By SkillPointe Staff
New York is the land of opportunity, especially if you want to pursue a hands-on career. State government and community groups offer millions of dollars in financial aid, including New York scholarships and grants that can be used to earn an associate degree, diploma or certificate.
Our goal is to make your scholarship search easier by providing a simple process to follow. The first step is reading our guide to finding trade school scholarships. It contains a wealth of information, including:
- How to find out if you qualify for a Pell grant, which is federal money you can use toward training. Unlike a loan, grant money does not have to be repaid.
- Where to fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as FAFSA, a form that is used by federal, state and local groups to understand your financial need. Even if you don’t qualify for federal aid, you may still need to fill out this form.
- How to find out if the educational institutions you are considering are accredited. Most scholarships require accreditation.
In addition, the article points to the most useful national scholarship websites and a long list of scholarships available nationally.
The next step is to review the financial resources available specifically for New York residents. We’ve tailored our list of New York scholarships and grants for students who don’t necessarily need to earn a bachelor’s degree. The list below includes options that can be used at trade schools, technical colleges and community colleges as well as universities.
Scholarships in New York for Community College or Trade School
You’ll find scholarships based on financial need, academic ability, which school you attend, your major, career goals, where you live and community group affiliations. If you start early and research all your options, you may succeed in paying for your skill-based education without going into debt!
Scholarship and Grant Programs Run by the State of New York
After you’ve completed your FAFSA and looked at national scholarships, focus on state options. Here are the major scholarships and grants offered by the state of New York.
New York Excelsior Scholarship
High school graduates or equivalency diploma holders in New York can apply for this scholarship, which is intended to provide a State University of New York (SUNY) or City University of New York (CUNY) college education tuition-free when it's combined with other financial aid programs. The funds can be used toward associate degrees, career certificates and bachelor's degrees. Excelsior scholarship winners must sign a contract agreeing to live and work in the state for a timeframe equal to the number of years they received the award. Learn more about the New York Excelsior Scholarship.
New York State (NYS) Scholarships for Academic Excellence (SAE)
The top students at each high school — ranked at the end of their junior year based on their Regents exams and other factors — are eligible for this scholarship. The winners must attend a college or university in New York state full-time. (SAEs can't be used for trade school.) Learn more about the NYS Scholarships for Academic Excellence and see details about the application.
NYS STEM Incentive Program
New York students ranked in the top 10% of their high school class who will attend a public college in New York full-time can apply for this scholarship, which promotes science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) degree programs. Students sign a contract to live and work in New York for five years after completing their associate or bachelor’s degree. Learn more about the NYS STEM Incentive Program.
Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)
This grant program helps New York students attending SUNY, CUNY and not-for-profit independent degree-granting colleges on a part-time basis. Applicants must maintain a "C" average. Learn more about the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).
Students who graduate from a New York high school, attend a SUNY, CUNY or not-for-profit, independent degree-granting college part-time can apply for this grant to help pay for tuition. Students must meet income-eligibility and GPA requirements. Learn more about the Part-time TAP program.
NYS Part-Time Scholarship (PTS) Award
Students who attend a SUNY or CUNY community college part-time and maintain a 2.0 GPA can receive $1,500 per semester for up to two years. (Students must enroll for at least six credit hours but less than 12 credit hours.) Residency and loan status requirements apply. Learn more about the NYS Part-Time Scholarship (PTS) Award program.
Aid for Part-time Study (APTS) program
This is a grant program for part-time students who enroll in approved undergraduate programs at postsecondary institutions. Students must take between three and 11 semester hours per semester. Students must also meet strict income limits. Learn more about the Aid for Part-time Study (APTS) program.
NYS Child Welfare Worker Incentive Scholarship
Child welfare workers employed at licensed, voluntary not-for-profit child welfare agencies can use this scholarship to earn an associate, bachelor's or graduate degree. Scholarship winners must agree to live in New York state and work at a licensed, voluntary not-for-profit child welfare agency in the state for five years after graduation. Learn more about the NYS Child Welfare Worker Incentive Scholarship program.
