Finding Scholarships for Technical Colleges

By Jason Marshall , last updated October 22, 2011

Technical school is an increasingly popular postsecondary education option. It is faster to finish and cheaper than a traditional four year university, and it allows students to focus on whatever field they are interested in. Despite the relative affordability of technical school, it still costs money that many students just don’t have. For many, finding a scholarship for technical school can make a world of difference, but they may not know where to look. Scholarships are out there, but they tend to be limited to specific fields of study. With a little research, you can find a technical school scholarship for you.

General Scholarships

There are some, but not many, general scholarships for technical school. StraightForward Media offers one of the few general scholarships for technical school. Students must be enrolled in a technical school and have good grades. They award $500 for tuition and fees and are distributed every three months, reflecting the reality of short classes in technical school. To apply, just visit their website and fill out an online application. For federal scholarships, Sallie Mae Unmet Need Scholarships provides financial assistance to technical school students. One of the pluses of the Sallie Mae program is they do not require high grades in order to receive their scholarship. You can also try contacting your local unions to see what options they offer.

General scholarships like the one offered by StraightForward Media and Sallie Mae are rare for technical school. Most scholarships target specific fields, like cosmetology, culinary arts, and electrical engineering. The best way to locate these specialized scholarships is to contact your school’s financial aid office. Their job is to direct cash-strapped students to sources of funding and they should be more than happy to help you.

Corporate Scholarships

Another source of technical school scholarships comes from major corporations. Microsoft distributes hundreds of thousands of dollars every year in scholarships, and if you are or are planning on pursuing a technical school degree in computer science or computer engineering, you should check out their program. Applicants must attend an accredited technical school that ultimately leads to a Bachelor’s degree. They award both need- and merit-based scholarships and are particularly interested in giving awards to minorities. All applicants, though, must have high grade point averages.

Shell Oil Company also offers a generous technical school scholarship ($20,000 over four years) for students who are studying fields related to oil and oil exploration. Recipients will also have the opportunity to work as an intern at Shell each year, which will look great on resumes.

Scholarships for Women

There are also many technical school scholarships for women. Both public and private financial aid institutions recognize that women need to increase their presence in technical fields. Like most of the other awards, they tend to be specific to a given field so you will have to do some research on your own to find the right award for you.

Technical school scholarships are an increasingly important tool for students who want to further their educations and careers. Luckily there are more and more scholarship opportunities for the growing demand for technical school education.

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