Here are a few scholarships for California residents to help offset the cost of college tuition.
The State of California, or the "Golden State", is not all about Hollywood and Silicon Valley. California is a state where some of the best colleges and universities in the United States are found. There are many top nationally ranked colleges and universities located in the State of California. California is definitely a great place to stay and study with its nice and exciting cities, warm and sunny weather, famous beaches, and the American city that is at the forefront of the entertainment and technology industry. Aside from having many great schools, California also has more than 150,000 international students, giving you a very diverse school community.
However, while it is nice to study in the State of California, because of the high average cost of tuition or college education here, it is important to go after any financial aid or scholarships in California that you can get.
Top 5 Schools (College or University) in the State of California
The State of California has a total of around 750 colleges and universities and 5 of these are among the top ranked nationally.
Stanford University is ranked #6 among National Universities in the U.S. News 2022 Best Colleges rankings. Stanford University was founded in 1885 by California senator Leland Stanford and his wife, Jane and is located 35 miles south of San Francisco and 20 miles north of San Jose. Stanford University can be considered to be located in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley.
According to its website, "Stanford University today comprises seven schools and 18 interdisciplinary institutes with more than 16,000 students, 2,100 faculty and 1,800 postdoctoral scholars. Stanford is an international institution, enrolling students from all 50 U.S. states and 91 other countries. It is also an athletics powerhouse, with 900 current student-athletes and a history of 128 national titles and 22 consecutive Learfield Sports Directors’ Cups, awarded to the top intercollegiate athletics program in the nation."
Based on U.S. News Academics Details for Stanford, the "student-faculty ratio at Stanford University is 5:1, and the school has 68.6% of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Stanford University include: Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services; Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies; and Engineering. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 96%."
The California Institute of Technology, or Caltech, is ranked #9 among National Universities in the U.S. News 2022 Best Colleges rankings. Located in Pasadena, California, Caltech is a private institution that was founded in 1891.
Caltech produces a significant amount of research, receiving grants from institutions such as NASA, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Health and Human Services, among others. Close to 90% of undergraduate students participate in research while earning their degree. The Institute manages the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for NASA, and owns and operates large-scale research facilities such the Seismological Laboratory - one of the world's foremost centers for geophysical research - and a global network of astronomical observatories that includes the Palomar Observatory and the W. M. Keck Observatory.
Based on U.S. News Academics Details for Caltech, the "student-faculty ratio at California Institute of Technology is 3:1, and the school has 66.7% of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at California Institute of Technology include: Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services; Engineering; Physical Sciences; Mathematics and Statistics; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; and Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 97%."
The University of California - Berkeley is ranked #22 among National Universities in the U.S. News 2022 Best Colleges rankings. With its campus overlooking San Francisco Bay, The University of California - Berkeley is a public institution that was founded in 1868.
University of California - Berkeley is a large, primarily residential Tier One research university with a majority of its enrollment in undergraduate programs but also offering a comprehensive doctoral program. The four-year, full-time undergraduate program offers 107 bachelor's degrees. The most popular majors are Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Political Science, Molecular and Cell Biology, Environmental Science, and Economics.
Based on U.S. News Academics Details for University of California - Berkeley, the "student-faculty ratio at University of California--Berkeley is 19:1, and the school has 54.7% of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at University of California--Berkeley include: Social Sciences; Computer and Information Sciences and Support Services; Biological and Biomedical Sciences; Engineering; Mathematics and Statistics; Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies; Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services; Physical Sciences; and English Language and Literature/Letters. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 97%."
The University of California - San Diego is ranked #34 among National Universities in the U.S. News 2022 Best Colleges rankings. The University of California - San Diego is a public institution that was established in 1960. The University of California—San Diego lies alongside the Pacific Ocean in the La Jolla community of San Diego. It is recognized as one of the top 20 research universities in the world.
The university offers 125 bachelor's degree programs organized into five disciplinary divisions: arts and humanities, biological sciences, engineering, mathematics and physical sciences, and social sciences. Its School of Medicine and Jacobs School of Engineering are highly ranked.
Based on U.S. News Academics Details for University of California - San Diego, the "student-faculty ratio at University of California--San Diego is 19:1, and the school has 46% of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at University of California--San Diego include: Biology/Biological Sciences, General; Computer Science; International/Globalization Studies; Econometrics and Quantitative Economics; Biochemistry; Mathematics and Computer Science; Communication, General; Neurobiology and Anatomy; Electrical and Electronics Engineering; and Mechanical Engineering. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 94%."
