California Scholarships

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California scholarships may go to eligible college students who are California residents and out of state students. You also must be a citizen of the United States. In order to get a scholarship, California students should search their high school. Local businesses, nonprofits, and even state aid programs may offer financial aid. Also, professional organizations may provide scholarship funds. 

Enrollment is also on the rise by 3.5% between 2012 to 2017. The Golden State is home to 309 four year and 408 two year schools. Many offer college scholarships to make earning a degree more affordable. 

Private four year colleges in CA cost an average tuition and fees of $33,483 in 2017 to 2018. It’s less for public four year colleges, with average tuition and fees at $22,081 for CA students. In contrast, tuition and fees are $29,173 if you live out of state as reported from the NCES.

10 Scholarships in CA You Should Apply for in 2021

  1. Banatao Filipino American Education Fund Scholarship
  2. CA Teachers Association Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Scholarship
  3. CTA Scholarship For Dependent Children
  4. Cal Grant B Competitive Award
  5. Cal Grant A Entitlement Award
  6. California Farm Bureau Scholarship
  7. Central California Asian Pacific Women Scholarships
  8. ACWA Scholarship 
  9. AIST San Francisco Member Chapter Scholarship 
  10. Northern California Asian Peace Officer’s Association Scholarship


If you plan to attend an accredited college in California, you may qualify for scholarships based on financial need or merit. Besides being a state resident, your grades, college major, gender and ethnicity may help you earn California scholarships. 

Scholarships for High School Students in California. Some awards may be for students who graduated from a specific high school district. California high school scholarships may also be used at community college or a four year school. 

State Grants and Scholarships. If you’re a state resident, you may qualify for CA state financial aid. These tend to be used at state schools that partner with these programs. 

Field of Study. Many students in CA qualify for scholarships based on their major. For example, the Dr. James L. Hutchinson and Evelyn Ribbs Hutchinson Medical School Scholarship. It is for high school grads in San Mateo County or Santa Clara County.  Also, you must be a college senior. You also must be currently enrolled full time in an accredited medical school program.

Where You Live. There are scholarships for in state and out of state students in California. You may have to be a resident in a certain county such as San Francisco Bay Area.

Academic Achievement. Providers may require a minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test scores. Community service and leadership experience may also be required.

Financial Need. Making a college degree more affordable in CA is what these scholarships are about. Providers may assess your family income by looking at your FAFSA.

Gender and Ethnicity. Find college scholarships for Hispanic, Latino, Native American, Pacific Islander, African Americans and first generation Americans.


Many of the biggest CA colleges like University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and University of Southern California offer full ride scholarships. Many first year students who plan to attend college in CA receive awards in their student aid letter. These may renew if you stay in good standing and keep qualifying for future academic years.

Full ride scholarships in California are merit based awards. These merit awards may cover more than tuition, fees, room and board. They may also cover expenses through a stipend. 

The Mork Family Scholarship at USC is one. It provides full tuition to some qualifying incoming freshman. There are ten awards total. Each one provides a $5,000 stipend. 

UCLA also offers the Stamps Scholars program. It awards ten freshmen with four year scholarships to both state residents and out of state students. 

Are There Scholarships for Out of State Students in California?

There are scholarships for out of state students with plans to study in California. According to the NCES, the average tuition and fees for full time out of state students at a public CA university was $29,173 in 2017 to 2018. 

One award is the UC Davis Regents Scholarship which is merit based. So, it looks at grades and personal feats, rather than need. To qualify, the school assesses the info provided on your application. If you’re chosen for the $7,500 scholarship, UC Davis may notify you with your offer of admission.

For those whose GPA hovers at 2.0 or above, there is the Horatio Alger National Scholarship Program. There are up to 106 awards and total award amount is $25,000 each. It is for high school seniors who show clear financial need. As long as you are a US citizen with a $55,000 or lower adjusted family income, you may be eligible.

Scholarships for Graduate Students in California

Many California graduate students may find scholarships to use when pursuing a master’s, PhD or professional degree in the state. NCES reported the avg. graduate tuition was $11,617 per year at a public college. Private CA colleges cost more at $24,712. As a result, saving money on this next part of higher education may make your graduate studies affordable and support your career plans.  

Grad school may have awards for niche fields. Nursing students may find grad school scholarships in California. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) offers awards at partner grad schools.

California State University Sacramento is one. The Polly Bednash Scholarship of $5,000 goes to outstanding nurses. Recipients may use the funds to help pay for a master’s or doctoral program at AACN member schools. 


Check out our list of college scholarships in the Golden State below. We have 93,273 awards worth $118M.

William Bennett, W7PHO, Memorial Scholarship

The William Bennett, W7PHO, Memorial Scholarship is open to international and U.S. undergraduate and graduate students who are licensed radio amateurs (general class or higher) and have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Students must reside in the areas covered by the ARRL Northwest, Pacific, or Southwest divisions.

Total: $500

Awards: 1

Deadline: May 31, 2022

Stephen Semprevivo New women’s Business Center Startup Scholarship

Eligible applicants must be 16 years and older, enrolled in programs at a California College or University, and interested in an entrepreneurial career.

Total: $5000

Awards: 2

Deadline: September 15, 2022

Shout It Out Scholarship

This award is open to all U.S. students who are 14 and older and who are currently enrolled (or enroll no later than fall of 2026) in an accredited postsecondary institution of higher education. One scholarship winner will receive a $1,500 scholarship.

Total: $1500

Awards: 1

Deadline: September 30, 2022

Advancing Women in Technology Scholarship Program

The Advancing Women in Technology Scholarship Program is available for women in California who are majoring in a STEM or technology field such as science, math, engineering, or computer science. Applicants must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.

Total: $5000

Awards: 4

Deadline: October 01, 2022

Zombie Apocalypse Scholarship

This creative and fun scholarship program is open to all U.S. students who are 14 and older and who are currently enrolled (or enroll no later than fall of 2026) in an accredited postsecondary institution of higher education. One scholarship winner with an imaginative and well-written response to the scholarship question about the Zombie Apocalypse will receive a $2,000 scholarship.

Total: $2000

Awards: 1

Deadline: October 31, 2022

Education Matters Scholarship

The Education Matters Scholarship is open to US students who are 14 years of age and older and who are currently enrolled (or enroll no later than fall of 2025) in an accredited postsecondary institution of higher education. One winner will receive a $5,000 scholarship.

Total: $5000

Awards: 1

Deadline: November 30, 2022

Unigo $10K Scholarship

This $10,000 Unigo Scholarship is open to any applicant who is 14 years of age or older and is a legal resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia. The applicant must register for a free online account with and submit a short response to this year’s topic as posted on the website.

Total: $10000

Awards: 1

Deadline: December 31, 2022

Top Ten List Scholarship

The Top Ten List Scholarship is open to US students who are 14 years of age and older and who are currently enrolled (or enroll no later than fall of 2027) in an accredited postsecondary institution of higher education. One winner will receive a $1,500 scholarship.

Total: $1500

Awards: 1

Deadline: December 31, 2022

David W. Lakamp Scholarship Fund

This scholarship is available for architecture students in the state of California. Applicants must have completed at least two years of undergraduate study at the time of application.

Total: $10000

Awards: 2

Deadline: January 31, 2023

LTU Bulldog Out-of-State Fee Waiver for Incoming Transfer Students

This award is for U.S. and International students who are planning to attend Louisiana Tech University as an out-of-state transfer student. Students must have complete at least 12 semester hours of college credit and have a grade point average of 2.75 or higher.

Total: $2000

Awards: 1

Deadline: February 01, 2023