Starting the Scholarship Application Process

Young woman on a laptop in a library
The San Diego Foundation Common Scholarship Application simplifies the process for students seeking scholarships. Here are some tips for getting started.

As the cost of higher education increases, scholarship support is becoming more and more helpful for San Diego students who want to pursue and persist through college.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the average cost for undergraduate tuition, fees, room and board is estimated to be $17,237 at public institutions and $44,551 at private institutions.

Scholarship programs such as The San Diego Foundation Community Scholarship Program not only alleviate debt down the line, but also allow students to focus less on finances and more on their own success while in school.

So how do you start the application process to ensure you have the best chance to receive a scholarship?

Getting Started

This year, students can apply for more than $2.7 million in awards to any type of higher education institution, such as community colleges, four-year universities, career/technical schools, teaching credential programs, and graduate, medical or professional schools.

Eligibility Questions

Before you begin, it’s important to know that you may be eligible for a variety of scholarship awards.

Even if you’re not a straight-A, star athlete or student body president, there are plenty of opportunities for awards. Some scholarships are based on financial need, attendance at certain school districts in San Diego or even what type of degree or career you plan to pursue. You can see a helpful list of each scholarship and the criteria here.

The best part is that you don’t have to read through each scholarship to determine which ones are best for you. When you first login to the Common Scholarship Application, you will be asked a series of questions that will help you find which scholarships fit your background and situation. You may then apply for (and receive!) as many scholarships as you are eligible for.

Practice the Application and Prepare Your Personal Statement

We also encourage you to use the practice application to help gather all your academic and personal information before filling anything out. This can be a helpful resource to check off all the details you’ll need before the deadline.

Lastly, don’t rush when writing your personal statement. Always remember to:

  • Give yourself enough time to write and re-write your response
  • Differentiate yourself by demonstrating your passions
  • Ask your families and friends to proofread your personal statement

For more advice on applying, check out our “Tips for a Competitive Scholarship Application.”

Local Impact

Thanks to the generosity of hundreds of donors, the Community Scholarship Program is the largest private non-university scholarship provider in San Diego County. Since 1997, the program has awarded more than $33 million to thousands of students.

This year we’re offering more than 100 unique scholarship opportunities.

The Common Scholarship Application is currently open for all students to apply and the deadline to complete applications of February 5, 2020 at 2:00pm PT.

Start Applying