Florida Scholarships To Fund Your Skills-Based Education

Share this article with your network.

Don't know what you want to do?
Take our 2-minute quiz
Boats and tall buildings in Miami
Florida is known for its water and sunshine, but it should also be recognized for its abundant scholarship opportunities. (Credit: Don Donelson/Shutterstock)

If you live in Florida and want to pursue a skills-based career, your next logical question may be, how am I going to pay for it without taking on debt? We've created this helpful resource to help you answer that question.

Our list of Florida scholarships and grants is focused on options that can be used toward an associate degree, technical diploma or certificate. Many of these funding sources can also be used to fund four-year degrees, but that's not the focus as it is with most scholarship lists.

We've also created a good starting point for your scholarship search with our guide to finding trade school scholarships. It includes important initial steps, like how to make sure specific schools are accredited, where to fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, how to find out if you’re eligible for a federal Pell Grant, and links to the best national scholarship websites.

As you start working on your scholarship plan, keep these helpful tips in mind:

  • Fill out the FAFSA form even if you aren’t seeking federal aid because many Florida scholarships and grants require it. In addition, you may need to fill out a Florida Financial Aid Application (FFAA) form.
  • Seek out all the scholarships options specific to your situation: Does the institution you want to attend offer scholarships? What about local employers? And don't forget about community, business and religious groups that support causes relevant to your life. We list dozens of options below, but there are many more available.

Florida scholarships and grants for trade school & community college

Most of these scholarships require that you be a resident of Florida. Some require that you also attend postsecondary school in Florida.

State-Run Scholarship Programs

Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program

Bright Futures provides a group of renewable scholarships funded by the Florida Lottery, including the Gold Seal Vocational Scholars program and the Gold Seal CAPE Scholars program. Applicants must be accepted or enrolled in a degree or certificate program at an eligible public or independent postsecondary institution in Florida and take at least six non-remedial semester credit hours per term. GPA and volunteer service requirements apply. In addition, students may need to have a minimum score on the ACT, SAT or Florida Postsecondary Education Readiness Test (PERT) exam. There are many ways to utilize the scholarships. For example, the GSC scholarship can be used for an associate degree, an applied technology diploma, a technical degree education program (associate in applied science or associate in science), or a career certificate program. Once a student earns an associate degree, the scholarship can be used toward earning a bachelor's degree. Learn more about the Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program.

First Generation Matching Grant 

This grant is for Florida students who have financial need, have a parent who has not earned a bachelor's degree and are enrolled in an eligible community college or state university in Florida. Learn more about the First Generation Matching Grant Program.

Children and Spouses of Deceased or Disabled Veterans Scholarships

Students between the ages of 16 and 22 who are the children of deceased or disabled veterans can apply for these scholarships, which are also available to the spouses of disabled veterans or the widowed and not remarried spouses of deceased veterans. Applicants must enroll in an undergraduate degree or certificate program, and there are requirements for the number of hours to be taken per term. Learn more about the Scholarships for Children and Spouses of Deceased or Disabled Veterans.

Florida Farmworker Student Scholarship (FFSS)

Students who are farmworkers or the children of farmworkers can apply for this scholarship, which is limited to 50 Florida residents a year who meet GPA, attendance and service requirements. Learn more about the Florida Farmworker Student Scholarship (FFSS) program.

Florida Law Enforcement Academy Scholarship

Students who want to become law enforcement officers in Florida should consider this recruitment program, which provides financial support on a first-come, first-served basis to eligible trainees. Applicants must enroll in a law enforcement officer basic recruit training program at a Florida college, institution or technical center approved by the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission. Learn more about the Florida Law Enforcement Academy Scholarship program.

Florida Student Assistance Grant

Residents with substantial financial need can apply for this state grant. It's available to students who want to attend public community colleges, career centers operated by district school boards, certified and licensed aviation maintenance schools that offer certifications and eligible four-year institutions. Students in the Talented Twenty Program for the top 20% of high school students should contact the financial aid office for eligibility. Learn more about the Florida Student Assistance Grant program.

