Vocational and Trade School Scholarships

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How to Make Vocational and Trade School Affordable with Scholarships?

Trade school scholarships and vocational school scholarships are a type of financial aid that you typically don’t repay. These scholarships may go to students attending technical, vocational or career colleges. Jobs in the skilled trades require targeted training, knowledge and ability. If you are looking for an affordable way to learn a trade, trade school scholarships could be very useful.

Vocational scholarships and technical school awards could also make your post secondary education more affordable. Recipients use scholarship funds to offset the cost of tuition, fees, housing and supplies. It all depends on the award amount.

Vocational schools are also called career, trade and technical schools. These schools tend to offer vocational programs which are occupation specific. Once you graduate with your diploma or certificate, you may be able to enter the workforce in your chosen trade. 

Many two year community colleges also offer trade programs with the option to pursue an associate degree. If choosing this route, you may be able to transfer credits to a four year college in order to go for a bachelor’s degree.

The National Center for Education Statistics reports the average total cost of a two year college is less than a four year one. For the 2018 to 20 19 academic year, a public 2 year school cost an average of $9,400 vs $14,600 at a public 4 year college. Both total costs were for students who lived off campus with family. Private schools and living on or off campus (not with family) may bring increase the cost of attendance.

Who Should Apply for Scholarships for Trade School?

Eligibility requirements for these scholarships for vocational students may vary. In general, they tend to be trade specific and for high school students who want to pursue an associate’s degree. Some awards are for students with unmet financial need. Others may look at your GPA and test scores. 

As long as you meet the provider’s criteria, you may apply. You also may need to submit proof of the following:

  • Enrollment as a full time student and high school graduate
  • Transcripts with your high school GPA
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Essay(s)
  • U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident

Types of Vocational and Trade School Scholarships

There are scholarship opportunities for vocational, technical or career colleges. Some trade school scholarships could be location specific. You may also find trade school scholarships for specific trade school programs. Dental assistant, radiology, vet tech, medical assistant, and coding are a few trades you may find scholarships. The Thomas T. and Christine Hegeman Wheatley Memorial Scholarship provides $800 in financial assistance for eligible Berks County, PA college students. Eligible applicants may use the funds to help pay for an education in EMT, paramedics, phlebotomy, or nursing. 

Are you studying car care and mechanics as your preferred trade? An award open to New Mexico high school seniors is the Andrew Piech Memorial Scholarship. Eligible applicants may use the funds to cover required tools, equipment and tuition.

The construction trades include building and related fields. You may also find scholarships for trade school if you plan to be an electrician, plumber, HVAC, carpentry, brick layers and insulators. Scholarships in cosmetology may also offset the cost of learning about beauty and health. 

Many culinary schools may offer technical scholarships. Related trades include food service and hospitality.

10 Scholarships for Trade School You Should Apply for in 2021

Hoping to kick start your career by learning a trade? Check out these 10 scholarships for vocational and trade school. If you meet eligibility rules, apply now!

  1. Tylenol Future Care scholarship
  2. Find your Drive Automotive Technician Scholarship
  3. Veterans in Tech Scholarship 
  4. Friends of the California State Fair Scholarship Program
  5. Miami Culinary Institute Scholarship
  6. Pearl Lemon Scholarship 
  7. Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. Paralegal Scholarship
  8. Minerva Beauty Cosmetology Scholarship 
  9. American Legion Trade School Scholarship
  10. Keller Cosmetology Scholarship Program

Are There Vocational Scholarships for Women?

Yes, there are various vocational scholarships for women that you may qualify for. The Women in the Skilled Trades Scholarship is for female trade school students studying refrigeration. It offers up to $3,000 based on financial need. The award is on a first come, first served basis. You also must be a female student attending The Refrigeration School or RSI.

What are the Benefits of Attending a Trade School vs Four Year College?

Many of today’s fastest growing careers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics may not require a four year degree. Instead, an associate degree, diploma or certificate from a trade or vocational school could provide the necessary skills and education for these in demand jobs. Wondering if this path is for you? Consider these benefits: 

1. Affordability

A two year trade vs four year degree program typically costs less from the start. NCES reports the average total cost in 2018 to 2019, if you live off campus but not with family, a 2 year public school costs $18,300 vs $24,900 per year. That’s why you should consider applying for trade school scholarships if you qualify.

2. Technical degree programs may help get ready for the work force 

Many technical colleges may also offer education programs to enter the workforce and start earning a salary earlier. 

3. Vocational programs may boost your lifetime earnings

The more education you have, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the more money you are likely to earn. With a high school diploma, the median weekly earnings are $746 vs $887 with an associate’s degree in 2019. However, it’s slightly less with some college and no degree at $833 earnings.

4. Many trades are in demand

When a trade is in demand, it may mean more educational opportunity. For example, dental hygienists see a 6% job growth which is a faster outlook than the average for all occupations. 

