Community service scholarships reward you for helping others. It’s a nice way of doing well by doing good.
In addition to the resources listed below, students who are involved in volunteering and community service should ask whether there are any awards available at the location where they perform their community service. It is quite common for hospitals and nursing homes, veterans groups, churches, mosques and synagogues, historical societies, fraternal organizations and other community service organizations to provide scholarships to recognize outstanding community service by young volunteers.
This list of awards is intended to be illustrative. For a more complete list of community service scholarships that you qualify for, complete the student activities section of your profile.
AmeriCorps and the Corporation for National Service
This page provides news and updates, award notices, information about AmeriCorps, Learn and Serve America, and Senior Corps.
Segal AmeriCorps Education Award
The Segal AmeriCorps Education Award provides several thousand dollars for each year of full-time service (prorated for part-time). The money can be used to pay for college costs or to repay student loans.
National Civilian Commounity Corps (NCCC)
This AmeriCorps program is an 11-month residential national service program intended for 18-24 year-olds. Participants receive education awards to pay for college tuition or to help repay education loan debt.
The Bonner Foundation provides four-year community service scholarships to students each year at participating colleges and universities across the country. The Bonner Scholars, in turn, commit 10 hours per week to volunteer service and participate in a summer community service internship.
Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program
The Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program, formerly the Comcast Foundation Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship Program, awards scholarships for community service and leadership to high school seniors in communities served by Comcast.
Jesse Brown Scholarship
The Jesse Brown Memorial Youth Scholarship Program honors young volunteers who are dedicated to serving veterans. Each year, one outstanding applicant receives the top scholarship.
James H. Parke Memorial Scholarship
James H. Parke Memorial Scholarships can be used to cover tuitions and fees, books and supplies and/or room and board or other educational needs purchased through the school of the students’ choice. Applicants are nominated by a medical center where they serve.
Echoing Green Public Service Fellowship
The Echoing Green Public Service Fellowship provides a stipend to graduating college seniors from participating institutions to develop and implement a community service project.
Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes
The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes is awarded annually to ten US and Canadian students, aged 8-18, who have developed an extraordinary service project that helped people and the planet. Half of the winners are focused on helping their communities and people, and half are focused on protecting the environment.
The Heroes of the Heart Scholarship Awards Program
The Heart of America Christopher Reeve Award is awarded annually to a student for extraordinary community service.
Kohl’s Kids Who Care Program
The Kohl’s Kids Who Care Program (www.kohlskids.com) honors students age 6-18 who are involved in community service. Candidates enter by being nominated by an adult age 21 years or older. Nominees are considered by two age groups, 6 – 12 and 13 – 18, with three prize levels within each group.
National Caring Awards
The National Caring Award is sponsored by the Caring Institute and the Pay It Forward Foundation. Each year 10 adults and 5 young adults (12th grade and below) are recognized through this program.
Prudential Spirit of Community Awards
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards recognize children in grades 5-12 who have engaged in volunteer activities and have demonstrated exceptional community service. The program is sponsored by Prudential in conjunction with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).
Samuel Huntington Public Service Award
The Samuel Huntington Public Service Award provides a stipend to a graduating college senior to pursue a year of public service anywhere in the world. The money may be used for any project that helps others. Candidates submit a proposal as part of their application. US citizenship is not required.
William R. Simms Award for Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy
The William R. Simms Award for Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy is awarded by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) to individuals and groups of people aged 5-17 and 18-23 who have "demonstrated outstanding commitment to the community through direct financial support, development of charitable programs, volunteering and leadership in philanthropy.”
VISTA Volunteers in Service to America
VISTA is part of ACTION, the federal domestic volunteer agency. This program offers numerous benefits to college graduates with outstanding student loans.
Youth Action Net
YouthActionNet awards grants to youth leaders aged 18-29 for projects that promote social change in their communities.
Youth Service America
Youth Service America administers several awards for community service by students.
The Congressional Award
The Congressional Award honors young Americans aged 14 to 23 for excellence in volunteer public service. It is sponsored by the United States Congress.
Daily Points of Light Award
The Daily Points of Light Award recognizes significant contributions to volunteer service by individuals and organizations. A particular emphasis is placed on efforts that identify a community need, take an innovative approach to addressing that need, and make a significant impact on the problem.
