Louisiana Scholarships and Grants for Skills-Based Careers

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St. Louis Cathedral overlooking Jackson Square in New Orleans
St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans, as seen from Jackson Square. (Credit: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock)

Students in Louisiana who know they want to pursue a skills-based career but don’t know how to pay for it are in luck. We’ve compiled a thorough list of scholarships and grants that can be applied to education and training in the state for jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree.

In creating this list, we’ve focused on financial aid that can be used to earn an associate degree, technical diploma or certificate. (Many of these programs also apply to four-year programs.)

SkillPointe provides a good starting point for a scholarship search because we break the process down into steps. It starts with our how-to guide on finding trade school scholarships, which walks you through important initial steps, such as making sure your preferred school is accredited, filling out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid form (FAFSA) and finding out if you’re eligible for a Pell Grant.

In addition, the article provides helpful tips for starting your list of options, including:

  • Links to the biggest scholarship sites, which include programs that cover a trade school education or associate degree. Use the filters and search features to find scholarship programs that apply to your situation.
  • Reminders to consider options specific to your situation: Does the school you want to attend offer scholarships? What about a local employer in your field of interest? There may even be a scholarship for the specific career you’re training for.

The secret to getting multiple scholarships is looking in multiple places.

Louisiana scholarships and grants for associate degree, certificate and trade school programs

The state of Louisiana offers many scholarships, and those are listed first. There are no application fees for state-run programs. After that is a long list of programs offered by industry and specialty groups.

State-Run Scholarship and Grant Programs

Chafee Educational and Training Voucher (ETV) Program

Students who have been in the foster care system can earn awards of up to $5,000 annually to pursue technical training, skill training or an academic degree in preparation for entering the workforce. Learn more about the Chafee Educational and Training Voucher (ETV) Program.

Geaux Teach Scholarship Program

Many states offer scholarships for teachers, but Louisiana offers an option others don’t: support for students enrolled in teacher preparation programs and alternate certification programs. The Geaux Teach program helps students enrolled full time in an approved program, including those who have already earned a bachelor’s degree in a different topic but want to teach. The maximum award is $5,000, and GPA requirements apply. Learn more about the Geaux Teach Scholarship Program.

Louisiana National Guard Patriot Scholarship

This scholarship is for Louisiana National Guard members who are eligible for the National Guard tuition waiver and are enrolled in a public postsecondary institution. Learn more about the Louisiana National Guard Patriot Scholarship.

M.J. Foster Promise Program

Named after former Gov. Mike J. Foster, this program supports students who pursue an associate degree or shorter-term postsecondary credential required for in-demand, high-wage jobs aligned with the state's workforce priorities, including jobs in construction, healthcare, information technology, manufacturing, transportation and logistics. Learn more about the M.J. Foster Promise Program.

STEP Program

The Strategies to Empower People (STEP) Vocational Education Program helps students approved by the Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP) cover tuition and up to $300 for books and fees for specific vocational programs. This is funded by the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Learn more about the STEP program.

TOPS Awards

TOPS is an acronym for the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students, a merit-based scholarship program for Louisiana residents who plan to attend a Louisiana public college or university, schools in the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, schools in the Louisiana Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, or Louisiana-approved proprietary and cosmetology Schools. Specific tech programs are described in more detail below, but there is also an Opportunity Award, Honors Award and Performance Award. Learn more about the TOPS program and application process.


Created by the Louisiana Legislature to focus on skilled jobs, this scholarship is for high school graduates to pursue vocational or technical education for up to two years. The amount of the award is determined by the type of school attended and there are GPA requirements. Learn more about the TOPS Tech Award.

TOPS Tech Early Start

As the name suggests, this is for students in 11th or 12th grade who get an early start on postsecondary training or education through dual enrollment. Students in good standing (as defined by each school) can get $600 per academic year if they enroll in an industry-based credential program for the most in-demand occupations. Learn more about TOPS Tech Early Start.

