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Scholarship Tool Kit

What is a scholarship?
A scholarship is a financial award that is intended to support a student’s education. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit or other achievements and characteristics.

  • There are various forms of financial aid available to students. By applying for the FAFSA ( or for the California Dream Act ( each year by March 2, institutions can determine if students are eligible for grants, loans and/or work study.
  • Grants are financial awards from the federal or state government that do not have to be repaid.
  • A loan is money that is borrowed with interest and has to be repaid.
  • Work-Study is money that is earned during college through a job on or off campus. The money earned does not have to be repaid.
  • Scholarships are a form of financial aid, many also require that you have a FAFSA application on file. 

  • Develop a scholarship search strategy
  • Get organized, keep a calendar with all important dates
  • Make a checklist of each scholarship requirements
  • Develop a list of accomplishments
  • Gather and prepare commonly requested items

Commonly Requested Items:

  • Application
  • Completion of FAFSA application
  • Personal statement 
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts

  • Review each scholarship and eligibility requirements carefully
  • Be aware of deadlines and submit all required documents by the due date
  • Be prepared to dedicate time to the process
  • Begin early
  • Give yourself plenty of time to gather and complete all required components of the application
  • Type or print in black or blue ink
  • Answer all questions in their entirety
  • Provide a professional email address. If you do not have one, create a new one. It is often helpful to have one email address for scholarship applications.
  • Provide most current contact information
  • Ensure that you proofread all information you are submitting on the application and personal statements
  • Review application and make sure each portion is complete
  • Do not pay money for scholarship information
  • Think positively about yourself in the process
  • Apply for scholarships each year continuously
  • Be persistent



  • Focus on the first paragraph
  • Think of the personal statement as an intellectual autobiography
  • Be clear
  • Keep it simple
  • Find the “story” in your history
  • Be authentic, accurate and honest
  • Give yourself time to write more than one draft and have it revised.
  • Make sure to highlight accomplishments and strengths,  you are able to make yourself stand out


  • Write in clichés
  • Be too general or abstract
  • Submit a personal statement with grammatical errors
  • Write in resume form
  • Think that one essay will fit every scholarship application


Letters of recommendation are an important part of each scholarship application.  Often scholarships will request one or more letters to support your application.  When looking for someone to write a letter for you, try to choose a recommender that can write a strong letter on your behalf. Remember to ask your recommender graciously and be thankful.  You want your recommender to be able to talk about your strengths, accomplishments, academic skills, etc. Provide your recommender with plenty of time to write your letter; you should give them a 2-3 week notice.

Letter of Recommendation Request Tips:

  • Provide your recommender with information about yourself to ensure a strong letter. Include information about your academic accomplishment, challenges you have overcome, activities you are involved with, your career goals, etc.
  • Provide your recommender with direction and information about the scholarship you are applying for.
  • Provide your recommender with the scholarship deadline.
  • If your recommender will be mailing your letter, provide them with an addressed and stamped envelope.


ACS Scholars Program
ACS awards renewable scholarships to underrepresented minority students who want to enter the fields of chemistry or chemistry-related fields. Awards of up to $5,000* are given to qualified students. African American, Hispanic, or American Indian high school seniors or college freshman, sophomores, or juniors pursuing a college degree in the chemical sciences or chemical technology are eligible to apply.

Qualifying STEM majors related to the mission of AFCEA include: Biometry/Biometrics, Computer Engineering, Computer Forensics Science, Computer Programming, Computer Science, Computer Systems, Cybersecurity, Electrical Engineering, Electronics Engineering, Geospatial Science, Information Science, Information Technology, Information Resource Management, Intelligence, Mathematics, Network Engineering, Network Security, Operations, Research, Physics, Robotics Engineering, Robotics Technology, Statistics, Strategic Intelligence, and Telecommunications Engineering

Allan Hancock College Scholarship Foundation

BHW Scholarship

Women who are pursuing an undergraduate or master's degree and are majoring in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics during the 2021 school year. 

Brown and Caldwell Scholarships
Brown and Caldwell: Eckenfelder Scholarship
Brown and Caldwell: Minority Scholarship
Brown and Caldwell: LGBTQ Scholarship
Brown and Caldwell: Women in Leadership Scholarship
Brown and Caldwell: Navajo Nation Scholarship

Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship
This is a highly selective scholarship for the nation’s top community college students seeking to complete their bachelor’s degrees at four-year colleges or universities. Each Cooke Scholar has access to generous financial support for two to three years, college planning support, ongoing advising, and the opportunity to connect with the thriving community of fellow scholars.

Diversity Advancement Scholarship
The AIA / Architects Foundation Diversity Advancement Scholarship, originally called the AIA/Ford Foundation Scholarship, was founded in 1969 when the AIA and Ford Foundation each pledged $500,000 to support three different groups of students’ education in the field of architecture.

