front of old main building

Freshman Scholarships

You worked hard to get here and
we want to reward you.

Merit-based scholarships are awarded during the application review process and are based on your course work, grade-point average (GPA), and ACT or SAT test score.

Academic scholarships are renewable provided you maintain the required GPA each year and maintain full time undergraduate status. Merit scholarships are not based on need. Your application for admission and academic credentials are used to award these funds unless otherwise noted.  Your achievements and special talents in other academic and activity areas, like education and the fine arts, could result in additional scholarship opportunities.


Academic Merit

  • Academic, Achievement, Dean, Honor, or Presidential Scholarship
    • Scholarships for strong high school students who are encouraged to apply for admission early.
    • Application review begins by Oct 1 and continues on a rolling basis.
    • Amount is determined during the application review process and is an award of $20,000-$27,000 per year ($80,000-$108,000 over four years).
    • Award based on a combination of GPA and ACT/SAT test scores.
    • Contact the Office of Admission for further details on eligibility.
    • Available for 4 academic years provided the minimum GPA requirement is maintained.
  • International Scholarships
    • Must be an international student.
    • Range of $27,000 to $30,000 ($108,000-$120,000 over four years) per academic year.
    • For eligibility requirements, visit the International Scholarship page.
    • Available for four academic years provided the minimum GPA requirement is maintained.



As an incoming student, you may audition for talent scholarships in the areas of music, theatre, art, and forensics. They are renewable depending on department funding and your continued participation. For further information, contact the Office of Admission.

marching band performing at homecoming

The Montaigne Scholarship

Students who plan to enroll in the Shimer Great Books School at North Central College may participate in a scholarship competition. Students write an essay based on their reading of a work by Michel de Montaigne, the 16th century French writer who invented the essay form itself. All students who submit a successful essay will then be invited to visit the Shimer School and meet current Shimer School students and faculty for a discussion of their essays.  Winners will receive the Montaigne Scholarship up to $5,000 annually in addition to their current academic scholarship.  Scholarships are renewable at the same dollar amounts and do not increase in subsequent years.

Shimer Great Books School class discussion


Incoming students can be recommended by an alumnus/alumna of North Central College to receive a $1,000 annual scholarship. Recommendations must be received by December 1st prior to the year the student will enter the College. Please contact the Office of Admission for questions.  Each alum is only entitled to one recommendation per school year and students cannot stack alumni scholarships to receive more than one.  If you know an alum, have them recommend you for this scholarship through the Alumni Office.

Alumni at football tailgate


FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST Robotics Competition

An incoming freshman pursuing a major in engineering may apply for this scholarship if the student has actively participated in the FIRST Tech Challenge or the FIRST Robotics Competition during junior or senior year of high school, with a minimum 3.0 high school GPA.


North Central has been fortunate to receive donations from generous alumni and friends of the College for the establishment of endowed scholarships. We award these scholarships to worthy students each year. When available, applications are through the Office of Financial Aid.

TO APPLY for endowed scholarships from our donors, please visit Academic Works and sign in with your Merlin ID and Password.

Several donors and affiliates of the College also offer opportunities for incoming students. Listed below are some brief overviews of a few of the opportunities listed on Academic Works.



  • Grant for Children of Full-Time United Methodist Clergy
    • $3000
    • Parent must be full time UM clergy person
    • Renewable, provided student continues to meet criteria
  • United Methodist Grant Fund of the Northern Illinois Conference
    • Student must be member of UMNIC
    • Financial need is considered
    • Renewable as long as financial need continues and student continues to meet criteria
  • United Methodist Scholarships
    • Please view AcademicWorks for:
      • Scholarships requiring certification and membership
      • Scholarships that do not require certification and membership
Koten Chapel


  • Bockholdt Speech/Communication Scholarship
    • Student must be full time and interested in speech communication and theatre
  • Emerging Writers Spotlight Scholarship 
    • Applicants must be h.s. seniors or incoming transfer students interested in literature or writing
    • $1000 scholarship
    • Renewable with department confirmation for students with literature or writing major and having a 3.0 cumulative GPA
    • Student will have opportunity to be published in North Central Review literary journal 30North
  • Mock Trial Scholarship
    • Open to h.s. seniors and incoming tranfers student.  Current NCC students are not eligible to apply
    • Student must commit to participate in NCC mock trial team
    • Renewable with continued involvement in mock trial
    • Student may need to come to campus for interview before awards are made
students researching online in class


  • Scholarship for Education Majors (John J. Bohlander, Roger K. and Mildred Rife Goodwin, Jeanene Yule)
    • cum GPA of at least 3.0 is required
    • Renewable by re-application and selection annually (except Yule is renewable by department confirmation and 3.0 cumulative GPA)
  • Teach First Generation Scholarship
    • Must be a first generation college student
    • $1000 stipend, renewable, with active participation in Teach First program
  • Dunham Scholarship
    • Must live in the Dunham Fund Service Area, the geography bounded on the north by Illinois State Route 38, on the south by U.S. Route 34, on the east by Illinois State Route 59, and on the west by Illinois State Route 47
    • Financial need is considered
professor talking in front of class



  • John Miller Cowlishaw Memorial Scholarship for Music
    • Students majoring/minoring in music, music edu, or musical theatre
    • Minimum cum GPA of at least 3.0 is required



  • Verne E. Dietrich Memorial Scholarship
    • Incoming freshman majoring in physics, chemistry or math
  • Harold Emery Meiley Scholarship
    • Must be a Naperville or DuPage county resident
    • Career objective must be computer sci., business, engineering, pre-med or pre-law
    • Minimum ACT score of 23
    • Financial need considered
    • Renewable, with eligible cumulative 3.0 GPA



  • Bill Shatzer and Suzanne Shatzer Doerge Scholarship
    • Student must demonstrate leadership and determination to overcome disadvantages
    • Financial need considered