Scholarships For Vocational Students (2023)

By Tessa Cooper

Published on September 8, 2021

Scholarships For Vocational Students (1) is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Scholarships and Resources for Vocational Students

Attending trade school can be more affordable than obtaining a four-year degree, and students can further reduce costs by applying for vocational school scholarships and financial aid. Many organizations and private companies offer scholarships based on factors such as academic merit and financial need. Learners can also apply for funding from the federal government.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the average Pell Grant awarded for the 2018-2019 academic year amounted to about $4,420. Additionally, veterans and military members may qualify for specialized financial aid programs. This guide highlights scholarships for vocational students, explores the cost of vocational school, and details the steps necessary to apply for awards.


According to the NCES, the average cost of tuition and fees at public, two-year institutions was $3,700 for the 2018-2019 academic year. For the same time period, the average cost of tuition and fees at public, four-year schools was $9,200. Tuition and fees at private institutions cost an average of $18,400 at two-year schools and $35,800 at four-year institutions.

In addition to tuition and fees, prospective students should factor in living expenses when creating a budget. Students who attend trade school online often save money on transportation costs. Learners should also consider the cost of books and required materials. Trade programs in fields such as welding, cosmetology, and the culinary arts require expensive tools.

By applying for multiple vocational school scholarships and following the financial aid tips in the next section, students can significantly lower the cost of attending college. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Financial Aid Must-Dos

Step 1: Determine Eligibility for Financial Aid
Learners should complete the FAFSA form to determine whether they qualify for federal financial aid. The federal government distributes these funds primarily based on financial need. Additional factors that impact eligibility include the student's citizenship status and criminal convictions. Applicants with a parent who died in Iraq or Afghanistan while completing military service may qualify for an extra Federal Pell Grant. Additionally, students with intellectual disabilities may qualify for additional funding.
Step 2: Complete and Submit Financial Aid Applications
While completing the FAFSA form, individuals provide information including their social security number or Alien Registration Number. Learners also submit tax documentation. Students who filed their taxes as dependents must provide their guardian's or parent's tax information. Some applicants may need to submit bank statements or records of investments. Students who have previously submitted a FAFSA form need their Federal Student Aid identification number to sign in. The online application takes about 45 minutes to complete.
Step 3: Know What Happens Next

Students who complete the FAFSA form online typically receive a Student Aid Report within a few days. Individuals who do not provide a valid email address or who choose to apply by mail usually receive the report in three to four weeks.

The Student Aid Report summarizes the applicant's information. Learners should review this document to ensure the accuracy of their address and financial status. This report also informs the student of their eligibility for federal financial aid. Colleges and universities typically distribute federal aid once each semester. Additionally, many schools also use students' FAFSA information to determine eligibility for institutional funding.

Student loans can make college attainable for many students. While learners do need to repay loans, they can help students manage expenses not covered by scholarships. Learners can apply for federal subsidized and unsubsidized loans, along with private loans.

Learners who take out federal loans may qualify for student loan forgiveness. Additionally, subsidized federal student loans do not begin accruing interest until six months after the borrower graduates or discontinues enrollment.

After submitting the FAFSA form, students receive information about their eligibility for federal loans. Students who need additional financial support can apply for private loans, but these typically require a cosigner and may have higher interest rates than federal loans.

Scholarships and Grants

Although researching vocational school scholarships and grants takes time, these awards can help learners minimize debt and out-of-pocket expenses. Unlike loans, scholarships and grants do not require repayment. Many schools list scholarships on their website, and a simple internet search can reveal scholarship opportunities for students in specific fields or geographic areas.

To help learners begin researching awards, the list below features scholarships for students pursuing common vocational majors. Most scholarship applications require essays, recommendation letters, and official transcripts, so students should budget enough time to gather necessary materials.

Allied Health

The Health Professions Education Foundation sponsors this scholarship, which awards up to $8,000 to California students in accredited allied health education programs.The Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions, in partnership with CastleBranch, offers this $1,000 scholarship. Applicants must be enrolled in a school that is an institutional member of the association. The most outstanding applicant receives an additional $1,000.This scholarship supports healthcare students enrolled in a two-year or four-year college, university, or vocational school. Tylenol awards $10,000 to 10 recipients and $5,000 to 25 winners.


The Andrew Piech Memorial Scholarship

This $2,200 scholarship supports New Mexico learners studying automotive technology or another technical vocation.

