Pennsylvania Scholarships for Skilled Trade Careers

Posted on November 28th, 2023
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Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

By SkillPointe Staff

Attending community college, trade school or technical school is a great way to prepare for a high-paying career, but you still have to figure out how to pay for it. SkillPointe makes that task easier by focusing on scholarships and grants that apply to shorter, more focused educational pathways.

Our starting point is a guide to trade school scholarships. It includes helpful information about everything from the importance of filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form and how to apply for a federal Pell grant to why program accreditation matters. There's also a list of nationally available scholarships.

After that, it’s time to focus on Pennsylvania scholarship opportunities. After completing your federal form or FAFSA, you should fill out a similar Pennsylvania financial aid form, the PA State Grant Form. We’ll explain more about that program below, but remember the state form is a requirement for many need-based scholarships and grants.

Pennsylvania scholarships for community college & trade school

We’ve broken our list into two sections, one for scholarships and grants administered by the state of Pennsylvania and another for aid opportunities administered by community or business groups.

Scholarship and Grant Programs Administered by the State

PA State Grant Program

Pennsylvania residents who have graduated from high school but have not earned a bachelor's degree can apply for this grant program. The funds can be used to attend two- or four-year postsecondary schools within the state, as long as they are approved by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA). Programs outside of Pennsylvania will be considered if they meet certain criteria. Minimum and maximum enrollment requirements apply. Learn more about the PA State Grant Program.

PA Partnerships for Access to Higher Education (PATH) Program

Students who have received a PA State Grant and have been nominated by a participating PATH partner can apply for this program, which may provide additional grant money. Applicants must be enrolled at least half-time in an approved postsecondary institution in Pennsylvania. Learn more about the PA PATH Program.

PA Postsecondary Educational Gratuity Program (PEGP)

The children of police officers, firefighters, rescue or ambulance squad members, corrections employees, active National Guard members, sheriffs and deputy sheriffs who died in the line of duty can apply for this program. The funds can be used to attend a Pennsylvania community college, state-owned institution or state-related institution full-time to pursue an associate or bachelor's degree. Age and residency requirements apply. Learn more about the PA Postsecondary Educational Gratuity Program (PEGP).

Pennsylvania Chafee Education and Training Grant (Chafee ETG) Program

Foster care youth in Pennsylvania who have graduated from high school and have not reached the age of 26 can apply for this federal grant program that's administered by the state. The money can be used to attend a college or career school approved by the U.S. Department of Education for Title IV student assistance programs. Financial need, enrollment and academic progress requirements apply. Learn more about the Pennsylvania Chafee ETG Program.

PA Fostering Independence Tuition Waiver (FosterEd) Program

Students with financial need who are or were in foster care who are eligible for the Chafee ETG program may also apply for this waiver to cover tuition and mandatory fees. Applicants must be high school graduates attending an approved postsecondary institution at least half-time. Learn more about the PA FosterEd Program.

PA Targeted Industry Program (PA-TIP)

Students with financial need pursuing skills for high-demand jobs in Pennsylvania can apply for these funds. High-demand industries include health, energy, advanced materials & diversified manufacturing and agriculture & food production. The money can be used to cover educational costs and specific living expenses as long as certain requirements are met. Learn more about the PA Targeted Industry Program (PA-TIP).

Aid for Military and Pennsylvania National Guard Programs

This is a series of assistance programs for those who have served in the military or national guard or their children, under specific circumstances. Learn more about the Aid for Military and Pennsylvania National Guard programs.

Active Volunteer Tuition and Loan Assistance Program

First responders who have participated in at least 30% of a volunteer organization’s activities during the previous year (or 15% if in high school) can apply for this educational assistance program. The money can be used toward approved degree-granting or certificate-granting programs at specific institutions. Students are expected to serve as active volunteers for five years after they've finished their education. Learn more about the Active Volunteer Tuition and Loan Assistance Program.

Blind or Deaf Higher Education Beneficiary Grant (BDBG)

Blind or deaf undergraduate or graduate students attending a postsecondary institution can apply for this grant if they have written proof of their impairment and maintain satisfactory academic progress. Learn more about the Blind or Deaf Higher Education Beneficiary Grant (BDBG).

