As college costs continue to rise, scholarships have become increasingly important for community college students. Community college scholarships can help offset the cost of books and other expenses associated with attending college. In addition, scholarships can provide community college transfer students with the financial assistance they need to pursue their educational goals.

Many community college scholarships have a different application process and require the scholarship application to be reviewed closely to ensure you are eligible to receive the award in the first place. Full and partial scholarships are available for individuals representing various communities, cultures, and customs.

Community Colleges

Community colleges are unique in providing an affordable pathway to a four-year degree. Students can attend a community college for two years and then transfer to a four-year institution, all while paying next to nothing for their education. According to federal statistics, 7.7 million students were enrolled in public two-year colleges during the 2019–20 academic year, approximately 35% of undergraduate students.

In 2020, about 4.8 million students were enrolled in public two-year colleges, 29% of undergraduate students. 1.6 million were full-time pupils, and 3.1 million were considered part-time students. Community college scholarships are typically offered by philanthropic organizations and private foundations. The financial award amount will differ depending on the community college scholarship group that is offering the community college scholarship program.

Community colleges also offer associate degrees, which can benefit students who want to start their careers immediately.

Additionally, many community colleges provide Dual Enrollment programs, which allow high school students to receive credit for college while still enrolled.

Dual Enrollment & Community College Scholarship Opportunities

For graduating high school seniors, the benefit of graduating with college credit means that when the student decides to enroll in community college, the student may have already completed an entire academic year worth of college courses and credits and are a step closer to completing an associate degree program.

Completing college courses while still enrolled in high school is pivotal for any graduating high school senior who plans to enroll at a local community college in the fall.

Related: Dual Enrollment and Receiving College Credits

Dual enrollment programs are becoming increasingly popular amongst high schoolers because they are convenient (the classes are traditionally on the high school campus) and implore students to remain engaged during their senior year.

Most of all, the program allows students to get a head start on their post-secondary education and save money on tuition, all while preparing for four-year college and developing and developing professional skills.

Types of Community College Scholarships

There are several scholarship opportunities available to community college students. Most scholarships are awarded based on the need or merit of the student. However, not all scholarships for community college students cover the entirety of your education expenses.

Most organizations implore a full and partial scholarship(s model that focuses on granting scholarship opportunities tailored to meet the needs of the schools and full-time students.

Nonetheless, students pay nothing to receive the scholarship, and it serves as an avenue for ‘free money for students forced to pay for school and eager to enroll in the upcoming Fall semester.

Need-Based Community College Scholarships

Need-based scholarships are typically awarded to students who demonstrate financial need. Low-income students represent the primary focus of these types of scholarships, as the program requires students to establish a strong financial need to qualify for the scholarship award.

Merit-Based Community College Scholarships

On the other hand, merit-based scholarships are typically awarded to students who have achieved educational excellence. It is essential to understand the difference between need-based and merit-based scholarships because specific scholarships (such as private scholarships) require applicants to meet specific criteria or eligibility requirements in order to qualify to receive the award.

Community college students can search for scholarships online, through their school’s financial aid office, or through private scholarship organizations. Additionally, community college students can ask family and friends for recommendations.

How to Find Community College Scholarships

As a community college student, you might feel like scholarships are out of your reach. But with a bit of digging, you can find plenty of scholarship opportunities for funding your education. One way is to search for scholarships specifically for community college students.

Leveraging the Power of the Internet

Google is an excellent resource for this, and keywords like “community college scholarships” or “scholarships for community college students” can help you find a list of potential scholarships to apply for.

Another way to find scholarships is to speak with your school’s counselor or visit the college’s financial aid office. Most community colleges have a scholarship office or college foundation to support students with a list of scholarships they are eligible for.

Federal MoneyDepiction of Money for Community College Scholarships

It is no secret that college has become increasingly expensive in recent years, forcing many students to take out loans or forgo their education altogether.

While federal aid programs and Pell grants have helped to make college more affordable for some high school graduates, community college students have largely been overlooked.

As a result, many community college students cannot transfer to a four-year school due to the cost. Scholarships can help fill this gap by providing financial support to community college students considering transferring.

By investing in scholarships for community college students, we can help to ensure that higher education is accessible to everyone, regardless of their financial situation.

Other notable scholarship types include those that evaluate the character and personality of the applicant and support students who demonstrate an interest in community service.

These scholarships award the student based on the prospects of successfully transferring to a four-year college.

Current Scholarship for Community Colleges

Guistwhite Scholarship

Did you know that there are scholarships specifically for community college students? The Guistwhite Scholarship is one such scholarship that recognizes Phi Theta Kappa members for engagement and participation in Phi Theta Kappa chapter activities and societal programs while also exhibiting leadership accomplishments and outstanding academic achievement during the pursuit of a bachelor’s degree.

Hispanic Scholarship Fund

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) provides scholarships and support services to empower students and parents to complete higher education. HSF strives to make college education a top priority for every family across the nation and seeks to give its Scholars all the tools they need to do well in their course work, graduate, enter, and excel in a profession.

HSF has awarded over $675 million in scholarships and provides a broad range of programs and support services for students, parents, HSF Scholars, and HSF Alumni.

