IHLA Educational Foundation Scholarship Application Process

The purpose of our scholarship program is to financially assist Illinois residents who have demonstrated a desire to make the hotel and hospitality industry a career. Scholarships are available in amounts ranging from $1,000 up to $4,000 per academic year.  Each student applicant must comply with the eligibility, selection criteria, and requirements of the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association Educational Foundation (IHLAEF) Scholarship Program. Past scholarship recipients and past applicants are encouraged to reapply by submitting a new application.

You Are Eligible to Apply If:
You are a permanent resident of Illinois and a U.S. citizen OR a permanent U.S. resident for at least 12 months on the date of application;
You are a current undergraduate student enrolled full-time (12 credit hours or more) OR are a high school senior or graduate who has been accepted in an accredited college or university hotel and/or hospitality management degree-granting program in the U.S.
You are an undergraduate student enrolled in at least 6 credit hours per semester in an accredited college or university hotel and/or hospitality management degree-granting program in the U.S. and are also employed a minimum of 20 hours per week in the hospitality industry.

The Selection Criteria Requires:

  • A maintained Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 2.5/4.0 or 3.5/5.0 (C+).
  • Your extracurricular activities and accomplishments within the past two years. This should include, but not be limited to, school, community, and charitable activities.
  • A typed essay outlining your career goals in the hotel and/or hospitality industry. SEE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS in application.
  • One letter of recommendation from an education professional, current or former employer, or industry professional.
  • Current official or unofficial college transcript.  For high school applicants: most recent high school or GED transcript including GPA.


  • Incomplete applications will not be submitted for judging. ​
  • Winners of named donor awards will not be eligible for the same award the following year.

IHLAEF Scholarship Application 2021
This application will be considered for the 2021-2022 academic year.  Deadline for submission:  May 24, 2021.


By Kristine Nielsen
Kristine Nielsen Assistant Director, Career Services