District of Columbia Grants And Scholarships for School and College

For students who are embarking on their college education, coming up with the money necessary to cover the cost of school can be difficult and at times, near impossible. Luckily, the District of Columbia offers several different funding options in the form of grants and scholarships for students who are intent on pursuing their education.

Prior to applying for the grants, students should submit their FAFSA (the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form; details here) so that their Expected Family Contribution (EFC) can be calculated (this form is the most important one when it comes to determining eligibility for both federal and state grants. Students must prioritize the submission of the FAFSA).

The student’s EFC is used by the administrators of grant and scholarship programs to determine the financial needs of the student. Although many scholarships are also merit based, most grants are handed out according to each individual’s financial need. This is calculated from the income disclosure provided on the FAFSA, and reported using the EFC.

Tuition Assistance Program

This grant program was created in 1999 as a part of the District of Columbia’s College Access. In 2002, the Act was expanded to include more funding for students in the District of Columbia. To receive the grant, students must be United States citizens and be residents of the District of Columbia. They should be less than 24 years of age and have a high school degree or General Equivalency Diploma.

Students who plan on receiving this grant cannot be in default on any of their federal student loans. Since the grant is intended to help students with the cost of their college education, students must be enrolled in a degree program and cannot already have a baccalaureate degree. To continue to receive grant money, students must keep up their grades and show progress toward receiving their degree.

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I EMPOWER Scholarship

Created by the Thursday Network, this scholarship is intended to help students in the District of Columbia’s metropolitan area. High school students must apply for the scholarship prior to starting at a four-year university. Students should be graduating from high school and have a GPA of at least a 3.0.

Since the program was started in 1992, the Thursday Network has awarded over $130,000 to eligible high school seniors. Individuals in the District of Columbia, Prince George county and Montgomery County can apply for the I EMPOWER scholarship.

The Alumnae Panhellenic Association Scholarship

Another scholarship for District of Columbia students is offered by the Alumnae Panhellenic Association of the Washington, D.C. area. Students must be members of the organization or a participating sorority. In addition, they must be current college students and turn in their completed applications by March 15 of the prior year. Any award winners will receive their notifications by April 15.

The total amount awarded is $750. Currently, the scholarship organization hands out three scholarships a year. If more funding exists, the organization can vary the number or amount of the awards.

Women’s Opportunity Award

District of Columbia School Grants and ScholarshipsRun by the Soroptimist International organization in the District of Columbia, this award is given to young women who are committed to making the world a better place. Women must be currently trying to better their skills or educational level. This organization works to help women receive the resources they need to achieve a better education and employment options.

Any cash given out can be used to pay for tuition, transportation, childcare or books associated with the cost of obtaining an education. The volunteer organization normally hands out $2,000 to the year’s scholarship winner at their March banquet. Once students receive the initial award, they may continue on to regional and international competitions for further award opportunities. Created in 1922, the volunteers and members of the Soroptimist International organization in the District of Columbia are a part of more than 95,000 members around the world who work to better the life of people in their community.

MD and DC Credit Union Scholarship

Each year the Credit Union Foundation awards $11,000 in scholarship money. Ten awards of $1,000 are handed out based on the results of an essay competition while one award is given to a talented video producer. Students who are interested in the scholarship should apply at www.cufound.org/scholarship.htm by the scholarship’s deadline to potentially receive the award. To be eligible, students must be a member of a credit union based in the D.C. or Maryland area.

Kappa Scholarship

Students who receive a scholarship from this endowment fund must have a GPA of at least a 2.5. In addition, students must exhibit financial need and show involvement in the community or school. This award is intended for high school seniors who have already been accepted into a university program.

Mid-Atlantic Security Traders Foundation

This non-profit organization operates as an affiliate of the Security Traders Association. Every year the scholarship program is intended to hand out at least three scholarships of $2,500 apiece. Winners are announced each August and award dollars are sent to the students’ school.

To apply for this program, students must submit their transcripts, an application and a scholarship essay. The essay must be written on the topic of how security markets affect daily lives. Applications will be evaluated by the scholarship committee based on their GPA, essay, extracurricular activities, letters of reference and academic honors.

ESA Marsh Scholarship Program

This program is intended for surfers who are currently members of the Eastern Surfers Association. It was created in honor of Mike Marsh. As a law student, Mike led his community and school by example. While waging a battle against cancer, he received his degree and continued to be a part of the surfing community. Each year, the organization gives renewable awards of $8,000 to scholarship winners.

To apply, students must submit all of their information by May 15. Students should be United States citizens and submit a detailed essay explaining their future goals. Awards are handed out based on the student’s academic merit and not athletic ability.

Roothbert Scholarship

Students who apply for this scholarship program must be students in an undergraduate or graduate program. The Roothbert Fund actively seeks out students who are motivated by their spiritual believes. This fund is driven by volunteers in New York City who review all the applications before awarding 20 scholarships. Finalists for the scholarship program must visit the fund for a short personal interview.

Legacy of Life Essay Contest

Students in the District of Columbia or the surrounding metropolitan area may apply for this scholarship program. Each applicant must write an essay about organ donation to be considered. Students must be United States citizens and be currently accepted into a university program.

The scholarship program is run with money from the Leslie Evert memorial Fund. In 2001, a staff member at the WRTC by the name of Leslie Ebert passed away. In honor of her, the award program exists to commemorate individuals who gave the gift of life. To be considered, students must follow all of the application rules and turn in the completed form by the deadline. Any applications that are received after the deadline has passed will not be considered.