Automotive Hall of Fame

The Automotive Hall of Fame provides scholarships to postsecondary students with an interest in an automotive profession.

Women in Auto Care

This professional organization offers several annual scholarships to women in high school and college. Applicants must be pursuing a career in the automotive industry.


American Association of Cosmetology Schools

Through the Beauty Changes Lives Foundation, the AACS offers several scholarships and grants. Applicants must plan to pursue a career in the beauty or wellness field.

Joe Francis Haircare Scholarship Foundation

The Joe Francis Haircare Scholarship Foundation offers $1,500 scholarships for students who are applying to or enrolled in cosmetology or barber school.

Beauty and Wellness Professionals Scholarship delivers this $2,500 scholarship twice each year. Applicants must be enrolled in a beauty or wellness program, such as a cosmetology program.

Culinary School

American Culinary School

This organization offers a variety of scholarships worth up to $2,500 each. The awards support high school and college students pursuing a formal education to advance their culinary careers.

Culinary Institute of America Scholarships

The CIA offers numerous scholarships to students enrolled at its New York, California, and Texas campuses.

James Beard Foundation Scholarships

JBF offers scholarships, tuition waivers, and work-study grants. Candidates must be attending a licensed or accredited culinary school, hospitality institution, college, or university.

General Vocational Studies

CIRI Foundation

The CIRI Foundation works to preserve the culture and heritage of Alaska Natives from the Cook Inlet region. The foundation offers vocational training grants of up to $5,500 per year. Applicants must be a CIRI original enrollee or direct lineal descendant.

Union Plus

Current or retired members of unions, as well as their immediate family members, can qualify for scholarships worth $750-$4,000. Recipients can use the funds to attend a community college, trade school, or vocational school.

Pell Grant

This federal grant supports undergraduate students, including those attending vocational schools. The federal government awards this grant based primarily on financial need.

Scholarships For Vocational Students (2)

Tessa Cooper

Tessa Cooper is a freelance writer and editor who regularly contributes to international and regional publications focused on education and lifestyle topics. She earned a bachelor's in public relations from Missouri State University and is passionate about helping learners avoid high student loan debt while pursuing their dream major. Tessa loves writing about travel and food topics and is always planning her next meal or vacation.

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How do you answer why I should win this scholarship? ›

You Deserve This Scholarship Because You Have Passion and Persistence. Letting your passion show through in your answer allows the committee to see your dedication. You deserve this scholarship based on your love of learning, your enjoyment of your field, or your passion for growth.

How do you find scholarships you can actually win? ›

Top Tips for Winning Scholarships for College
  1. Create an accomplishments resume. ...
  2. Don't miss deadlines. ...
  3. Complete the scholarship matching profile thoroughly. ...
  4. Apply to as many scholarships as possible. ...
  5. Look for scholarship listing books. ...
  6. Find local scholarships on bulletin boards. ...
  7. Tap into family connections.

How do you find scholarships that almost nobody knows about? ›

So, Where Do You Find Unclaimed Scholarships? One good place to look for scholarships is on the Financial Aid Finder Scholarship Announcement Blog. Every Friday, the site lists several scholarship opportunities with upcoming deadlines.

How do you stand out in a scholarship interview? ›

Talk about the things that make you stand out - academic or athletic achievements, service or leadership experience, and special interests. These qualities and successes make you unique. If you've completed a senior research project on a topic that you're passionate about, talk about it with the interview committee!

What makes you a great scholarship candidate? ›

Scholarship committees are looking for individuals who show integrity and moral character. You can show this in your everyday life by working hard, doing your best, and treating others with respect. However, you also need to show your character through your online presence.

How do you write a reason for applying for a scholarship? ›

There is no one way to write a winning scholarship application.
What to include in scholarship essays about community impact:
  1. How much time did you dedicate to the activity? ...
  2. Why was it important to you? ...
  3. Why was it important to the community? ...
  4. What did you gain yourself through giving to the community?

How do you introduce yourself in a scholarship? ›

When introducing yourself in a scholarship essay, start by introducing yourself and your educational status. Then, discuss how the scholarship will help your educational pursuits and how your education can help your career.

How do you start a scholarship essay? ›

The best choice is to write an attention-grabbing sentence. It should be something persuading or intriguing that will make a person continue reading your essay with great interest. Avoid long explanations or introductions. Instead, this sentence should be short and clear.

