Whether you’re attending an Arizona college or are an Arizona resident, there are probably some Arizona scholarships and grants you’re eligible to apply for. Many of these scholarships are available to students based simply on the fact that they live in Arizona, while others are available based on need or merit. Here are some of the top Arizona scholarships and grants to look out for when you’re checking out Arizona financial aid:
- SunStudents Scholarship Program
This is a program run through the Phoenix Suns Charity organization. It awards ten $1,000 Arizona scholarships each year to students graduating from Arizona high schools. Students must have a grade point average of 2.5 or higher and must show that they’re involved in volunteer services or charitable activities through their schools, churches, or community organizations.
In order to apply for the scholarship, students must get an application form from Phoenix Suns Charities. The application consists of a written application, a written essay, and two letters of recommendation. Students are encouraged to start filing their application early in their senior year, as it can take time to get the application materials together.
- Arizona LEAP Program
The LEAP – Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership – is a program that is federally funded but administered by Arizona. These Arizona grants for school are based on needs. Students must both be residents of Arizona and attend an Arizona postsecondary institution in order to qualify for the grants. Students must be legal U.S. citizens, although some legal non-citizens are eligible for the award, as well. Students must also be enrolled at least half-time in an accredited university or college in Arizona.
In order to apply for the LEAP scholarship, students must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid before the spring deadline each year they are in school. Those who qualify financially will be awarded up to $2,500 per academic year, based on the availability of funds and the amount of demonstrated need. Students may re-apply for the grant as long as they are making good academic progress according to their institution.
- Arizona Private Postsecondary Education Student Assistance Program
This Arizona grants program is a mouthful, but it’s helpful for students attending private schools in Arizona. This grant is actually a forgivable loan for students who have already graduated from a community college with an Associate’s degree or other non-Bachelor’s qualification. Students can be awarded up to $2,000 per academic year. As long as they finish a Bachelor’s within three years, the grant is free and doesn’t need to be repaid. If students fail to finish within this amount of time, however, the loan must be repaid in full.
In order to qualify for this grant, students must graduate from an Arizona Public Community College or a community college under the jurisdiction of an Arizona Indian tribe. Students must file the FAFSA to demonstrate financial need, and they must maintain progress toward their degree.
A similar program in Arizona grants is the Postsecondary Education Grant. This is for students who have not attended college yet but who are attending a private postsecondary institution for their Bachelor’s degree. To qualify for these Arizona scholarships, students must fill out the FAFSA and have a GPA of 2.5 or be in the top 50% of their high school classes. Students must have resided in Arizona for at least a year, and they must enroll in college at least half time. In this case, students can qualify for up to $2,000 per academic year, which must be repaid if students fail to complete a Bachelor’s degree within five years.
- Arizona’s Early Graduation Scholarship Grant Program
This is an interesting program meant to encourage students to graduate high school early if possible and then to jump right into a college education. Students must reside in Arizona and must attend one of ninety institutions in the state that participate in this program. Students must graduate at least a year early from high school and must immediately enroll in an Arizona postsecondary institution, be it a community college, public university, or private institution.
Students may receive up to $2,000 given out over the space of two academic years. The money can be used for tuition but may also be used for school-related expenses, including books and other academic fees. Students should check with their high school guidance counselors to apply for this award, which can be combined with most other Arizona grants and scholarships.
- Arizona CPA Foundation High School Scholarship
If you’re still having trouble finding Arizona financial aid to meet your needs for schooling, there are several private organizations in the state that offer Arizona scholarships. The Arizona Society of CPAs Foundation offers eight $500 scholarships each year to Arizona high school seniors.
To qualify, students must enroll in an Arizona university or community college the fall after their senior years, and they must enroll in school full time at this point. Students must major in accounting, and they must complete a scholarship deadline. Students are chosen for this award based on academics, leadership qualities, and community service, so this is not a needs-based scholarship. Students who are interested in accounting and wish to apply for this award can download the application at the Arizona CPA Foundation website.
- ASTA Arizona Scholarship
Arizona has lots of tourism, which is why a tourism organization supports this scholarship for students who are interested in the tourism and hospitality industry. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA and attend full-time or part-time at an Arizona university or college in a tourism or travel-related course of study. Students must show sufficient academic progress to continue to renew this scholarship.
In order to apply, students should seek out the Tourism Cares website to download the application form. The form requires that students include a copy of their passport, a resume, two letters of recommendation, an essay discussing career goals and preparation through extracurricular activities, and an official transcript. The scholarship application is due in the spring, but it is recommended that students get a head start on the application materials!
www.azhighered.gov can give you information on many of these state-sponsored Arizona scholarships.