By SkillPointe Staff
A point of pride in Georgia is the 2.1 million students who have been helped by HOPE, a collection of aid programs that help students pay for education beyond high school. In fact, the HOPE program has become a national model for merit-based financial aid. In addition, numerous need-based scholarships and grants are available to help different students — including those who are leaning toward a skills-based career — pay for education and training.
There are plenty of options, but the search for financial aid requires patience and organization. It’s possible to gather enough money that you end up with the training you need for a good-paying job with little or no debt.
First, start with SkillPointe’s guide to finding trade school scholarships, which covers the initial steps you need to take, including:
- Make sure the school you’ve chosen is accredited. Check the Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs (DAPIP) and type in the name of the school.
- Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form, more commonly known as the FAFSA form. The form establishes your eligibility for all educational assistance.
- Find out if you’re eligible for a Pell Grant.
- Consider the trade school scholarships available nationally and add them to your list. (We update this list as we find new scholarships.)
- If you are a high school senior, you’ll benefit from a new program called GEORGIA MATCH, which makes it easy to see which Georgia public colleges and universities are a match for you based on your HOPE grade point average (GPA). The program doesn’t guarantee admission, but it’s a good starting point for understanding your compatibility with all Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) schools and most institutions in the University System of Georgia (USG).
- Get familiar with the main scholarship sites, which include programs that cover a trade school education. Use the filters and search features to find ones that apply to your situation.
- Don’t forget to look for scholarships available through the school you plan to attend. There may even be a scholarship for the specific career you’re training for.
Georgia Scholarships You Can Use To Pursue a Trade School Education
Students who’ve done well in high school and want to pursue skills-based training will be able to cover some or all of their tuition costs because of the lottery-funded scholarships listed at the top of this list. We’ve also included several need-based scholarships.
State-Run Scholarship and Grant Programs
The Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally or HOPE Scholarship helps high school students and those who’ve earned a High School Equivalency diploma (HSE) cover the cost of tuition at public technical colleges, public and private universities and other approved postsecondary institutions. It's funded by the Georgia Lottery for Education, and it requires that students earn a certain GPA. Students who weren’t academically eligible initially for the HOPE scholarship in high school but do well in their postsecondary studies may become eligible for this funding. Learn more about the HOPE Scholarship.
Georgia HERO Scholarship
The HERO scholarship supports active members of the Georgia National Guard and U.S. Military Reserves who served in or were severely injured in combat zones. Certain service requirements apply to this scholarship, which is also available to the children or spouse of the active duty member. Learn more about the Georgia HERO Scholarship.
REACH Georgia Scholarship Program
This need-based scholarship is structured differently. Student scholars who meet federal income eligibility requirements are selected in seventh or eighth grade. The reason for the early start is so students will benefit from mentoring and academic coaching to help them succeed and create career plans. Not all school systems in the state are part of the program. Scholars earn up to $10,000 to attend at HOPE-eligible college or technical school. Learn more about the REACH Georgia Scholarship.
Zell Miller Scholarship
This is another merit-based scholarship aimed at degree-seeking students at public technical colleges, public and private universities and other approved postsecondary institutions. Students must have a higher GPA than required for the HOPE scholarship and also score well on the ACT or SAT. Learn more about the Zell Miller Scholarship.
Business and Community-Run Scholarship Programs
Achieve Atlanta Scholarship
This scholarship helps high school seniors at Atlanta Public Schools who plan to pursue a two-year college or technical program or a four-year degree. Students must plan to attend school full-time in the fall after graduation to be considered for this need-based scholarship. Learn more about the Achieve Atlanta Scholarship.
Charles Clarke Cordle Memorial Scholarship
FCC-licensed amateur radio operators who want to pursue higher education can apply for this scholarship from ARRL, the national association for amateur radio in the U.S. The scholarship has GPA requirements and is available to students who live in Georgia or Alabama and plan to attend school in one of those states. There's a preference for applicants who plan to study electronics, communications or related fields. Learn more about the Charles Clarke Cordle Memorial Scholarship and other ARRL Foundation scholarships.
Constitutional Officers Association of Georgia (COAG) Scholarship
This is an essay-based scholarship for high-school seniors (or those who have earned their GED in a certain timeframe) who have been accepted to attend an accredited technical college, junior college or four-year institution in Georgia. Students must be seeking a degree, not a diploma or certification. Learn more about the COAG 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.
Georgia Engineering Foundation Scholarships
This group of scholarships is for students who want to pursue a career in engineering technology or engineering. Academics, interest in the engineering field and financial need will be taken into consideration. To earn the award, the applicant must plan to attend a program accredited by ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) or ACCE (Accreditation for Construction Education). This includes two- and four-year programs. Learn more about the Georgia Engineering Foundation Scholarships.
