Indiana Scholarships and Grants To Pay for Trade School

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Indiana state capital building at night
Manufacturing is the biggest industry in Indiana. State officials frequently mention one of the state’s nicknames, Crossroads of America, because its location makes it easy to do business here. Central to all this activity is Indianapolis and the Indiana

So, you’ve decided you want to pursue a skilled trade or skills-based job in Indiana. Now you’re wondering: How am I going to pay for the training? This guide will help you find financial aid for trade schools and associate degrees in Indiana, including scholarships, grants and important criteria for both.

Many students assume scholarships are only available to those who are heading to a four-year university, but that’s not the case. There are plenty of trade school scholarships available! SkillPointe is a great place to start.

Our guide to finding trade school scholarships covers the essentials — the steps you need to take no matter where you live, including:

  1. Make sure the school you’ve chosen is accredited. The school’s website should mention this prominently, but if you are unsure, you can also check the Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs (DAPIP) and type in the name of the school.
  2. Fill out the FAFSA form, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. It’s important to establish your eligibility for all educational assistance.
  3. Find out if you’re eligible for a Pell Grant, which is based on financial need and requires the form mentioned above. Check here for more eligibility requirements
  4. Consider the trade school scholarships available nationwide and add them to your list. 

Helpful tips: 

  • Get familiar with the main scholarship sites. Yes, these sites include scholarships that will cover a trade school education — you just have to 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 might even be a scholarship for the specific career you’re training for.

With that under your belt, you’re ready to investigate Indiana scholarships and grants to make your trade school dreams a reality — without a lot of debt. 

Indiana Scholarships You Can Use For Trade School

Indiana offers a slew of scholarships. Some are aimed at specific careers, but many are not. 

State-Run Scholarship Programs

21st Century Scholars Program

Indiana believes in getting a healthy head start, which is why students enroll in this program when they’re in seventh or eighth grade. The goal is to help students with financial need prepare for a two- or four-year college program and to ensure they succeed in their chosen career. It pays for up to four years of tuition. There are income limits, residency and GPA requirements for this scholarship. Learn more about the 21st Century Scholars program

Mitch Daniels Early Graduation Scholarship

As the name implies, this scholarship is aimed at fast learners who plan to graduate early from high school. It’s a one-time $4,000 scholarship for students who attend a publicly supported Indiana high school. Students must begin their studies at an approved college within five months of graduation and enroll in a program that will lead to a postsecondary degree or credential. Learn more about the Mitch Daniels Early Graduation Scholarship program

Industry- or Community-Run Scholarship Programs

Co-Alliance Scholarship

This $1,000 agricultural-focused scholarship is awarded to 30 high-school students who intend to pursue a degree related to agriculture. Students must have a parent or grandparent in the Co-Alliance Cooperative. Learn more about the Co-Alliance Scholarship

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 Indiana. 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.

Jamie Bax Memorial Scholarship

The parents of Jamie Bax created this scholarship to support students in financial need who have cystic fibrosis and want to attend college, university or trade school. One $5,000 scholarship, one $3,000 scholarship and one $2,000 scholarship will be awarded each year. Learn more about the Jamie Bax Memorial Scholarship.

Jimmy Rane Foundation Scholarship Program

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.

Kosciusko County Community Foundation Scholarship

The foundation offers a lot of scholarships — 115 currently — but they are geographically specific: students must live in Kosciusko County, Indiana, or attend a high school serving Kosciusko County. In most cases, eligible applicants must meet financial aid requirements, but the scholarships support traditional and non-traditional students and cover a wide range of industries. Learn more about the Kosciusko County Community Foundation scholarships.

Regions Riding Forward Scholarship Contest

High school students in Indiana 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.

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.

Indiana Grants You Can Use for Trade School

Grants are another way to pay for trade school training. In addition to federal Pell Grants, sources of grants include state government, the school you plan to attend or an employer or organization that's related to your intended profession. 

Adult Student Grant

This is a renewable $2,000 grant for adults returning to school to complete a certificate,  associate degree or bachelor’s degree. Learn more about the Adult Student Grant.

Child of Deceased or Disabled Veteran

Indiana students who are the children of a deceased or disabled veteran and meet a wide range of requirements can get 100% of tuition and regularly assessed fees covered through this grant. Learn more about the Children of Disabled Veterans program.

Child of Purple Heart Recipient or Wounded Veteran

Similar to the program above but aimed at children of military members who received the Purple Heart. Learn more about the Children of Purple Heart Recipients program.

Children and Spouse of Indiana National Guard

Similar to the programs above but aimed at the child or spouse of a National Guard member who died in active duty. Learn more about the Children and Spouse of Indiana National Guard program.

Children and Spouse of Public Safety Officers

Similar to the above programs but aimed at students and spouses of officers who died in the line of duty. Learn more about the Children and Spouse of Public Safety Officers program.

EARN Indiana

Employment Aid Readiness Network (EARN) Indiana is a work-study program that provides paid internships and work experience to Indiana residents who have financial need and who are enrolled part- or full-time at an eligible Indiana college. Learn more about the EARN Indiana program.

Fast Track

Fast Track is a supplemental grant for 21st Century Scholars or Frank O’Bannon Grant winners who want to graduate faster and need financial aid to do so. It benefits Indiana students who earn more than 30 credits a year and have already used up their annual financial aid allotment. Learn more about the Fast Track program.

Frank O’Bannon Grant

Named after the former governor of Indiana, this need-based grant is for students seeking an associate or bachelor’s degree. It’s renewable each year if certain criteria are met. Learn more about the Frank O’Bannon Grant.

Indiana Purple Heart Recipient

Similar to the above programs but aimed at students who earned a Purple Heart. Learn more about the Indiana Purple Heart Recipient program.

National Guard Tuition Supplement Grant

Members of the Indiana National Guard in active drilling status who are seeking a first-time associate, bachelor’s or master’s degree can apply for this $5,000 grant. Learn more about the National Guard Tuition Supplement Grant program.

Next Level Jobs Workforce Ready Grant

This grant pays tuition and some fees for qualifying certificates towards jobs in advanced manufacturing, building and construction, health sciences, information technology and business technology, plus transportation and logistics programs offered at Ivy Tech Community College, Vincennes University and other approved providers. Learn more about the Next Level Jobs Workforce Ready Grant.

Soldiers' and Sailors' Children's Home

Former students or graduates of Morton Memorial High School and former residents of the Indiana Soldiers' and Sailors' Children's Home (ISSCH) can apply for this grant which covers 100% of tuition for 124 credit hours. Learn more about the Soldiers' and Sailors' Children's Home grant program.

More tools for finding money to pay for your trade school education

  1. Contact your school or campus counselor: They will know more about local employers, local work trends and how the system works in your state or region.
  2. Enroll in ScholarTrack: You can apply for multiple sources of Indiana financial aid and check the status of your FAFSA.
  3. Check the Indiana State Financial Aid page for additional financial resources that may be applicable to your situation.

Finding money to pay for trade school is possible. You just have to do the work.

Start applying for aid today to get the training you need in Indiana!

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

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