Community and Business Scholarship Programs

American Association of University Women (AAUW) Carlisle Branch Scholarship

Female residents of Cumberland or Perry counties in Pennsylvania who have financial need can apply for this scholarship. Applicants must have completed at least one year of postsecondary education and attended school full-time. The award can be used toward an associate, bachelor's or higher degree. Learn more about the AAUW Carlisle Branch Scholarship.

American College of Radiology Center for Research and Innovation (ACR CRI) Scholarship

High school seniors living in Philadelphia County who meet several requirements can apply for this scholarship aimed at supporting the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Requirements for this $5,000 renewable scholarship include financial need and scholastic achievement. Underrepresented minorities are encouraged to apply. The money can be applied toward associate and higher degrees. Learn more about the ACR CRI Scholarship.

Andrew Budraitis Foundation Scholarships

The foundation offers two scholarships aimed at graduating high school seniors from Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley or veterans who plan to get their postsecondary education in Lehigh Valley. Applicants with financial need will get priority. Each of the scholarships has additional requirements, but the funds can be used toward two- and four-year degrees. Learn more about the Andrew Budraitis Foundation Scholarships.

Atlantic Amateur Hockey Association (AAHA) Scholarships

This is a group of scholarships for members of USA Hockey who play or officiate games in the AAHA and who plan to continue their education beyond high school. Requirements vary. Learn more about the AAHA Scholarships.

Beulah Frey Environmental Scholarship

The Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania (ASWP) awards this scholarship to a graduating high school senior from Allegheny, Armstrong, Butler, Beaver, Fayette, Washington or Westmoreland counties. The funds can be used to pursue an environmental program at a two- or four-year institution. Learn more about the Beulah Frey Environmental Scholarship.

Executive Women International (EWI) Scholarship Programs

High school students enrolled in a school located within the boundaries of participating EWI chapters (Harrisburg and Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania) can apply for this group of scholarships. The annual scholarship can be used to 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. This scholarship can be applied toward certificate programs in addition to the degrees mentioned above. Learn more about the Executive Women International Scholarship Program and the ASIST Scholarship.

Farm Credit Foundation for Agricultural Advancement Scholarship

This $10,000 scholarship is for students planning to pursue a two-year or four-year degree in agriculture. A variety of degrees are covered. Students must reside in the Horizon Farm Credit territory, including all counties in Pennsylvania. Learn more about the Farm Credit Foundation for Agricultural Advancement Scholarship.

Jimmy Rane Foundation Scholarship Program

The Jimmy Rane Foundation, named after the founder of Great Southern Wood Preserving, gives 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 is based on the student's financial need. Applicants 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 and 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 R. Calder, Jr., MD Scholarship Fund

This scholarship, funded by the First Community Foundation Partnership (FCFP) of Pennsylvania, helps aspiring and current Lycoming County medical professionals "who plan to dedicate their lives to helping others." Applicants must be accepted into programs focused on medicine, nursing, pharmacy, allied health or a related area. First-time students who are not recent high school graduates and returning students will be given preference. Learn more about the Joseph R. Calder, Jr., MD Scholarship Fund.

J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship

This scholarship helps caddies and golf operations staff who want to earn a degree and whose parents are not members of a private golf club. The scholarship is named in honor of J. Wood Platt, the premier golfer in Philadelphia of his era and a cofounder of the Caddie Scholarship Trust. Applicants must be rising high school seniors or first-year students enrolled in college full-time and working toward a degree at an accredited college or university. Learn more about the J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship.

Kids' Chance of Pennsylvania Scholarship

Students who have financial need and a parent who has been killed or seriously injured as a result of a work-related accident (as defined by the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act) can benefit from this scholarship if they are younger than 25 at the time the funds are disbursed. Applicants must be accepted or already working toward an associate or bachelor's degree. Learn more about the Kids' Chance of Pennsylvania Scholarship.

Kirtland Foundation Scholarship

Students who have lived in Lackawanna County in northeastern Pennsylvania for at least one year prior to graduating from high school or one year prior to applying for this need-based scholarship are eligible. The funds can be used to attend any accredited, public or private, two- or four­-year college, university, technical college or trade school. Learn more about the Kirtland Foundation Scholarship.