Florida Work Experience Program (FWEP)

Florida residents who have not already earned a bachelor's degree can apply for this need-based program that provides work experience to complement a student's educational path. The program is applicable to eligible community colleges, technical career centers, educator preparation institutes, colleges and universities. Minimum GPA and enrollment requirements apply. Learn more about the Florida Work Experience Program (FWEP).

Honorably Discharged Graduate Assistance Program

This benefit for veterans provides supplemental funds for living expenses during holiday and semester breaks for active-duty and honorably discharged members of the Armed Forces who served on or after Sept. 11, 2001. Learn more about the Honorably Discharged Graduate Assistance Program.

Randolph Bracy Ocoee Scholarship

Direct descendants of victims of the Ocoee Election Day Riots of November 1920 or current African-American residents of Ocoee, Florida, can apply for this scholarship, which is an annual award of up to $6,100. Students can win one of 50 annual awards to attend a public state college, university or postsecondary technical center. Learn more about the Randolph Bracy Ocoee Scholarship.

Rosewood Family Scholarship

Descendants of the Rosewood families affected by the January 1923 attack of an angry mob in Levy County, Florida, can apply for this scholarship. Students must enroll full-time at an eligible public postsecondary institution in a program that leads to a certificate, diploma or undergraduate degree. Learn more about the Rosewood Family Scholarship.

Community Scholarship Programs

C. Valentine Bates Memorial Hope Scholarship

This scholarship, funded by the Florida State Elks Association, supports students with financial need who display leadership abilities and a dedication to community service. Special consideration is given to students who have taken on extra responsibilities, such as working during high school to help support their siblings or families. The funds can be used toward an accredited junior college, vocational/technical training program, first responders’ academy or other accredited college or university. Learn more about the C. Valentine Bates Memorial Hope Scholarship and additional scholarships funded by the Florida Elks.

Collaboratory Scholarship Program

This is a series of scholarships open to high school students, undergraduate and graduate students and adult learners from Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee counties in Florida. Some of the scholarships can be used for two-year degrees and certificate programs, but each applicant fills out the same form regardless of their educational plans. Collaboratory, formerly the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, has set a goal "to coordinate the solving of all of Southwest Florida’s major social problems on an 18-year deadline." Learn more about the Collaboratory Scholarship Program.

Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties General Scholarship

Students who are graduating high school seniors or undergraduate students from Palm Beach County or Martin County in Florida can apply to this group of scholarships. Applicants fill out one form to be considered for more than 110 scholarships. The funds can be used to attend classes full-time at a college, vocational/trade school or university. Learn more about the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties General Scholarship.

Dixie Youth Baseball (DYB) Scholarship

The only requirement for this scholarship is that you must have played in a Dixie Youth Baseball franchise league prior to reaching age 13. Financial need, grades and citizenship will be considered, but this is not an athletic scholarship. Learn more about the DYB Scholarship.

Donald L. Frendberg Scholarship Program

This is one of several scholarships offered by the Rees Scholarship Foundation to support of the HVACR (heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration) industry. Applicants must be enrolled in an HVACR training program at an accredited school in Florida. Learn more about the Donald L. Frendberg Scholarship Program.

Florida Green Building Coalition Scholarship

Applicants must be Florida residents planning to study sustainability in the built environment and can apply if they have been accepted into a qualifying trade school or are entering their junior or senior year or a graduate program. Financial need and academic record will be considered. Learn more about the Florida Green Building Coalition Scholarship.

Florida Retired Educators Foundation (FREF) Scholarship

High school seniors in Florida who are interested in becoming teachers can apply for this award, which requires students to attend an accredited Florida community college or university and, after they graduate, to teach in Florida for a year for every year the award is renewed. Learn more about the Florida Retired Educators Foundation (FREF) Scholarship.

