California Сollege Scholarships

California is a great place to study. Local universities, nonprofits, and businesses provide scholarship opportunities. Thanks to the California scholarships, you can partially cover the cost of your education. Keep in mind that the average coverage of most scholarships is 25-50% of the tuition fees. You can also pay for books, room, food, and transport thanks to this financial support.

Before applying for a scolarship for students, decide whether you want to get a merit-based scholarship or a need-based one.

For merit-based scholarships in California, you’ll need a grades certificate, a motivation letter, participation in conferences, scientific publications, and even a volunteer experience. 

As for the need-based ones, they include a simple formula: the cost of studying minus the possible contribution of the family. A family's contribution can be estimated by considering the number of children and how many of them are currently pursuing higher education.

Read on to determine what scholarships are suitable for you and how to get them.

What Scholarships Are Available in California?

There are 3 types of California scholarships. The first ones on the list of community college scholarships California are full ride ones. They are merit-based and offered by such colleges as the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Southern California.

In case you are a first-year student planning to go to college in California, here’s good news: there is a chance to get awards in a student aid letter. If you study hard, the rewards will be extended. The University of Southern California provides such a scholarship. Outstanding incoming freshmen may receive the full-tuition Mork Family Scholarship. In total, there are ten awards of this type, and each award gives $5,000 financial support.

Another opportunity for freshmen is the Stamps Scholars program offered by the University of California, Los Angeles. Ten individuals, both state and out-of-state, get a four-year scholarship.

As for the scholarships for college students in California who are out of state, pay attention to UC Davis Regents aid. This award is based on the academic success of students. If the achievements mentioned in your application are impressive, there’s a chance to get the $7,500 scholarship.

Is your GPA 2.0 or higher? If you are looking for college scholarships California, apply for the Horatio Alger National Scholarship Program. Perhaps, one of 106 awards (each one is $25,000) will be yours. To take part, you must be a US citizen and have a family income of $55,000 or less.

Graduate medical students can turn to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. It provides scholarships for partner grad schools. Talented nurses from California State University, Sacramento, may receive Geraldine “Polly” Bednash Scholarship of $5,000. The money can be used to pay the tuition at AACN member schools, but only for a master’s or doctoral program.

How Сan You Increase Your Chances of Getting a Scholarship?

California college scholarships allow you to avoid debts long after graduation. The first step is to know for sure what type of financial aid you need. For example, it can be fully or partially funded, and there are also winter or summer exchange program scholarships. Besides, you need to have a clear answer to a crucial question: why am I choosing this specific field? 

Next, write a strong and convincing letter of motivation to stand out from the crowd. Your application will also include references. So, make sure people who you mention will answer the emails or calls from the organization providing scholarships.

In case you have to give the links to your social media profiles, be aware that the committee will look through them to know more about your personality. Other things that can increase your chances are extracurricular activities: 

  • debating clubs; 

  • volunteer initiatives; 

  • sports. 

The more scholarships in California you apply to, the better. 

10 Best Scholarships in California

Joel Garcia Memorial Scholarship

Perfect for: Hispanic students willing to be journalists and get California community college scholarships.


  • financial need; 

  • being aware of one’s origins and community; 

  • accomplishments in studies. 

Opportunities: $500-$2,000 financial aid while you’re living in CA and are a first-year student at a local college.

LAF/CLASS Fund Landscape Architecture Program

Perfect for: architecture students getting their degree in CA college and seeking California college grants and scholarships.


  • financial need; 

  • academic achievements; 

  • being enrolled in Berkeley, University of California, or Cal Poly Pomona. 

Opportunities: $500 scholarship.

California Water Scholarship

Perfect for: those studying the fields connected to water resources and looking for community college scholarships California.


  • being a California resident; 

  • studying in a CA college as a junior or senior; 

  • academic accomplishments; 

  • financial need.

Opportunities: $3,000 scholarship. 

L. Gordon Bittle Memorial Scholarship

Perfect for: those living in CA seeking Northern or Southern CA scholarships.


  • being a member of the Student California Teachers Association; 

  • being enlisted in a teacher program. 

