The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) is pleased to announce the 2021-22* Illinois State Scholars. These top performing students are selected annually based on their ACT or SAT exams and sixth semester class rank and are recognized for their exceptional academic achievement. Illinois State Scholars rank in approximately the top 10 percent of graduates from Illinois high schools. 

State Scholars are usually announced in early December, however the postponement or cancellation of spring 2020 college entrance exams due to the COVID-19 pandemic delayed this year’s announcements until complete data was available.

“In a year when students and families across the state and the nation have faced unprecedented personal and financial challenges as a result of the pandemic, we could not be more proud of the continued focus, dedication and achievements of our State Scholars,” said Eric Zarnikow, executive director of ISAC. “We also want to recognize the invaluable support of families, mentors, teachers, school counselors, and others, who are themselves dealing with the challenges of the pandemic and yet have remained dedicated to assisting students and helping them move forward on a path to meet their educational and career goals.”

While the Illinois State Scholars recognition is a non-monetary award, recipients receive a congratulatory letter from ISAC, a Certificate of Achievement and statewide media recognition. *Note that the Program announces honorees based on the year they would begin any postsecondary education, not based on the year they graduate from high school.

Area students recognized include:

Deer Creek Mackinaw High School

Christopher, Caity

Glassey, Avery

Hovey, Samantha

Kneip, Audrey

McCarthy, Lilyen

McCaw, Allie

Rodriguez, Ethan

Schmidgall, Ellie

Scott, Abigail

Wheat, Maia

Eureka High School

Boschulte, Samantha

Burgund, Brooke

Cahill, Thomas

Churchman, Rachel

Fehr, Lilianna

Fogo, Alexi

Garcia, David

Martin, Hannah

Swanson, Abigail

Wetzler, Bryson

White, Alaina

Wiegand, Alison

Metamora Township High School District

Atherton, Brody

Barlow, Brooke

Bessert, Quinn

Blackburn, Kathryn

Bott, Hannah

Cushing, Owen

Dominy, Danielle

Dunn, Haley

Fletcher, Morgan

Frieden, Nadia

Greenhalgh, Zachariah

Hawbaker, Harrison

Hughes, Kayla

Hurn, Cody

Lowe, Ryan

Meyer, Katherine

O'Laughlin, Ian

Roberts, Tegan

Shapland, Ryan

Terry, Alana

Tyra, Grace

Welsh, Caleb

Morton High School

Aberle, Klaire

Anderson, Aidan

Berry, Scott

Bischoff, Mark

Carey, Cecilia

Chaikin, Alexander

Cooper, Rhys

Cooper, Tess

Derrick, Paighton

Doerr, Lauren

Donley, Logan

Downes, Madison

Fick, Will

Geiger, Benjamin

Gryl, Nicholas

Hagan, Abigail

Honegger, Katherine

Johnson, Franklin

Julich, James

Newman, Emerson

Ogden, Mark

Patel, Varshal

Patel, Vidhi

Patton, Emme

Plotner, Blake

Reiman, Claire

Richardson, Kyle

Schlehuber, Christian

Smith, Benjamin

Snell, Peyton

Vastine, Thomas

Vernon, Landon

Williams, Zachary

Tremont High School

Brown, Clayton

Buck, Stephanie

Burnham, Meredith

Kellum, Josiah

McAllister, Lydia

Murphy, Justin

Washington High School

Andres, Elise

Borlin, Shelby

Bort, Alysa

Bowen, Emily

Boyd, Elizabeth

Brod, Madeline

Caruthers, Reiley

Ditman, Anna

Fischer, Cecelia

Geisz, Katie

Glick, Abigail

Gress, Rachel

Hammelman, Emily

Heflin, Olivia

Hermann, Joryn

Hicke, Harly

Hinrichsen, Abraham

Jacobs, Jadyn

Johnson, Caleb

Johnson, Cassandra

Kellenberger, Joshua

Knight, William

Kopinski, Jonathan

Krey, Savannah

Lersch, Ivy

Malinowski, Mateus

McClelland, Heather

McCoy, Joseph

McDaniel, Megan

McDougall, Elizabeth

Mickelson, Collin

Mosbach, Tyler

Richardson, Faith

Roberts, Cale

Rothfusz, Anna

Schnelle, Natalie

Shuttleworth, Parker

Stamper, Nathan

Stockmann, Clinton

Stromberger, Lisa

Strubhar, Joanna

Tellefson, Lillian

Thate, Gabriel

Unruh, Trinaty

Ward, Helen

Whiston, Palmer

Williams, Jacob

ISAC encourages all students, including State Scholars, to complete their 2021-22 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), or if eligible, the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid, if they have not done so already. The FAFSA is used to determine a student’s eligibility for federal and most state and institutional financial aid available for postsecondary education, including two- or four-year degree programs, certificates, and some vocational programs. The Alternative Application is a pathway to state financial aid for qualified undocumented students, and for transgender students who are not eligible for federal financial aid because they did not register for selective service.

In addition to supporting workshops offered by local high schools, ISAC offers free online Financial Aid Application Completion Workshops,, to help make it faster and easier for students to complete a financial aid application. Online workshops offer personalized help through the chat function so students can complete the application during the workshop. Bilingual assistance is available. Students and families can also get free one-on-one assistance from their local ISACorps member,, recent college graduates trained to serve as near-peer mentors to assist high school students and their families with college planning and financial aid. ISAC’s Student Portal offers a host of free tools and resources to help with college planning and the financial aid process, as well as financial literacy and career resources. ISAC’s free text messaging service,  ISAC College Q&A, allows students to get answers to college and financial aid questions from ISAC experts. ISAC also offers free assistance through the agency’s call center, 800.899.4722 (ISAC), and its Online Chat service.

About ISAC

The mission of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) is to provide Illinois students with information and assistance to help make education beyond high school accessible and affordable. ISAC provides comprehensive, objective, and timely information about education and financial aid for students and their families—giving them access to the tools they need to make the educational choices that are right for them. Then, through the state scholarship and grant programs ISAC administers, ISAC can help students make those choices a reality. Find us at and follow us on Facebook @ILStudentAssistance, Twitter and Instagram @ISACfinaid and on YouTube.