The University of California - Davis is ranked #38 among National Universities in the U.S. News 2022 Best Colleges rankings. Located 15 miles from Sacramento, The University of California - Davis is a public institution that was founded in 1905.
The university offers 102 undergraduate majors in four colleges, which are Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; Biological Sciences; Engineering; and Letters and Science. The campus claims to be noted for its top-rated Agricultural and Resource Economics programs and the large Department of Animal Science.
Based on U.S. News Academics Details for University of California - Davis, the "student-faculty ratio at University of California--Davis is 20:1, and the school has 32.4% of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at University of California--Davis include: Information not available. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 93%."
Studying College in California - Costs and Student Loans
Let us now look at some cost and student loan data with regards to going to college in the State of California. The average undergraduate tuition & fees of California public colleges is $3,047 for California residents and $12,721 for students from other States for the academic year 2021-2022. (California State 2022 Average Tuition Costs) per year, which are below the average public college costs in the United States ($6,182 for in-state and $13,213 for out-of-state). However, for private colleges, the average costs for tuition and fees is $26,658, which is above the average private college costs in the United States ($24,780). These costs of attending colleges and universities for school students may cause a significant financial burden and result in student debts and loans.
It is a good thing to know though that in California, the average student loan debt in 2021 is lower at $36,937 versus the average state student loan debt of $39,351, based on these U.S. Student Loan Debt Statistics. However, the ideal situation for any college student, especially those attending a full-time four-year degree program which can cause costs to accumulate, is to have as little debt as possible when they graduate.
Undergraduate Scholarships in California
Like we mentioned, it is ideal to avoid incurring as much student loans and debt as possible. The first form of financial aid you can look at are grants, and you can get a lot of information on student financial aid in California, including grants, at the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) website. You can see some California, or Cal Grants, here.
However, more than grants, which are need-based, students should go for any scholarship program they are eligible to apply to. Any college scholarship can be applied to as long as the student is eligible; meaning if one wins many scholarships they can be accumulated. This means that any student can leverage financial aid such as grants and scholarships - getting as many grants and scholarships so that they end up needing to pay as little as possible for college tuition and other college costs of attendance. Some scholarships even pay for the entire cost of attendance for college!
Here are 10 top California Scholarships which we found for you. We recommend you apply to as many of these that you are eligible for. Don't let college costs become a barrier to student success.
Eligibility: Applicants must be a legal resident of Santa Clara County and legal resident of the United States and currently enrolled in a college or university program leading to a degree in architecture.
Description: The Ehrlich Rominger Scholarship Fund was established by Mr. Joseph Ehrlich and Mr. Jack Rominger to assist with the education of future architectural professionals.
Eligibility: Applicants must be California residents who are graduating high school seniors.
Description: The Don and Roy Splawn Charitable Foundation West Scholarship Grant Program is open to financially disadvantaged students who wish to further their pursuit of post secondary education; whether it be of an academic or vocational nature.
Eligibility: Applicants must meet all of the following criteria: Be a current high school senior residing in Orange County, California or Salt Lake County, Utah or Puerto Rico or be a child (or in the guardianship) of an Edwards Lifesciences employee; Plan to enroll in full-time undergraduate study at an accredited two- or four-year college or university for the entire upcoming academic year pursuing a bachelor’s degree in a STEM field; Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident; Demonstrate financial need; and Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent) for scholarship renewal
Description: Edwards Lifesciences is offering the Foundation Scholarship Program to high school seniors from Orange County, California, Salt Lake County, Utah, or Puerto Rico who are pursuing bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields.
Eligibility: Eligible applicants preferably have completed high school and are below the age of 30, and they must have a 2.0 GPA. It is also preferred that the recipients have been residents of Ventura County at one time.
Description: The Boys & Girls Club of Ventura has had the honor of being chosen by the late Emma Nylen to be the distributor of the funds in the Emma Nylen Charitable Trust. The scholarship can be used towards vocational education, community college, or undergraduate programs.
