If you are a native Californian or plan to study in the “Golden State,” there are a plethora of college scholarships available to help offset the cost of your higher education.
Going to college is expensive. There’s no getting around that fact. While Pell Grants are available, they typically don’t cover the entire cost of an education. Getting student loans is an option, but it’s not the best idea to graduate from college already deep in debt.
If you’re going to college in California, you have an advantage, because there are a number of scholarships available in that state that can pay for part or even all of your college education. You can even apply for more than one to increase the money you may be awarded. Here are some of the top California scholarships.
1. ANNE TRABUE SCHOLARSHIP
Deadline: May 15
This is a golf scholarship for women. Applicants for this scholarship must complete high school by September 1 of the current academic year, be a resident of Southern California, be enrolled as a full-time college student taking 12 or more credit hours leading to an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree, be female, have a 3.2 GPA, and play golf.
2. CALIFORNIA RETIRED TEACHERS ASSOCIATION – DIVISION 16 SCHOLARSHIP
This scholarship is awarded annually to a current student of Shasta College in California. The student must be pursuing a degree in a field that will lead to a career in education. The amount of the annual award varies. Students must have been attending Shasta College for two years before applying for this scholarship, have financial need, have a GPA of at least 2.5, and be involved in extracurricular activities at school.
1335 Arboretum Drive
Redding, CA 96003
3. CALIFORNIA STRAWBERRY COMMISSION SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
Deadline: March 1
This scholarship is for children of strawberry farm workers in California. To be eligible, students must be graduating high school seniors with at least one parent employed currently and for at least the past two seasons as a California strawberry harvester. Further, applicants to this scholarship must be sponsored by a California strawberry grower. Scholarship amounts start at $400 and can be used for full-time enrollment at universities, community colleges, and accredited trade schools in California.
4. CALIFORNIA WINE GRAPE GROWERS FOUNDATION
Deadline: April 5
This scholarship program is offered to eligible children of vineyard employees who have been employed with a California vineyard for at least the past two years. There are six scholarships awarded each year. Two are for $2,000 each, with the other four being for $1,000 each. The scholarships may be used for any program of study at any California state university or community college with full-time enrollment. Students must be graduating high school seniors in the year in which they apply to qualify. The scholarship is not available to those already enrolled in college.
1325 J Street, Suite 1560
Sacramento, CA 95814
5. CAPTURE THE DREAM, INC.’S SINGLE PARENT SCHOLARSHIP
Deadline: July 15
Capture the Dream funds two different scholarships each year. One is The Single Parent Scholarship. This is a $1,000 scholarship available to single parents who are California residents and either graduating seniors in high school or full-time undergraduate students enrolled at a two or four-year California college. The other scholarship is The George Geng On Lee Minorities in Leadership Scholarship, which is another $1,000 scholarship. This one is available to minority students who are residents of California–either graduating seniors in high school or full-time undergraduate students enrolled at a two or four-year California college.
484 Lake Park Avenue
Oakland, CA 94610
6. CHARLES LOPINSKY MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP
Deadline: June 1
The Orange County chapter of the Project Management Institute offers a $3,000 scholarship to students who are Orange County residents and pursuing a degree in project management. Any student who is preparing to start or has already started a program of study in this area at any accredited degree-granting institution and is working on a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral degree in this field can apply. Scholarships are awarded based on merit measured by academic performance and extracurricular activities.
14 Campus Blvd.
Newtown Square, PA 19073-3299 USA
(610) 356-4600, ext. 7004
7. CHI AM CIRCLE SCHOLARSHIP FOR ASIAN AMERICAN HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS OF SANTA CLARA COUNTY
Deadline: March 30
This is a non-profit Asian American women’s organization in California that awards scholarships based on academic merit, community service, and extracurricular activities to high school seniors in Santa Clara County, California who are of Asian descent, have at least a 3.0 unweighted GPA, and who have been accepted by a two or four year college. Scholarship amounts start at $1,000.
10451 Sunhills Dr.
Los Altos Hills, CA 94024
8. CHRISTOPHER MARK PITKIN MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP
Deadline: July 25
This is a scholarship that is awarded to a member of the hemophilia community or family members of those living with hemophilia. The scholarship is based on an applicant’s statement of goals and intentions, with priority given to those who state an intent to go to a post-secondary school in California. Other factors going into deciding who scholarship recipients are GPA, community involvement, and financial need.
