There is a wide variety of trade school scholarships available to help qualified students pay for their vocational training programs and education. Regardless of whether your career ambition is to work as a chef, nurse, graphic artist, computer programmer, or any other technical profession, the odds are in your favor that you already qualify for some type of scholarship.
Types of Trade School Scholarships
As is also true of trade school grants, student loans and other forms of financial aid, trade school scholarships are available to those who qualify based on a predetermined set of criteria. While you will find a great many different scholarships offered under different names and with different prerequisites, almost all of them can be classified as falling into one of the three categories detailed below.
Because many traditional trade school careers involve apprenticeships (e.g. welders, HVAC technicians, and auto mechanics) a number of national organizations offer scholarships to vocational education students who join approved apprenticeship programs. These organizations provide the rewards as a way of replenishing the ranks of their specific professions with enthusiastic, committed new professionals.
Examples of scholarships offered from this category are the PHCC Educational Foundation Scholarship and the A. O. Smith Water Heaters Award which provide thousands of dollars in support to plumbers, as well as heating and cooling technicians. With a little bit of homework, students in any field of study can find similar types of scholarships available to them as well.
Undoubtedly the most difficult type of trade school scholarships to find, general scholarships are a category of financial assistance that is available to a group of students regardless of their specific field of study. These relatively rare awards are generally given out based on the applicant’s background (ethnicity, family income, etc.) and are often sponsored by corporations as a way of giving back to the community.
Some examples of general scholarships are the Home Depot Trade Scholarship Program and Coca Cola Two-Year Colleges Scholarship. Both of these aid packages are available to a very high percentage of students enrolled in trade school programs, as their prerequisites include simple things like letters of recommendation from prior teachers or employers and application for the current school year to an approved vocational school.
Most-often awarded to women who are studying to enter a specific career, gender-specific scholarships are similar to apprenticeship scholarships in that they are offered by national organizations with the intention of increasing representation of a specific group in their industry.
Two notable examples of these types of scholarships are the Women in Transition Scholarship and AWG Minority Scholarship, offered by the Educational Foundation for Women Accountants and Association for Women Geo-scientists, respectively. Both programs provide qualified women with several thousand dollars in annual support as long as they remain enrolled, and successfully progressing through an approved vocational training program.
Where to Look for Trade School Scholarships
Whether you are enrolled at one of the approved trade schools in California, or somewhere else in the United States, your state regulatory board for vocational education can provide you with numerous leads on any financial aid you may qualify for. It is also a great idea to check with local professionals in your field of study to find out if they can refer you to an organization that offers trade school scholarships to students like you.
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