Hearthstone Housing Foundation Scholarship
Students who live in Hearthstone Housing Foundation properties or in counties where they are located can apply for this need-based scholarship for full-time students in high school, college or vocational school. GPA minimums apply. Learn more about the Hearthstone Housing Foundation 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 Georgia. 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 the 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 of their choice 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.
Kevin L. Allen Memorial Scholarship
Graduating high school seniors and college students who are Georgia residents can apply for this scholarship. Applicants must be enrolled in an automotive or aviation program at a Georgia institution. Learn more about the Kevin L. Allen Memorial Scholarship.
Lewis Cenker Scholarship
Created by the Home Builders Association of Georgia, this scholarship is for students seeking a career in the home building industry. Applicants must be studying in a field directly related to the home building industry or a related Career Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) program. Academic merit, career goals, financial need and activities will be considered. Learn more about the Lewis Cenker Scholarship.
Preventive Measures Legacy Scholarship
This scholarship helps the next generation of human services workers gain new skills. Applicants must be residents of Georgia and meet GPA requirements. The funds can be used to pursue a degree program in psychology, counseling, social work, sociology, nursing, home health, public health or public administration at an accredited college or university. Learn more about the Preventive Measures Legacy Scholarship.
Regions Riding Forward Scholarship Contest
High school students in Georgia 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.
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 Georgia or another Southern state. Learn more about the SAWF Scholarship.
Southwest Georgia Farm Credit Scholarship
High school seniors who plan to attend a two- or four-year college full-time can apply for one of the bank's $1,500 scholarships. The student's study plans must involve agriculture sciences, animal biology, chemistry, business, accounting, finance, communications and other related career paths. Applicants must live in specific southwest Georgia counties. Learn more about the Southwest Georgia Farm Credit Scholarship and additional scholarships.
Southwest Georgia Farm Credit Technical Scholarship
This is similar to the scholarship listed above but is for students or GED holders who want to earn a certificate, credential or two-year degree in welding, carpentry, construction, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, automotive, transportation, healthcare and more. Applicants must live in specific southwest Georgia counties. Learn more about the Southwest Georgia Farm Credit Technical Scholarship.
TheDream.US Scholarship Program
Offered in 24 states, this scholarship supports low-income, undocumented students 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.
Georgia Grants You Can Use Toward Trade School
While only some scholarships are need-based, all grants are typically based on financial need. Here are some grants available to help cover the costs of a trade school education in Georgia.
The HOPE Grant, which is separate from the HOPE scholarship, is for students who are working toward a certificate or diploma at an eligible Georgia technical college, college or university. There are "paid hours" limitations on this grant, especially if it's used in combination with the HOPE Scholarship or Zell Miller Scholarship. Learn more about the HOPE Grant.
HOPE Career Grant
This grant is for students who qualify for the HOPE Grant and also enroll in careers identified as strategically important to the state's growth and that have more jobs available than there are skilled workers to fill them. It applies to two-year and four-year programs. For specific programs, all tuition is covered. Learn more about the HOPE Career Grant.
Zell Miller Grant
This grant is available to Georgia students pursuing a certificate or diploma at a Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) or a University of Georgia (USG) institution. As with the HOPE grant, there are limitations on "paid hours." The GPA requirements for the Zell Miller Grant are higher than those required for the HOPE Grant. Learn more about the Zell Miller Grant.
Georgia Public Safety Memorial (GPSM) Grant
This grant helps students who are the children of Georgia Public Safety Officers who were permanently disabled or killed in the line of duty. Safety officers include law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, highway emergency response operators (HERO) and prison guards. The funds can be used at eligible colleges, universities and technical colleges. Learn more about the Public Safety Memorial Grant.
Dual Enrollment Program
The Dual Enrollment program covers the fees associated with earning college credit at eligible postsecondary institutions. It's available to high school students in 10th, 11th and 12th grade, but the rules differ. Learn more about the Dual Enrollment program.
More tools for finding money for a trade school education in Georgia
- Rely on your school counselor: They will understand local and state work trends, know about regional employment opportunities and how the system works.
- Explore the GAfutures website, which includes lots of helpful resources for exploring careers and considering how to pay for training. The GEORGIA MATCH program mentioned above is part of GAfutures, which also features a tool for finding local and national scholarships.
Georgia students who want to earn a two-year degree or a program geared toward a skills-based career have solid options for getting financial aid. Get organized, make a list and get started on your applications!
Please help us improve this page. If we have left off a scholarship or grant that could help students who want to attend community college, technical school or trade school, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.