Eligibility: This scholarship is available to any incoming college student from Los Angeles or Orange County, regardless of degree path, who meets the following criteria:
-Graduating from a Los Angeles or Orange County high school or transferring from a Los Angeles or Orange County community college -Anticipated enrollment at a four-year university for the Fall 2022 semester -Demonstrates outstanding moral character, grit and perseverance
Description: The Alexx Flores Opportunity Scholarship is a tribute to Alexx’s love of learning and optimistic curiosity. While Alexx did not attend university, he was dedicated to advancing himself personally and in his career. Alexx overcame substantial challenges in his life, and this scholarship is meant to aid those who have done the same. We don’t care much about GPA or standardized test scores. What we are looking for is someone who demonstrates the following values: grit, determination, perseverance, honesty and humility.
Eligibility: The applicant must be a high school senior graduating entering a 2- or 4-year college. The applicant must be a citizen of the United States and resident of CA, DE, MD, VA, IL, NJ, NY, TX, FL, PA or NC. The applicant must have completed high school in his/her respective state and must have been heavily involved in community service throughout high school.
Description: The Zakat Foundation of America values community service and students who have a volunteering spirit. This scholarship opportunity is to directly reward community service and support in high school, as engaging in it provides students with the opportunity to become active participants in their communities. The humanitarian nonprofit organization plans to distribute scholarships to volunteers in different regions throughout the United States where it has a strong presence.
Eligibility: The need-based scholarship targets students matriculating into a four-year college or university. Must demonstrate financial need, and be a US citizen. A minimum GPA may also be required.
Description: The AEG Oakland Foundation develops strategic relationships that positively impact families and engage young people in meaningful activities which build character, promote greatness, and reinforce the importance of giving back. The AEG Oakland Community Foundation Scholarship provides high school seniors in Alameda County with up to $10,000 in tuition and books and can be renewed annually up to 4 years as long as the GPA requirements are met.
Eligibility: The California Association of Collectors Educational Scholarship Foundation (CACESF) scholarship contest is open to current high school juniors and seniors who are enrolled in a California high school and will be attending any accredited public or private college, university, or trade school within 12 months of graduation.
Description: The California Association of Collectors Educational Scholarship Foundation (CACESF) was created by the California Association of Collectors (CAC) in the year 2005 to sponsor California high school seniors and juniors for their higher education at an accredited college, university or trade school.
Eligibility: The applicant must be enrolled in and attending the 12th grade or is currently enrolled in a post-secondary institution, has a minimum 130 hours of community service activities during academic career (K-12) by deadline.
Description: Established in 2011 to honor Bill and Peggy Berry’s long history of volunteer work within the community of Carmichael, The Berry Quality of Life Youth Leadership Scholarship identifies, rewards, and promotes outstanding community service efforts and demonstrations of leadership by a high school student. The Berry’s level of commitment is a continuing inspiration to the community of Carmichael. One $500 scholarship is available to a student who is attending a public or independent school located in Carmichael, CA, or resides within the Carmichael Water District (District) Service Area, or whose volunteering has contributed to a significant positive impact to the community within the District service area.
Eligibility: Applicants must be attending high school in San Diego or Imperial County and have a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Description: The AEP Diversity in the Environmental Profession Scholarship is open to high school juniors and seniors interesting in pursing an education in environmentally related topics. It will be awarded to a Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) recipient to promote and encourage BIPOC voices within the environmental profession.
Support for College Bound Students with the Application Process and Getting Scholarships
If you're a high school senior or a college-bound student, get yourself properly prepared for the college application process with our free College Prep Webinar. It covers everything from choosing a college major and choosing a college or university, what to do in any college essay and the Common App, how to file your FAFSA, and how to win scholarships, all in one video.
Christen is the founder of Hive Education. She is passionate about helping families navigate the college application and admissions processes. She helps students set goals to work towards their own debt-free degrees with her personalized scholarship searches, scholarship courses, and by sharing her scholarship strategies that won her over $900,000 in for her own college education. With four years of experience in higher education, two years working with teens in inner city high schools in New Orleans, and starting her first college consulting company during a pandemic in 2020 she strives to make college accessible for everyone, especially for first generation, low income, and minority students. In her spare time she loves to share her love for books with her daughters. You can find her on Facebook.
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Our mission is to educate, collaborate, and celebrate with college bound undergraduate families navigating the admissions process. We believe that by empowering students to take responsibility for achieving their academic goals we can emphasize the importance of being able to afford the education of their dreams while utilizing scholarships to cover much, if not all, of the cost of tuition.