Foundation for Seminole County Public Schools Scholarship

High school seniors in Seminole County who plan to attend a university, state college, technical college or vocational school can apply for these scholarships, funded by donors and the business community and managed by the Foundation for Seminole County Public Schools. Learn more about the Foundation for Seminole County Public Schools Scholarship

George Snow Scholarships

The George Snow Scholarship Fund, named in honor of a Boca Raton developer, offers several scholarships and provides financial and supplementary support. High school seniors with financial need, including home schooled students, who attend Palm Beach County schools or Monarch High School, Blanche Ely High School and Pompano Beach High School in Broward County can apply. Students can attend the college, university or technical school of their choice as long as it's accredited. In addition to the high school scholarship, there is a scholarship for nursing students and another for those who want to pursue a behavior or mental health profession. Learn more about the George Snow Scholarships.

InspirASIAN Scholarship

This scholarship is for graduating high school seniors who want to pursue postsecondary education in the fall and who reside in specific states, including Florida. The award can be used for any accredited two-year or four-year institution. GPA, citizenship and residency requirements apply, but students of any ethnic background are eligible. Learn more about the InspirASIAN Scholarship Program.

Jimmy Rane Foundation Scholarship

The Jimmy Rane Foundation, named after the founder of Great Southern Wood Preserving, is focused on giving back through this scholarship for hard-working students with the hope that winners will one day return the favor to someone else in need. Money is raised for the scholarship through an annual charity golf tournament. The amount of each award depends on the need of the student. Students can pursue any degree at an accredited technical college or a degree leading to a bachelor's degree at an accredited university. (Institutions must be listed by the U.S. Department of Education as accredited.) Learn more about the Jimmy Rane Foundation Scholarship program.

Kids' Chance of Florida Scholarship

This scholarship helps the children of workers killed or seriously injured in a claim accepted as compensable under the Florida Workers’ Compensation Act or several other state and federal laws. Students must be accepted for admission to an accredited technical school, college or university in Florida. Learn more about the Kids' Chance of Florida Scholarship.

Lettie Pate Whitehead Scholarship Program

Female students with financial need can apply for this scholarship, which can be used at accredited institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Many of the scholarships and grants focus on medical, nursing and allied health fields. The scholarship is named after Lettie Pate Whitehead, whose husband bought the bottling rights for Coca-Cola for $1, creating a personal fortune. She gave generously to many educational institutions during her life and the foundation has continued her focus since her death. The funds must be used at approved institutions, which include community colleges and universities. Learn more about the Lettie Pate Whitehead Scholarship Program.

Mary Fran Carroll Traditional and Non-Traditional scholarships

These scholarships, offered through the Catholic Community Foundation of Southwest Florida, are funded by a gift in honor of Mary Fran Carroll and are available to residents of Sarasota County in Florida. The traditional scholarship is an academic scholarship for those who want to earn a degree at any accredited college or university. The non-traditional scholarship is for students who have been out of high school for three or more years and want to obtain a college degree or vocational certification. Learn more about the Mary Fran Carroll Traditional and Non-Traditional scholarships.

Nat Moore Vocational Grant

Graduating high school seniors and individuals seeking vocational education in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties can apply for this grant funded by the Nat Moore Endowment Fund, named after the former wide receiver for the Miami Dolphins and the University of Florida. Applicants should be between the ages of 18-24, have financial need and must apply to an accredited trade or vocational school before the January deadline. Leadership abilities, community service and extracurricular activities will be considered. Learn more about the Nat Moore Vocational Grant.

The onePULSE Foundation Scholarships

The onePULSE Foundation offers scholarships that honor the 49 people killed in a 2016 shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The 49 scholarships are based on the respective victims’ interests, careers or aspirations. Each of the scholarships can be for as much as $10,000 and can be used at career and technical schools, colleges and universities. Some are for specific fields, such as nursing, while others can be applied to any field of study. The applicant’s personal story, financial need, academics, history of self-improvement, leadership, community activities and work experience will be considered. Family members of the 49 victims, survivors and first responders are strongly encouraged to apply. Learn more about the onePULSE Foundation Scholarships.

PenAir Credit Union Scholarship

Applicants for this scholarship must be graduating seniors who are primary members of PenAir Credit Union planning to attend an accredited college, university, community college or technical school full-time. PennAir Credit Unions are located in the Pensacola Bay area. Grades and community service will be considered. Learn more about the PenAir Credit Union Scholarship.

