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Scholarships

The Illinois 4-H Program provides several different ways for members to apply for educational scholarships. All of the following scholarship programs are available on a competitive basis:

  • Illinois 4-H Legacy of Leadership Scholarship: This merit-based scholarship is awarded to eight Illinois 4-H members annually. Scholarships are $1,000 and can be used to pay for any college-related costs. Scholarships are paid directly to the educational institution of the member’s choice. Members must be seniors in high school or freshman in college, be currently enrolled in the Illinois 4-H program, and must have been a 4-H member for a minimum of 5 years. Applications must be submitted to the State 4-H Office postmarked by March 1. 
  • Illinois 4-H Livestock Scholarship: This merit-based scholarship is awarded to one Illinois 4-H member annually. The scholarship is for $1,000 and is paid directly to the college of the winner’s choice. Members must be seniors in high school or freshman in college, be currently enrolled in the Illinois 4-H program, must have been a 4-H member for a minimum of 5 years, must have participated in Illinois 4-H livestock projects, and must be seeking a degree in a livestock-related field. Applications must be submitted to the State 4-H Office postmarked by March 1. 
  • State Fair Jr. Horse Show Scholarship Program: This scholarship is sponsored by the volunteers and supporters of the Illinois State Fair Jr. Horse Show. Funds are raised from the sale of t-shirts at each year’s show. The amount and number of scholarships will vary from year to year depending upon income for t-shirt sales and the number of applicants. The scholarship opportunity is open to currently enrolled 4-H and FFA members. Members must be seniors in high school or freshman in college, be currently enrolled in the Illinois 4-H or FFA program, and must have exhibited at the State Fair Jr. Horse Show within the past three years. Applications must be submitted to the State 4-H Office postmarked by September 15. 
  • Superior Young Producer Scholarship Program: While not sponsored by the Illinois 4-H program, this scholarship program is open to 4-H and FFA members who are enrolled in beef, sheep, swine, dairy, or horses. The program is sponsored by the Illinois State Fair. Three $1,000 scholarships are awarded each year in horses and dairy; nine scholarships are distributed among beef, sheep and swine project members. Contests are held during the Illinois State Fair show for each species. Members must compete in 3 to 4 individual segments that vary according to species: management test, skill-a-thon, judging contest, and/or meat identification or testing. Contestants must be 14 - 18 years of age to compete. LEARN MORE HERE.
  • Illinois 4-H Youth Leadership Team Scholarship Program: Open to any past or present Illinois State 4-H Youth Leadership Team member who has served at least one 2-year term and who is enrolled/accepted at a post-high school program. The number and amount of the scholarships are determined by available funds from the Illinois 4-H Foundation. Applications must be submitted to the State 4-H Office postmarked by June 1.