Opportunity Scholarship Program

The Museum is pleased to be able to provide a limited number of Opportunity Scholarships to support field trip expenses for qualified schools. The program enables us to offer subsidies for admission and/or  transportation to the Museum for students and chaperones.

Scholarship Information

Qualification Requirements:

  • Book and be confirmed for a field trip before applying
  • Submit a $50 deposit
  • Financial need (at least 50% of students considered low-income by ISBE or the United States Department of Agriculture)
  • Scholarship application submitted at least 30 days before scheduled trip
  • Maximum two scholarships per school per school year
  • School located in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Wisconsin

Actual admission fees and/or transportation costs will be subsidized at the discretion of the Museum, based on need. While most scholarships are partial, the maximum amount granted will be $1,000, including admission and transportation costs. Please indicate on your scholarship application what costs you would like covered.

Subsidies cover the cost for students, chaperones that fall within the 10:1 ratio, and medical/behavioral aides. The subsidy does not cover extra chaperones ($15 each) or students not registered with the Museum in advance. The subsidy will be paid in the form of a waiver at the time of field trip check-in.

How to Apply

Please complete and submit an application:

  • School information
  • Teacher information
  • Field trip information
  • Financial need (% of students on free/reduced lunch)
  • Expected field trip costs (admission)
  • Short answer questions about objectives and benefits of trip

Applications will be reviewed and awarded on a rolling basis. Award notification will be sent via email. 

Field Trip Deposit

The $50 non-refundable deposit toward your trip will not be waived. The Museum believes each school should maintain a minimum amount of financial “buy-in” toward the trip. This deposit covers the cost of processing your original field trip request, as well as your Opportunity Scholarship, and is needed to continue the program in the future.

Transportation Scheduling & Reimbursement

For Illinois schools only:

The Museum is not responsible for arranging transportation. Based on your admissions award, the Museum may be able to reimburse your school for some of its travel expenses. The Illinois Holocaust Museum will issue a reimbursement check after receiving a signed, paid invoice and thank you letters.

For schools in Indiana, Iowa, and Wisconsin:

The Museum is not responsible for arranging transportation. Based on your admissions award, the Museum may be able to reimburse your school for some of its travel expenses.  The Illinois Holocaust Museum will issue a reimbursement check after receiving a signed, paid invoice and thank you letters.

Securing a bus/transportation:

The museum is not responsible for arranging transportation.  We are happy to provide you with the contact information of bus companies that previous scholarship recipients have used.

Scholarship Requirements

In order to continue to provide our Opportunity Grants Program, it is essential that the sponsors understand the true impact of their support.

  • Schools who are awarded an opportunity grant must complete one mandatory “Letter of Thanks” to IHMEC written by the teacher(s), incorporating student feedback and the benefits gained from the field trip. This letter must be received within 60 days after your field trip date.
  • Schools who are awarded an opportunity grant must complete the online field trip feedback evaluation after their field trip.
  • Schools will be invoiced for the total cost of admission if a “Letter of Thanks” is not received.
  • Schools who do not send a “Letter of Thanks” may not be considered for future scholarship opportunities.


Generously supported by: Ann & Brian Balusek; Andrew & Courtney Berlin; Harry & Harriet Bernbaum; Randi and Barry Carr; Deutsche Bank; Jacob J. Fink Charitable Foundation; Jakubowich Family; Ambassador Fay Hartog Levin (Ret.); MB Financial; Mesirow Financial; Edward & Lucy R. Miner  Family Foundation; RBC Wealth Management.

Education Services are supported with generous grants from:  Dr. Scholl Foundation; Leah Gutman Education Fund; Harry & Sadie Lasky Foundation; Francis L. Lederer Foundation; Glen and Wendy Miller Family Foundation; Charles & M.R. Shapiro Foundation; and an anonymous foundation.

Additional endowment support is provided by: The Mayor Richard M. and Maggie C. Daley Education Fund; The Harvey L. Miller Family Foundation Program Endowment Fund; Teachers Educational Endowment Fund; and Barney & Anita Sidler Educational Endowment.




  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Google+
  • Museum Blog