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CFFRV 2020 Scholarship Program: 381 Students Receive Scholarships for College

The Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley (CFFRV) is pleased to announce its 2020 Scholarship Program recipients, as well as congratulate all graduates on their hard work during an unprecedented year.

Of the 694 students who applied, 381 were awarded scholarships from CFFRV. Scholarship dollars awarded over the next four years equal $1,745,100, a 37.3-percent increase from last year.

The CFFRV Scholarship Program consists of more than 200 separate scholarship funds created by individual donors who establish specific criteria for the administration of their scholarships. Applications are reviewed by a volunteer Scholarship Committee comprised of community members.

“I’m incredibly appreciative of the time our Scholarship Committee devotes to this process – they spend hundreds of hours reviewing applications,” said Austin Dempsey, Scholarship Committee chair. “I’m so proud of them, and of our impact across the Fox River Valley.”

The recipients indicated interest in pursuing the following majors or fields of study:

  • STEM-related Fields – 62 percent
  • Arts, Education & Humanities – 19 percent
  • Business & Trades – 11 percent
  • Politics & Government – 6 percent
  • Undeclared – 2 percent

Rhonda Soos, director of scholarships, is amazed at the growth of the program, which has awarded more than $18 million in scholarships since the organization’s inception in 1948.

“When we report the statistics of each scholarship cycle, we show a continued commitment to our mission – helping donors meet their philanthropic objectives,” Soos said. “In this case, that means helping donors make a difference in 381 students’ lives.”

Due to the circumstances brought on by COVID-19, the CFFRV Scholarship Team carefully reviewed and discussed applicants’ submissions via Zoom. CFFRV thanks the Scholarship Committee for quickly adapting to ensure the process was managed as efficiently and effectively as usual.

To view a full list of scholarship funds, visit To learn more about the CFFRV 2020 Scholarship Program, as well as view the full list of recipients, and program statistics, visit

Thank you very much for supporting my college education for these four years. I will never be able to repay you for the opportunity that this scholarship has given to me.

Julia H.

[Renewing Scholarship Recipient] Graduate of Hinkley-Big Rock High School

There’s no question in my mind that the scholarship I received opened up possibilities.

Marianne Renner

Past Scholarship Recipient & Current Leadership Coach

We chose the Community Foundation because of its reputation. It’s well known, established and we can trust them to do the job for us.

Dick Schindel

Richard and Susan Schindel Scholarship Funds

A community foundation is a donor-driven organization that helps donors custom-design funds that reflect their charitable interests. Through the years, grants from these funds have made a significant impact on our local communities.

Sharon Stredde

President Emeritus

…you can always start small, even $25 can make a difference. Remember we can’t take our money with us. Even if it’s just your gift of time. Volunteer and get involved.

Cris Anderson

Cristina & Thomas S. Anderson Endowment Fund | Tom & Cris Anderson Colonial Advisory Fund

As a first-generation college student from a low-income family, I was worried about how I was going to pay for books and supplies. This scholarship will allow me to focus more on my studies instead of worrying about how to afford college. I am working to not only create opportunities for myself but to motivate future generations. Thank you so much for helping me along this journey!

Moises J.

Claude & Alice Allen Memorial Scholarship Recipient

Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley

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