Regions Riding Forward Scholarship Contest

High school students in Florida and other states with Regions full-service branches can win one of 30 scholarships worth $2,500 each by submitting a written essay or a video essay about how a Black American has inspired change in their life. The money can be used toward an education at any accredited two- or four-year college. Learn more about the Regions Riding Forward Scholarship program.

Richard O. Jacobson (ROJ) Postsecondary Scholarship

Pinellas County High School seniors can apply for one of these annual scholarships. CFY matches community sponsors to students who plan to attend local and national colleges, universities, trade and vocational schools. CFY stands for Clearwater for Youth, the original name of the group before they expanded their focus to cover all of Pinellas County. Learn more about the ROJ Postsecondary Scholarship.

Simon Youth Foundation Greg Saunders Legacy and Shari Simon Greenberg Community scholarship programs

These scholarships are for students with financial need who are the children of full-time or part-time Simon Property Group employees and who plan to enroll full-time at accredited two- or four-year institutions, including vocational and technical schools. Learn more about the Simon Youth Foundation scholarships.

Southern Automotive Women's Forum (SAWF) Scholarship

This scholarship helps women who plan to enroll, or are already enrolled, in a STEM-related field, such as science, technology, engineering or math at an accredited two-year technical program, four-year undergraduate program or a graduate program. The degree or program must be applicable to a career in the automotive industry, and the institution must be located in Florida or another Southern state. Learn more about the SAWF Scholarship.

Sweet Feet Foundation Scholarship

Students who are active in their communities, volunteer, play a sport or have a job can apply for this group of scholarships. The foundation was started by Diana White and James White, former running back for the New England Patriots, to provide scholarships and support for underprivileged youth who have athletic or academic abilities. Applicants must meet income and GPA requirements and be from Florida, Wisconsin or the New England area. Learn more about the Sweet Feet Foundation Scholarship.

TheDream.US Scholarship Program

This scholarship supports low-income, undocumented students in 24 states who are eligible for in-state tuition at specific schools. The scholarship team partners with more than 80 institutions that have a good track record of helping first-generation students. Types of partner schools vary by state and include two- and four-year institutions and some online colleges. Learn more about TheDream.US Scholarship program.

Warrick Dunn Charities' Hearts for Community Service Scholarship

This $5,000 scholarship is intended to create better access to higher-paying jobs and economic stability for those who need financial help to attend a postsecondary institution. Students can use the award toward trade school, an associate degree or a bachelor's degree. Learn more about the Warrick Dunn Charities' Hearts for Community Service Scholarship.

Zakat Foundation Community Service Scholarship

This scholarship supports students who live in specific states and want to pursue a two- or four-year college degree. Students must have proof of their community service, as zakat or charity is the foundation's focus. Learn more about the Zakat Foundation Community Service Scholarship.

Additional tools to help in your search for scholarships in Florida

As you continue your financial aid search, remember these helpful resources:

  • Talk to your school guidance counselor: Don't overlook this valuable member of your financial aid team. This person will understand the local financial aid landscape and know what matters to regional employers.
  • The Florida Department of Education site contains a list of scholarships and other financial aid options for Florida residents. The site also explains how Career & Technical Education (CTE) programs in high school are structured and how those frameworks prepare students for occupations that are economically important in Florida.
  • The Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) website is worth a bookmark  because it offers organized information and easy access to forms, reports, a list of eligible institutions and a scholarship and grant calendar.

Finding money to pay for your skills-based education in Florida is possible. Get started early and you may end up with little to no debt!

Please help us improve this page. If we've left off a scholarship or grant that could help students who want to attend community college, technical school or trade school, send us an email to contactus@skillpointe.com.

Feeling overwhelmed with options?

Take the SkillPointe Quiz

It’s OK if you don’t know what you want to do. This short visual quiz will help you identify skills-based careers that best match your personality.

Young woman wearing blue jean jacket and carrying a notebook shrugs