Private Scholarships

Each year, hundreds of UC Santa Cruz undergraduates apply for and receive thousands of scholarship dollars from private organizations. The organizations have their own eligibility criteria and application processes. Many organizations award scholarships to qualified students regardless of financial need.

Finding private scholarships and applying for them can be time consuming. However, the rewards can be great - scholarships help reduce a student's need to accept student loans or to work part-time in order to pay educational costs. If you receive a scholarship, stay in contact with the agency that funds it - let hem know how much you appreciate their support and reapply each year.  If you are able to make a personal visit, your chances of future funding may be improved.

Beware of scholarship scams. A good rule of thumb is: "If you have to pay money to get money, it's probably a scam."

Note: UC Santa Cruz is not affiliated with these sites, which may be sponsored by lenders or other commercial interests. Before entering personal information at these (or any other) sites, be sure to read the site's privacy policy carefully.

  • UCSC Scholarship List

    UCSC Scholarship List

    We post scholarships as we become aware of them at this site.

  • FastWeb


    Fastweb members are matched to relevant scholarship opportunities completely free of charge.
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    A free scholarship and fellowship search service that helps match you with awards you qualfiy to apply for.
  • BrokeScholar


    BrokeScholar is a free financial aid and scholarship search engine owned and operated by Chase Student Loans.
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    Bay Area Gardener’s

    Bay Area Gardener’s Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to providing financial support to eligible economically disadvantaged students. The foundation plans to award at least ten scholarships per academic year and two special scholarships to deserving students whom are academics standouts and who value and are committed to community service.

  • The Chicana/Latina Foundation

    The Chicana/Latina Foundation

    Each year the Chicana Latina Foundation awards merit-based scholarships to 30 Latina college students, valued at $1,500 dollars each.  The application deadline is in March.  The Foundation is a non-profit organization which promotes professional and leadership development of Latinas. The Foundation's mission is to empower Chicanas/Latinas through personal, educational, and professional advancement.
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    Chicano Organizing & Research in Education

    The “Que Llueva Café” Scholarship aims to support the dreams, hopes and aspirations of college bound undocumented students so that they can earn their college education and allow for all of their hard work and sacrifice to persevere. This scholarship program strives to make a world of difference. ¡Ójala que llueva café!

  • Coalition of Higher Education Assistance Organizations (COHEAO)

    Coalition of Higher Education Assistance Organizations (COHEAO)

    The Coalition of Higher Education Assistance Organizations (COHEAO) annually awards scholarships to undergraduate students who attend COHEAO member institutions. On an annual basis, COHEAO awards up to three $1,000 scholarships based on applicants and dollars available in the scholarship fund.

  • College Track

    College Track provides support to our college students through academic advising and help finding financial aid. 
  • Davis-Putter Scholarships

    Davis-Putter Scholarships

    This fund provides need-based scholarships to college students actively working for peace and justice and who are part of the progressive movement on the campus and in the community. The Fund was founded in 1961 as the Marian Davis Scholarship Fund, a memorial to a teacher and political activist who died of breast cancer in 1960. Marian was an advocate for racial justice and the rights of labor.

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    East Bay College Fund

    East Bay College Fund provides $16,000 four-year scholarships, mentoring, on-going college counseling and life skills training to East Bay (primarily Oakland) public high school students from low income families and communities with historically low college attendance rates. East   The focus is on helping to ensure that recipients are successful and graduate from college.

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    Educators for Fair Consideration

    Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC) offers low-income immigrant students, from the San Francisco Bay Area, scholarships to attend U.S. colleges. Also see their Financial Aid Guide for College Bound Undocumented Students.
  • Gates Milleniumn Scholars

    Gates Milleniumn Scholars

    The goal of this program is to promote academic excellence and to provide an opportunity for outstanding minority students with significant financial need to reach their highest potential.  GMS selects 1,000 talented students each year to receive a good-through-graduation scholarship to use at any college or university of their choice. They provide Gates Millennium Scholars with personal and professional development through our leadership programs along with academic support throughout their college career.

  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund

    Hispanic Scholarship Fund

    Scholarships are open to Hispanic-Americans who are U.S. citizens or permanent resident, submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), will be full time undergraduate students, and have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher.  HSF works to address the barriers that keep many Latinos from earning a college degree. In addition to scholarship opportunities for deserving Latino students, they offer a broad range of outreach and educational programming to help students and their families navigate through the rigors of college life.

  • Latino College Dollars

    Latino College Dollars

    The Latino College Dollars Directory, published by The Tomás Rivera Policy Institute, provides a comprehensive list of scholarships

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    MALDEF (The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) provides a comprehensive directory of scholarships open to or specifically designated for undocumented students.

  • The Rising Farmworker Dream Fund

    The Rising Farmworker Dream Fund

    Awards are intended to encourage the sons and daughters of farmworkers to pursue MBA degrees and in turn, develop more leaders who will channel resources to the U.S. farmworking community. RFDF focuses on educating students about the benefits of an MBA degree as well as the process of MBA admissions – an often rigorous and competitive journey.

  • Sallie Mae Fund Scholarships

    Sallie Mae Fund Scholarships

    The Sallie Mae Fund sponsors several scholarship programs and supports hundreds of college scholarships. All programs are based on financial need, as The Fund seeks to bridge the dollar gap when no one else can.

  • Silicon Valley Community Foundation Scholarships

    Silicon Valley Community Foundation Scholarships

    The Foundation administers a variety of scholarship programs with the majority of the awards designated for residents of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. The community foundation administers a variety of scholarships that grant between $500 and $15,000 to high school, community college and university students.