Community College Scholarships
Can community college students win scholarships to pay for school? Absolutely yes! More than 400,000 community college students use more than $800 million in private scholarships to pay for college each year. Community college students win about a quarter of all college scholarships and more than a tenth of the scholarship dollars.
Community college students could win even more scholarships, just by applying. Students at 4-year colleges are three times more likely to win college scholarships than community college students because they are much more likely to seek and apply for scholarships.
Resources for Finding Community College Scholarships and Other Aid
- Some community colleges offer their own scholarships. Check with the college’s financial aid office.
- Random drawings, such as the ones offered by ScholarshipPoints.com, can provide money for community college.
- Local community organizations, such as community foundations, may sponsor scholarships for community college students.
- Free online scholarship search services find scholarships that match the student’s background profile.
- Some cities and states offer promise scholarships that cover the cost of college for local high school graduates.
- The Federal Pell Grant provides thousands of dollars of free money to pay for college. Just file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply.
- The federal government also offers the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which lets families claim a partially-refundable tax credit worth up to $2,500 based on amounts spent for tuition, fees and textbooks.
Scholarships for Community College Students
Some scholarships for community college students require recipients to agree to pursue a Bachelor's degree after graduation from community college.
- American Association for Women in Community Colleges
- American Legion
- Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation (Coca-Cola Leaders of Promise programs, administered by Phi Theta Kappa)
- Darrell Hess Community College Geography Scholarship
- Foundation for California Community Colleges
- GEICO Pathway to Completion Associate’s Degree Scholarship
- Horatio Alger Association Career and Technical Scholarships
- Jackie Spellman Scholarship Foundation (students affected by leukemia or lymphoma)
- Jeannette Ranking Foundation
- National Society of Accountants
- Susan T. Buffett Foundation College Scholarships
- UNCF Scholarships
Community College Transfer Scholarships
It’s not uncommon for students to start at community college, and then transfer to a four-year school after earning an Associate degree. When it comes to scholarships for continuing your education, don’t just limit your search to scholarships for transfer students. Look for scholarships that cater to current college students as well.
- Guistwhite Scholarship Program
- Hispanic Scholarship Fund
- Hites Transfer Scholarship
- Jack Kent Cooke Foundation (Undergraduate Transfer Scholarships)
- Tau Sigma Honor Society Scholarship
- The Pearson Scholarship for Higher Education
Can community colleges offer athletic scholarships
Yes! Community colleges can and do award athletic scholarships. These award packages include both full and partial scholarships. If you excel in a sport such as baseball, basketball, golf, ice hockey, track and field, soccer, volleyball, wrestling, lacrosse, bowling (and more), you may be eligible for an athletic scholarship. Contact the athletic department for the school you wish to attend to get specific information.
Special Programs for Transfer Students
- Some states guarantee admission to a public 4-year college for students who graduate from one of the state’s community colleges.
- Some 4-year colleges offer transfer scholarships to help and encourage community college students to transfer.