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Scholarship and Contest Opportunities for San Diego County Students

Scholarship and Contest Opportunities for San Diego County Students
Two high school boys smile while giving high five

There are many local scholarship and contest opportunities available for students in San Diego County. New opportunities are added frequently. For more student awards and free or low-cost opportunities, visit SDCOE's What's Happening webpage.


Albert Lee Wright Jr. Memorial Migrant Scholarship

The National Association of State Directors of Migrant Education awards the Albert Lee Wright, Jr. Memorial Migrant Scholarship to honor an eligible migratory student who has overcome significant barriers presented by mobility, has performed well academically, and provided service to their community. To qualify for the $3,000 scholarship, applicants must be graduating migrant high school senior students with financial need. Visit the scholarship page. The deadline to apply is March 1. 

San Diego Foundation Common Scholarship Application   

The San Diego Foundation's Common Scholarship Application (CSA) gives high school seniors access to more than 130 scholarship opportunities with just one application. Awards range from $1,000 to more than $5,000. The submission period opens Jan.17 and runs through March 6, but students can access the Common Scholarship Application to see eligibility, application tips, and submit your application. Current undergraduate students can also use the CSA to apply to available scholarships. 

  • San Diego Foundation - Other Scholarships   

Outside of the Common Scholarship Application, the San Diego Foundation manages other scholarships for students, each with its own application and deadline. Visit the Foundation's Other Scholarships page to learn more about this and other opportunities. Also check out their Local Scholarships page for dozens of links to external organizations in San Diego County that offer scholarships. 

  • Students Without Limits (SWOL)

This $4,500 per year scholarship is for undocumented seniors and U.S. citizen students with undocumented parents. To apply, email immigration attorney Ms. Scully at Students will apply for the SWOL scholarship through the San Diego Foundation CSA, due March 6. Please contact Ms. Scully before submitting the CSA since changes are not allowed once submitted. 

Cirkled In "No Sweat" Scholarship    

Cirkled In, the digital profile and portfolio platform for students, is awarding $2,500 in cash through their “No Sweat” Scholarship that students can use for any educational purpose, from books to summer camp. Students can apply by signing-up for a Cirkled In account and then completing their portfolio. The deadline to apply is March. 31.

Don Diego Scholarship Foundation 

The Don Diego Scholarships are for high school seniors who have participated in activities and events at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, including exhibitions or employment at the San Diego County Fair. Scholarships are offered in four categories: 4-H, FFA, employee, and exhibitor/ participant. Visit the foundation webpage for more information. The application deadline is April 1. 

The Paula B. and Oliver W. Jones Family Foundation

The Foundation will award $1,000 scholarships to high school students in grades 10, 11, and 12 demonstrating a grade 9-12 cumulative weighted G.P.A. of 3.5 or higher. At least 10 scholarships will be awarded at each grade level. Learn more about requirements and apply online. Applications are due April 1.

North Island Credit Union Scholarship

North Island Credit Union will award 10 students with a scholarship of $1,000 each. High school seniors and community college students transferring to a four-year university who maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 are eligible to participate. Selection criteria include academic performance, school or community involvement, a letter of recommendation, and an essay submission. Applications are available through March 8 and winners will be announced April 8. Interested students can find more information and apply on the North Island Credit Union website

Scholarships for Aspiring Water Professionals

Water agencies across San Diego County and California water associations offer multiple college scholarship opportunities to help interested students secure their education as water and wastewater professionals. Scholarships are available for community colleges, four-year colleges and universities, and graduate-level programs. Some of the agencies offering scholarships are Helix Water District, Vista Irrigation District, Vallecitos Water District, Sweetwater Authority, among others. Visit the San Diego County Water Authority webpage to see a list of opportunities for the 2024-25 school year. Application deadlines range from late February to March and April, depending on the program. 

Cal Coast Cares Foundation 

  • High School – This scholarship award program recognizes outstanding students for their dedication to academic excellence and community leadership. These scholarships are awarded to graduating high school seniors in San Diego or Riverside Counties to help further their education. View and complete the high school scholarship application
  • Foster/Former Foster Youth – This scholarship award program is to support high school seniors and current college students who are in or have been in the foster care program in San Diego or Riverside Counties. Starting this year, after academic expenses are covered, the remaining funds may be used for housing and food. View and complete the foster student application. If you know of a returning foster student recipient, please have them reach out to Brittany Rodriguez at or 619-458-4605 for an application for their second-year scholarship. 

The scholarship application deadline is April 15, 2024

Taiwanese American Foundation Scholarships

The Taiwanese American Foundation of San Diego awards nine scholarships of $2,000 each to high school seniors in San Diego County who are exemplary in academics, have a positive impact on their community, and plan to attend college in the fall. Three of the scholarships are reserved for students with financial need and three are reserved for Taiwanese-American students. View the application form for more details. The application deadline is April 15. 

Scholarship for International Students, an online resource with the goal of making scholarships more accessible for international students, is awarding $1,000 to eligible prospective or current international students studying abroad this fall. Visit for complete details and to access the application materials. The application deadline is May 31, and a finalist round occurs in June. 



Financial Literacy Superheroes Competition    

San Diego Council on Literacy, the Comic-Con Museum, and other sponsors invite youth and their parents/guardians to compete for awards and cash prizes of $250 to $600 by creating original art pieces that teach about financial literacy concepts. Artists and comic book fans of all skill ranges are encouraged to pariticpate in either the solo entry, team, or child/parent categories. An awards ceremony will take place April 13 at the Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park. Visit the contest page for complete details and submission requirements. The deadline for entries is March 24.

Youth Piano Competition   

The City of Encinitas invites pianists in grades K-12 to compete in its inaugural Youth Piano Concerto Competition. Videos of performances are submitted to advance to the next stage which involves performing in person at the Encinitas Community Center, then the winners get a chance to perform with the North Coast Symphony Orchestra in June and also receive $250. One winner will be selected for each of three assigned concerti movements. The deadline to register is March 27 and includes a $35 registration fee. Visit the contest webpage for complete details. 

Surf Photography Competition   

The California Surf Museum in Oceanside announces its second annual A.R. Gurrey Jr. Surf Photography Competition for middle and high school students. Submissions must be original photographs within one of six categories and prizes include GoPro cameras and more. Visit the museum webpage for more details. The deadline to submit is April 15. 

Law Week Poster Contest 

The San Diego County Bar Association (SDCBA) invites local K-12 students to participate in a poster contest on the theme Voices of Democracy. First-, second-, and third-place winners will be selected at the elementary, middle, and high school levels for cash awards and a pizza party for the first place class. All first place winners will be recognized at the Law Week luncheon in May. Visit the SDCBA website for complete details. The deadline for digital submission of entries is April 26. 

Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation Contests   

The Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation, in partnership with the Character Education Resource Center at the University of San Diego, present this year's art and essay contests. Students in grades 6 to 12 can submit original artwork or write about specific prompts and be eligible for cash prizes of $100 to $300.  

  • Marines in Flight Student Art Contest - Art entries should be based on the subject of Marine Corps Aviation and submissions must be digital and consist of two-dimensional art. See the linked flyer for complete details. The deadline to enter is April 12 or after the first 300 submissions. 
  • Honor, Courage, and Commitment Essay Contest - Students submit essays in response to a prompt about a notable American. Essay length is 600 to 1000 words depending on grade level. Additionally, teachers of winning students receive a $200 stipend. Visit the link for more information. The submission deadline is May 24. 


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