6720 Melrose Ave
Hollywood, CA 90038
9. CRAEF SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
Deadline: May 15
This scholarship is awarded to a high school student who intends on enrolling in a food service or culinary program at a California post-secondary school. Applicants must have at least a 2.5 GPA and submit an essay explaining why they are the best candidate for the scholarship that year. Applications will be judged on the quality of the essay submitted.
621 Capitol Mall, Suite 2000
Sacramento, CA 95814
10. D.R.E.A.M.S. SCHOLARSHIP
Deadline: March 15
The D.R.E.A.M.S scholarship is awarded to graduating high school seniors in Los Angeles County, California. Applicants must have achieved academic success, participated in service to the community, and exhibited a great sense of ethics. The scholarship is intended to reward and reinforce good behavior and good values throughout the college experience.
16847 Colven Road
Granada Hills, California 91344
11. DOROTHY AND ROBERT DEBOLT SCHOLARSHIP
Deadline: May 31
High school seniors who were adopted from the California foster care system and who are planning to continue their education at a college in California are eligible to apply for this $2,000 scholarship. It is awarded annually to as many qualified students as funds raised for the program each year permit. Additional, smaller scholarship for runners-up are sometimes available, depending on the finances of the scholarship program.
675 Hegenberger Rd.
Oakland, CA, 94621
(510)553-1748 ext. 10
12. HEEF ARCHITECTURE AND ENGINEERING SCHOLARSHIPS
Deadline: March 11
Awarded to graduating high school seniors with a minimum 3.5 GPA who have already been accepted into a post-secondary architecture or engineering program may apply for this scholarship. Post-secondary programs may be four or five years in length under the terms of the scholarship. Community college students in their second year who have a minimum 3.2 GPA and who have been accepted into an architecture or engineering program at a four-year post-secondary school may also apply. The scholarship is renewable each year based on academic performance.
4041 MacArthur Blvd.
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949)553-4202, ext. 46
13. JOSEPH T. DESILVA SCHOLARSHIPS
Deadline: May 31
This scholarship is for undergraduate and graduate students who are children of members of UFCW Local 770, a spouse or parent of a member, or a member themselves. Applicants must attend the University of Southern California to use this scholarship. Applicants are selected based on an essay, their GPA, extra curricular activities and community involvement, and an oral interview. The Scholarship Committee gives out $20,000 in scholarship money to 10 winners each year.
14. LAW ENFORCEMENT PERSONNEL DEPENDENTS GRANT PROGRAM (LEPD)
Deadline: None. Applications are accepted throughout the academic year.
This is a grant awarded to children and spouses of California law enforcement personnel and other peace officers employed in the state. The qualifying law enforcement officer or peace officer must have been killed or totally disabled in the line of duty. These are matching grants that are paired with a Cal Grant award. Amounts range from $100 to $12,192 for up to four years of post-secondary education.
P.O. Box 419029
Rancho Cordova, CA 95741-9029
15. LOUIS ARMSTRONG JAZZ SCHOLARSHIP HONORING DUKE ELLINGTON
The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers awards this scholarship every year. It goes to an undergraduate student at the University of California Los Angeles who is studying jazz composition. Award amounts for the scholarship vary each year according to funding available and to the needs of the students who apply for it.
One Lincoln Plaza
New York, New York 10023-7142
16. MCDONALDS OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE CHARITIES / ASIA
Deadline: January 27
Applicants to this scholarship must be currently high school seniors with at least one parent of Asian Pacific heritage. The applicants must also be eligible to attend a two or four-year university with a complete course of study in any subject. Applicants must also live within the Southern California areas of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernadino, or Ventura counties.
10960 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 1750
Los Angeles, CA 90024
17. NORTHERN CALIFORNIA ATTRACTIONS ASSOCIATION KEITH R. KITTLE MEMORIAL TRAVEL & TOURISM SCHOLARSHIP
Deadline: April 29
Northern California Attractions Association Keith R. Kittle Memorial Travel & Tourism Scholarship is a cooperative marketing organization made up of nine major attractions in the San Francisco Bay area and promoted as the travel and tourism industry throughout the world. The scholarship is named in honor of Keith R. Kittle, former General Manager (1973-1996) of the Winchester Mystery House. Keith was one of the founding members of the Northern California Attractions Association, along with six other tourism marketing executives. He always fostered growth, knowledge, and cooperation.
