A very important part of the DAR is promoting education. Each year, Illinois Daughters award college scholarships. These are limited to students who are U.S. citizens, graduating seniors from high school, and those who will attend colleges or universities in Illinois (two year junior colleges and four year institutions). Applicants must have a letter of endorsement from an Illinois DAR chapter. To qualify for the Illinois State Scholarships, a student's financial need and academic consideration are both factors.

The General Henry Dearborn History Scholarship has no financial need component, but is for a student interested in pursuing a career in some phase of history.

Scholarship forms are available here:

Additionally, one scholarship is awarded in each of Illinois' seven DAR districts. To determine which chapter is closest to you, click here.

Only applications completed correctly and submitted in one package will be considered. Incorrect applications are discarded and no records are returned. All scholarships are awarded regardless of race, religion, sex, or national origin. An applicant can reapply for the next year if he/she maintains a “C” average at college.


American History Essay Contests

Each year chapters in the Illinois DAR sponsor the American History essay contest. All grade 5, 6, 7, and 8 students in a public, private, or parochial school, or those who are home schooled, are eligible. The contest is conducted without regard to race, religion, sex, or national origin.

A different topic is used each year. Further information about the contest is available on the National DAR site. Or, check with your local DAR chapter for additional information and deadlines.


DAR Good Citizens

The goal of the DAR Good Citizens program is to encourage and reward the qualities of good citizenship. The program is open to all senior class students enrolled in accredited public or private secondary schools who are in good standing with their state boards of education. United States citizenship is not required.

The student selected as the school’s DAR Good Citizen must have the qualities of dependability (which includes truthfulness, loyalty, and punctuality); service (which includes cooperation, courtesy, and consideration of others); leadership (which includes personality, self-control, and ability to assume responsibility); and patriotism (which includes unselfish interest in family, school, community, and nation) to an outstanding degree.

Each school’s DAR Good Citizen receives a DAR Good Citizens pin, certificate, and wallet recognition card. This student is then eligible, if he/she wishes, to enter the DAR Good Citizens Scholarship Contest.

Check with your high school office to see if it has received information from the local DAR chapter about the DAR Good Citizens or for additional information and deadlines.

Happy Kids

Junior American Citizens (JAC)

Many Illinois DAR chapters sponsor Junior American Citizens clubs. The purpose of the JAC is to teach America's school children, through JAC clubs and contests, the principles of our democratic government and an appreciation for our great country. Through these opportunities and recognition of the students' work, we hope to encourage today's Junior American Citizens — the future leaders of our country.

Kate Duncun Smith

DAR Schools

Through donations and gifts, the Illinois DAR supports one DAR school:

  • Kate Duncan Smith DAR School

And the four DAR-approved schools:

  • Hillside School, Inc.
  • Hindman Settlement School, Inc.
  • Berry College, Inc.
  • Crossnore School, Inc.

Through our donations, the children at these schools are given opportunities for an education and a safe place to live.

Most of these schools began with a small group of children in disadvantaged areas where public education was not accessible. As improvement of roads and public education facilities occurred in these areas, the needs of the communities changed. The schools have grown into fully operational campuses, meeting the changing needs of their communities. Today the DAR schools encompass a variety of special needs programs including attention deficit disorder, dyslexia, adult literacy, and children in family crisis. We also serve thousands of other eager students from pre-school through college who need a place to learn to fulfill their potential.

DAR members collect Box Tops for Education for these schools.

Chemawa Pow Wow Dress

American Indian Schools

Students attending Bacone College and Chemawa Indian School come from all over the United States. Members of the Illinois DAR work diligently to raise funds for American Indians scholarships and provide support to the schools by collecting Box Tops for Education. Some Illinois chapters hold garage sales and other fundraisers specifically to raise funds for these schools. America's first peoples have shaped our nation through their cultural, religious, social, and political contributions. As Daughters, we strive to raise awareness of the American Indian through programs, displays, and gifts.

Books on Shelves

Literacy Promotion

Around big cities and small communities in Illinois, you will find Daughters working to promote literacy. Whether they are donating books to libraries, volunteering in local schools or libraries, or tutoring a student, or reading to a child or blind citizen, the members of the Illinois DAR are helping and encouraging others to read.