The program sought to give scholarships, not only to those youths in financial need, but to those who otherwise would not have other means to obtain a professional education. Since the Diversity Advancement Scholarship was launched in 1970, it has been awarded to over 2,300 students. Recently, the AIA’s Board of Directors has committed $1 million dollars, to support this effort.

Today, with the help of GIVING MOORE, a Foundation of Benjamin Moore & Co., our goal and purpose for this important scholarship program remains the same; we aim to provide assistance to individuals from a minority race or ethnicity who intend to become an architect through the pursuit of a NAAB-accredited professional degree in architecture.

Dr. Arthur A. Kezian DDS Science Scholarship

The Dr. Arthur A. Kezian DDS Science Scholarship will be awarding $1,200 to help deserving science students. Applicants are required to be high school seniors to graduate students in university, majoring in a science field and pursuing advanced education.

Dr. Pepper Tuition Giveaway and Contest
Dr. Pepper is awarding over $1,000,000 in tuition to help students reach their biggest goals. We're looking for students ages 18-24 to enter this year's Tuition Giveaway.

ESTEEM is a collaborative project lead by UCSB, in partnership with AHC, SBCC, Oxnard and Ventura Colleges. ESTEEM is open to continuing transfer-bound AHC students in Engineering and Computer Science majors.

"Continuing" means you will be at AHC for the 2019-2020 school-year.
"Transfer-bound" means you intend to transfer to a 4-year university.

Fulfilling the Legacy Scholarship
This scholarship epitomizes NSBE’s mission statement to increase the number of black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.  This scholarship is supported solely by the NSBE members and donations.  The number of Fulfilling the Legacy Scholarships to be awarded will be determined by the amount of money donated by the membership and contributors.  Sixty percent of the fund is allocated to scholarship awards; the remaining forty percent will go into an ongoing scholarship endowment.  All NSBE undergraduate and graduate student members are eligible to apply.  Award recipients will be selected from a combination of the following criteria:  University academic achievement, service to NSBE (local, regional, and/or national), and other professional, campus and community activities.

Generation Google Scholarship
The Generation Google Scholarship was established to help aspiring computer scientists excel in technology and become leaders in the field. Selected students will receive 10,000 USD (for those studying in the US) for the 2020-2021 school year. Scholarships will be awarded based on the strength of each candidate's impact on diversity, demonstrated leadership, and academic background. The program is open to qualified students who meet all the minimum qualifications and we strongly encourage people who identify as part of historically underrepresented groups, including Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, American Indian, or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, to apply. As part of the scholarship, current undergraduate or graduate students will be invited to attend the Google Scholars’ Retreat.

GMiS Scholarship
National - Any graduating high school senior, undergraduate, or graduate student, from a traditionally underserved or underrepresented group in science, technology, engineering, math or health.

Google Lime Scholarship
Applicants must have a disability (visible or invisible), plan to enroll full-time at a university during the 2020-2021 academic year, must exemplify leadership and demonstrate passion for computer science and technology; must be pursuing a degree in computer science, computer engineering or a degree in a closely related technical field.

GHC 20 Scholarships for Students and Faculty - deadline March 4, 2020
The GHC Scholars Program provides funds for women who are either undergraduate students, graduate students, or faculty to attend our Celebration. Women who get selected as scholars gain access to career and academic workshops, networking opportunities, and memories that will last a lifetime.

Hispanic Scholarship Fund
Applicants must be of Hispanic heritage, have a minimum 2.50 GPA, plan to be a full-time student at a 4-year university for the 2020-2021 academic year, have completed FAFSA or state based financial aid application.

Jovenes Al Exito - deadline April 1, 2021

Scholarship is dedicated to student financial needs.  Each application is reviewed in confidence and award decisions are made based on the information provided in the application.

Please turn in your completed application to:
Santa Barbara Family Dentistry
620 West Main Street, Santa Maria, CA 93458
Emerald Wave Media
718 East Chapel Street, Santa Maria, CA 93458


Keysight is on the forefront of innovation ,delivering breakthroughs in electronic design, test, manufacturing, and optimization. Our employees create world-class solutions in wireless communications, 5G, automotive, quantum, aerospace, defense, and semiconductor markets for customers in over 100 countries. We’re recognized as a Great Place to Work due to our strong culture. Our global team uses collaboration, inclusivity, and integrity to advance technology. We’re driven and curious, and we value all ideas, especially
bold ones. 

Keysight Technologies scholarship supports senior year studies, plus a paid summer internship between your Junior and Senior years with Keysight.

Candidates must:
• be full-time Hispanic/Latino or African American
students in the junior year of an EE, ECE or Computer Science program
• have at least a 3.0 GPA in major courses in the past 12 months;
• be eager to participate in a summer internship with Keysight, and;
• have U.S. permanent work authorization (applicants cannot require future visa sponsorship from Keysight).

