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Financial Assistance for Field Trips

The Museum is pleased to offer financial assistance for schools who meet certain criteria. The Opportunity Scholarships program enables more educators and students to learn about genocide, the Holocaust, and other important issues our exhibits address. 

Qualification Requirements

  • Your field trip must be booked and confirmed before applying.
  • Submit a $10 deposit. Note: CPS schools no longer need to pay the $10 deposit.
  • Financial need (at least 50% of students considered low-income by ISBE or the United States Department of Agriculture).
  • Scholarship application must be submitted at least 30 days before scheduled trip.
  • Maximum two scholarships per school, per school year.
  • School must be located in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, or Wisconsin.

How to Apply

  • Step 1: Book your trip.
  • Step 2: Please complete and submit an application and include the following information:
    • 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. 

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

How are scholarships used?

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.

Scholarships 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.

If we receive a scholarship, will our $10 deposit fee be waived?

The $10 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.

Will we be reimbursed for 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.

For schools in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Wisconsin:

Based on your admissions award, the Museum may be able to reimburse your school for some of its travel expenses. Illinois Holocaust Museum will issue a reimbursement check after receiving a signed, paid invoice and thank you letters. The paid invoice must be submitted within 60 days of the field trip to be considered for reimbursement. The Museum will only reimburse schools, not teachers. 

Scholarship Donors

Financial assistance is generously supported by: 

  • The Alvin H. Baum Family Fund
  • The Bluhm Family Charitable Foundation
  • Deborah Sher Dubow and Jeffrey Dubow
  • First Bank of Highland Park
  • Max Goldenberg Foundation
  • Michael and Ellen Gross
  • Herrendorf Family Foundation, Inc.
  • Joy of Life Foundation – Nicole Drexler
  • Greg and Gail Kenton
  • Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A, Inc.
  • Levenfeld Pearlstein, LLC
  • Mark and Lisa Pinsky
  • RBC Wealth Management
  • Miriam Sarne
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo Foundation
  • Paula and Kenneth Weissman
  • Bank of America Foundation

Education Services are supported with generous grants from:

  • Paul M. Angell Family Foundation
  • The Bill Bass Foundation
  • Dr. Scholl Foundation
  • Leah Gutman Education Fund
  • Niles Township Government
  • PNC
  • Charles & M.R. Shapiro Foundation
  • State Farm
  • Bank of America 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
  • Moselle Mintz Schwartz Education Fund
  • Barney & Anita Sidler Educational Endowment
  • Teachers Educational Endowment Fund

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