Mark Vrahas Foundation Scholarship

Graduating high school seniors in Pennsylvania with documented reading disabilities can apply for this scholarship, which is named after Mark Vrahas, a Navy veteran and entrepreneur in DuBois, Pennsylvania, who went on to serve in several elected roles. Ideal applicants will be self-advocates who have demonstrated perseverance and participate in community and school activities. The funds can be used to attend a vocational or technical training program, college or a specialized program for students with learning disabilities. Learn more about the Mark Vrahas Foundation Scholarship.

New York Women in Communications (NYWICI) Scholarships

Female students who live in Pennsylvania 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 NYWICI Scholarships.

Paula E. Waters-Diamond In The Rough Scholarship

African American male students graduating from Westinghouse High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, can apply for this need-based scholarship to attend vocational or technical school or college. School and GPA requirements apply. Learn more about the Paula E. Waters-Diamond in the Rough Scholarship.

Pennsylvania Land Surveyors' (PLS) Foundation Scholarship

Pennsylvania residents who are interested in becoming land surveyors can apply for this scholarship. Applicants must be accepted or enrolled in a two-year surveying technology program or a four-year bachelor of science program in land surveying. Learn more about the PLS Foundation Scholarship.

Pennsylvania Association of Medical Suppliers (PAMS) Julie Sullivan Memorial Scholarship

High school seniors in Pennsylvania or Delaware who use or have used home medical equipment (HME) to overcome physical challenges can apply for this scholarship. It's named after the first executive director of the PAMS Association. Funds can be used to pursue any post-secondary program. Learn more about the PAMS Julie Sullivan Memorial Scholarship.

Pennsylvania Podiatric Medical Association (PPMA) Family Scholarship

Children of active PPMA members in good standing can apply for this scholarship. PPMA members must have current liability insurance through Podiatric Medical Assurance of Pennsylvania, a scholarship partner. The funds can be used to attend an accredited trade school, two-year college or four-year college. Learn more about the PPMA Family Scholarship.

Pittsburgh Promise Scholarship

Graduating high school seniors who have attended Pittsburgh Public Schools or one of its charter schools since ninth grade can apply for this merit-based scholarship. Attendance and GPA requirements apply. The funds can be used to attend any accredited college, university, trade or technical school in Pennsylvania, as long as the program is eligible for Pell grant funding. Learn more about the Pittsburgh Promise Scholarship.

Preventive Measures Legacy Scholarship

This scholarship helps the next generation of human services workers gain new skills. Applicants must be residents of Pennsylvania 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.

Raymond E. Venema Jr. Memorial Scholarship

Graduating high school seniors who attend public schools in Clinton, Lycoming or Sullivan counties can apply for this scholarship aimed at construction-related fields. Applicants must meet GPA requirements and attend an accredited college, university or vocational institution. Learn more about the Raymond E. Venema Jr. Memorial Scholarship and additional county-specific scholarships from the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania.

Rousseau Foundation Culinary Scholarship

Graduating high school seniors in Philadelphia or those already enrolled in culinary school can apply for this scholarship. Two scholarships are awarded, one each for the fall and winter semesters, and can be used for college or vocational school. GPA requirements apply. Learn more about the Rousseau Foundation Culinary Scholarship.

Samuel A. Green Scholarship Program

Graduating high school seniors or GED recipients in the Greater Philadelphia or Lehigh Valley area who demonstrate leadership potential and a commitment to community service can apply for this scholarship, named after the founder of Firstrust Bank. The funds can be used to attend an accredited two- or four-year, not-for-profit college or university full-time. Learn more about the Samuel A. Green Scholarship Program.

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.

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.

York County Conservation District Scholarship

York County residents who want to pursue a major in agriculture, conservation, environment, natural resource management or a related field can apply for this scholarship. Applicants must be accepted to an accredited community college or university program. Learn more about the York County Conservation District 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.

More tools for finding scholarships in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), which runs the PA State Grant program mentioned above, is also a good resource for additional financial aid information, including a detailed, 32-page Student Aid Guide.

In addition, get to know your school guidance counselor, who can provide invaluable information about local businesses and the financial aid process.

There are plenty of Pennsylvania scholarships and grants that match your current situation and career plans. Be patient with the process — and yourself — and you’ll discover solutions you didn’t think were possible.

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 an email to contactus@skillpointe.com.