BBB Accredited Business Scholarships

Sponsors & Mission Statement
This Scholarship Program is offered by the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois Educational Foundation, Inc. (the “Educational Foundation”), a charitable foundation affiliated with the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois, Inc. (the “BBB”).  
The mission of the Educational Foundation is to provide information and develop resources that promote and build awareness of ethical business practices and marketplace trust to consumers and businesses. 

The Scholarship Program provides four $2,500 one-year college scholarships to graduating high school seniors, who are the children or grandchildren of owners or employees of Accredited Businesses of the BBB and college students. The scholarships are awarded based on demonstration of leadership skills, community service, academic achievement, and a written or video essay on what Ethics and Integrity mean to the candidate. 


The applicant must:  

  • Be a child or grandchild of the owner or an employee of a BBB Accredited Business who is working within the counties served by the BBB listed below.  

  • Be a high school senior or college student, with the related business location in the counties served by the BBB. These counties are Boone, Carroll, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, JoDavies, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Lake, LaSalle, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Stephenson, Whiteside, Will and Winnebago Counties.  

  • Have plans to attend an accredited college, university, or trade school in the year following high school graduation; or be a college student at an accredited college, university, or trade school. 

  • Submit the required entry materials by the program deadline.  

  • Be available to formally accept the scholarship award at the annual Better Business Bureau Torch Award luncheon, which is scheduled for Thursday, November 16, at the Marriott Chicago O'Hare, 8535 West Higgins Road, Chicago, IL. If the college student, who is a recipient of the scholarship award, is not physically within the territory covered by the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois, that recipient may send a pre-recorded video acceptance message or have a family member or executive associated with the Accredited Business accept the award.

  • Student may only receive a BBB scholarship twice during his or her high school/college education period.

Scholarship awards will be limited to one recipient per Accredited Business.

Children and grandchildren of the following persons are not eligible: (i) members of the Board of Directors of the Educational Foundation; (ii) members of the Executive Committee of the BBB; (iii) employees of businesses owned or operated by the individuals as stated in (i) and (ii); (iv) and the President, Vice Presidents and Director-level (or higher) employees of the Chicago BBB.  

Entry & Application

Each applicant is required to submit all materials via our Online Application Form. In addition to standard information, the form includes attachment fields where applicants must submit the following documents:

  • One 500-word essay, or two to five-minute video, about the meaning of “ethics” and “integrity” to the applicant.  

  •  Two letters of recommendation that describe the applicant’s leadership and community service work. At least one letter must be from a school representative; the second letter may be from a school representative or from a representative of a community organization with whom the applicant has worked or volunteered.  

  • Most recent high school transcript with grades (High school GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale)

The Online Application Form must be completed by September 20, 2017. Preferred submission method is using the online form, and attaching digital files to the attachment fields. In the rare case letters of recommendation or high school transcripts must be physically mailed, please mail to this address:

Better Business Bureau of Chicago Educational Foundation  
330 N. Wabash Avenue, Suite 3120  
Chicago, Illinois 60611  
Attention: Scholarship Application  

The Board of Directors of the Educational Foundation will appoint a panel of five judges. This panel will be composed of (a) two persons who are members of the Board of Directors of either the Educational Foundation or the Chicago BBB, (b) one community leader, (c) one college professor and (d) one business leader.  

Each application will be judged based on the following criteria: leadership skills (15 points); community service (15 points); academic achievement (15 points); and essay (55 points). Scholarships will be awarded to the eligible applicants with the highest scores. All decisions of the judging panel are final. The judging panel reserves the right to not award all expected scholarships if the panel determines that the applications are not of sufficiently high quality.  

Each winner selected by the judging panel will receive one $2,500 scholarship. The Educational Foundation will apply the scholarship proceeds directly to the winner’s account at his or her designated college, university, or trade school toward tuition or other related educational costs. Winners will not receive cash directly.  

If a winner does not attend a college, university, or trade school in the academic year following the scholarship award, the scholarship award is forfeited by that winner. The Educational Foundation Board of Directors may direct the scholarship to be awarded to another applicant as selected by the judges.  

Following notification of the scholarship award, each scholarship recipient must provide the Educational Foundation with information about the college, university, or trade school to be attended and a contact at the institution for verification.  

Terms, Conditions, and Release  
By entering, the applicant agrees to abide by the contest rules. Failure to abide by these rules may result in disqualification from the contest and loss of any scholarship.  

All Scholarship Program entry materials, including essays and videos, will be retained by the Educational Foundation and become the property of the Educational Foundation for possible subsequent usage. Application materials will not be returned to the applicant.  

Each winner may be required to verify his or her eligibility to receive the scholarship. As a condition to entering the Scholarship Program, each winner agrees to grant the Educational Foundation permission to use his or her name, likeness, photograph, and application information for promotional purposes of the Educational Foundation and the Chicago BBB.  

By entering, each applicant agrees to release and discharge the Educational Foundation and the Chicago BBB and their respective officers, directors, employees, and other agents and assigns from any liability arising out of his or her participation in the Scholarship Program.  

Any questions about the Scholarship Program should be addressed to: