If you volunteer in your community, you could be eligible for significant scholarship money for college. Many foundations are looking for student leaders with a record of service.
The 13 community service scholarships below are just a few of the opportunities for public-spirited students. Check out the list to see if any of these grants could help you pay for college.
1. Do Something Awards
If you’re between 13 and 25, you can win significant scholarship money from DoSomething.org. All you have to do is take part in one of Do Something’s campaigns. You might organize a drive for sports gear for the “Game-Winning Drive” or donate clothing to homeless youth as part of “Teens for Jeans.”
Most campaigns award $1,000 to each winner. If you completed all the campaigns, you could win up to $32,000 to pay tuition or school fees.
Plus, Do Something gives $10,000 to five finalists each year to continue their initiatives. The grand prize winner earns a $100,000 community service scholarship to expand their project.
2. AXA Achievement Award
The AXA Foundation awards over $1.4 million in community service scholarships to students throughout the country. AXA winners demonstrate outstanding achievement in their communities. Students can win scholarships in the amount of $2,500, $10,000, or $25,000.
3. Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes
The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes goes to young leaders between eight and 18 who have made an impact in their communities. Past winners have raised money to protect orangutans, developed a cooling system to transport vaccines, and developed a project to educate people about climate change. Each year, 15 winners receive community service scholarships of $5,000.
4. Montage Memory Makers Scholarship
The Montage Memory Makers Scholarship supports students who are trying to make the world a better place. Winners are selected based on their community service or volunteering efforts and the impact they have made in their communities. Each year, five students win a $10,000 scholarship. Plus, they get a two-night stay at a Montage Hotels and Resorts location and a feature in Montage Magazine.
5. Spirit of Community Awards from Prudential
Since 1995, the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Program has recognized more than 120,000 students for their community service. State honorees receive a $1,000 scholarship and an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. National honorees receive $5,000, along with another $5,000 grant to donate to the charity of their choice.
The Spirit of Community Award is one of the rare community service scholarships available to international students. Prudential honors young volunteers in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Ireland, India, China, Brazil, and Poland, as well as the U.S.
6. Bonner Scholars Program
The Bonner Scholars Program is an immersive four-year program that provides funding to students with financial need. Beyond scholarship money, you’ll gain access to trainings on leadership and social justice. To remain in this supportive community, Bonner Scholars are expected to commit 10 hours per week to community service each year, along with 280 hours during the summer.
7. Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship
Since 2000, Comcast has awarded over $28 million in community service scholarships to about 27,000 students. Winners earn $1,000 to put toward college, plus a select few might win additional scholarships. When choosing its “leaders and achievers,” Comcast looks for “a strong commitment to and involvement in community service.”
8. Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship
The Jesse Brown Program honors students who have volunteered for 100 hours or more with veterans. Scholarships are awarded in the amount of $5,000, $7,500, $10,000, and $15,000 every year. One applicant also receives the top scholarship of $20,000, along with an all-expense paid trip to the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) National Convention.
9. Princeton Prize in Race Relations
The Princeton Prize in Race Relations recognizes students who had made a positive impact on race relations in their schools or communities. To be eligible for this $1,000 scholarship, you must live in a qualifying region and apply with a sponsor. In addition to the cash prize, recipients can attend a national symposium on race at Princeton University.
10. GE-Reagan Foundation Scholarship
The GE-Reagan Foundation honors students with college scholarships for volunteering and community service. It looks for students who demonstrate leadership, integrity, and citizenship. Winners receive $10,000 each year for four years, which they can put toward tuition, fees, books, supplies, or room and board.
11. Young Women in Public Affairs Award
The Zonta International Foundation has awarded 846 scholarships for volunteering to 724 women since its foundation in 1990. Young women across the world are eligible for these scholarships as long as they live in a district with an active Zonta club. Awards come in the amount of $1,000 or $4,000. Young Women in Public Affairs Awards go to young women with a record of leadership achievements.
12. Brower Youth awards
If you’re committed to protecting the environment, you could win a Brower Youth Award. These scholarships go to “youth environmental change leaders” between the ages of 13 and 22. Winners receive a $3,000 prize, along with a professionally produced short film about their work. Winners will also spend a week camping with mentors and peers in the San Francisco Bay Area.
13. Davis-Putter Scholarship
The Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund awards students who are actively working toward social justice. Winners are chosen for their social activism and demonstrated financial need. Davis-Putter Scholarships vary in amount, but the maximum award is $10,000.
Browse community service scholarships on the local and national level
This list of community service scholarships is a good start, but you can find even more grants on both the local and national level. Browse scholarship search engines for additional opportunities, and ask your school counselor or Rotary Club about local options.
If you’re willing to volunteer for a year or two in a federal program, you could also qualify for government-sponsored grants. Americorps, for instance, gives an education award of $5,920 to Corps members who serve full-time for a year.
Not only will your commitment to community service make the world a better place, but it could help you pay for college.
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