funding for one academic year. The Office of Student Financial Assistance distributes the funds in the fall and spring semesters, providing the students have met the eligibility requirements.

During the fall semester, the Foundation hosts a Scholarship Banquet at the Des Plaines campus, recognizing the donors and the recipients of their scholarships. The names of endowed scholarships and awardees appear on individual plaques displayed on the College Scholarship Wall at the Des Plaines campus.

Endowing a Scholarship
The Educational Foundation administers a scholarship endowment fund according to the following provisions:

  • When the corpus, or principal, of the endowment reaches the specified amount or more, the endowment will be activated, and the selection of awards will begin. Prior to activation of the scholarship, all annual interest and earnings from the investment of the fund will be returned to the corpus to help achieve the activation goal.
  • If for any reason the endowment fund does not reach at least the agreed goal within a three year period, the Foundation may choose either to extend the preactivation period or to implement individual scholarship awards.
  • Endowment spending objectives satisfy needs for sufficient funds for scholarships and other grant efforts; preserve the principal against inflation; and provide a predictable and growing stream of income.

The Foundation has adopted an allocation of five percent of a three-year moving market value of each endowment. This policy enables the Foundation to provide greater support and protect the economic value of each endowment.

Investment of the corpus of each endowment shall be handled in accordance with Foundation investment policies, with the goal of achieving maximum earnings for each fund. Written records of the performance of each endowment are kept in the Foundation Office.

For more information about establishing a scholarship, contact the Foundation Office at 847.635.1893.

Student Profile

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No one expected Jesus Vallejo to achieve great things until one day he decided he would study hard and transform his life.