Wanda Alston and Cheryl Spector Scholarships

The Young Pride Alliance was started in 1996. They have recently started a scholarship program that is intended to support the gay and lesbian communities in the District of Columbia. Students who are looking for District of Columbia state grants should apply for this scholarship by the deadline. Successful applicants will receive money for their education. Two applicants are selected each year to receive the award. Applicants must be active members of their community and promote acceptance.

Online Resources

District of Columbia Department of Education


MD & DC Credit Union Scholarship


Virginia State Grants and Scholarships

Virginia state grants are an ideal way for students in the state to obtain funding for their college education. Students should complete their federal financial aid applications and enroll at an accredited institution. Most scholarship and grant programs will require the student to be enrolled at a university.

In addition, students should complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form early in the year they plan to attend school. The data disclosed on this form is used by federal and state governments to determine each student’s level of financial need, and accordingly, eligibility for a grant.

Some grants and scholarships to investigate…

Junior Achievement Essay

virginia state grantsThis essay competition is sponsored by David M. Rubenstein. Students in the Greater Washington region are eligible to compete for more than $100,000 of scholarship money that is intended to be awarded. The essay competition is open from August 24 to October 31. Students must write 1,000 to 1,500 word essays on topics decided by the scholarship committee. Whichever school has the highest number of applicants will receive an additional $6,000.

Carville M. Akehurst Memorial Scholarship

Started in 2002, this scholarship was created by the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade show. As one of the founders of MANTS, Carville M. Akehurst was a leader in the field of horticulture. He serves as vice-president of MANTS as well as Executive Secretary of the Maryland Nurserymen’s Association of Horticulture. The commemorative scholarship is handed out to students in the nursery and landscape profession. Scholarship winners will receive $1,000.

Bridgewater College Lantz Scholarship

This renewable scholarship is given to students at Bridgewater College. To receive the award, incoming freshmen must have at least a 3.2 GPA. Additionally, students must either graduate from Broadway High School or be members at the Linville Creek Church.

Virginia College Scholarship Assistance

This need-based grant was initiated in 1973. It was created to assist students who are extremely financially disadvantaged. To receive one of these Virginia state grants, students must fill out their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the deadline. All information in the application must be completely accurate. Students who attend private institutions must file an additional form known as the Tuition Assistance Grant to receive funding. To receive more information about the Virginia state grants program, students should check out http://www.schev.edu/students/undergradFinancialAidPrograms.asp.

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Mid-Atlantic Security Traders Foundation

Students who seek to receive this grant must be business majors in their sophomore or junior year of college. The non-profit organization awards a minimum of three scholarships every year of $2,500. One award winner from Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia receive one each of the three awards. Every August, the scholarship announces its award winners. Any money handed out is given to the students colleges in their names.

Students who apply for the award must be studying business, finance e.g: banking and other internation issues or economics. Applicants must be United States students and turn in their college transcript. The award is figured out according to the student’s essay, GPA, personal references and the honors the student received.

Lee-Jackson Educational Foundation

This scholarship award was made to commemorate the military achievements of General Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. Jackson. Anyone applying for the award must be a Virginia high school junior or senior. Each year, the foundation gives out one $10,000 award, eight $2,000 awards and eighteen $1,000 awards. Students must turn in their academic history and an essay detailing the personal traits they have that are similar to the military leaders.

For this award, students are not judged based off of their financial need.

Awards are handed out according to personal qualities and academic merit only. This foundation was started in 1953 and has enabled countless students to attend university. To find out more about the scholarship essay and receive an application, visit http://www.lee-jackson.org.

Virginia Commonwealth Awards

The commonwealth of Virginia created this award to help out undergraduate students who exhibit extreme financial needs. Students who want to achieve this award must send in their FAFSA application. Once the FAFSA has been completed, Virginia state residents will automatically be considered for the award. Each award is given out based on the students need.

Students who exhibit signs of greater financial need will receive a larger award. For more information about the award program, students should visit http://www.schev.edu/Students/factsheetCOMMA.asp.

Guaranteed Assistance Program

The Virginia Assistance Program was started to help financially disadvantaged students attend university. Students that exhibit the greatest amount of financial need will receive a larger grant. State law requires that students be given amounts in accordance with their financial need.

Students who seek to receive the award should be Virginia state residents and be enrolled in school full-time. To show their financial need, students must have completed their FAFSA and turned in the EFC amount to the award program. In addition, students must have at least a 2.5 GPA and be a graduate of a high school in Virginia. To check out more information about the award program, look at http://www.schev.edu/Students/factsheetVGAP.asp.

Higher Education Teacher Assistance Program

This award program was established by SCHEV to address the shortage of quality teachers within the state of Virginia. Award money is given out to students who are currently awarded in a K-12 preparation program.

To be accepted into the program, students must be enrolled at a qualified institution and be making academic progress within their degree program. They should demonstrate financial need and be nominated by a faculty member at their college.

In addition, students cannot currently owe money on any educational loans. Any student who is not already exempt must register for the Selective Service prior to applying for the loan. To receive more information about the Teacher Assistance Program, students should visit http://www.schev.edu/students/undergrad/FinancialAidPrograms.asp.

Tuition Assistance Grant Program

Another one of Virginia state grants is available to students who exhibit signs of academic merit. Awards are not given out based on financial need. To be eligible for the program, students must be attending a college in Virginia and be enrolled full-time. The award program was created in 1973 and has helped many students since that year to obtain their college degrees. To apply for the award, students should visit their college’s financial aid office for more information.

Online resources:

Teacher Assistance Program


Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program