World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship
Permanently disabled survivors and the family members of those killed in the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, can apply for this scholarship, which also helps the family members of those killed on airline flights 11, 77, 93 and 175. The funds can be used to study at an approved postsecondary institution in New York. Learn more about the World Trade Center Memorial Scholarship.
Flight 3407 Memorial Scholarship
The children and spouses of those killed in the February 2009 crash of Continental Airlines Flight 3407 in Clarence, New York, can apply for this scholarship, which covers the cost of attending college at approved postsecondary institutions in New York. Applicants must pursue an approved program of study. Learn more about the Flight 3407 Memorial Scholarship.
Flight 587 Memorial Scholarship
The children and spouses of those killed in the November 2001 crash of American Airlines Flight 587 in Rockaway, Queens, can apply for this scholarship, which covers tuition and other costs of attending an approved postsecondary institution in New York. Students must pursue an approved program of study. Learn more about the Flight 587 Memorial Scholarship.
NYS Memorial Scholarship
The children and spouses of deceased firefighters, volunteer firefighters, police officers, corrections officers or emergency medical service workers who died in the line of duty can apply for this scholarship. The funds can be used to attend an approved postsecondary program at a New York institution. Learn more about the NYS Memorial Scholarship.
Military Enhanced Recognition Incentive and Tribute (MERIT) Scholarship
The children and spouses of members of the U.S. military or state organized militia who died or were permanently disabled while performing their military duties can apply for this award. It can be used toward full-time enrollment at an approved postsecondary institution in New York. Learn more about the MERIT Scholarship.
Veterans Tuition Awards
Veterans of conflicts in Vietnam, the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan who are residents of New York can use this award toward an approved vocational training program, undergraduate or graduate degree program in New York. The award can be used for full-time or part-time study. Learn more about the Veterans Tuition Awards.
NYS Regents Awards for Children of Deceased and Disabled Veterans
Students whose parent died or was disabled through military service during specific national emergencies or war can apply for this award. Applicants must pursue an approved undergraduate degree at a college or university located in New York. Learn more about the NYS Regents Awards for Children of Deceased and Disabled Veterans.
NYS Aid to Native Americans
Members of any New York state tribe or their children can apply for this award, which can be used to pursue a two-, four- or five-year program at a New York state institution. Learn more about the NYS Aid to Native Americans.
New York Scholarship Programs Funded by Community and Business Groups
Alfred State Pioneer Award
First-time students who are residents of New York pursuing an associate degree at Alfred State College can benefit from this merit-based award, which can be used toward non-tuition expenses and doesn't require a scholarship application. Learn more about the Alfred State Pioneer Award.
The Arc New York Scholarships
Students pursuing degrees in special education, physical or occupational therapy, or a field related to intellectual or other developmental disabilities can apply for several awards funded by The Arc New York, a family based organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Learn more about the The Arc New York Scholarships.
Ascend Educational Fund (AEF) Scholarship
Immigrant students and the children of immigrants who are graduating from a New York City high school can use this scholarship to attend a public or private college or university in the fall following spring graduation. Students must attend high school in one of the five boroughs of New York City. There are no limitations on ethnicity, national origin or immigration status. Learn more about the AEF Scholarship.
Avril D. Woodhead Grit Scholarship
Those who identify as female or nonbinary can apply for this scholarship, named after a woman who exemplified grit in her ability to overcome adversity. Applicants must have demonstrated grit by maintaining effort despite setbacks as they have worked towards their goals. They should be enrolled or plan to enroll in studies leading to a career in a STEM field. The scholarship program is funded through the New York Water Environment Association. Learn more about the Avril D. Woodhead Grit Scholarship and fill out the application.
Cathay Bank Foundation Scholarship
This scholarship, created in partnership with the Asian Pacific Community Fund, provides $1,000 awards to students who live in specific states. Applicants must be high school seniors who plan to attend an accredited community college or four-year college as a first-year student in the fall. GPA and income requirements apply, but the money can be applied to all majors. Learn more about the Cathay Bank Foundation Scholarship Program.
Chautauqua Region Community Foundation Workforce Training Scholarships
Chautauqua County residents enrolled in a certification or job training program can benefit from this scholarship. Examples include job training programs for healthcare aides and nursing assistants, CDL drivers, electricians, plumbers and welders. The awards are given out monthly and can be used toward a variety of workforce training options. Learn more about the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation Workforce Training Scholarships.
Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo Scholarship Program
Permanent residents of Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming counties can apply for this scholarship, which covers tuition, room & board, books and supplies. Preference is given to Pell grant-eligible students attending school in Western New York. All applicants must be accepted to an accredited, not-for-profit school. Learn more about the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo Scholarship Program.
Community Foundation of the Hudson Valley scholarship opportunities
More than 50 scholarships are available to high school students in the Hudson Valley area. Several can be used for trade school, technical school or community college. Learn more about the Community Foundation of the Hudson Valley scholarship opportunities.
DeNise Scholarship Fund
This is one of several scholarships administered by the New York State Grange and can be used to pursue an associate or bachelor's degree at a public or private accredited institution in New York or outside the state. The scholarship is named after Mr. and Mrs. Howard DeNise, longtime agriculturalists and Grange members in western New York. Learn more about the DeNise Scholarship Fund and other New York State Grange scholarships.
Edward E. Cannon Memorial Scholarship
What started as a high school tutoring program became a scholarship program in 1957 with the purpose of providing tuition assistance to male students of African-American descent who show leadership skills, volunteer commitment and initiative and who maintain a 3.0 GPA. The scholarship was renamed to honor a charter member of Gamma Rho Sigma Chapter. The funds can be used to pursue a degree in any major field of study. Learn more about the Edward E. Cannon 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. 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.
John Fitzpatrick and Dawna J. Colbert Scholarships
These scholarships from the Technology Concept Groups International (TCGi) Foundation support Black women pursuing two- and four-year degrees in computing. At least one $10,000 scholarship will be awarded to a high school senior. Another $10,000 scholarship will be awarded to a current undergraduate student who plans to earn a four-year degree. Learn more about the John Fitzpatrick and Dawna J. Colbert Scholarships.
Joseph Cesare Memorial Scholarship
Graduating high school seniors who live in New York City, are community service-oriented and plan to continue their education in the fall can apply for this scholarship. The funds can be used to attend an accredited trade school, college or university. The scholarship is named after an Italian immigrant who lived in New York City for more than 50 years and built his own business after arriving in the country with little money and no English skills. Learn more about the Joseph Cesare Memorial Scholarship.
Kids Chance of New York Work Compensation Scholarship
The children of a parent or guardian who died or was accidentally injured while working for a New York employer are eligible for this scholarship. Students must show financial need, be between the ages of 16 and 25 and must apply for acceptance at a technical school, college or university. Learn more about the Kids Chance of New York Work Compensation Scholarship.
Kimberly Coffey Foundation Memorial Nursing Scholarship
Graduating high school seniors who want to pursue nursing can apply for this scholarship, which is named after a young woman who wanted to become a pediatric nurse but died at 17 from meningitis B. Proof of vaccination is a requirement. Applicants must be accepted to an accredited associate of applied science (AAS) degree or a bachelor of science degree program. Learn more about the Kimberly Coffey Foundation Memorial Nursing Scholarship.
Laotian American Scholarship Foundation (LASF) Scholarship
Students of Laotian descent who live in Western New York state and who will graduate from high school in the current year are eligible for this scholarship. Applicants must have applied to a trade school, college or university. Learn more about the Laotian American Scholarship Foundation (LASF) Scholarship.
The Marcy Houses Memorial Scholarship
These scholarships support students who live in the Marcy Houses, a public housing complex in Brooklyn, New York. The scholarships provide financial support, mentorship and financial literacy training. The funds can be used to attend trade school, college or university. Learn more about the Marcy Houses Memorial Scholarship.
Mark A. Carota Scholarship
This scholarship helps local graduating high school seniors or those attending a program through Capital Region Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) who want to pursue a career in the automotive field. The scholarship, which can be used toward tuition or tools, is named after Mark A. Carota Sr., a longtime master mechanic in Rexford, New York. Learn more about the Mark A. Carota Scholarship.
