National and State Scholarships available:

Each year the National Federation of the Blind awards 30 national scholarships and the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois awards multiple scholarships to Illinois residents or those attending Illinois schools. We urge you to apply for both. To apply for a National Scholarship visit our scholarships page. To apply for our state scholarships download the application below. Either way be sure to read about Deanna Greco and Laura Etori’s experiences. The following NFBI scholarships are planned:

PETER GRUNWALD SCHOLARSHIP: A scholarship in the amount of $2,000 was established by the NFBI as a memorial to Peter Grunwald, whose work with members of the Illinois General Assembly resulted in implementation of several statutes that have changed what it means to be blind in Illinois.

NATIONAL FEDERATION OF THE BLIND OF ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIPS: Two scholarships in the amount of $1,500 will be awarded.


All scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic excellence and service to the community. To be eligible for any NFBI scholarship, an applicant must be a legally blind resident of, or student in Illinois, who is enrolled full-time in an accredited two-year, four-year or graduate college or university program.

To apply:

Complete an application. Electronic application forms can be obtained from the scholarship chairman. Send your application and supporting documents via e-mail in MS Word format to:

Deborah Kent Stein, Chairman, NFBI Scholarship Committee

If email is not possible to:

Deborah Kent Stein
5817 N. Nina Ave.
Chicago, IL 60631

Direct questions to: 773-203-1394


All application materials must be received by March 31.

General Information:

Persons who have previously applied for NFBI scholarships are encouraged to apply again. The Scholarship Committee reviews all applications and selects the scholarship winners, who will be notified of their selection by June 15, and will be brought to the NFBI convention in the fall. Finalists must attend the entire NFBI state convention.

Please provide the following information:

  1. All post-secondary institutions you have attended with highest class standing attained and cumulative grade point average,
  2. High school attended and cumulative grade point average, and
  3. Community Service.

Please include the following with your completed application:

  1. Personal Essay: Along with your application, introduce yourself to the scholarship committee in a brief essay or self-portrait. Consider the essay an opportunity to tell the committee who you are. Describe your strengths, achievements, and aspirations. What is important to you? Who do you hope to become? Has a particular person or experience changed your life? How has your blindness affected you? How do you handle it at school, on the job, and in interpersonal relationships? Keep in mind that this scholarship is not based on financial need so it need not be addressed in your essay.
  2. One current letter of recommendation.
  3. Transcripts: Provide a current transcript from the institution you are attending as well as transcripts from all post-secondary institutions you have attended. If you have not attended an institution of higher learning or have not completed one year of study at such an institution, provide a high school transcript.

This form may be photocopied.
2017 NFBI Scholarship Application (Word Format)

Newsletter Article

In the Fall 2016 issue of The Sounding Board, the publication of the National Federation of the Blind of New Jersey, two of the 30 national scholarship winners discussed their experiences at the 2016 NFB National Convention. You can view the publication at and read the article entitled “National Convention Reflections From National Scholarship Winners Deanna Greco & Laura Etori”.

See also:


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