College unlocks many opportunities no matter what age you are when you decide to start. Statistics show that college degrees lead to better jobs and more income than a high school diploma. College also encourages exploration of the world, increases maturity level and improves social skills. For some, it may seem as if college is out of reach due to the cost.
In addition, those who have been out of school for some time may feel as if there are no scholarships available for them that can help offset the costs of tuition. In Florida, not only are there many scholarships available for high school students, but also for older students who wish to return to school as well.
1. The Access to Better Learning and Education Grant
The Access to Better Learning and Education Grant Program is available for those who have been Florida residents for at least one year and will be first-time students enrolled in college. Applicants must meet Florida general state aid eligibility and enroll in at least 12 credit hours per semester. The award is renewable for up to nine semesters. Theology and Divinity majors are excluded from applying for the program.
You can learn more about the The Access to Better Learning and Education Grant here.
2. The Executive Women International offers the Adult Students in Scholastic Transition (ASIST) Scholarship
The Executive Women International offers the Adult Students in Scholastic Transition (ASIST) Scholarship to non-traditional students who are past high school age and plan to enter college for the first time or who need job training to move into a new career. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and be at least 18 years old. Applicants must reside within the boundaries of an Executive Women International boundary. Awards range from $2,000 to $10,000.
You can learn more about the The Executive Women International offers the Adult Students in Scholastic Transition (ASIST) Scholarship here.
3. American Legion Department of Florida Eagle Scout of the Year
The American Legion Department of Florida offers four scholarships ranging from $2,500 to $500 to applicants determined to be outstanding Eagle Scouts. First place winners are entered into the National Competition for a chance to win an additional $10,000 scholarship or one of three runner-up scholarships of $2,500 each. Applicants must have earned the Eagle Award and religious emblem. They must be in a troop chartered to an American Legion Post, be the son or grandson of a Legion Member or have a parent that is eligible to join the American Legion Department of Florida. Applicants must be a high school student and Florida resident.
You can learn more about the American Legion Department of Florida Eagle Scout of the Year here.
4. American Legion Department of Florida General Scholarship
The American Legion Department of Florida is for the direct descendants of the American Legion Department of Florida members or descendants of deceased United States veterans who would have been eligible for membership. Applicants must be seniors who plan to enter the undergraduate study at an accredited college or university. Applicants must provide a copy of documentation of veteran’s service in order to qualify. Parents of the applicant must be Florida residents as well. Seven awards are provided ranging from $2,500 to $500 each.
You can learn more about the American Legion Department of Florida General Scholarship here.
5. American Legion Department of Florida High School State Oratorical Contest
The American Legion Department of Florida holds an annual High School State Oratorical Contest that awards six scholarships. The first place winner receives $2,500; second place $1,500; third place $1,000 and fourth through sixth place $500. Students must be enrolled in a state accredited high school in grades 9 through 12 and their parents must be Florida residents. The contest begins at the post level and winners at that level move to the district level. Winners from the district level move to the area level and those winners compete at the state level. Winners at the state level then compete on the national level in Indianapolis, Indiana.
You can learn more about the American Legion Department of Florida High School State Oratorical Contest here.
6. American Legion Department of Florida JROTC Cadet of the Year
The American Legion Department of Florida issues four scholarships each year, ranging from $2,500 to $500 to the JROTC Cadet of the Year. The cadet must be enrolled in a Florida high school and be a member of any Armed Forces ROTC. Parents of the applicant must be Florida residents, and the cadet must be in their senior year of high school. Applicant must be chosen by the JROTC commanding officer, and only one application per JROTC unit is accepted.
You can learn more about the American Legion Department of Florida JROTC Cadet of the Year here.
7. The Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund
The Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) along with the United Health Foundation provide scholarships to students who area Asian or Pacific Islander that have a desire to work in the healthcare field. Not only must they be of Asian or Pacific Island descent, but they must also be United States citizens or legal permanent residents. Citizens of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau are also eligible. Applicants must be full-time second-year students who are seeking careers as healthcare professionals with a cumulative GPA of 2.7. Preference is given to those who wish to provide services in under-served communities. Applicants must live in one of 16 states, including Florida.
You can learn more about the The Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund here.
8. The American Quarter Horse Association Scholarship
The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) offers scholarships to their youth ambassadors who are actively involved in their state affiliate. The Joan Cain Scholarship is for students who have been members of AQHA, AQHYA and the Florida Quarter Horse Youth Association for at least two years and are from Florida. Applications may be made while the student is a senior in high school or enrolled at an accredited college or university. Students must maintain a 2.5 GPA or higher while seeking a two- or four-year undergraduate degree.
You can learn more about the The American Quarter Horse Association Scholarship here.
