Last updated on April 20, 2022

Exclusive Scholarships in California to Apply For in 2022

The Best California Scholarships with Upcoming Deadlines
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16 SCHOLARSHIPS
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  1. Cover image for Bruin Pride - UCLA No-Essay Scholarship

    Bruin Pride - UCLA No-Essay Scholarship

    Funded by
    Bold.org
    This scholarship aims to reward students at UCLA for their school spirit and passion so they can reduce their need for student debt when paying for college.
    Funded by
    Bold.org
    This scholarship aims to reward students at UCLA for their school spirit and passion so they can reduce their need for student debt when paying for college.
    Amount:$10,000
    Deadline :Aug 05, 2022
    1
  2. Cover image for Mark L. Williams Scholarship

    Mark L. Williams Scholarship

    Funded by
    Williams
    In memory of Mark L. Williams, this scholarship aims to support hardworking high school students in California who are going to continue their education through college or trade school.
    Funded by
    Williams
    In memory of Mark L. Williams, this scholarship aims to support hardworking high school students in California who are going to continue their education through college or trade school.
    Amount:$2,000
    Deadline :Aug 01, 2022
    2
  3. Cover image for @ESPDaniella Debt Grant

    @ESPDaniella Debt Grant

    Funded by
    Carlynn Greene
    This scholarship seeks to alleviate the burden of student loan debt by helping current students, graduates, and those who dropped out pay off their student debt.
    Funded by
    Carlynn Greene
    This scholarship seeks to alleviate the burden of student loan debt by helping current students, graduates, and those who dropped out pay off their student debt.
    Amount:$3,300
    Deadline is Approaching! 11 days left
    3
  4. Cover image for Women in Tech Scholarship

    Women in Tech Scholarship

    Funded by
    Accusoft Corporation
    This scholarship aims to support women pursuing STEM so they can find success in their careers and create a more diverse workforce.
    Funded by
    Accusoft Corporation
    This scholarship aims to support women pursuing STEM so they can find success in their careers and create a more diverse workforce.
    Amount:$3,000
    Deadline :May 29, 2022
    Scholarship is in review
    4
  5. Cover image for Lo Easton's “Wrong Answers Only” Scholarship

    Lo Easton's “Wrong Answers Only” Scholarship

    Funded by
    Finesse Your Education
    This scholarship for high school and undergraduate students looks for hilariously wrong answers only.
    Funded by
    Finesse Your Education
    This scholarship for high school and undergraduate students looks for hilariously wrong answers only.
    Amount:$1,200
    Deadline :Jun 16, 2022
    Scholarship is in review
    5
  6. Cover image for McCutcheon | Nikitin First-Generation Scholarship

    McCutcheon | Nikitin First-Generation Scholarship

    Funded by
    Kira McCutcheon
    This scholarship seeks to support first-generation college students who are pursuing higher education so they can complete their degrees.
    Funded by
    Kira McCutcheon
    This scholarship seeks to support first-generation college students who are pursuing higher education so they can complete their degrees.
    Amount:$500
    Deadline :Mar 31, 2022
    Scholarship is in review
    6
  7. Cover image for Hindsight 20-20 Essay Scholarship

    Hindsight 20-20 Essay Scholarship

    Funded by
    Stephanie Hadley
    This scholarship seeks to support California students and assess how well their grade school education prepared them for college.
    Funded by
    Stephanie Hadley
    This scholarship seeks to support California students and assess how well their grade school education prepared them for college.
    Amount:$500
    Deadline :May 31, 2022
    Scholarship is in review
    7
  8. Cover image for Tri-Lams Family Scholarship

    Tri-Lams Family Scholarship

    Funded by
    Lam Family
    This scholarship seeks to support middle-class students so they can afford higher education with less reliance on loans.
    Funded by
    Lam Family
    This scholarship seeks to support middle-class students so they can afford higher education with less reliance on loans.
    Amount:$5,000
    Deadline :May 01, 2022
    Scholarship is awarded to
    5 winners
    8
  9. Cover image for Straive "Remembering Marva Collins" Scholarship

    Straive "Remembering Marva Collins" Scholarship

    Funded by
    Straive
    This scholarship aims to help Black undergraduate students who are pursuing a career in education so they can focus on their university training and be prepared to help their future students.
    Funded by
    Straive
    This scholarship aims to help Black undergraduate students who are pursuing a career in education so they can focus on their university training and be prepared to help their future students.
    Amount:$4,867
    Deadline :Mar 14, 2022
    Scholarship is awarded to
    5 winners
    9
  10. Cover image for Focus Forward Scholarship

    Focus Forward Scholarship

    Funded by
    Kathryn Huber
    This scholarship will support two undergraduate students in their sophomore, junior, or senior years. Applicants must have a 3.0 GPA or higher and have at least one student loan.
    Funded by
    Kathryn Huber
    This scholarship will support two undergraduate students in their sophomore, junior, or senior years. Applicants must have a 3.0 GPA or higher and have at least one student loan.
    Amount:$2,000
    Deadline :Apr 10, 2022
    Scholarship is awarded to
    2 winners
    10

About scholarships in California 

As a California resident, looking for California scholarships may be an effective way to work towards paying for a college education. The average cost of an undergraduate degree in America has almost doubled since the 1990s, with public schools increasing costs more than the typical private college. A degree from an accredited college can open the door to a multitude of opportunities for young adults, but it’s difficult to afford.

