15 Best California Scholarships

With tuition costs at California colleges and universities increasing an average of 8% per year, more and more students in the Golden State are seeking out the best scholarships in California to help with the financial burden of pursuing a degree. Luckily, thousands of scholarships are available to students each year, many of which are restricted to students living or attending college in California. Below, we've listed 15 scholarships that seek to help California students pay for their education.

1. Critical Care Scholarship Program

critical care training center

Eligibility
– Must be a California resident
– Must be majoring in nursing
– Students must register an account and submit an original
600-word essay in response to a specific topic

The Critical Care Scholarship is a $2,500 annual scholarship sponsored by the Critical Care Training Center. The award, which includes a 600-word essay on an assigned topic, is designed to financially assist Registered Nursing Students looking for California scholarships. The top five essays will be chosen by an online community before a board determines the final winner.

Scholarship Website

2. Horatio Alger California Scholarship

horatio alger association

Eligibility
– Must be a California resident and a U.S. citizen
– Must be enrolled full-time as a high school senior in
California
-Must demonstrate critical financial need

The Horatio Alger California Scholarship Program provides significant financial assistance to students looking for help paying for college, and who have shown great strength in overcoming personal adversity. Up to 92 awards, each valuing $7,000 total, are awarded yearly (in annual installments over five years), and recipients may use the award at both two- and four-year institutions. Applicants must submit an online application, an essay, and proof of financial need.

Scholarship Website

3. Good Tidings Community Service Scholarship

300x300

Eligibility
– Must be a high school senior
– Must be a resident of one of the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa,
Marin, Monterey, Napa, Sacramento, San Benito, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San
Mateo, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Yolo

The Good Tidings Foundation aims to help any student achieve their dreams, regardless of financial status, ethnic background, religion, or gender. Each year, the Foundation awards ten $10,000 scholarships to California students. Successful applicants will complete an application, submit a Letter of Recommendation, and exhibit an outstanding record of community service.

Scholarship Website

4. L. Gordon Bittle Memorial Scholarship

California Teachers Association

Eligibility
– Must be pursuing a career in Public Education
– Must be an active member of Student California Teachers Association (SCTA)

Undergraduate, credential, or graduate students pursuing careers in Public Education are eligible for the California Teachers Association's L. Gordon Bittle Memorial Scholarship. Successful applicants will be active members of the Student California Teachers Association, and must show proof of registration in an approved teacher preparatory program. Three $2,000 scholarships are awarded each year to students in California.

Scholarship Website

5. Joel Garcia Memorial Scholarship

Joel Garcia Memorial Scholarship

Eligibility
– Must be a full-time student at an accredited college or university in
California
– Must be of Latino heritage
– Must be planning to pursue a career in Journalism

The Joel Garcia Memorial Scholarship is an annual California scholarship for Latino students who are interested in journalism as a career. Applicants should exhibit a commitment to the field of journalism, academic achievement, community service and involvement, and financial need. A number of scholarships are available each year, and range from $500 to $2,000.

Scholarship Website

6. California Association of Collectors Educational Scholarship

California Association of Collectors

Eligibility
– Must be a high school senior in California

The California Association of Collectors sponsors an annual scholarship for graduating high school students in California. Each year, three winners are chosen based on an application package that includes a one-page application and an essay on a topic relating to "good financial credit during your college years." First place receives $2,500, second place receives $2,000, and 3rd place receives $1,500.

Scholarship Website

7. Capture the Dream, Inc. Single Parent Scholarship

Capture the Dream

Eligibility
– Must be a resident of one of the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa,
Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma
– Must prove financial need
– Must be the legal guardian of one or more minor children
– Must be enrolled in an accredited California college or university

Realizing that rising tuition costs are one of the leading obstacles preventing single parents from attending college, Capture the Dream, Inc. offers the Single Parent Scholarship for California students. Each year, one $1,000 scholarship is awarded to a single parent from the San Francisco Bay Area. Winners are chosen based on a variety of factors including financial need, leadership history, community service, professional recommendations, and academic record.

Scholarship Website

8. DDF/DREAM Dance Performing Arts Scholarship Award

Dance Performing Arts Scholarship

Eligibility
– Must be a U.S. citizen and a high school senior
– Must be a resident of Southern California
– Must be studying at a dance or performing arts school, company, studio,
university, or institution in Southern California

The Dance Discovery Foundation financially supports students working to further their dance and performing arts training for a career in the industry. Each year, the Foundation awards two scholarships to Southern California students to hopefully increase opportunities for artists. The award amounts range from $500 to $2,000 (awarded at the discretion of the Foundation). Applicants are judged based on talent, technical skill, determination, and economic need.