What are the easiest scholarships to get? ›

Top easy scholarships in 2023
  • $10,000 “No Essay” Scholarship.
  • $2,000 Nitro College Scholarship – No Essay.
  • $40,000 BigFuture Scholarships.
  • $25,000 No Essay Scholarship.
  • March Madness Scholarship.
  • Sharpen No Essay Scholarship.
  • $5,000 Christian Connector Scholarship.
  • $2,000 CampusReel Virtual Tour Scholarship.
5 days ago

How can I increase my chances of getting scholarships? ›

  1. Raise Your GPA for More Scholarships. Many scholarships have requirements surrounding GPA levels. ...
  2. Raise Your ACT / SAT Score. ...
  3. Raise Your Class Rank. ...
  4. File the FAFSA. ...
  5. Participate in Community Service. ...
  6. Brush Up on Your Essay Skills.
Dec 22, 2022

What are 3 ways that you can find scholarships? ›

How do I find scholarships?
  • the financial aid office at a college or career school.
  • a high school or TRIO counselor.
  • the U.S. Department of Labor's FREE scholarship search tool.
  • federal agencies.
  • your state grant agency.
  • your library's reference section.

How many poor people get scholarships? ›

Related: The financial aid policy that shuts out millions

Thirteen percent of Americans with the highest incomes get private scholarships, compared with 9 percent of those with the lowest incomes.

Do most scholarships go unclaimed? ›

Similarly, the National Scholarship Providers Association reported that an estimated $100 million in scholarships go unused each year as well because of a lack of applicants, according to Forbes.

What to do if you don't have any scholarships? ›

No scholarship? Here's how to pay for college
  1. Grants. Colleges, states, and the federal government give out grants, which don't need to be repaid. ...
  2. Ask the college for more money. ...
  3. Work-study jobs. ...
  4. Apply for private scholarships. ...
  5. Take out loans. ...
  6. Claim a $2,500 tax credit. ...
  7. Live off campus or enroll in community college.
May 5, 2017

What should you not say in a scholarship interview? ›

This can be a difficult question to answer, especially because all of the other candidates are likely similarly qualified. Steer clear of talking about your GPA or extra-curriculars. Instead, focus on your work ethic, and how you are the ideal candidate for this specific scholarship.

What are 10 most common interview questions and answers? ›

50+ most common job interview questions
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Walk me through your resume.
  • How did you hear about this position?
  • Why do you want to work at this company?
  • Why do you want this job?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What can you bring to the company?
  • What are your greatest strengths?
Jan 4, 2023

What should I wear for a scholarship? ›

Dress the Part

Also, if you want the scholarship, dress as you would for a professional interview. Do not wear jeans or anything in poor condition. Stick to business casual clothing such as dresses, slacks, collared shirts and skirts.

How do you impress scholarship judges? ›

There are six ways to ensure your application impresses the scholarship committee judging your entry and how to win college scholarships:
  1. First Impression is KEY.
  2. Follow Directions.
  3. Essay Scholarships Must Address the Essay Topic.
  4. Showcase your uniqueness.
  5. Judges really like these qualities in applicants.

What do scholarships want to hear? ›

What makes a scholarship application stand out most to judges is personality – or a unique voice. They want to hear about what makes your school experience special or what can separate you from other applicants. Do you have a funny story to tell? Has an experience in your life changed you?

What makes you stand out for scholarships? ›

Emphasize What Makes You Unique

Many scholarships are based on an applicant's individuality. Putting your unique interests and perspectives on the page will go a long way toward creating a memorable essay. Share the experiences and activities that make YOU unique.

How do I write a convincing letter for a scholarship? ›

Explain why you're a good match for the scholarship

The scholarship application cover letter is an opportunity to outline your main strengths from an educational and professional perspective, your plans for future career growth, why you would be suitable for this scholarship, and how you would benefit if selected.

What are examples of good motivation letters for scholarships? ›

Dear Scholarship Committee, I am writing to express my genuine interest in the [Name of Scholarship] and to apply for this esteemed opportunity. As a [Your Major/Field of Study], I constantly seek ways to further my education and advance my career goals.

