Scholarship Program

JACL Chicago Scholarship Program Guidelines

Scholarships range from $1,500 to $5,000+ and are open to full-time undergraduate and graduate students who have demonstrated a commitment to JACL’s mission of advancing social justice and promoting the legacy and cultural heritage of the Japanese American community. Scholarships are awarded based on an applicant’s alignment with JACL’s mission through involvement in (but not limited to) social justice advocacy, leadership and education initiatives, and the Chicago Japanese American community. Students applying for a second award should demonstrate sustained and ongoing engagement with JACL.

Scholarships are open to all, regardless of race or ethnicity.

Funding for scholarships is provided by generous donations from JACL Chicago members and the greater Chicago Japanese American community.

Applications are due on March 1, 2018. Awards will be distributed at the annual Scholarship Luncheon on May 20, 2018.

For more information, contact Christine Munteanu, JACL Chicago Scholarship Committee Chair, at



  • JACL Membership (NEW!): Applicants who have not previously received a JACL Chicago scholarship do not need to be JACL members to apply for a scholarship. If selected to receive a scholarship, first-time winners will receive a one-year student membership to JACL Chicago as part of their award. Previous scholarship winners must have a current student or individual JACL Chicago membership valid through the end of 2018.
  • Enrollment Status: Applicants must be full-time students at an accredited college, university, or other institution of higher learning in the United States for the fall of 2018. Students deferring enrollment will not qualify for the 2018 scholarship program. Awards are contingent on proof of enrollment.
  • Residency: Applicants must be residents of the State of Illinois (although attendance at schools outside of Illinois is permissible) OR actively enrolled in an accredited Illinois university, college, or institution of higher learning at the time of application.
  • Limits: JACL Chicago scholarship winners are limited to receiving a total of two (2) awards in their lifetime.
  • Scholarship Luncheon: All scholarship winners are required to attend the Scholarship Luncheon on Sunday, May 20, 2018. Awards will be distributed on this date. Any awardee who does not attend without prior approval from the scholarship committee will forfeit their award.

How to Apply

  • Download and complete the Scholarship Application Form
  • All application materials, including the application form and supplemental pages, official transcripts, ACT/SAT scores (for entering freshman), and recommendation letters must be included in one complete application packet. Do not submit materials separately. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • Applications must be received or postmarked by March 1, 2018. Late applications will not be considered.
  • Send complete application packet to:
    JACL Chicago Scholarship Committee
    5415 N. Clark St.
    Chicago, IL 60640
  • Applicants will be notified of the Scholarship Committee’s decision in April 2018. All decisions of the Scholarship Committee are final.

For questions or more information, contact Christine Munteanu, JACL Chicago Scholarship Committee chair, at

NOTE: The Japanese American Citizens League administers a National Scholarship Program that is separate and independent from the JACL Chicago Scholarship Program. For information about the JACL National Scholarship Program, please visit:

Look for the scholarship application in early 2019!