For those students searching for a convenient list of college scholarships for California schools, look no further. California, like most states, has a great number of scholarships and grants offered for those investing in a college degree, and we’ve named some of the best scholarships right here.

Scholarships can be difficult to find, but they are worth the trouble. Regardless of whether it takes you a month of searching for scholarships, applying to them and writing essays to get a $4,000 toward your degree, that’s typically more money than you would earn for your education throughout an entire summer.

Some of the organizations on this list of scholarships are simply examples of the kind of specific and targeted scholarships that are available, such as the Italian Catholic Scholarship. Don’t give up on finding a, in this case, religious scholarship just because you aren’t Italian or Catholic. Most religious organizations offer some kind of financial aid to their members, as do many secularist societies. Some of the options on this list, like Cal Grants, are open to all California residents, and most of the applicants that meet the demonstrated financial need requirements get the grants. So be creative, and examine every possible avenue when looking for scholarships. It’s one of the best ways to earn money to fund your higher education.

These programs are not ranked in any particular order. A lot of scholarship organizations offer a number of scholarships with different rewards, and because of the different application processes and levels of eligibility, it’s difficult to say whether one is better than another. The purpose of this list is to introduce students to the larger scholarships for students attending colleges in California and highlight the different varieties of organizations that also offer scholarships.

10. Sacramento Press Club Scholarships

The Sacramento Press Club is an example of a professional organization offering scholarships that are intended to expand their own career field and help those wishing to enter the specific workforce. The journalism scholarships offered are meant to fund students who are in journalism programs. The Sacramento Press Club offers seven scholarships per year, totaling over $34,000.

Scholarship Awards: $4,000-$8,000

9. Italian Catholic Federation Scholarships

Many religious organizations provide members with scholarships, and the Italian Catholic Federation is one example of this. Scholarships are often offered by multiple levels of religious organizations. Some are offered directly by the church, and others are offered by organizations associated with the church. There are secular society organizations that operate similarly.

Scholarships Award: Year 1 $500, Year 2 $600, Year 3 $600, Year 4 $1,000

8. Bobby Sox Softball Scholarship

Girls in the eighth grade or above can receive scholarships by playing softball with the Bobby Sox Softball organization. The organization provides girls with the opportunity to develop socially, ethically and physically while building confidence in themselves and their talents. The organization’s motto emphasizes friendship, sportsmanship, citizenship and leadership.

Scholarship Award: $250-$1,000

7. Friends of the CA State Fair Scholarship

This volunteer organization helps put on the CA State Fair. The members put in a lot of time and hard work to make the CA State Fair a good experience for everybody. High school students who volunteer with Friends of the CA State Fair are eligible for the scholarships offered by the organization. Many community initiatives, service organizations and volunteer groups offer scholarships to students who get involved.

Scholarship Award: $750-$5,000

6. Association of California Water Agencies Awards

The Association of California Water Agencies is one example of the sorts of professional association scholarships that are available. This particular scholarship is only restricted to students living within California, but some professional organizations and associations limit scholarships to their members, employees or children of members or employees.

Scholarship Award: Two Scholarships, $3,000 each.

5. Carson Scholars

The West Coast chapter of Carson Scholars celebrated 45 new Carson Scholars in 2014. This program is unique because they award the scholarships to young children so that the child will invest in and grow the scholarship to build up a future college fund. The scholarship alone might not seem like a lot of money, but awarding it to young people can help motivate them to do well in school and move on to college. It provides children tangible proof that they will undoubtedly go to college.

Scholarship Amount: $1,000

4. WSCGA Foundation

While the various scholarships offered by the WSCGA are directed toward different disciplines, the main requirements include the following: the applicant plays golf, is a woman, has a 3.2+ GPA, is a full time Southern California student and a resident of Southern California. The disciplines in which the WSCGA offers scholarships are English and journalism, nursing and pre-med, biological sciences and law.

Scholarship Amounts: Various

3. AASK Debolt Scholarship

These scholarships are specifically reserved for promising children adopted from the foster care system. They offer wards of up to $3,000, as well as smaller awards for runners up. These scholarships are awarded to students attending college, university or vocational school. The grants are unrestricted and can be used for many purposes, including defraying any costs associated with higher education.

Grant Amount: Top Award is $3,000

2. California Dream Act

Those that qualify as “California Dreamers” can apply for a broad range of grants, normally reserved for California citizens and those considered “dreamers”. So, whether you already live there or you wish you could move there, you will qualify for in-state tuition. To qualify, students must have attended California high school for three years or graduated early from a California high school, attained a GED or taken the CHSPE exam, enrolled in a qualifying California college or university and, if applicable, completed an affidavit to legalize immigration status as soon as he or she is eligible.

Grant Amount: Varies, $500-14,000

1. CalGrants

Aside from typical college scholarships, the Cal Grant system is designed to help students, who meet the financial need requirements, go to college. There are several different grants within this system. The big ones are intended to help cover all or most of your tuition costs, while the smaller grants exist to help with purchasing textbooks among other expenses. There are also competitive versions of these grants for students who don’t meet the financial need requirements but have performed excellently.

Cal Grant A: $4,000-$12,192

Cal Grant B: Up to $1,473

Cal Grant C: $547-$2,462

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