Opportunities: $2,000 scholarship. 

Larry Acterman Public Education Award

Perfect for: high school seniors who are from the Long Beach School District and are willing to study for a public education degree.


  • aiming at studying a four-year degree related to teaching in CA; 

  • willingness to be a teacher in a K-12 school in CA.

Opportunities: scholarships vary.

Anne Trabue Scholarship

Perfect for: Southern CA residents interested in scholarships for community college students in California.


  • being a female full-time student enrolled in a college and willing to complete a four-year degree; 

  • playing golf; 

  • GPA 3.2.

Opportunities: scholarships vary.

Charles Lopinsky Memorial Scholarship

Perfect for: Orange County residents in CA.

Requirements: getting or planning to get a degree from bachelor’s to doctoral.

Opportunities: $3,000 scholarship.

Dorothy and Robert DeBolt Scholarship

Perfect for: students adopted from the CA foster care system.

Requirements: seeking to further one’s education.

Opportunities: $2,000 scholarship to study in CA college. 

Heef Architecture and Engineering Scholarship

Perfect for: those willing to have a renewable scolarship for students based on merits.


  • maintaining a 3.5 GPA throughout high school; 

  • being enrolled in a post-secondary engineering or architecture program.

Opportunities: scholarships vary.

Golden State Minority Foundation Scholarship

Perfect for: students representing ethnic minorities.


  • being a CA resident; 

  • GPA from 3.0 to 4.0; 

  • being enrolled in a college; 

  • maximum work hours limit - 28 hours per week.

Opportunities: $2,000 scholarship.

How Do You Get a Scholarship in California?

Many factors can help you get college scholarships in California.

  • Being a state resident means you can apply for CA state financial support. Besides, some scholarships are provided for particular high school district graduates. There are also scholarships for residents of specific counties and areas.

  • Major. Scholarships in California for college students often depend on educational fields. For instance, Dr. James L. Hutchinson and Evelyn Ribbs Hutchinson Scholarship is provided for high school graduates in Santa Clara or San Mateo County who are enrolled in the accredited medical school program.

  • Academic performance. GPA, SAT/ACT test scores, volunteer experience, and leadership characteristics are often required.

  • Financial need. The family income is analyzed by looking at a student’s FAFSA.

  • Ethnicity. There are California scholarships for college for Latino, Hispanic, Native Americans, African Americans, first-generation Americans, and so on.

  • Gender.

What Сolleges Give Full Scholarships?

The University of Southern California provides 3 full ride scholarships college students California.

With the Mork Family scholarship, 10 students get full tuition for four years and an extra $5,000 for accommodation per year. You can also have a personal academic advisor and get entry to extraordinary occasions. To be chosen for an interview with the commission, candidates have to be innovative, talented, have leadership qualities, and boast outstanding academic performance (SAT and ACT scores are assessed). 

Stamps Scholarship provides a full-tuition, multi-year scholarship for undergraduates. There’s also an enrichment fund of up to $5,000 annually. Candidates with such qualities as innovation, determination, and leadership are nominated. Overall, there are 5 national awards and 5 for residents of CA. To apply for one of the California college scholarships and grants, send an email before mid-February.

Another full-tuition scholarship is provided by Trustee Scholarship. All freshmen have a chance to receive it since they are considered automatically. Nearly 100 awards are provided every year. By February, candidates for scholarships for college students California are chosen for interviews, and the award status is known by April 1.

Full-tuition scholarships are also offered by Loyola Marymount University, Saint Mary's College of California, and University of California, Los Angeles. Students with great academic performance should apply.


At first, getting scholarships for college students in California may seem a difficult task. However, these days, many awards can be received not only for academic success but also due to a student’s background, origin, gender, financial need, or place of residence. 

Another stereotype is that scolarship for students covers only part of the tuition – with the Mork Family, Stamps, or Trustee awards, students get full scholarships. Besides, there are some extra advantages, such as having an enrichment fund or access to unique occasions.

So, don’t miss your chance and use all your strengths to apply for the desired scholarships and grants for college students in California.

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