scholarship opportunities

City Treasurer Launches “Empowerment Scholarships” for New College Students

Chicago City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin and the Chicago Treasurer’s Office will continue to award Empowerment Scholarships to first-year students entering a four-year accredited institution in the fall of 2024. The one-time, $5,000 awards will be presented later this summer. 

The Empowerment Scholarships will be awarded to Chicago Public School (CPS) students as part of the CTO’s 2024 college scholarship program sponsored by community partners, BMO, Discover, First Eagle, Huntington National Bank, Partners Group, Marquette Associates, Inc., and Providence Bank & Trust. To be eligible for the $5,000 award, which will be used to pay for any education-related expenses, a student must be enrolled in a 4-year college or university in the fall of 2024 and submit a completed application, including an essay, high school transcripts and other required materials through the CPS portal by 11:59 pm on Sunday, June 30, 2024.


  • Be a CPS graduate class of 2024
  • Be a Chicago resident
  • Enroll in an accredited College or University Fall 2024
  • Submit copy of FAFSA/Alternative App or 2022 Tax Returns
  • Complete an essay question (500-750 words) – Reflect on how this need-based scholarship will empower you to pursue your higher education.
  • Renewable: No
  • Open to DREAMers: Yes


For additional information about the scholarship programs, contact

As part of the Treasurer’s High School Scholarship Essay Contest, the Treasurer’s office annually awards non-renewable scholarships, sponsored by BMO Harris Bank, to support the cost of attending the first year of college to two high school students. This scholarship is open during Black History Month, Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Hispanic Heritage Month, and Native American Heritage Month, recognizing seniors in high school who have displayed outstanding academic achievement or community involvement and who write a thoughtful and impactful essay on a topic related to the respective heritage month. This scholarship is open to all Chicago High Schools seniors and requires no minimum grade point average.

Click here for more information and eligibility requirements.

Below are the winners of previous scholarships:

2022 – 2023
Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month
First Place: Jeremy Battung, Goode High School
Second Place: Marish Manuel, Admundsen High School

2022 – 2023
Black History Month
First Place: Tyler Smith – $1,500
Second Place: Iyana Gross – $1,000

2021 – 2022
Hispanic Heritage Month 

First Place: Jade Avalos, World Language Academy High School
Second Place: Alicja Martinez, Carl Schurz High School

Black History Month

First Place: Aniyah Chase-Mayfield, Walter Payton College Prep
Second Place: Maurice Oldham, Amundsen High School

2021 – 2022
Black History Month
First Place: Jada E. Carey, Gary Comer College Prep
Second Place: Ezekiel Bramble, Von Steuben High School

2020 – 2021
Hispanic Heritage Month
First Place: Alissa Medina – $1,500
Second Place: Jacqueline Guzman – $1,000

2019 – 2020
Hispanic Heritage Month

First Place: Abel Almanza – $1,500
Second Place: Yovani Villeda Alvarez – $1,000

CPS Essay Scholarship Announcements