Scholarship Tool Kit
What is a scholarship?
A scholarship is a financial award that is intended to support a student’s education. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit or other achievements and characteristics.
- There are various forms of financial aid available to students. By applying for the FAFSA (https://fafsa.ed.gov/) or for the California Dream Act (https://www.csac.ca.gov/california-dream-act) each year by March 2, institutions can determine if students are eligible for grants, loans and/or work study.
- Grants are financial awards from the federal or state government that do not have to be repaid.
- A loan is money that is borrowed with interest and has to be repaid.
- Work-Study is money that is earned during college through a job on or off campus. The money earned does not have to be repaid.
- Scholarships are a form of financial aid, many also require that you have a FAFSA application on file.
- Develop a scholarship search strategy
- Get organized, keep a calendar with all important dates
- Make a checklist of each scholarship requirements
- Develop a list of accomplishments
- Gather and prepare commonly requested items
Commonly Requested Items:
- Completion of FAFSA application
- Personal statement
- Letters of recommendation
- Review each scholarship and eligibility requirements carefully
- Be aware of deadlines and submit all required documents by the due date
- Be prepared to dedicate time to the process
- Begin early
- Give yourself plenty of time to gather and complete all required components of the application
- Type or print in black or blue ink
- Answer all questions in their entirety
- Provide a professional email address. If you do not have one, create a new one. It is often helpful to have one email address for scholarship applications.
- Provide most current contact information
- Ensure that you proofread all information you are submitting on the application and personal statements
- Review application and make sure each portion is complete
- Do not pay money for scholarship information
- Think positively about yourself in the process
- Apply for scholarships each year continuously
- Be persistent
- Focus on the first paragraph
- Think of the personal statement as an intellectual autobiography
- Be clear
- Keep it simple
- Find the “story” in your history
- Be authentic, accurate and honest
- Give yourself time to write more than one draft and have it revised.
- Make sure to highlight accomplishments and strengths, you are able to make yourself stand out
- Write in clichés
- Be too general or abstract
- Submit a personal statement with grammatical errors
- Write in resume form
- Think that one essay will fit every scholarship application
Letters of recommendation are an important part of each scholarship application. Often scholarships will request one or more letters to support your application. When looking for someone to write a letter for you, try to choose a recommender that can write a strong letter on your behalf. Remember to ask your recommender graciously and be thankful. You want your recommender to be able to talk about your strengths, accomplishments, academic skills, etc. Provide your recommender with plenty of time to write your letter; you should give them a 2-3 week notice.
Letter of Recommendation Request Tips:
- Provide your recommender with information about yourself to ensure a strong letter. Include information about your academic accomplishment, challenges you have overcome, activities you are involved with, your career goals, etc.
- Provide your recommender with direction and information about the scholarship you are applying for.
- Provide your recommender with the scholarship deadline.
- If your recommender will be mailing your letter, provide them with an addressed and stamped envelope.
ACS Scholars Program
ACS awards renewable scholarships to underrepresented minority students who want to enter the fields of chemistry or chemistry-related fields. Awards of up to $5,000* are given to qualified students. African American, Hispanic, or American Indian high school seniors or college freshman, sophomores, or juniors pursuing a college degree in the chemical sciences or chemical technology are eligible to apply.
American Nuclear Society Scholarship Program
The American Nuclear Society believes in rewarding its members for their academic, services and leadership excellence. To do so, scholarships are granted to qualified student members of ANS Student Sections who have demonstrated a high commitment to the standards set by the Society's constituents.
Brown and Caldwell Scholarships
Brown and Caldwell: Eckenfelder Scholarship
Brown and Caldwell: Minority Scholarship
Brown and Caldwell: LGBTQ Scholarship
Brown and Caldwell: Women in Leadership Scholarship
Brown and Caldwell: Navajo Nation Scholarship
CA Strawberries Scholarship
The California Strawberry Scholarship Program has awarded more than $2.6 million to hundreds of children of strawberry farm workers. Countless students and graduates are pursuing their passions and working in careers that span a wide range of professions. Additionally, many return to their hometowns to give back to their local communities and serve as inspirational role models. Applicants must have a parent that is currently employed as a California Strawberry fieldworker for the current and prior two harvest seasons, must be a full-time students, and maintain a 2.00 GPA.