What is a good hook for a scholarship essay? ›

You can use two types of quotes here: literary citations and inspirational quotes from famous people or influencers in the field. A literary quote would be a perfect hook for your application essay, while quoting influencers helps to support an argument you represent in your paper.

How long should a scholarship essay be? ›

In most cases for length guidelines, scholarship essays are kept to 500 words or less. It makes it easier for committees to review hundreds (sometimes thousands!) of submissions. It also ensures that students are staying on topic.

How long do scholarship interviews last? ›

Interviews can last anywhere from 15 mins to an hour, depending on the scholarship. Most, however, will last 15-20 minutes. These interviews are typically held by a small group of people, like a selection committee. You will often find the interviewer(s) to be pleasant and focused on you at your interview!

What do scholarship essays look for? ›

A typical scholarship essay topic will likely ask students about their career goals and their plan to achieve those goals, Matthews says. Other essay prompts might ask students what they've done to make their community a better place or to describe a personal achievement and how they overcame challenges to reach it.

How do you sell yourself in a scholarship essay? ›

What they want to know about you
  1. Your current degree, as it applies to your overall career goals. ...
  2. Your short-term and long-term professional goals. ...
  3. Past experiences that sparked your passions. ...
  4. Something about you that relates to their organization. ...
  5. Something unique that sets you apart from other applicants.
Sep 28, 2022

What is considered a short essay for a scholarship? ›

First, consider the basic format of your essay: You will be asked to type your essay as part of your scholarship application. indicated. Your essay should be around 500 words or less.

What is the lowest GPA to get a scholarship? ›

Minimum requirements range from around 2.0 on the lower end to 3.75 or higher for competitive academic scholarships. Generally speaking, a 3.0 GPA or higher will give you a decent shot at qualifying for a variety of scholarships.

What GPA do you need for most scholarships? ›

Although a strong GPA helps increase your chances of getting a full-ride scholarship, you don't need a perfect 4.0 to be qualified. In fact, GPA requirements are most commonly set at a 3.0 average, with what's considered to be a "good GPA" typically being a score between 3.5 and 3.8.

How do you get a full scholarship with a low GPA? ›

  1. Choose Scholarships Wisely. The first thing that you should be doing is only applying to relevant scholarships. ...
  2. Get Solid Recommendation Letters. Having good recommendation letters is so important. ...
  3. Enter Sweepstakes Scholarships. Sweepstakes scholarships are lotteries that you can enter to win money. ...
  4. Work for It.
Sep 5, 2019

What is the best time to apply for scholarships? ›

Common Scholarship Deadlines

Most scholarship application deadlines will occur during the regular academic year, typically September through May. While this does give you some time to apply for scholarships, it still is a good idea to start searching for scholarships early.

What happens if you win too many scholarships? ›

What happens to leftover scholarship money. If you earned scholarships and grants that add up to more than your total cost of attendance, your school may send you a refund of the leftover scholarship money. Keep in mind, you may have to pay taxes on that amount.

What is the most difficult part of finding scholarships? ›

The most difficult part is making sure your child finds the time to search for relevant awards, complete the applications, draft essays, ask for letters of recommendation, and send them all out before the deadline passes. Here are four tips to help you and your child navigate the application process.

How can I get 1000 dollars in scholarships? ›

13 Best Tips for Winning College Scholarships
  1. Apply for local scholarships. ...
  2. Apply for scholarships with smaller awards. ...
  3. More work = fewer applicants = better chances. ...
  4. Get personal. ...
  5. Don't introduce yourself in your essay. ...
  6. Don't repeat the essay prompt. ...
  7. Don't use quotes. ...
  8. Satisfy all the requirements.
Mar 28, 2016

How do you get chosen for scholarships? ›

Here are four ways to find scholarship opportunities:
  1. Look at your hobbies in a new way. You may not think of your hobbies and interests as a way to help pay for school, but you should. ...
  2. Register for Scholarship Search. ...
  3. Meet with your school counselor and others. ...
  4. Apply for scholarships for minority students.

Can bad students get scholarships? ›

​Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to be a straight-A student to win a college scholarship. While the number of financial awards you're eligible for certainly expands if you have a 4.0 GPA, there's no hard and fast rule that limits scholarships to valedictorians.

How rare is a full scholarship? ›

Full-ride scholarships are awarded to only about 0.1% of students (Wignall, 2021). Nearly just as rare are full-tuition scholarships, which are awarded to only 1.5% of students (ThinkImpact, 2021). A regular high school student may have the qualifications for as many as 50 to 100 scholarships (Dickler, 2021).

