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 141,882 awards worth $748M.

Nancy Penn Lyons Scholarship Fund

This scholarship is available to Georgia high school seniors with demonstrated financial need who have been accepted for enrollment at selective private or out-of-state institutions (students attending public Georgia institutions ineligible). Students must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, and an SAT score of 1000 or higher or an ACT score of 22 or higher.

Total: $10000

Awards: 2

Deadline: January 22, 2021

CTA Scholarship For Dependent Children

This award is available for U.S. students who have at least one parent that is a teacher in a California school. The CTA Scholarship for Dependent Children offers a maximum of 35 scholarships of up to $5,000 each. Click here to learn more and apply today!

Total: $175000

Awards: 35

Deadline: January 29, 2021

Robert Hunter Swadley Horticulture Scholarship

The Robert Hunter Swadley Horticulture Scholarship is for graduating high school seniors with a minimum 3.0 GPA on 4.0 scale who will be entering an accredited college or university located in the United States as a freshman with a major in horticulture. The applicant must be a United States citizen residing in the state of California.

Total: $50000

Awards: 1

Deadline: January 31, 2021

University of Louisiana at Lafayette Incoming Freshmen Out-of-State Scholarship

This award is available to U.S. students who have been admitted to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette as incoming freshmen (12 or fewer college credits) and are not residents of Louisiana. The student must have a grade point average of 2.5 or higher and an ACT composite of 23 or higher or an SAT composite score of 1050 or higher.

Total: $68640

Awards: 1

Deadline: January 31, 2021

University of Louisiana at Lafayette Transfer Out-of-State Scholarship

This award is available to U.S. undergraduate students who are planning to transfer to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. The student must not be a resident of Louisiana and must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 or higher.

Total: $68640

Awards: 1

Deadline: January 31, 2021

Edward S. Roth Manufacturing Engineering Scholarship

This award is for U.S. and international undergraduate and/or graduate students who plan to attend or are currently attending certain ABET-accredited institutions. A list of eligible institutions can be found at The applicant must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher to be eligible.

Total: $2000

Awards: 2

Deadline: February 01, 2021

California Farm Bureau Scholarship

This scholarship is available for U.S. undergraduate students who are residents of and attending college in California. Students must be pursuing a career in the agricultural industry.

Total: $15000

Awards: 3

Deadline: February 01, 2021

Dominican University International Presidential Scholarship

International students who plan to attend or transfer to Dominican University of California are eligible for this award. Students must have a grade point average between 3.00 and 3.49 and enroll full time.

Total: $68000

Awards: 1

Deadline: February 01, 2021

Bellarmine University Out-of-State Grant

U.S. incoming freshmen who are not residents of Kentucky and demonstrate financial need are eligible for this award. Students must attend Bellarmine University in Kentucky.

Total: $6000

Awards: 3

Deadline: February 01, 2021

Winthrop University Blue Line Scholar Program

This award is for U.S. high school students who are accepted to Winthrop University, SC. The student must have a GPA of 3.5 or higher, a SAT (CR and M) score of 1100 or higher, or an ACT score of 22 or higher and enroll full-time.

Total: $2000

Awards: 1

Deadline: February 01, 2021

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