330 Townsend St., Suite 112
San Francisco, CA 94107
18. NORTHERN SECTION SCHOLARSHIP
Deadline: March 29
This is an annual scholarship for California residents who are pursuing a postsecondary education at San Jose State University or the University of California, Berkeley. The field of study of the applicants must be Planning. Selection for the scholarship is based on academic performance, professional promise, financial need, and diversity. The amount of the award varies each year.
950 Glenn Drive, Suite 150
Folsom, CA 95630
19. OLIVER GOLDSMITH, M.D. SCHOLARSHIP
Deadline: February 8
This scholarship is designed to help promote healthy communities by investing in the promising new doctors of tomorrow. Each person awarded the scholarship receives $5,000 to help them complete their studies in medical school. The scholarship was developed to honor Oliver Goldsmith, MD, who was a retired medical director of the Southern California Permanente Medical Group. Scholarships are awarded to medical students entering their third or fourth years of study.
393 E. Walnut St.
Pasadena, CA 91188
20. PROMISE OF NURSING GRADUATE NURSING EDUCATION SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
Deadline: March 1
This is a scholarship for registered nurses who are enrolled full or part-time in an accredited graduate program for becoming a nurse educator in an academic environment. Applicants must have a 3.25 or higher GPA and attend school in California or one of the other qualified states in which this scholarship operates. Priority is given to students who are entering Master’s degree programs or who are already enrolled in them and who do not yet have a faculty appointment; and to students nearing the completion of their Doctoral program who will be assuming a faculty role upon graduation. This scholarship is renewable.
New York, NY 10006
21. QUEER ASIAN AND PACIFIC ISLANDER PRIDE SCHOLARSHIP FUND
The Queer Asian & Pacific Islander Pride Scholarship Fund awards a total of $16,000 in scholarship money to qualifying applicants each year. The goal of the scholarship is to institute a sense of pride in the LGBT community of Asian and Pacific Islanders in the Bay Area of California. The scholarship is also meant to show those applying for it that they do have support in the community.
Applicants must be 22 years old or younger and of Asian or Pacific Island descent. They must also be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or questioning, and live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Seniors in high school, those who have a GED, or who are already attending college or a university and show financial need are eligible to apply.
730 Polk Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
22. RAY DALE MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP
Deadline: December 31
Ray Dale was the executive officer of the Physician Assistant Committee in California from 1980 to 2000. This scholarship was established in his name to help students who are currently enrolled in a Physician Assistants program and are student members in good standing of the California Academy of Physician Assistants. This is a $1,000 scholarship that is non-renewable.
2318 S Fairview St
Santa Ana, CA 92704-4938
23. RIDGEWAY-DENNY’S SCHOLARSHIP
This is an annual scholarship award for California residents who are attending a UNCF college or university in California or elsewhere. Applicants must have received an award in a court case, have a minimum 2.5 GPA, and have a demonstrated financial need for the money. The number of scholarship awards and the amounts of those awards vary year to year.
1805 7th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
24. SFSB FLEISCHMANN & FLORO AWARDS
Deadline: January 27
The SFSB Fleischmann group makes scholarship awards each year to graduating high school seniors who have demonstrated remarkable academic achievement and have been highly involved in their communities. There are fifteen scholarships of $1,000 each given out every year to students who are residents of Santa Barbara County, California.
The Floro Award is a scholarship that can be up to a maximum of $5,000 that is awarded every year to students living in Santa Maria, Guadalupe, Orcutt, and Los Alamos, California. Financial need is not a requirement for this award. Applicants for both the Fleischmann and the Floro awards must have a minimum GPA of 3.5, have taken the SAT or ACT, and have attended a school in Santa Barbara County from grade 7 through grade 12.
P.O. Box 3620
Santa Barbara, CA 93130
25. TELACU SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
Deadline: March 29
The TELACU scholarship program helps ensure academic success for high school graduates and college students of all levels. The program includes skill-building seminars, counseling, mentoring, and leadership development activities for scholarship recipients. Internships for recipients may also be available in any of the chosen career fields of scholarship applicants. The program provides scholarship money to 500 students in California, Illinois, Texas, and New York. The scholarship money is available to first-generation college students with a demonstrated financial need.
The program administers continuing scholarships that are renewable each year for up to four years. It also provides one-year scholarships that need to be re-applied for each year.
5400 E. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90022
Going to college doesn’t have to be a huge financial burden. Just find the scholarships that you qualify to receive and apply to as many as possible. Do your best on your applications and you may just find yourself with a paid-for degree with one of these scholarships in California.