California student debt

California is home to many ambitious students. However, the steep costs of modern education are reflected in the fact that nearly 4 million California residents are struggling with student debt. Together, citizens in California with residual student debt owe almost $147 billion. In the 2018-2019 school year, the average student had $21,485 owed in student debt. Though this places California among the states with the lowest student debt, student loans continue to be an issue that affects many scholars in California.

More than 508,000 students are in default on their student loans, revealing the extent to which California students are finding it difficult to pay back the costs of their education. A total number of 2,686,421 students are enrolled in universities across the state, and the average cost of college for each student is $19,814

In-state students pay a discounted amount of $14,824, encouraging California high school students to remain in-state for their college education. Evidently, the geographical location of where you choose to attend school can also impact how your financial need is met by your institution of choice.

California colleges

The average acceptance rate of an accredited college in California is about 67%, while the average graduation rate is 61%.  

California has a wide range of colleges and universities with different specializations, tuition costs, and acceptance rates. When looking for a school that fits your financial needs and interests, considering the average financial aid and tuition cost is important. Many schools are willing to provide at least some aid to students that demonstrate financial need.

Stanford University, one of the more prestigious universities in California, has an acceptance rate of just 5.2%. In the 2019-2020 academic year, the cost of tuition for one year was $52,857, and room and board cost $16,433. The school estimates that 70% of Stanford students will receive some form of financial aid to meet their demonstrated financial need. The aid received from the school varies based on the income bracket the student’s family falls into. Among first-year students, the average amount of financial aid received was $55,000.

After graduating from Stanford University, the average amount of student debt held was about $11,750. Among Stanford students that did not complete their graduation requirements, the average student debt after college was $8,037. About 1% of Stanford graduates defaulted on their student loans.  

Attending a California community college like Pasadena City College may be a more affordable option for students pursuing higher education. The tuition cost for California residents attending Pasadena City College averages around $1,166, while the out-of-state tuition is $7,548

75% of students at Pasadena City College receive financial aid. Both staying in-state for your undergraduate degree and applying for scholarships in California can greatly affect how much tuition costs.   

At Pasadena City College, about 10,416 college students are enrolled full-time, and 16,446 are part-time students. The full-time retention rate is 79%, as opposed to the part-time retention rate of 53%. Popular majors include liberal arts, natural science, and business.

California college demographics

Among California resident students between the ages of 18 and 24, three out of ten are enrolled in a California community college. 

At the University of California, 39% identified as Asian American or Pacific Islanders. An equal number of white and Latino students were enrolled, with 26% white and 26% Latino. Female students make up 54% of the college population at the University of California, and 46% of students are male. 

In contrast, California State University had a population of 43% Latino students, 25% white students, and 18% Asian American Pacific Islanders. 56% of students were female, and 44% were male. 

California college graduates

California State University graduates’ typical salary post-college is $46,905, as compared to the national average among workers with a college diploma, which is $45,213. The wage gap continues on to students’ mid-career salaries, which average out to be $83,230 for California State graduates. The national typical mid-career salary is $75,055.

The average starting salary for Pomona College graduates is about $51,000, meaning it will take Pomona College students about 3.5 years to break even with the total cost of their education. At Stanford University, the typical early career salary is $93,000.   

Though these figures will not apply to all students who graduate from these schools, it can be useful for graduating high school seniors to consider the financial results typically expected from colleges you’re interested in. 

The best scholarships for California students

Applying to scholarships in California can help California students increase their chances of winning money by restricting the applicant pool by location. Below are some California scholarships students should consider:

Tri-Lams Family Scholarship

The Tri-Lams Family Scholarship is open to any high school senior in California (preference for high school seniors at the Alhambra Unified School District) who has big dreams and a passion for life and expressing themselves. 

Hindsight 20-20 Essay Scholarship

This scholarship seeks to support California students and assess how well their grade school education prepared them for college.

Additional Scholarships that Students in California Should Consider

Here at Bold.org, there are a wide variety of scholarships. While there are some that are specific to California, there are many other scholarships for California students to consider.