New York Farm Bureau Agricultural Youth Scholarship
Graduating high school seniors in New York who live or work on a farm or are involved with agriculture in any way can apply for this scholarship, which can be used to prepare for a career that is connected to the agriculture industry. Funds can be used for skilled trades training or college. Family Farm Bureau membership or Student Farm Bureau membership is required. Learn more about the New York Farm Bureau Agricultural Youth Scholarship.
New York State Restaurant Association ProStart Scholarships
This is a group of scholarships aimed primarily at ProStart students in specific counties in New York and nearby. ProStart is a two-year culinary arts and restaurant management program for high school students in New York and Vermont. All of the scholarships can be used toward training and education in food service, culinary arts, hospitality management or a related field. Learn more about the New York State Restaurant Association ProStart Scholarships.
New York Women in Communications (NYWICI) Scholarships
Female students who live in New York and several other states can apply for these scholarships, which can be used to pursue a career in advertising, broadcasting, communications, digital media, English, film, journalism, marketing, public relations or publishing. Residency requirements apply to high school students, but students from outside the state who are currently enrolled in a communications program in New York can also apply. Funds can be used at any accredited college or university. Learn more about the New York Women in Communications Scholarships.
Ontario County Casella Scholarship
Residents of Ontario County near Rochester, New York, can apply for this scholarship. Funds can be used toward an associate or bachelor’s degree in environmental science, environmental engineering, agriculture, agriculture business, waste management or related fields. Casella Waste Systems established a 20-year fund to encourage students to pursue college-level studies and careers in the environmental realm. Learn more about the Ontario County Casella Scholarship.
Royal Business Bank Scholarship
First-year students attending an accredited two- or four-year college or university in the fall following spring graduation can apply for this scholarship, which is available to students who reside in a Royal Business Bank service area. In New York, that includes the counties of New York, Kings, Queens and Richmond. GPA and income limit restrictions apply, but the scholarship can be used toward any major. The scholarship is funded in partnership with the Asian Pacific Community Fund (APCF). There are no ethnicity requirements. Learn more about the Royal Business Bank Scholarship.
Say Yes Buffalo Scholarships
Students who graduate from Buffalo public and charter high schools can apply for these scholarships, which are funded by individuals, families, organizations and businesses who support educational attainment. Winners can use the funds to attend any SUNY or CUNY school and more than 90 private colleges and universities. In addition, there are SUNY/CUNY Opportunity Grants and scholarships to cover tuition at private schools. Learn more about the Say Yes Buffalo Scholarships.
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.
Teachers Federal Credit Union (FCU) Scholarship
High school seniors who are members of the Teachers FCU can apply for this scholarship, which can be used to attend an accredited trade school or college in the fall following graduation. GPA requirements apply. Learn more about the Teachers Federal Credit Union (FCU) Scholarship and additional scholarship opportunities.
TheDream.US Scholarship Program
Offered in 24 states, this scholarship helps 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.
Women's Metropolitan Golf Association (WMGA) Foundation Scholarship
Female students who reside within a 60-mile radius of New York City or on Long Island can apply for this scholarship, which is based on financial need and an interest or association with golf. The funds can be used to attend an accredited trade school, college or university. Learn more about the Women's Metropolitan Golf Association Foundation 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 dedication to community service as zakat or charity is the foundation's focus. Learn more about the Zakat Foundation Community Service Scholarship.
Zonta Club of Jamestown Scholarships
This is a series of scholarships aimed at helping young women prepare for professional life. The award amounts and requirements vary, but all applicants must reside in a Zonta Club of Jamestown member’s school district, which includes Chautauqua County and the town of Randolph in New York. Learn more about the Zonta Club of Jamestown Scholarships.
Additional Tools for Financial Aid and Research
New York makes it easy to find financial aid because the state and community groups provide so many options. To find other sources as well as helpful information, consider these additional resources:
- The Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) website provides a portal for applying for TAP, more scholarships and a handy scholarship and applications checklist for each year of high school.
- If you haven’t met your high school guidance counselor yet, now’s the time to get to know this person. He or she knows the postsecondary and financial aid landscape well and can help you accomplish your goals.
Make your search for New York scholarships and grants worthwhile by taking advantage of all the resources available. There are millions of dollars out there; you just have to be patient and organized enough to get some of them. Good luck in your search!
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: email@example.com.