9. Armando J. de Moya Scholarship
The Armando J. de Moya Scholarship provides a $5,000 award to students interested in engineering and construction who need financial assistance, tutoring or assistance finding employment in the road and bridge construction industry. Applicants must be an undergraduate student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at the University of Florida, Gainesville. Applicants must show financial need, have completed 59 credit hours and demonstrate financial need. Applicants must maintain a 3.0 GPA at the University of Florida, be a Florida resident and be enrolled full-time during both semesters. Applicants must provide their most recent tax returns, two letters of recommendation, transcripts, copies of other awards and proof of volunteer work.
You can learn more about the Armando J. de Moya Scholarship here.
10. The Traveler’s Foundation Scholarship
Native Americans or Alaska Native undergraduate students may apply for the Traveler’s Foundation Scholarship. Applicants must be United States citizens and enrolled in an accredited tribal college or university. They must be registered members of a federal or state recognized tribe or a descendant of at least one grandparent or parent who is an enrolled tribal member. Alaska Natives may also be members of the Native Corporation. Applicants must be a sophomore, junior or senior and have a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and be committed to community and leadership development. Applicants must be a resident of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota or Texas. They must be majoring in business, accounting, computer science, computer technology, engineering, mathematics or a related field.
You can learn more about the The Traveler’s Foundation Scholarship here.
11. Arts for Life! Scholarship
Arts for Life! awards 35 scholarships each year of $2,000 each to high school seniors in Florida who demonstrate excellence in the arts. This includes creative writing, dance, drama, music or visual arts. The program was launched by then-First Lady Columbia Bush in 1999. A matching, in-kind scholarship of $1,000 is awarded to scholarship winners who will attend the following Florida colleges and universities:
- Broward College
- College of Central Florida
- Flagler College
- Florida Atlantic University
- Florida College
- Florida Institute of Technology
- Florida Southern College
- Jacksonville University
- Miami Dade College
- Nova Southern University
- Palm Beach State College
- Stetson University
Applicants must submit an essay of 500 words or less on how the arts have positively influenced their lives and must provide a portfolio as well as a resume.
You can learn more about the Arts for Life! Scholarship here.
12. The Barnes Scholarship
The Barnes Scholarship is designed to help young people who are high academic achievers and who have overcome significant obstacles in their lives. Financial need is also required. There are four awards of up to $15,000 per year for four years to attend any college or university. High school students from Citrus, Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas and Hillsborough are eligible to apply. Students must have a GPA of 3.0 or better and plant to attend college outside of Florida.
You can learn more about the The Barnes Scholarship here.
13. The Congressional Black Caucus Spouses Education Scholarship
The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), Spouses Education Scholarship, is for students who are pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree program full-time at an accredited college or university. Applicants must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher and exhibit leadership ability through participation in community service activities. Applicants must be African-American or black and must reside or attend school in a CBC member district. Applicants must submit a personal statement of between 500 and 1,000 words addressing four topics in one cohesive essay. Two letters of recommendation are required as well as an electronic copy of the FAFSA. A resume and recent photograph are also required.
You can learn more about the The Congressional Black Caucus Spouses Education Scholarship here.
14. The Central Florida Fair Youth College Scholarship
The Board of Directors of the Central Florida Fair awards three $2,500 scholarships to students graduating from high school who demonstrate their support of the Central Florida Fair. Applicants must also demonstrate personal initiative in extracurricular activities and personal attributes that will assure them of success at an institute of higher learning. Applicants must reside in Orange, Osceola, Lake Brevard, Seminole or Volusia Counties. Applicants must be or have been participants in the Central Florida Fair in order to be eligible.
You can learn more about the The Central Florida Fair Youth College Scholarship here.
15. The Central Florida Jazz Society
Students studying jazz music who are in their senior year of high school or their first three years of college may apply for the Central Jazz Society Scholarship. A live audition at Rollins College is required, and there are scholarships of $2,500 each available. The funds may be used for school expenses, private lessons or an instrument. Applicants must be interested in furthering their studies in jazz music. Applicants must be residents of or plan to attend school I Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard or Volusia counties. There is no age restriction for recipients. Applicants must send one or two improvised choruses or two selections of different tempos as .mpg or .mp3 attachments. A letter of recommendation from an individual familiar with the students’ musicianship, character and commitment to jazz study is also required.
You can learn more about the The Central Florida Jazz Society here.
16. College Fund of Pinellas County Grant
The College Fund of Pinellas County provides grants to Florida restaurants who need significant financial assistance to attend college. Awards are based on financial need and are generally for $1,000 per school year for up to four years. Applicants must be residents of Pinellas County and a United States citizen. They must be a high school graduate with a GPA of 3.0 or be a former college student who can demonstrate they can complete at least 12 hours in a single term with a GPA of 2.5 or higher. They also must be a Pell Grant recipient and must be enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student.
You can learn more about the College Fund of Pinellas County Grant here.