Diversity Advancement Scholarship
The AIA / Architects Foundation Diversity Advancement Scholarship, originally called the AIA/Ford Foundation Scholarship, was founded in 1969 when the AIA and Ford Foundation each pledged $500,000 to support three different groups of students’ education in the field of architecture.
The program sought to give scholarships, not only to those youths in financial need, but to those who otherwise would not have other means to obtain a professional education. Since the Diversity Advancement Scholarship was launched in 1970, it has been awarded to over 2,300 students. Recently, the AIA’s Board of Directors has committed $1 million dollars, to support this effort.
Today, with the help of GIVING MOORE, a Foundation of Benjamin Moore & Co., our goal and purpose for this important scholarship program remains the same; we aim to provide assistance to individuals from a minority race or ethnicity who intend to become an architect through the pursuit of a NAAB-accredited professional degree in architecture.
Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway and Contest
Dr. Pepper is awarding over $1,000,000 in tuition to help students reach their biggest goals. We're looking for students ages 18-24 to enter this year's Tuition Giveaway.
ESTEEM is a collaborative project lead by UCSB, in partnership with AHC, SBCC, Oxnard and Ventura Colleges. ESTEEM is open to continuing transfer-bound AHC students in Engineering and Computer Science majors.
"Continuing" means you will be at AHC for the 2019-2020 school-year.
"Transfer-bound" means you intend to transfer to a 4-year university.
Fulfilling the Legacy Scholarship
This scholarship epitomizes NSBE’s mission statement to increase the number of black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community. This scholarship is supported solely by the NSBE members and donations. The number of Fulfilling the Legacy Scholarships to be awarded will be determined by the amount of money donated by the membership and contributors. Sixty percent of the fund is allocated to scholarship awards; the remaining forty percent will go into an ongoing scholarship endowment. All NSBE undergraduate and graduate student members are eligible to apply. Award recipients will be selected from a combination of the following criteria: University academic achievement, service to NSBE (local, regional, and/or national), and other professional, campus and community activities.
The Generation Google Scholarship
The Generation Google Scholarship was established to help aspiring computer scientists excel in technology and become leaders in the field. Selected students will receive 10,000 USD (for those studying in the US) for the 2020-2021 school year. Scholarships will be awarded based on the strength of each candidate's impact on diversity, demonstrated leadership, and academic background. The program is open to qualified students who meet all the minimum qualifications and we strongly encourage people who identify as part of historically underrepresented groups, including Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, American Indian, or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, to apply. As part of the scholarship, current undergraduate or graduate students will be invited to attend the Google Scholars’ Retreat in the summer of 2020.
The Google Lime Scholarship
Applicants must have a disability (visible or invisible), plan to enroll full-time at a university during the 2020-2021 academic year, must exemplify leadership and demonstrate passion for computer science and technology; must be pursuing a degree in computer science, computer engineering or a degree in a closely related technical field.
GHC 20 Scholarships for Students and Faculty - deadline March 4, 2020
The GHC Scholars Program provides funds for women who are either undergraduate students, graduate students, or faculty to attend our Celebration. Women who get selected as scholars gain access to career and academic workshops, networking opportunities, and memories that will last a lifetime.
Hispanic Scholarship Fund
Applicants must be of Hispanic heritage, have a minimum 2.50 GPA, plan to be a full-time student at a 4-year university for the 2020-2021 academic year, have completed FAFSA or state based financial aid application.
Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship
This is a highly selective scholarship for the nation’s top community college students seeking to complete their bachelor’s degrees at four-year colleges or universities. Each Cooke Scholar has access to generous financial support for two to three years, college planning support, ongoing advising, and the opportunity to connect with the thriving community of fellow scholars.
Jovenes Al Exito - deadline April 1, 2020
Scholarship is dedicated to student financial needs. Each application is reviewed in confidence and award decisions are made based on the information provided in the application.
Please turn in your completed application to:
Santa Barbara Family Dentistry
620 West Main Street, Santa Maria, CA 93458
Emerald Wave Media
718 East Chapel Street, Santa Maria, CA 93458
Latina Leadership Network Scholarship
Applicants are preferred to be of Latino heritage (one parent fully Latino or each parent half Latino), must have 24 units of college work completed (may include work in-progress), minimum 2.50 Cumulative GPA, currently enrolled in a California Community College, and must provide a transcript of all work completed (unofficial transcripts will be accepted).