Community- and Business-Run Scholarship Programs

431 Exchange Scholarship

Residents of Louisiana who are registered to attend a postsecondary school in Louisiana can apply for this scholarship, described as a "hand up to adults determined to transform their lives through education." The scholarship gets its name from the Adult Education Center (AEC) on Exchange Place in New Orleans, which provided vocational training to 431 women from 1965 to 1972. These women went on to become the first Black secretaries to integrate multinational corporations and local businesses. Applicants must be 18 or older and enrolled in an accredited two- or four-year college, technical school or trade school. Learn more about the 431 Exchange Scholarship.

BRAF Scholarships

This is a series of scholarships underwritten by donors to the Baton Rouge Area Foundation (BRAF). Amounts and requirements vary, but many are directed at students attending specific high schools or who want to attain a specific skillset. For example, the Lori and Richard Pellerin Scholarship helps students related to employees of Century Rehabilitation or one of its affiliates who are in their final year of study for occupational therapy or physical therapy programs. The majority require that students enroll full-time in an accredited college or university and meet certain GPA requirements. Learn more about all of the BRAF Scholarships.

Carolyn Wilson Dialysis Patient Scholarship

Residents of Lousiana who have been diagnosed with stage 5 kidney disease (ESRD) and have financial need can apply for this scholarship for educational or vocational training as they work toward independent living. Learn more about the Carolyn Wilson Dialysis Patient Scholarship.

Dairy MAX Scholarship

High school seniors or undergraduate students who live in Louisiana and other Dairy MAX territories can win one of three $2,500 scholarships. Applicants must be the child of a dairy farmer, the child of a dairy farm employee or a student who is an FFA or 4-H participant in their junior or senior year. High school seniors and junior college attendees and college attendees can apply. Learn more about Dairy MAX 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.

Executive Women International (EWI) Scholarship Programs

High school students enrolled in a school located within the boundaries of participating EWI chapters (New Orleans in Louisiana) can apply for this group of scholarships. The annual scholarship can be used pursue an associate, bachelor's or master's degree. Scholastic achievement, leadership qualities, good citizenship and extracurricular activities will be considered. The Adult Students in Scholastic Transition (ASIST) Scholarship focuses on transitional students, including those with physical or economic need, those well-beyond high school who are entering  postsecondary education or the workforce for the first time, those seeking reskilling, or non-traditional students already enrolled in trade school, college or university. In addition to the degrees mentioned, this scholarship can be applied toward certificate programs. Learn more about the Executive Women International Scholarship Program and the ASIST Scholarship.

Generation Hope New Orleans Scholar Program

Students who are young parents or expectant parents within a specific age range and who live within 50 miles of New Orleans can apply for this program, which includes tuition assistance, mentoring, academic support and a peer community. The program is focused on helping actively involved young parents who plan to earn an associate or bachelor's degree at a non-profit college. Learn more about the Generation Hope New Orleans Scholar Program.

GNOHLA Hospitality Education Foundation Scholarship

The Greater New Orleans Hotel & Lodging Association Hospitality Education Foundation offers scholarships of up to $8,000 to students who want to enroll in accredited hospitality programs at Delgado Community College and the University of New Orleans. Applicants must meet GPA requirements and be enrolled as a junior or senior in a high school in the Orleans, Jefferson, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, Iberville, Tangipahoa or St. James parish. Learn more about the GNOHLA Hospitality Education Foundation 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

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.

LRAEF Scholars Program

LRAEF, the Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation, helps students, current employees and educators involved in the culinary and hospitality industries. The award can be used toward certificate programs and degrees at some culinary institutes and universities. Learn more about the LRAEF Scholars Program.

Regions Riding Forward Scholarship Contest

High school students in 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 scholarships

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 a Southern state. Learn more about the SAWF Scholarship.

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.

More tools for finding money to pay for trade school in Louisiana

  • Contact your school counselor: They know how things work in Louisiana and can help you more than you realize. They know which employers are hiring, who runs the strongest in-state training programs and more.
  • Check out LOSFA’s Student Hub: Here you can track your award eligibility and status for state scholarships and grants and can look for additional scholarship programs.
  • See the LOSFA Other Scholarships page for additional support that may be applicable to your situation.

Finding money to pay for trade school, technical training or an associate degree in Louisiana is possible. You just have to do the work.

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

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 contactus@skillpointe.com.

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