17. The Curwin-Guidry-Blackburn Scholarship
The Curwin-Guidry-Blackburn Scholarship is for high school seniors who currently bowl in a USBC Certified Youth League. Applicants must reside in a Southern Bowling Congress Member state, which includes Florida. Applicants must have bowled in the youth league three of four years in high school and have bowled 75 percent of the league schedule. Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 and have achieved an ACT score of 20 or an SAT score of 1410. Applicants must submit an application, official high school transcripts and a personal letter of recommendation from a high school principle or counselor.
You can learn more about the The Curwin-Guidry-Blackburn Scholarship here.
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19. The Dr. Robert W. Sims Memorial Scholarship
The Dr. Robert W. Sims Memorial Scholarship is for Florida residents who plan to enroll in a postsecondary degree program in computer science, information technology or a related subject. Applicants must intend to enroll in an accredited college or university and be full-time students. Applicants must have a 2.5 GPA or higher. An application form, official transcript, resume, three letters of recommendation and a description of the degree program the student plans to enter must be submitted along with a personal essay.
You can learn more about the The Dr. Robert W. Sims Memorial Scholarship here.
20. The Dunkin Donuts South/Southwest Florida Scholarship Program
Recipients of the Dunking Donuts South/Southwest Florida Scholarship Program are chosen based on academic record, demonstrated leadership and participation in activities, both in school and in the community. In addition, honors, work experience, goals, aspirations, and references are taken into consideration when choosing a recipient. Applicants must be a high school senior attending a school located in the following areas:
- Greater Fort Myers-Naples (including Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry, DeSoto counties
- Greater Miami-Fort Lauderdale (including Broward, Dade, and Monroe counties
- Palm Beach Treasure Coast
Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 and plan to enroll full-time at an accredited college or university. Financial need must also be demonstrated.
You can learn more about the The Dunkin Donuts South/Southwest Florida Scholarship Program here.
21. Electronic Security Association of Florida Youth Scholarships for Families of First Responders
The Electronic Security Association (ESA) offers scholarships to children of first responders in order to promote electronic life safety and security as well as police and fire officials. Awards are based on a combination of academics and a required essay. The essay must be written on what it means to the student to have a parent involved in securing the community.
You can learn more about the Electronic Security Association of Florida Youth Scholarships for Families of First Responders here.
22. The ExxonMobil/LNESC Scholarship
The ExxonMobil/LNESC Scholarship Program recognizes students of Hispanic heritage who plan to pursue an engineering degree at the post-secondary level. Applicants must live in one of seven cities, including Miami, Florida. They must be a graduating senior and have a cumulative high school GPA of 3.5 or higher. They must also have scored 29 or higher on the ACT or 1350 or higher on the SAT. Applicants must be a United States citizen or have the legal right to work in the United States without requiring sponsorship now or in the future.
You can learn more about the The ExxonMobil/LNESC Scholarship here.
23. The Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program
The Bright Futures Scholarship is for Florida residents who demonstrate financial need. Applicants must complete the Florida Financial Aid Application and earn a diploma from a Florida high school. The applicant may not have been found guilty or have pleaded nolo contendere to a felony unless the Governor has granted clemency. Students must be enrolled in at least six non-remedial credit hours. The scholarship renews automatically each year if the student maintains the required GPA.
You can learn more about the The Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program here.
24. The Friends of 440 Scholarship Fund
The Friends of 440 Scholarship Fund is for the dependents or descendants of works injured or killed while performing job duties at their place of employment and who received benefits under the Florida Workers’ Compensation Law. Dependents of those who work in the operation or administration of the law are also eligible to apply. The scholarship is open to students who not only meet this criterion but also lack the economic ability to continue higher education. High school seniors must have a GPA of 2.7 while college applicants must have a GPA of 3.0. All recipients must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA and complete at least 12 credit hours. The scholarship is not available for graduate studies.
You can learn more about the The Friends of 440 Scholarship Fund here.
25. The George D. Cornell Honors College Scholarship
The George D. Cornell Honors College Scholarships are provided to students based on merit and may be renewed for up to four years. Applicants must be Florida residents attending Wilkes Honor College of Florida Atlantic University. Applicants must have an outstanding record and be an incoming freshman at the college. Awards are for up to $7,500 per semester and may be used for tuition as well as room and board.
You can learn more about the The George D. Cornell Honors College Scholarship here.
26. The George Snow Scholarship Fund
The George Snow Scholarship Fund provides financial assistance to students who demonstrate strong financial need. Applicants must also be active in their high school community, have a strong education and career goals as well as self-motivation. Applicants must attend any Palm Beach County High School, Blanche Ely and Pompano Beach High Schools or be a homeschool student who will attend one of those high schools. Women in Miami-Dade, Broward or Palm Beach County may also apply if they plan to pursue a degree in engineering or technology.
