Scholarship Program

Michelle and Gary Rich with scholarship recipient Khiyani Iemaan


The Scholarship Program awards scholarships to students who are blind, visually impaired, and/or have an additional disability, and to Chicago Lighthouse employees, especially those who are disabled and/or Veterans. Applicants must  be residents from Illinois attending any school of higher education, or students from other states attending school in Illinois, to obtain accredited certifications, Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees.

Since its establishment in 2004, our Scholarship Program has awarded over 750 scholarships totaling approximately one million dollars in significant funds to help students pursue their dreams of college education. Scholarship funding may be used for education-related expenses, including tuition, technology, readers, books, classroom materials, on-campus housing and other educational items approved by the Scholarship Committee.

Deadline to apply: Wednesday, April 1, 2020 by 9 a.m.

Application Submission Materials

The scholarship application must be completed in one sitting. You cannot save your work and return. As a result, we highly recommend that you review the requirements before beginning the application.

In addition, please note that you must agree to attend the scholarship ceremony to receive your scholarship and meet your donor.
This year’s ceremony will be held on Saturday, 1-3PM, July 11, 2020.

  1. Application
    Includes personal information, academic institution information, employment experience, use of scholarship funds, etc.
  2. Personal Essay
    Please write an essay about your visual impairment or disability, background, educational aspirations and career goals. Discuss how a Lighthouse scholarship will help you achieve those goals. Include academic and/or activity achievements. Please be prepared to upload as a Word or PDF document at the end of the application.
  3. Financial Statement of Need
    Please describe in detail your economic need and how you plan to use the scholarship, if you are awarded. You need to be as specific as possible in order to receive a scholarship award. This part of your application is heavily weighted in your application consideration. Please be prepared to upload as a Word or PDF document at the end of the application.
  4. Eye Report | Download Here
    Please have your eye specialist download and complete the Eye Report. You may ask your eye specialist to complete this without scheduling an appointment. Please ensure that your visual diagnosis falls into one of the eligible criteria. Previous scholarship recipients must submit a current vision report obtained within the last six months, regardless of whether we have one on file from a previous year. Please be prepared to upload a scanned, completed copy at the end of the application or ask your physician to send by fax or mail.
    The Chicago Lighthouse | 1850 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL 60608 | ATTN: Maureen Reid | Fax: (312) 445-3640

    • The Eye Report is required if you apply as an individual with a vision impairment. The employee eligibility for applying can be verified through our HR department, with the applicant’s permission.
  5. Two Letters of Recommendation
    Please ask the individuals writing your letters of recommendation to send all documents in Word or PDF format to the scholarship coordinator via email. Pages documents from Mac computers are not acceptable.
  6. Official Transcripts
    Your submitted transcript must reflect a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better to be considered. Official transcripts from the school you most recently attended must be mailed or emailed to the scholarship coordinator.


To learn more about additional scholarship opportunities not offered by The Chicago Lighthouse, please visit our Resource Guide.

For more information, or to request an accommodation to complete the application, please contact:

Maureen Reid
Scholarship Coordinator
(312) 997-3655
The Chicago Lighthouse
1850 W. Roosevelt Road | Chicago, IL 60608