Can I pay someone to find scholarships? ›

While families of prospective college students can pay for scholarship advice, some resources are free.

How many scholarships can you apply for to get free money? ›

There is no limit to the number of scholarships you can apply for, and you actually should apply to many. Scholarship awards can vary greatly, so you might apply for a few scholarships with huge awards, and you might also apply for some that are only worth a few hundred dollars.

What are two things you should never do when applying for a scholarship? ›

  1. What Not To Do When Applying for. Scholarships. ...
  2. Don't Go Over The Word Count. ...
  3. Don't Forget About Grammar and Spelling. ...
  4. Don't Write An Insincere Essay. ...
  5. Don't Just List Your Accomplishments. ...
  6. Don't Try To Force Another Essay to Fit. ...
  7. Don't Be Too Negative. ...
  8. Don't Wait Until The Last Minute.

How do I find hidden scholarships? ›

Consumer Reports Magazine, and other sources, list the following sites worth checking:
  2. Scholarship
  4. (affiliated with FastWeb)
  5. Scholarships. com.
  6. The US Department of Labor's Career OneStop site.
Nov 19, 2019

Why should I be awarded this scholarship essay example? ›

I believe I deserve to be selected for one of your program's scholarships because I am a hard-working student and I will commit myself to effectively take advantage of the opportunity that the scholarships will provide me. Besides this, I constantly try to improve my community by doing volunteer work.

What goal would the scholarship help you achieve? ›

This scholarship will help by lowering the costs of college and the amount of hours I'll need to work throughout my studies. This way, I'll be able to continue with my academic achievements. It will also give me time to find an internship.

How do I write a motivation letter for a scholarship? ›

How to write a Motivation Letter for Scholarship Application (With Sample)
  1. Start by understanding the scholarship program. ...
  2. Brainstorm before writing. ...
  3. Use a professional and formal tone. ...
  4. Keep it concise and to the point. ...
  5. Use concrete examples to illustrate your points. ...
  6. Title and Header. ...
  7. Introduction. ...
  8. Explain Who are you?
Dec 28, 2022

How do you answer the question how will this scholarship help you? ›

Your response to this question should lay out a plan for your future. Explain what or who inspired you to pursue a particular field and why. Include how this scholarship will help you on your career path and what you would like to do once you have completed college or the program.

How do you start a scholarship essay about yourself? ›

When introducing yourself in a scholarship essay, start by introducing yourself and your educational status. Then, discuss how the scholarship will help your educational pursuits and how your education can help your career.

How would you describe yourself to scholarship donors? ›

Mention hobbies, experiences and goals that match what the review committee is looking for. Something unique that sets you apart from other applicants. This may be volunteer experience, career specialties, situational differences (growing up in an area that didn't encourage education), etc.

How can a scholarship impact your life? ›

Scholarships could help decrease the number of student loans needed. Scholarships directly reduce how much a student needs to pay for their education out of pocket. They also reduce how much time they have to work. This may give them more time to study.

How do you end a scholarship essay? ›

Your Conclusion:

This should make the essay feel finished. Wrap it up with just a couple of sentences. You can show how your education has made a difference so far, thank the committee for considering your application. Avoid anything too lofty or idealistic like "with this scholarship, I can change the world."

How do I make my scholarship application stand out? ›

10 Ways to Stand Out When Applying for Scholarships
  1. Stay Organized. ...
  2. Request Letters of Recommendation in Advance. ...
  3. Pay Attention to Details and Requirements. ...
  4. Don't Copy and Paste Past Essays. ...
  5. Know Your Audience. ...
  6. Emphasize What Makes You Unique. ...
  7. Be Personal and Passionate. ...
  8. Present Yourself Professionally.

How do you write a strong scholarship application? ›

Think about what you believe your best characteristics and accomplishments are and if possible include them in your application. Respond directly to application criteria – i.e. if one of the criteria for application is leadership potential then mention your leadership skills and give an example when you have used them.

Why should you be selected for this scholarship? ›

Explain how the scholarship money would contribute to your long-term goals. You're asking the scholarship committee to invest in your future. They want to ensure their investment goes to a worthy cause. Explain how your education will play a role in your career and overall goals after graduation.


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