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California Scholarships

California students enjoy some of the best state-specific scholarship opportunities in the country. Instead of simply relying on federal financial aid, which is rarely enough, or nationwide scholarship programs, which have very high rates of competition, look a little closer to home for the help you need to pay for your degree. There are many scholarships in California that can meet the needs of nearly any student, so there are sure to be several that are perfect for you. Here are some of the fantastic programs available to California students:

Keith R. Kittle Memorial Travel and Tourism Scholarship

These scholarships, provided by the San Francisco Bay Area Attractions Council, have the goal of providing qualified, knowledgeable workers for the travel and tourism industry. To be eligible for these $1,000 scholarships, students must be residents of Northern California who are registered to attend, or are currently attending, an accredited two- or four-year college or university in a degree program related to the travel and tourism or hospitality management fields. Students who are interested must submit an official application along with an essay detailing why the student has chosen a career in hospitality and tourism. Applications are available at www.sfbayfun.com and are due by April 29.

Dorothy and Robert DeBolt Scholarship

Adopt a Special Kid provides these scholarships in honor of the organization’s founders. Each year, the program provides at least one scholarship, valued at $2,000 to $3,000 to a youth who has been adopted after a time in foster care or as a dependent of the California juvenile court. Applicants must be California residents and must be accepted to, or enrolled in, an accredited two- or four-year college or university or a technical school. Students must be 25 or younger at the time of application and must demonstrate academic achievement, community service, and involvement in extracurricular activities. To apply, students must submit the official application and all supporting documentation by May 31. Application packets should include the application, Student Aid Report, release of information, two references, verification of foster care and adoption status, acceptance or enrollment letter, transcripts, full high school records, a recent photo, and personal information about the applicant. To download an application or to get further information, visit www.aask.org.

Almanor Scholarship Fund

This program provides between $1,800 and $2,400 each year to Chester High School graduates who maintain at least a 3.0 GPA. Awards depend upon the number of credit hours completed and maintenance of a satisfactory GPA and academic standing. To date, the program has provided scholarships to over 1,000 students. To apply and to get full program details, visit www.collinsco.com.

Anne Trabue Scholarship

These scholarships are funded by the WSCGA Foundation to support the athletic dreams and academic goals of young golfers. To be eligible, students must complete high school by September 1 of the current year, must be Southern California residents, must be enrolled full-time in an accredited undergraduate degree program in the United States, and must be female. In addition, applicants must play golf and must have at least a 3.2 GPA. Full program details and applications are available at www.wscgafoundation.org.

SFSB Fleischmann and Floro Awards

Each year, this program provides 19 Fleischmann Awards of $2,000 each and one $3,000 Spaulding Award to students in Santa Barbara County. Recipients also receive a $500 grant for their choice of nonprofit organization. The same program provides $2,500 Floro Awards to students residing in the Santa Maria School District who attend high school in Santa Barbara County. To be eligible, students must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States and have attended a Santa Barbara County school for at least four years between grades 7 and 12. Applicants must be high school graduates or GED holders who are planning to attend an approved college or university full-time as an undergraduate, medical, or graduate student. Applications are due by November 30 of each year and are available at www.sbfoundation.org.

Chi Am Circle Scholarship for Asian American High School Seniors

Chi Am Circle provides scholarships to Santa Clara County high school graduating seniors who are of Asian descent and who demonstrate school and community involvement as well as academic achievement. The program provides scholarships for financial need, merit, and excellent extracurricular involvement. Scholarship amounts start at $1,000. To be eligible, students must be residents of Santa Clara County and must have at least a 3.0 GPA. In addition, students must be citizens or legal residents of the United States. To apply, candidates must submit a completed official application along with a one page essay, two letters of reference, a copy of SAT or ACT scores, and an official high school transcript by March 30. Further information and program applications are available at www.chiamcircle.org.

Friends of the California State Fair Scholarship

This program provides a total of 27 scholarships: three at $2,500, four at $1,500, nine at $1,000, four at $750, and seven at $500. The top recipient will also receive an extra $5,000 from the Ironstone Concours Foundation. To apply, students must submit a completed scholarship application and supporting documents by March 8. For submission instructions and applications, interested students should visit www.bigfun.org.

Jewish Family and Children’s Services Scholarships

These scholarships are provided to help Jewish students fulfill their vocational and educational goals. Awards can be as much as $6,000 in scholarships or up to $1,500 in grants. Eligible students must be Jewish residents of Sonoma, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, or Santa Clara counties for at least one year before the application date. In addition, applicants must demonstrate financial need, must be in good academic standing, and must be accepted to or enrolled in an accredited institute of higher learning. Qualifying students may also apply for loans through this program. To download an application and to get further details on the scholarships, visit www.jfcs.org.

The Pinay Aspire Scholarship

These scholarships are limited to residents of the San Francisco Bay Area. Eligible applicants are young women who reside and attend school in one of the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties. In addition, applicants must be high school students of Filipino descent who will be attending college the academic year after graduation and who are experiencing personal hardship. Scholarship recipients will receive $1,000 in college funding as well as a mentor for a full academic year. Applications for these scholarships are due March 1 and can be found at www.pinayaspirations.org.

Disneyland Resort Scholarship Program

Since 2006, this program has provided Orange County high school seniors with more than $360,000 for college. Each year, 10 students receive $7,500 scholarships through this program. To be eligible, students must be graduating seniors who are residents of Orange County. In addition, applicants must be currently attending a high school in Orange County and pursuing a secondary education. Applicants must also have volunteered for at least 150 hours of community service with nonprofit organizations and must have at least a 3.0 GPA throughout high school. Applications for these scholarships are due by January 31. For further information or a program application, visit the official Disneyland scholarship website.

Emily M. Hewitt Memorial Scholarship

To be eligible for these $1,000 scholarships, students must be undergraduate or graduate students enrolled full-time at an accredited California college or university. Eligible students must be pursuing degrees in forestry, environmental protection, wildlife and fisheries biology, park management, parks and recreation, environmental art, environmental law and public policy, or California history. To apply, students must submit a completed scholarship application, a statement of career and personal goals, a resume, and transcripts of all completed college work by April 15. Full program information and applications are available at the Big Trees website.

 These and other lucrative scholarships in California can help students in the state pay for college so they can earn the degrees they need to be successful throughout life. If you are a graduating senior or a current college student in California, these programs may be the answer to your college financial dilemma.

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