Latina Leadership Network Scholarship
Applicants are preferred to be of Latino heritage (one parent fully Latino or each parent half Latino), must have 24 units of college work completed (may include work in-progress), minimum 2.50 Cumulative GPA, currently enrolled in a California Community College, and must provide a transcript of all work completed (unofficial transcripts will be accepted).

Lockheed Martin STEM Scholarship

Are you majoring or planning to major in a STEM related degree? Then YOU should apply to Lockheed Martin’s STEM Scholarship!  This scholarship is open to high school seniors and undergraduate students who plan to pursue a major in engineering, physics or computer science, demonstrate financial need and come from underrepresented or underserved communities. This year, the program will award up to 200 scholarships worth $10,000 in renewable funds per student.

Lockheed Martin Vocation Scholarship

Are you attending or planning to attend a U.S. vocational technical school, trade school or two-year community college? Are you pursuing or planning to pursue an associate degree, creditbearing certificate or industry-recognized credential in the areas of technology, engineering and advanced manufacturing

Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship
The Hollings Scholarship Program provides successful undergraduate applicants with awards that include academic assistance (up to $9,500 per year) for two years of full-time study and a 10-week, full-time paid ($700/week) internship at a NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) facility during the summer.
The internship between the first and second years of the award provides the scholars with hands-on, practical experience in NOAA-related science, research, technology, policy, management, and education activities.

National Space Club and Foundation Keynote Scholar Application

The applicant must be a U.S. citizen. The scholarship is open to seniors in high school through graduate students. The applicant must have the intention of pursuing a career in the STEM fields and plan to attend an accredited U.S. college or university to follow a course of study to pursue a career in the STEM field, with a preference for those with space related interests.

Nike HSI Scholarship Program 

The Nike HSI Scholarship Program is designed to empower young leaders who currently attend a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI).

  • Must be of Hispanic heritage
  • Minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent).
  • Currently enrolled full-time in an accredited, public or not-for-profit, four-year university that is officially designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) – as defined by the Higher Education Act of 1965. For more information, visit the US Department of Education NCES list.

PG&E- Better Together STEM Scholarship Program
PG&E is offering 40 Better Together STEM Scholarships of $1,000 to $10,000 to a diverse range of students pursuing science, technology or engineering studies in California schools.

Plantire Future Scholarship

For full-time undergraduate students enrolled in an accredited U.S., Canadian or Mexican college/university during the academic years that the scholarship is awarded, i.e., you must be enrolled in both the current (2019-20) and upcoming (2020-21) academic years. Must be a freshman, sophomore, or junior who are majoring in or plan to major in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) fields.

Plantier Women in Technology Scholarship

For individuals who identift as a women and are full-time undergraduate students enrolled in an accredited U.S., Canadian or Mexican college/university during the academic years that the scholarship is awarded, i.e., you must be enrolled in both the current (2019-20) and upcoming (2020-21) academic years. Must be a freshman, sophomore, or junior who are majoring in or plan to major in Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) fields.

Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara
At the Scholarship Foundation, we believe that students need and deserve education beyond high school, and that every motivated, deserving student with the desire for higher education should have the opportunity to pursue it.

We have been supporting students in their higher education goals since 1962. Today, our online application is available to students between October 15 and January 15. After careful review of the applications and the more than 500 scholarship funds we have in management, we provide scholarships to eligible students from Santa Barbara County for college, graduate, and vocational school education.

Society of Exploration Geophysicists - 
Scholarships range from $500 to $10,000 USD per academic year; average awards are approximately $3,700. The number of scholarships available depends chiefly upon the number of sponsors and the amounts they contribute. SEG scholarships have been awarded to students all over the world.

Society of Women Engineers Scholarship

The SWE Scholarship Program provides financial assistance to those who identify as a female/woman and are studying community college, baccalaureate, or graduate programs in preparation for careers in engineering, engineering technology and computer science.

Structural Engineering/Architect Student Scholarship Program 
The Structural Engineering/Architecture Student Scholarship Program, sponsored by Simpson Strong-Tie Company, Inc., is available to students who are enrolled as juniors (at least 60 semester hours or equivalent) or seniors in a full-time undergraduate course of study at an eligible four-year college or university for the entire upcoming academic year.

Latinos in Technology Scholarship 
Applicants must be of Latino or Hispanic origin, declared a STEM major, maintain a 3.00 minimum GPA, and graduated from a high school in the following Northern California counties: Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Marin County, Napa County, San Francisco County, San Mateo County, Santa Clara County, Santa Cruz County, Solano County, Sonoma County and Yolo County.   
OR, the applicant must be a graduate of a high school not in the above counties, but will be enrolled in 2020-21 at a college/university within the 11 listed counties


List of Undergraduate Scholarships that don't require Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Legal Permanent Residency

Includes scholarships specific to the Bay Area, California, and National levels.