Masergy is proud to support the next generation of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors by providing one $5,000 scholarship to a student continuing their STEM education. Record a video of no more than 60 seconds in length telling us who you are and showing us a STEM-related innovation that you’ve created.
Microsoft awards tuition scholarships and conference scholarships each year to encourage students to pursue studies in Computer Science and related STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) disciplines. Recipients for both scholarships will be awarded in recognition of their demonstrated passion for technology, academic excellence, and leadership while working to push the software industry forward.
Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship
The Hollings Scholarship Program provides successful undergraduate applicants with awards that include academic assistance (up to $9,500 per year) for two years of full-time study and a 10-week, full-time paid ($700/week) internship at a NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) facility during the summer.
The internship between the first and second years of the award provides the scholars with hands-on, practical experience in NOAA-related science, research, technology, policy, management, and education activities.
NANOG Scholarship Program
The North American Network Operators’ Group (NANOG) is the professional association for Internet engineering, architecture and operations. Their core focus is on continuous improvement of the data transmission technologies, practices, and facilities that make the Internet function. In an effort to support the next generation of network operators, NANOG is providing $10,000 scholarships to assist current undergraduate and graduate level students pursuing a degree in Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Network Engineering or Telecommunications.
To apply, students must plan to enroll part- or full-time in undergraduate or graduate study at an accredited two- or four-year institution for the entire 20##-20## academic year. Applicants must also have a minimum 3.00 grade point average on a 4.00 scale or its equivalent.
PG&E- Better Together STEM Scholarship Program
PG&E is offering 40 Better Together STEM Scholarships of $1,000 to $10,000 to a diverse range of students pursuing science, technology or engineering studies in California schools.
Salvadoran American Leadership and Educational Fund
SALEF's Fulfilling Our Dreams Scholarship Fund is making higher education a reality for Central American and Latino students, including undocumented students, with over 1,000 scholarships provided since 1998. This fund offers financial assistance and support to undergraduate, graduate and professional students - often making the difference in whether a student can attend college at all. The Scholarships are open to all qualifying students regardless of immigration status.
SALEF promotes giving back to our communities, thus scholarship recipients are expected to complete a community engagement project with other scholarship recipients and receipt of the scholarship award is dependent on completion of their pledge.
Scholarship America Dream Award
Applicants must have a high school diploma, financial need, a 3.00 GPA, US citizenship or DACA, and must be pursing a bachelors or associates degree.
Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara
At the Scholarship Foundation, we believe that students need and deserve education beyond high school, and that every motivated, deserving student with the desire for higher education should have the opportunity to pursue it.
We have been supporting students in their higher education goals since 1962. Today, our online application is available to students between October 15 and January 15. After careful review of the applications and the more than 500 scholarship funds we have in management, we provide scholarships to eligible students from Santa Barbara County for college, graduate, and vocational school education.
Society of Exploration Geophysicists - deadline March 1, 2020
Scholarships range from $500 to $10,000 USD per academic year; average awards are approximately $3,700. The number of scholarships available depends chiefly upon the number of sponsors and the amounts they contribute. SEG scholarships have been awarded to students all over the world.
Structural Engineering/Architect Student Scholarship Program - deadline March 13, 2020
The Structural Engineering/Architecture Student Scholarship Program, sponsored by Simpson Strong-Tie Company, Inc., is available to students who are enrolled as juniors (at least 60 semester hours or equivalent) or seniors in a full-time undergraduate course of study at an eligible four-year college or university for the entire upcoming academic year.
Latinos in Technology Scholarship - deadline March 13, 2020
Applicants must be of Latino or Hispanic origin, declared a STEM major, maintain a 3.00 minimum GPA, and graduated from a high school in the following Northern California counties: Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Marin County, Napa County, San Francisco County, San Mateo County, Santa Clara County, Santa Cruz County, Solano County, Sonoma County and Yolo County.
OR, the applicant must be a graduate of a high school not in the above counties, but will be enrolled in 2020-21 at a college/university within the 11 listed counties