Scholarships for Hispanic students in California

California is home to a diverse group of students. Some scholarships are committed to creating opportunities for students of color in the world of academia. These scholarships are directed toward students of Hispanic descent in California:

Scholarships for high school students in California

There are also many scholarships available for California high school students, particularly high school seniors. It can be beneficial to begin planning for your educational journey earlier rather than later. Below are some scholarships that high school students are eligible to apply for:

Scholarships for undergraduate students in California

Undergraduate students make up a majority of the college student population at accredited schools in California. As students begin to incur more expenses, such as textbooks and other necessities, applying for scholarships during and after their freshman year of college can be financially helpful.

Scholarships for graduate students in California

There are scholarships in California available to a wide range of students, including graduate students. Applying to scholarships in a continuous process is a good way to continue to make smart financial decisions in college. 

Frequently asked questions about California scholarships

How do I apply for California scholarships?

Consider using tools like Bold.org to help you find and apply for scholarships as you begin or continue to pursue higher education. By creating a free profile with Bold.org, you can access and browse hundreds of scholarships for various students. 

Information you enter in your profile will help you determine which scholarships you are eligible for based on your background information, education level, and academic interests. From there, you will be able to apply for many scholarships with one click. For other scholarships, you may need to write a short essay relating your experiences to the theme of the scholarship. 

Applying for scholarships on Bold.org is designed to be as easy and low-stress as possible. Students from all education levels can find scholarships they are eligible for, from high school seniors to graduate students.

When can I apply for California scholarships?

There's no right or wrong time to start applying for scholarships. It may be prudent to begin applying earlier rather than later. However, both high school students and college students can choose to find opportunities to supplement their financial need at any time in their educational journey.

Some scholarships are made specifically for graduating high school seniors. This is because high school seniors are one of the groups most concerned with beginning their college life and finding a way to pay for university. Though there are fewer opportunities available for high school students before their senior year, current high school juniors and underclassmen may still be able to find some opportunities to meet their financial need. It's also worth researching scholarships ahead of time even if you don't plan on applying for scholarships until later in high school.

Eligible students should apply to the scholarships they meet the requirements for sooner rather than later. High school senior students should take advantage of their status and apply to scholarships exclusively for high school senior students since after a year they will no longer be eligible for these scholarships.

Similarly, undergraduate students should apply to as many undergraduate scholarships as they can even if they plan to attend graduate school. They will always be able to apply for graduate scholarships later in their academic careers, but after graduation, they will no longer be able to apply for undergraduate scholarships.

Graduate students and even those who are recently entering the workforce may also be able to find some financial opportunities. No matter where you are in your academic career, it's never a bad idea to apply for scholarships. Even if you have already received federal financial aid or support from family members, scholarship funds can help pay for textbooks and other college expenses not included in the cost of tuition.

What scholarships can I apply for?

Most scholarships will list the requirements for applying in the information section. Some restrictions can include financial background, education level, academic achievement, and more. For example, some scholarships will only be available if students can demonstrate financial hardship or financial need. High school senior students cannot apply for graduate student scholarships, and vice versa. In regards to academic achievement, certain opportunities may require students to have a minimum GPA to apply, and so on.

In addition, other factors such as extracurricular activities or your future plans may play a role in whether you are eligible for a scholarship or not. Some scholarships are only available to students who have participated in community involvement and volunteer work. Alternatively, some scholarships are exclusively for students planning to attend community colleges or enroll in trade school.

When looking to supplement your financial need with scholarships, consider using filters or other tools to find opportunities that you are eligible for. First-generation students or students pursuing a specific field, like art or coding, can select the appropriate filters to help them narrow down their scholarship search.

As you search for scholarships that match your needs, consider what aspects of your living situation and personal life may qualify you for scholarships.

First-generation students and underrepresented students should look for scholarships committed to making education more accessible since not all students will be able to apply for these opportunities. Doing this can help increase your chances of winning money. Similarly, look for scholarships that match your interests or intended major, as this will decrease your competition.

Remember to apply for a wide range of scholarships. Applying to scholarships based on your family background, as well as applying to scholarships that restrict by major and other factors will give you a greater chance of receiving money.

You can and should apply for any scholarships that you fit the requirements for. Apply to a wide variety of scholarships to increase your chances of winning.

Are California scholarships taxable?

Whether your scholarship money is taxable depends on what you use the money for, but in most cases, scholarships are not taxed.

As long as your scholarship money only covers qualified educational expenses, your funds will not be taxed. Qualified educational expenses are expenses that are required for you to complete your degree. These include textbook fees, mandatory course fees, and mandatory tuition or enrollment fees.

Housing, travel expenses, and meal plan costs are not included in qualified educational expenses. However, most scholarship donors will not label your funds for a particular expense, meaning you can use the money however you see fit. Alternatively, if the scholarship money is sent to the financial office of your school instead of to your personal bank account, your financial aid office will automatically apply the money to qualified educational expenses on your behalf.

Lastly, if your scholarship funds exceed the total amount of qualified educational expenses you must pay during your time in college, the extra money must be reported in your tax forms. However, this is relatively unlikely due to the high cost of college.

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