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7 top scholarships for transfer students
Consider these ways to fund your transition to a four-year university.
If you’re making the switch from a community college to a four-year college, expect higher cost of tuition, books and room and board if you choose to live on campus. But there are scholarships out there specifically for transfer students with various backgrounds and needs.
How we picked these scholarships
We selected transfer student scholarships that vary in eligibility requirements and the full range of need- and merit-based scholarships. We also paid attention to amounts and how many scholarships are awarded each year, and if a scholarship was specific to a particular field or area of study.
Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship
- Amount: Up to $40,000 annually
- Deadline: November 20
The list is off with a bang — this scholarship is huge. You can receive up to $40,000 annually depending on the cost of attendance at your school, and you can renew the scholarship for up to three years. But it’s only available to first-time transfer students. So, if you’ve completed a semester at a four-year university, you’re not eligible to apply.
The Pearson Scholarship for Higher Education
- Amount: $5,000
- Deadline: May 1
This is another strong scholarship for transfer students who have excelled academically and are part of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. It awards $5,000 to 10 students each year. Complete the Leaders of Promise scholarship application and submit the additional essay.
Tau Sigma National Honor Society Scholarship
- Amount: $500 to $5,000
- Deadline: Varies, typically mid-November
Tau Sigma is an honor society specific to transfer students designed to support transfer students as they move from community college to a university. To qualify for this scholarship, you must be nominated by the advisor at your local chapter. Each chapter can nominate one recipient, and larger chapters can nominate two. Despite being a competitive scholarship with strict application requirements, in the past Tau Sigma has awarded almost 60 scholarships, totalling over $100,000.
- Amount: $1,000
- Deadline: March 1
This scholarship is for scholars looking to go into the field of accounting. It’s specifically for students transferring from a community college to a university, and who plan to enroll in a bachelor-level accounting program. Multiple scholarships are awarded each year, country wide.
The Hispanic Scholarship Fund College Scholarship
- Amount: $500 to $5,000
- Deadline: April 19
The HSF Scholarship is designed to assist students of Hispanic heritage earn a university degree. The scholarship is awarded to more than just transfer students, and includes high school seniors, undergraduate students and graduate students.
META Foundation Scholarships
- Amount: Up to$6,000 payable over four years
- Deadline: March 31
This scholarship is split between your four years of school, and is awarded to students who are leaders and mentors in their communities. While the scholarship is open to high school seniors, transfer students are encouraged to apply. Scholarships as high as $6,000 are spread over four years and are awarded to students of Hipanic origin from Southern California with financial need.
William P. Reiman Memorial Scholarship Fund
- Amount: $1,000
- Deadline: January 26
Those interested in pursuing a career in agriculture and who reside in Ventura county can consider this scholarship. Transfer students must come from a Ventura county community college. Although the scholarship is not automatically renewable, you can apply for a new scholarship annually. Submit a 500 to 700 word essay explaining why you’re pursuing a career in agriculture.
How else can I pay for school?
Scholarships usually don’t cover the full cost of attending a four-year college. Before taking out a loan, consider these other options to pay for college.
- Check out paid internships. Some scholarship programs for law students offer paid internships while attending school. When applying for a scholarship, ask if there is an opportunity to work in an area related to your major. You’ll gain experience and lower your overall costs.
- Get a federal grant. The federal government, states and many colleges offer grants that don’t have to be paid back. Most grants are awarded based on financial need like the Federal Pell Grant. To apply, submit the FAFSA. Or, ask someone in your school’s financial aid office for information on available college grants.
- Work-study programs. Federal work-study programs allow you to earn as you learn. Work-study provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students that show financial need. Work study helps students pay for education-related expenses without missing classes. TheFAFSA4caster gives you an estimate of the federal student aid you may be eligible for.
Compare student loan providers
You can expect tuition to increase as you transfer from a community college to a four-year university. Thankfully, there are plenty of scholarship options available specifically for you. Our guide to student loans has more information on funding opportunities.
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