You can learn more about the The George Snow Scholarship Fund here.
27. The Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards
The Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards are presented to high school students graduating from high school who identifies as Hispanic or Latino. Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and attend a regional ceremony in their region if they are selected for the scholarship. Attendance is mandatory and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation does not cover the cost of attendance. Categories for the scholarship include:
- Healthcare and Science
- Mathematical Sciences
You can learn more about the The Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards here.
28. The Jesse B. Smith Memorial Scholarship
Named for Jacksonville’s point man for economic development, the Jesse B. Smith Memorial Scholarship is for any resident of Duval County or any area of Jacksonville, including Atlantic Beach, Baldwin, Jacksonville Beach or Neptune Beach. The applicant must be enrolled in or be accepted to any higher education institution in the designated areas. Applicants must plan to pursue degrees in city planning, urban studies, public administration or related field.
You can learn more about the The Jesse B. Smith Memorial Scholarship here.
29. The Korean American Scholarship Foundation
The Korean American Scholarship Foundation offers scholarships in the southern region which include Florida. Applicants must be of Korean American descent and be pursuing academic as well as personal achievement. The applicant must encourage community and civic service while nurturing a sense of pride and confidence in Korean cultural heritage and tradition. Applicants must be full-time students and have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Applicants must also demonstrate financial need.
You can learn more about the The Korean American Scholarship Foundation here.
30. The Mary McLeod Bethune Scholarship
The Mary McLeod Bethune Scholarship provides financial assistance to undergraduate students attending Bethune-Cookman University, Edward Waters College, Florida A&M University or Florida Memorial University. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and meet scholastic requirements. Applicants must be Florida residents and the United States citizens. Applicants may not be in default on any state or federal grant, loan or scholarship or have already received a bachelor’s degree. Applicants must enroll in a minimum of 12-credit hours per term and have earned a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
You can learn more about the The Mary McLeod Bethune Scholarship here.
31. The National Association of Junior Auxiliaries Graduate Scholarship
The National Association of Junior Auxiliaries offers a Graduate Scholarship to students who are planning to work directly with children. Applicants must be pursuing a graduate degree in fields that address the unique needs of children, including counseling, psychology, special education, speech pathology and others. Applicants must be permanent residents of one of the eight states with Junior Auxiliary Chapters, including Florida and must plan to attend an accredited college or university on a full-time basis.
You can learn more about the The National Association of Junior Auxiliaries Graduate Scholarship here.
32. The Regions Riding Forward Scholarship
The Regions Riding Forward Scholarship Essay Contest requires students to write an essay of 500 words or less about how an African-American has been an inspiration to them with a discussion on how contributions of that African-American, who have served to inspire and motivate them. Applicants must be high school seniors and residents of one of 16 states, including Florida. They must be at least 13 years old and enrolled as a senior in a public or private school. Applicants must also have minimum GPA of 2.0 or higher. College students may also apply if they are attending college in one of the 16 states that include Florida, are 16 or older and have at least one year of college remaining. College applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0.
You can learn more about the The Regions Riding Forward Scholarship here.
33. Right Fit Foundation Scholarship
The Right Fit Foundation offers one $2,500 scholarship each year as well as multiple $500 awards to students in middle-income families. Funds are paid directly to the university the student plans to attend. Applicants must live in Hillsborough, Pasco or Pinellas County and be a high school student who will graduate the year they apply. Applicants must also have a weighted GPA of 3.0 or higher. Candidates and their parents must watch a 30-minute video on financial aid and college admission. An interview may be required, and parents must agree to allow the recipient’s bio and photo to be posted on the Foundation website. Students are selected based on the interview, academic profile and their ability to follow directions.
You can learn more about the Right Fit Foundation Scholarship here.
34. The Salute to Education Scholarship
The Miami-Dade and Broward County Ford-Lincoln Dealers, along with the Ford Motor Company, offer scholarships of $1,000 to high school seniors in both counties. Applicants must be enrolled in a Miami-Dade or Broward County public or private high school and be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. Students must maintain a weighted 3.0 GPA or higher. Awards are based on financial need, community involvement, academic achievement, leadership, and character. Also, applicants must have strong life goals and interests. They must also have overcome obstacles in their lifetime.
You can learn more about the The Salute to Education Scholarship here.
35. The SeaWorld Orlando Environmental Scholarship
The SeaWorld Orlando Environmental Scholarship provides $5,000 to students who have a passion for protecting and preserving the environment. Applicants must be Florida high school students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. Recipients are chosen based on their originality, creativity, content, organization, neatness and the general appearance of their application. Applicants may be asked to sign photo and video release forms
You can learn more about the The SeaWorld Orlando Environmental Scholarship here.
We've worked hard to include a variety of scholarship opportunities within our list. If you have any suggestions on additional scholarships, please feel free to leave them in the comments section.