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Scholarship and Contest Opportunities for San Diego County Students

Scholarship and Contest Opportunities for San Diego County Students
Appears to be two female high school students in art class


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.


Now Open: San Diego Foundation Common Scholarship Application

The San Diego Foundation's 2023-24 Common Scholarship Application is now open!  The application period ends March 8. A single application gives qualifying San Diego students access to more than 100 scholarships that comprise the Foundation's Community Scholarship Program. Visit the foundation website to access the application, see eligibility information, and browse related helpful resources such as a sample application form and application tips

San Diego County Citizens' Scholarship Foundation

The San Diego County Citizens' Scholarship Foundation (SDCCSF) grants scholarships of at least $1,000 to high school seniors who can demonstrate a financial need and are planning to attend college full-time in San Diego County in 2023-24. No minimum GPA is required for this scholarship. Visit the SDCCSF website for more details and to access the application. The deadline to submit is March 17. 

North Island Credit Union Scholarship 

This scholarship awards $1,000 to college-bound high school seniors based on academic performance and school or community involvement. Learn more and access the application at the North Island Credit Union website. The application deadline is March 10.

Don Diego Scholarship Foundation

The Don Diego Scholarship Foundation awards scholarships to students residing in the San Diego area. Awards ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 in several categories are available for students who in previous years have participated in the San Diego County Fair and/or other activities associated with the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Visit the Don Diego Scholarship Foundation website for complete information. The application deadline is March 15.

Local Water District Scholarships 

  • Vista Irrigation District - Awards up to six scholarships of $1,000 to $3,000 to high school seniors who live or attend school within their service area. The award is sent directly to the student's college, university, or vocational school. Visit the scholarship page for full details. Applications are due Feb. 24. 
  • Helix Water District - Awards two $1,000 scholarships to high school seniors living within their service area who will attend a four-year college or university next fall. Visit the scholarship page for full details. Applications are due March 10. 

Guild Giving Foundation Scholarship 

This scholarship from Guild Mortgage Company awards $1,500 to college-bound high school seniors who intend to attend college or vocational/technical school in the upcoming academic year. . Learn more and access the application. The application deadline is April 10.

Taiwanese American Foundation of San Diego Scholarship

The Taiwanese American Foundation awards scholarships of $2,000 to college-bound high school seniors in San Diego County based on academic merit and impact on the community. Of the nine scholarships awarded, three are for students of Taiwanese descent, and three are for students with financial need. Access the application form for complete information. The application deadline is April 15.  


STEAM Art Contest

The San Diego County Engineering Council's STEAM art contest is open to all San Diego County students in grades K to 12. Submissions must incorporate the theme “Creating The Future” by including in their art either a creative invention or a science, technology, engineering, art, or math (STEAM) role model.  Winners in each of two grade level categories will win a $25 gift certificate and be recognized during the San Diego Engineers Week Festival in February. Artwork and artist statements are due Feb.10. For complete details and to download contest flyers, visit the San Diego County Engineering Council website

CyberStart America Challenge for High School Students

CyberStart America is a free national program for high school students to master cybersecurity skills while competing for scholarship money. Students in grades 9-12 can explore cybersecurity as a career choice and improve their digital skills while accessing learning resources developed by industry professionals that can be used to train and qualify for a National Cyber Scholarship. Visit the CyberStart America website for more information and to register. The current cycle of games and challenges began in October and runs through April, when the highest-ranking participants are invited to advance to scholarship applications.

Directing Change Program Art Contest: Hope and Justice

The Directing Change Program offers young people the opportunity to win prizes and promote mental health by expressing their feelings, taking action, and inspiring others through art. Students in grades 5 to 12 can submit entries related to the themes of hope, justice, or a prompt that changes monthly. The theme for the February prompt is "More Than One," and invites students to explore representation and how they are living beyond labels. 

Entries are eligible to win Amazon gift cards. Visit the Directing Change website for complete details, including the monthly prompt calendar. The deadline for the current prompt is Feb.28.  

Directing Change Program Student Film Contest

The annual Directing Change Program and Film Contest is a statewide program that invites middle and high school students to create a 60-second film about suicide prevention, mental health, other health topics, and related cultural perspectives, including reducing the stigma and discrimination related to mental illness. The California Department of Education supports this program as part of their commitment to preserve the health, safety, and well-being of all students. Schools are encouraged to integrate these films into activities and use them to educate and inform students and staff about suicide prevention and mental health. 

Visit the Directing Change website for information about contest categories, rules, eligibility, and prizes. The deadline for film submissions is March 1.


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More to explore

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As classrooms and school districts across the nation kick off their 2023 Black History Month celebrations, let us remember the urgency and importance of teaching Black history beyond the month of February. The histories, stories, and voices of Black people should be centered, honored, and uplifted in school curricula every day.

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More than 2,000 high school students from across San Diego County connected with representatives from more than 30 historically Black colleges and universities, as well as UC and Cal State schools, at the Sixth Annual San Diego Black College Expo college fair on Jan. 26.

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Because of inclement weather, schools in the Julian Union High, Julian Union Elementary, Spencer Valle, Mountain Empire, and Warner Springs school districts will be closed Monday. All schools in those districts will also have a late start Tuesday.