California Scholarships

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How Do I Get a Scholarship in California?

California is home to 309 four year and 408 two year colleges and many offer California scholarships. Some California scholarships are open to eligible students of other states too. While some are only for eligible CA residents.

A popular choice for degrees at all level, CA is one state where enrollment is on the rise by 3.5%. In 2017 alone, universities in the Golden State awarded 616,887 degrees. Three of the most popular majors are business, psychology, liberal arts and science.

If earning a bachelors, masters or PhD in California is your goal, scholarships may be very useful. There tend to be varying price points for tuition depending on the type of college you choose.

Private four year colleges in CA cost an average of $29,875. It’s less for public four year colleges, with averages at $5,742 for state students and $29,875 if you live outside CA.

How Do I Qualify for a Scholarship?

You should always check to see if you are eligible for a scholarship in California. There are many California scholarships for high school seniors, current college and grad students. As long as you meet the criteria, you should plan to apply by or before the deadline.

Besides your college major, there are likely other criteria to meet. Scholarship providers will look for a good GPA, SAT / ACT scores, financial need, or talent.

You may also find some college scholarships in California that are only for residents. There are also plenty of California scholarships for out of state students.

Most providers list out details about what grades and test scores an applicant should have. They may also tell you they need your FAFSA application by a set date.

What California Colleges Offer Full Ride Scholarships?

High achievers might apply full ride scholarships in California. A full ride scholarship could help pay all the costs related to attending a college.

Apart from tuition and fees, full rides tend to also pay expenses. Things like room, board, textbooks and maybe some extras.

One example is the Mork Family Scholarship at University of Southern California. It is available for incoming freshman and there are ten awards total.

Each year, the scholarship pays full tuition (about $51K per year). Plus, recipients receive a $5,000 stipend.

The Strive Foundation Scholarship at UCLA is another. Each year, up to ten freshmen receive four year Stamps scholarships.

Stamps awards pay up to UC wide tuition and fees for CA residents. Also, the scholarships covers UC out of state tuition and fees for non resident students.

As a Stamps scholar, you may also apply to use an Enrichment Fund of up to $12,000.

What California Scholarships Could Out of State Students Apply for?

Beyond scholarships for California students, if you aren’t a CA resident, don’t fret. There are plenty of national and school specific scholarships you might apply to as well. Selection of recipients varies between merit and need based criteria.

At UC Davis, the Regents Scholarship is a merit award. So, it looks at grades and personal feats, rather than need. To qualify, the school assesses the info provided on your application. If chosen for the $7,500 scholarship, UC Davis will 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 $55K or lower adjusted family income, you may be eligible.

LIST OF CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIPS

Check out our list of California scholarships below.

Sophie Greenstadt Scholarship for Mid-Life Women

This scholarship is open to U.S. women who are 35 years of age or older and are re-entering or continuing school in order to learn a marketable skill which will lead to economic self-sufficiency. Students must reside and attend school in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, or Ventura counties in California.

Total: $1000 Awards:  1
Deadline:  May 01

Stephen L. Teller & Richard Hotson TV and Cinema Scholarship

U.S. students who are enrolled in a community college film, television, cinema, or theater program and have completed at least 12 credits in their program are eligible for this award. Students must reside and attend school in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, or Ventura counties.

Total: $1000 Awards:  2
Deadline:  May 01

Susan Schulman Begley Memorial Scholarship

This award is open to women who are establishing themselves as a head of household and a single parent, and due to extreme circumstances following the dissolution of an abusive or emotionally traumatic relationship, have no other adequate financial means, and require funds to meet immediate needs for themselves and their children, including rent & food. Students must reside in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and Ventura counties in California.

Total: $1000 Awards:  1
Deadline:  May 01

Sylvia and Samuel Schulman Memorial Scholarship

U.S. single mothers who are entering or continuing school in an accredited institution in order to learn a marketable skill which will lead to economic independence are eligible for this award. Students must reside and attend college/university in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, or Ventura counties in California.

Total: $1000 Awards:  1
Deadline:  May 01

Sherman & Frances L. Teller Teacher Credential Scholarship

The Sherman & Frances L. Teller Teacher Credential Scholarship is provided to K-12 educators pursuing a teaching credential (includes special education and ESL) at a University of California or California State University campus in the greater Los Angeles area. Students must also reside in the greater Los Angeles area (includes Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and Ventura counties).

Total: $2000 Awards:  2
Deadline:  May 01

Inger Lawrence-M.R. Bauer Foundation Nursing Studies Scholarship

U.S. students who are enrolled in or accepted to a degree program in nursing are eligible for this award. Students must reside and attend school in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, or Ventura counties in California.

Total: $2000 Awards:  2
Deadline:  May 01

University of Nebraska at Lincoln International Baccalaureate George Beadle Scholarship

U.S. students who are not residents of Nebraska and plan to receive an IB diploma are eligible for this award. Students must have an ACT/SAT score of 25/1130 or higher.

Total: $14500 Awards:  10
Deadline:  May 01

The Marie A. Calderilla Scholarship

The Marie A. Calderilla Scholarship is available for women who are residents of San Mateo County or Santa Clara County in California. Applicants must demonstrate financial hardship and a commitment to furthering their education.

Total: $5000 Awards:  15
Deadline:  May 04

Dr. James L. Hutchinson and Evelyn Ribbs Hutchinson Medical School Scholarship

This award is available for U.S. graduate students who have been accepted to medical school or a student currently enrolled in medical school. Students must have graduated from a high school in San Mateo County or Santa Clara County, CA or have lived in that same area during high school.

Total: $2000 Awards:  1
Deadline:  May 04

Zipwhip Women in STEM Scholarship

Applicants must be legal U.S. resident attending college in Seattle, Los Angeles, Austin, Dallas, Minneapolis, Denver or Portland (where The Riveter operates), 18 years or older, enrolled in a STEM undergraduate program at an accredited university or college, or enrolled in a technical bootcamp. Not open to employees of Zipwhip or The Riveter or immediate family members of those employees. Limited to one entry per student.

Total: $1500 Awards:  1
Deadline:  May 17

Fifth Month Scholarship

This award is open to all U.S. students who are 13 and older and who are currently enrolled (or enroll no later than fall of 2025) in an accredited postsecondary institution of higher education. One scholarship winner will receive a $1,500 scholarship.

Total: $1500 Awards:  1
Deadline:  May 31

Discover Student Loans Scholarship Award

This scholarship sweepstakes is open to U.S. high school seniors and undergraduate students who are 16 years of age or older. Students must plan to attend or be attending an accredited, non-profit, four-year college or university located in the 50 United States, District of Columbia, or Puerto Rico.

Total: $5000 Awards:  12
Deadline:  May 31