The Jefferson Award is sponsored by the American Institute for Public Service in conjunction with more than 100 media partners.
Green Mountain’s Make a Difference Scholarship
The Make A Difference Scholarships are awarded by Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont to up to 10 students each year. The full four-year scholarships cover tuition, room and board for students who have made a "significant positive difference in their communities and/or in the lives of others.”
Mary A. Mades Volunteer Scholarship Award
The Mary A. Mades Volunteer Scholarship is awarded by the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston to a Beth Israel Deaconess volunter who is pursuing a degree or certification in health care.
HCS Donor Recruitment Scholarship
The Miller-Keystone Blood Center sponsors a scholarship for volunteer efforts by a graduating high school senior.
University of Iowa Health Care Volunteer Scholarship
The University of Iowa Health Care offers several scholarships for Iowa high school seniors and college students who have contributed significant volunteer service at UI hospitals and clinics.
Washington Hospital Service League Volunteer Scholarships
The Washington Hospital Service League awards scholarships for high school seniors and college students from the Washington Hospital District (Fremont, Newark, Union City, Hayward, Sunol) who are pursuing a degree in a health-related field.
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Sit Down and Listen!
Available Scholarships for Teachers
Grants, loans and especially scholarships are administered based on a wide range of variables. Qualifications attached to financial aid are sometimes broad, but can also be very specific. For example, general need-based aid requires only that an applicant exhibit financial need during college, which opens eligibility to almost everyone with a tuition bill.
On the other hand, some financial aid funds are reserved for specific functions, like helping certain groups succeed, or encouraging academic excellence in specific areas. Minority scholarships and grants, for instance, target select groups to receive tuition assistance for college.
When the supply of well-trained professionals isn’t meeting the demand, financial aid is used to encourage students to go into certain fields. Targeted aid of this type is attractive to students who have not chosen a major, and to those who are already working toward degrees in high-demand fields.
Currently, college students pursuing teaching degrees are rewarded with privileged access to unique financial aid opportunities.
Elementary and secondary schools that enroll primarily low income children are suffering from shortages of competent teachers. As a result, pro-education efforts – including college tuition assistance - are originated at federal, state and local levels. Now, more than ever, undergraduates and graduate students are awarded career-specific college financial aid to pursue teaching credentials.
As an aspiring teacher, you are eligible for general financial aid too, but your pool of resources is instantly deepened by concerted efforts to bring qualified graduates to the profession. Government sources, professional associations and other private entities provide funding for grants and scholarships that serve education majors.
Teacher aid varies from performance based scholarships, to tuition-for-service agreements that require teaching commitments following graduation. Generally, grants are need-based and free of performance indicators. Scholarships, on the other hand, are often attached to eligibility standards like GPA. Both are free-money aid that doesn’t get paid back, so your bottom-line impact is the same.
State and Local Teaching Scholarships
Consult with your school’s financial aid office for up to date information about specific teaching scholarships in your area. If you’re just getting started in college, don’t overlook aid offered by your school or state. And if you’re nearing graduation, ask about scholarships that can be used to pay living expenses during your student teaching assignments.
While local teaching scholarships are often less rich than national awards, smaller applicant pools make them less competitive. Combine these smaller awards with larger scholarships to piece together your financial aid package.
- Milwaukee Area Teachers Scholarship - Marquette university supports working teachers with this tuition credit. If you are employed as a Wisconsin teacher, Marquette pays for half of a college class you take each semester. The flexible award does not require degree candidacy or other enrollment requirements, and is an example of one type of continuing education incentive available to teachers.
- West Virginia college students are eligible for Underwood-Smith Teacher Scholarships, which can amount to $5000 annually. This example of tuition-for-service financial aid requires each recipient to work within the West Virginia school system for a period of two years for each year the scholarship is received. The teaching commitment is reduced to one-year, provided the teacher is employed at a high-need shortage-area school.
- Wisconsin Early Childhood Association, through its T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Wisconsin, is in the business of granting tailor-made tuition solutions to deserving, committed Wisconsin education professionals. The association has doled-out over 7000 scholarships since 1999, to aid professional development in early childhood education.