Scholarship Website

9. Electronic Security Association

Electronic Security Association

Eligibility
– Must be a graduating high school senior
– Must have a father, mother, or natural guardian who is an active duty police
officer, firefighter, paramedic, or EMT in California

To thank first responders, the Electronic Security Association sponsors this annual scholarship to benefit their deserving sons and daughters who are searching for California scholarships. Applicants should submit an application, a typed essay, transcripts and test scores, a resume, letters of recommendation, an acceptance letter to a college or university, and proof of a parent's employment as a first responder. The 1st place winner receives $8,500, while the 2nd place winner receives $3,500.

Scholarship Website

10. Growing Up Asian in America Art and Essay Contest

Asian Pacific Fund

Eligibility
– Must be of Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, or other
Asian/Pacific Islander, multi-cultural ethnicity
– Must be a resident of one of the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa,
Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma
– Must be in grades Kindergarten through 12th

This contest is organized by the Asian Pacific Fund. Open to California students of Asian descent in Kindergarten through 12th grade, the contest asks applicants to creatively define what it means to be Asian American. Applicants can submit artwork, essays, and videos to attempt to win up to $20,000 in scholarships and prizes.

Scholarship Website

11. Professional BusinessWomen of California Scholarship for Young Women

Professional BusinessWomen of California

Eligibility
– Must a female high school senior
– Must be a resident of California

The Professional BusinessWomen of California (PBWC) award a minimum of three California high school seniors with scholarships at their annual conference. The scholarship aims to financially support young women with professional ambitions, and monetary awards are sent directly to the winner's college or university. Various tools, resources, and sources of inspiration are also provided to winners. Award amounts vary depending upon the discretion of the PBWC.

Scholarship Website

12. Schwartz Scholarship Fund

Schwartz Scholarship Fund

Eligibility
– Must be a legal California resident
– Must possess a minimum GPA of 3.0
– Students must be a high school junior or senior

The Schwartz Scholarship seeks to assist gifted students in California with paying for college or university. Applicants must complete and submit an application form and a 500-word essay on a given topic. The number of $1,000 scholarships given out varies each year, and winners are chosen based on unweighted GPA, difficulty of curriculum, the essay, financial need, and standardized test scores.

Scholarship Website

13. The Harold Johnson Law Enforcement Scholarship

Harold Johnson Law Enforcement Scholarship

Eligibility
– Must demonstrate a desire to pursue a career in police work, corrections, or
other criminal justice fields
– Must have a minimum 2.5 GPA
– Must be a U.S. Citizen
– Must be a resident of one of the greater San Francisco Bay Area

This California scholarship seeks to financially assist students who plan on pursuing a career in police work, corrections, or other criminal justice fields. Successful applicants will demonstrate a passion for public service, academic potential, leadership qualities, and financial need. The application process includes a 500-word personal statement, two letters of reference, and an interview (for finalists). Up to seven awards are given out each year, and winners can receive up to $5,000.

Scholarship Website

14. The Tang Scholarship

Tang Scholarship

Eligibility
– Must be of Asian/Pacific Islander descent
– Must self-identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender
– Must be planning to graduate from a high school in the San Francisco Bay Area
– Must demonstrate academic promise
– Must demonstrate financial need

The Tang Scholarship is an annual award that rewards applicants ages 17-25 for their service to and involvement in the LGBT youth community. Applicants must submit two letters of reference, transcripts, a personal statement, and documentation to prove financial need. The number of awards given each year varies, and recipients can receive up to $15,000. This California scholarship is renewable for a maximum of three additional years (a total of four years).

Scholarship Website

15. Migrant Farmworker Baccalaureate Scholarship

Geneseo Migrant Center

Eligibility
– Must have a recent history of movement for agricultural employment
– Must have successfully completed at least one year at an accredited college or
university
– Must exhibit financial need

Students who have migrated for agricultural employment are encouraged to apply for The Migrant Farmworker Baccalaureate Scholarship. Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation, a 500-word essay explaining his/her background, a recent college transcript, financial need documentation, and a copy of the most recent Migrant Education Certificate of Eligibility (COE). Like many of the other best scholarships in California, the number of scholarships awarded by the Geneseo Migrant Center varies from year to year, and awards can be as much as $20,000.

Scholarship Website

Do you know of a scholarship available specifically for California students that we missed? Contact us!