Hites Transfer Scholarship

The Hites Transfer Scholarship is a program that recognizes the academic achievement and rigor of Phi Theta Kappa members preparing to transfer to senior institutions to pursue a bachelor’s degree. The scholarships are funded by a scholarship endowment established in 2010 due to a matching grant from the Hites Family Community College Scholarship Foundation.

Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation offers 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. The award is intended to cover a significant share of the student’s educational expenses – including tuition, living expenses, books, and required fees – for the final two to three years necessary to achieve a bachelor’s degree. Awards vary by individual, based on tuition costs and other grants or financial aid the student receives.

Tau Sigma Honor Society Scholarships

The Tau Sigma National Honor Society is an academic honor society that aims to promote academic excellence and involvement with transfer students. The organization provided over 67 scholarships totaling nearly $100,000 in 2020-2021 alone. The Tau Sigma Honor Society Scholarship is highly competitive because members must achieve a 3.5-4.0 GPA to be eligible for membership.

Community College Scholarship Questions (FAQs)

What Tips Do You Have for Applying for Community College Scholarships?

One of the best tips for applying for community college scholarships is to start the process early. Begin researching scholarship opportunities as soon as possible and create a timeline that outlines when applications are due and how much time it will take you to prepare strong essays and other materials.

Additionally, make sure to read through the requirements for each scholarship carefully so that you can tailor your application materials in order to meet their specific criteria.

It can also be helpful to prioritize scholarships based on the likelihood of receiving them. Consider applying for smaller, local or departmental scholarships first since they often have fewer applicants and are easier to qualify for. Some larger scholarships may require more effort, but in many cases, they’re worth pursuing if you have a better chance of winning.

When writing your personal statement or essay, be sure to explain why you deserve the award in detail. Describe any special skills or talents that could set you apart from other applicants as well as any goals or experiences that demonstrate your commitment to your field.

Additionally, include concrete examples that tie into the theme of your essay and show how each one has contributed positively towards your educational pursuits.

Finally, proofread your essays and ask someone else to look over them before submitting them with your application form. It’s also important to keep copies of all supporting documents such as transcripts and letters of recommendation so that you can quickly reference them if necessary during the review process.

Applying for community college scholarships requires careful planning and diligent application preparation but taking these steps could open up many rewarding opportunities in the future!

Where Can I Find Local Community College Scholarships?

One great way to find local community college scholarships is by doing an online search. There are websites dedicated to listing available scholarships and grants for those pursuing a degree at a community college.

Additionally, many local businesses, organizations, and alumni groups offer scholarships that specifically cater to students attending a nearby community college.

Additionally, it’s important to check with the specific community college you are planning on attending as they may have their own unique scholarship opportunities available.

Furthermore, many states have special grants or programs that can help cover tuition costs. For example, some states will provide assistance with tuition costs if you meet certain criteria such as having low income or taking certain classes.

Lastly, be sure to ask your high school guidance counselor or financial aid office if they know of any local community college scholarships in your area. Doing so can help you secure much-needed funds for your education!

Is Community College Free for US Citizens?

The answer to the question of whether or not community college is free for US citizens is a bit complicated. Generally speaking, no, community college is typically not free for US citizens.

However, there are some exceptions depending on your circumstances. For example, some states offer free tuition at certain public universities and community colleges to students who meet certain eligibility criteria.

Additionally, many private colleges and universities have scholarships and grants available to help cover tuition costs. There are also federal student aid programs such as Pell Grants that may provide additional funds to cover educational costs.

In addition, service members and veterans may be eligible for educational benefits through their branch of the military or Veterans Affairs that can help cover the cost of tuition as well as other education-related expenses such as housing and textbooks. Service members, veterans, and their family members may also be eligible for special discounted tuition rates at participating colleges and universities.

Moreover, if you are currently employed full-time you may be able to take advantage of degree discounts offered by many employers which could significantly reduce the cost of your tuition if you decide to pursue an education from a local college or university. Additionally, if you work in certain industries (such as healthcare) you may be able to receive financial assistance from professional organizations in order to help pay for your schooling.

All in all, while community college is typically not free for US citizens it doesn’t mean that pursuing an education has to be unaffordable either! There are a number of options available that can help make your educational dreams a reality!

What Are The Easiest College Scholarships to Get?

The easiest college scholarships to get are those based on academics and merit, such as those that are awarded to students with high GPAs, SAT/ACT scores, or specific course grades.

These types of scholarships often require very little in terms of additional information beyond the student’s academic record, meaning they can be relatively easy to apply for and receive.

Additionally, there are several scholarships that are need-based or determined by essays or other creative submissions. These scholarships may also be easier to obtain because the application process is often less competitive than those that require higher academic achievement.

Finally, there are numerous scholarships available from employers, organizations, and even small businesses that may have lower eligibility requirements than larger entities.

It’s important to research these opportunities thoroughly and reach out directly if a scholarship appears to fit all of one’s qualifications in order to maximize their chances of receiving an award.


Community college scholarships can be a great way to reduce the cost of attending community college. However, the process of applying for scholarships can be long and tedious.

If you persevere and follow the tips in this article, the outcome will be worth your investment. Contact our team today to learn about the transfer process and the available scholarships you are eligible for.