5. Earn your degree faster

Depending on your course of study and degree program, you may earn an associate’s degree in less than two years. If you were an undergraduate student or graduate student, it may take more than four years to earn your bachelor’s degree.

List of Trade School and Vocational Scholarships

Check out our list of 579 vocational and trade school scholarships worth $989K.

Smart Saving Scholarship

At the Gillman Bruton Capone Law Group, we understand the importance of financial stability. Through the Smart Saving Scholarship, we will reward one individual who has developed smart saving habits with $1,000 towards their education. Personal finance curriculum in public schools needs improvement. Most students go through high school without learning how to budget and save for the real world. Many young adults struggle with this, making their adjustment difficult to adulthood. Talking about finance, budgeting, and saving earlier is beneficial, leading to more people understanding the system and how to protect themselves. Still, the most challenging part after learning how is putting lessons into practice. We admire anyone’s ability to set aside everyday temptations and focus on planning their future, especially financially. This is why we started the Smart Saving Scholarship. Through this scholarship, we would like to raise awareness of the importance of saving and budgeting and the practice of passing those lessons down to children. The Smart Saving Scholarship is intended to award a student who has learned the importance of saving and has come up with practical ways of saving in their daily life. Students are invited to share how they learned financial responsibility and any tips they would pass on to younger generations.
Award Amount

Total:  $1000

Awards:  1


Deadline:  May 31, 2024

Pureland Supply Vocational and Skilled Trade Scholarship

Pureland Supply has been selling high quality replacement projector lamps to various universities, schools, and government entities since 1997. We understand the importance of skilled trades in our society and appreciate those who learn and perform specific trade, craft or labor occupations. The $500.00 Pureland Supply Scholarship is available to students who have been accepted to an accredited trade school, vocational college, technical school or community college for the study of trade, craft, or labor occupations. Recipients are chosen on their ability to describe how their chosen trade or field plays an important role in today’s world and why this is the path they have chosen.
Award Amount

Total:  $500

Awards:  1


Deadline:  May 01

Trade School Advocacy Scholarship

Many students have the misconception that kids who go to trade school are either less motivated or not as bright as those who go to college. This cannot be farther from the truth. We want to break the stigmatization that everyone must attend college to succeed. Motivated and intelligent students choose to go to trade schools for various reasons, and we want to explore how we can change this public perception. At Robert James Trial Attorneys, we strongly believe that trade schools offer an excellent alternative to traditional four-year universities, and we want to encourage students to explore this option. Because of this, we have created the 2023 Trade School Advocacy Scholarship. In a 3-5 minute video or in 750 words, explain why trade school is the better choice for you and how we can eliminate negative perceptions surrounding trade schools.
Award Amount

Total:  $1000

Awards:  1


Deadline:  October 31

MoreWithUs Scholarship Competition

MoreWithUs is jobs platform for people looking or entry level jobs near them. The service is free for all jobseeker. MoreWithUs is based in DeKalb, IL and was established in 2017.
Award Amount

Total:  $2000

Awards:  2


Deadline:  November 30

Women in Skilled Trades Scholarship Program

The Women in Skilled Trades Scholarship Program is available for female students at The Refrigeration School, an HVAC/R and vocational school in Phoenix, AZ.
Award Amount

Total:  $9000

Awards:  3


Deadline:  November 30

SkillPointe Foundation $1,000 Scholarship

The SkillPointe Foundation’s mission is to ensure everyone has access to training to become a skills-based professional working in construction, healthcare, energy, manufacturing, transportation and other fields. Applicants must be 16 years of age or older, of any ethnicity and educational background.
Award Amount

Total:  $32000

Awards:  16


Deadline:  June 30

The CIRI Foundation (TCF) Vocational Training Grants

The CIRI Foundation (TCF) offers vocational training grants to applicants enrolled in technical skill training programs earning a certificate/certification or professional license. There are four deadlines for vocational training grant applicants; awards cannot exceed $5500 per calendar year.
Award Amount

Total:  $88000

Awards:  4


Deadline:  December 01

Practice Aptitude Tests Student Scholarship

Applicants must be 18 or older, pursuing their education full time or have graduated in the last 12 months.
Award Amount

Total:  $500

Awards:  1


Deadline:  May 31

Home Depot Foundation’s Path to Pro Scholarship by SkillPointe Foundation ($2,000)

Applicants should be focused pursuing a career in Carpentry, Electrical, HVAC, Plumbing or Construction Management, and either planning to enroll or already enrolled in an approved trade-related program at an accredited two-year school (technical/vocational school or college) in the United States.
Award Amount

Total:  $6000

Awards:  3


Deadline:  June 30

Buy-Rite’s Annual Beauty School Scholarship

The contest is open to U.S. residents. All participants must have applied to or be enrolled as full-time beautician/cosmetology students.
Award Amount

Total:  $1000

Awards:  1


Deadline:  November 01