- Teachers of Tomorrow is a New York City Department of Education program devoted to recruiting qualified staffers to teach in the city’s most challenging schools. Tuition reimbursement and other incentives are used to bring qualified professionals to faculty positions at New York’s highest-need schools.
- Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority offers college aid to full-time, resident students pursuing teaching credentials within the state. Students who are juniors and beyond are eligible for up to $2500 each semester, under this program. When funding permits, freshmen and sophomores also qualify for scholarships.
- Corporate sponsors generously fund college scholarships for students studying primary and secondary education. The Coca-Cola Foundation supports education at international universities through its Coca-Cola Scholars initiative. Schools like Emory University use Coke dollars to fund scholarship programs for would-be teachers.
National Teaching Scholarships
National scholarships for education majors target future teachers, sometimes showing preference toward candidates studying in specific subject areas. These scholarships include:
- The Federal Government is the largest source of general financial aid, but Uncle Sam also runs programs targeting specific vocational pursuits. The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH) is a government initiative aimed at recruiting college graduates to teach in under-served areas.. Individual states run similar tuition-for-service programs that require students who receive assistance to work in specific jobs following graduation. TEACH recipients are each eligible for up to $4000 annually, in exchange for a four-year teaching commitment at a school that serves low-income students.
- AFCEA is an international organization dedicated to the ethical exchange of information. This IT and communications association provides scholarships annually, to students earning an education in the field of teaching. Each year, 50 students who pursue STEM-related teaching degrees are awarded scholarships valued at $5000 each. Graduate and undergraduates are considered for the scholarships, which require a 3.0 GPA.
- Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship is administered as an institutional program that provides funding to colleges, which they in turn distribute to worthy candidates pursuing education degrees. The awards specifically target K-12 educators teaching in math and science disciplines.
- Alpha Kappa Alpha’s Education Advancement Foundation furthers the sorority’s mission to promote educational excellence through several scholarship programs for member-students. The foundation devotes a certain portion of its scholarship funding to students who are education majors.
- The Phi Delta Kappa International Education Foundation awards scholarships of up to $1,000 annually, to high school seniors and current undergraduates pursuing careers in elementary or secondary education. PDK sponsors the Future Educators Association, administering more than 30 scholarships each year – exclusively for future teachers.
- National Board for Professional Teaching Standards offers its own scholarships for teachers. in many cases, awards are funded by private enterprise, including Liberty Mutual insurance, Boeing and Chase.
- Montessori is a teaching philosophy and educational movement dedicated to a core set of teaching principles. Students who wish to become Montessori teachers are encouraged by the American Montessori Society, through a series of education scholarships for attending AMS schools. Awards vary, but the society’s Zell Scholarship is worth $1000 annually.
- Bright Horizons Family Solutions, the world’s leading provider of employer-sponsored early care, offers four Bright Futures Scholarships worth $2,500 each, for full-time students currently pursuing degrees in early childhood education. Applicants must each submit an essay, resume, transcript, and letters of recommendation.
Teachers act as role models for a diverse student body, so qualified educators must be drawn from a wide cross-section of cultures and social groups. Some teaching scholarships specifically promote diversity by offering incentives to minorities and other groups that are under-represented in the field of education.
- The Hispanic Scholarship Fund partners with corporations and other donors to break down educational barriers for Latino students. Wells-Fargo and other big-name benefactors work with HSF to promote Hispanic education through scholarships and other initiatives that support education. HSF scholarship applications are submitted online.
- NAACP issues education scholarships to teaching students. Awards change periodically, but the organization recently awarded Sutton Education Scholarships worth $1000 to undergraduates, and $2000 to master’s degree candidates.
- The Siemens Foundation has partnered with the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund and the United Negro College Fund to award scholarships to undergraduate and graduate education students attending historically black colleges and universities. Preference is given to applicants pursuing math and science teaching credentials.
- The National Federation of the Blind Educator of Tomorrow Scholarship is worth $3,000 to a blind recipient planning a career in elementary, secondary, or post-secondary teaching. The scholarship is awarded based on the applicant’s record of scholastic excellence, financial need and community involvement.
Scholarships are bundled with other financial aid, including grants for teachers and student loans. And if you are a would-be teacher, who is also female, you might be eligible for women’s scholarships and grants.