Searching through multiple scholarship databases can be demanding but also rewarding. The good news is, once you learn how to navigate your way through various scholarship resources, you’ll be closer to finding a scholarship that matches your transfer and financial needs, and it may surprise you how much funding is available.
Transfer Services is here to help. We’ve hand-picked the following scholarships and created the guides below to help you secure your path to four-year colleges and fund your education.
Scholarships are a form of financial aid. They are often considered “gift” aid or “free money” that does not need to be repaid. In general, a scholarship will not reduce any entitlement aid such as a Pell Grant or NY State Grants but may reduce loans, federal work-study or other “last dollar scholarships,” depending on the individual situation and in consultation with the student.
Using external or private scholarships is one of the most popular options for grants to pay for a 4-year school. They are summarized as “free money” offered by outside organizations. CUNY itself offers more than 1,000 scholarships, awards, and special program opportunities and there are also grants available from other states and federal offices. While these are important opportunities, you can also find many scholarships elsewhere. There are non-profit organizations, corporations and universities in the United States and internationally which provide different types of scholarships.
Need-based scholarships consider different factors such as income level, cost of living or the number of children enrolled in school in your household. These types of scholarships are independent of merit scholarships, but you may qualify for both depending on the program.
In order to qualify for a merit scholarship, you must demonstrate excellence in a specific area. Merit is usually defined by your GPA but is sometimes recognized through specialized skills or talents.
Earning scholarships is a three-step process that requires a time commitment. However, with planning, you can save time, maximize your options and optimize your results!
Organization is key in the scholarship application process. It allows for longevity and continuation. Do not bypass this step!
Create and label a five-column table, then label each column as follows: “Name of Scholarship,” “Eligibility,” “Dollar Amount,” “Deadline” and “Website” This will allow you to keep tabs on all the scholarships you find during your search and have a handy list ready when it comes time to apply and submit your essay. (Hint: Get your scholarship essays ready early!)
When you first start your scholarship search, you may be overwhelmed by the number of scholarships out there. It’s crucial that you stay organized and mark down deadlines so you can apply to as many scholarships as possible. While some are complex, not all scholarships require lengthy applications, which gives you the opportunity to apply for even more scholarships.
There are a variety of scholarships out there for students of different backgrounds, areas of interest and unique situations. Here are a few suggestions for narrowing your search:
- Ethnicity and/or gender – Look for scholarships associated with ethnic background, especially if you’re a minority.
- Area of interest – Search for scholarships based on your major or field of interest. You should know better than anyone else what applies to you; use key words that relate to your area of interest and add the word “scholarship” to make the results more specific. (Hint: Consider professional affiliations to expand your results.)
- Institutional and foundational scholarships – Check the website of the school you are applying to, and use scholarship search engines such as collegegreenlight.com to find winning scholarships.
Applying to as many relevant scholarships as possible will increase your chances of being awarded a scholarship. Check out all the resources below, and be sure to follow individual scholarship directions, keep up with all your application deadlines and contact Transfer Services if you have any questions. Good luck!
LaGuardia offers various institutional scholarships to support our continuing students. Each year, we award students over one million dollars in Foundation Scholarships based on financial need and/or academic performance. (Note: Any combination of scholarships and other awarded aid cannot exceed the cost of attendance.)
Find out more.
New York Scholarships
Guttman Transfer Scholarship
Applications for the Spring 2023 Cohort of the Guttman Transfer Scholarship are now available
Guttman Transfer Scholarships offer benefits for outstanding CUNY community college students who transfer to an eligible CUNY senior college (Brooklyn, City, Hunter, Lehman, and Queens). Guttman Scholars receive up to $4,000 paid over two years. CUNY can offer these scholarships through an endowment provided by the Stella and Charles Guttman Foundation.
Note: If you are interested in applying for the Guttman Transfer Scholarship, please note that there are two application cycles each year. You must apply before you start at a participating senior college. See FAQ for more details on the deadline schedule.
- Earn an associate degree from any of CUNY’s community colleges.
- Have a current cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above.
- Apply for financial aid by filing a FAFSA. Priority is given to those who are eligible for financial aid.
- Apply to transfer to Brooklyn, City, Hunter, Lehman, or Queens College and enroll full-time (12 credits or more).
- Students who meet eligibility requirements will have a link to the online application in their CUNYfirst “To Do” list.
New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP)
The New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) helps eligible New York residents pay tuition at approved schools in New York State.
- Must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen and a legal resident of New York State for at least one year prior to the start of the term
- Must have graduated from high school in the U.S., earned a high school equivalency diploma by passing a Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) formally known as a GED, or passed a federally approved “ability to benefit” test
- Applicant must study at an approved post-secondary institution in New York State, be matriculated in an approved program of study and be in good academic standing with at least a “C” average
- Must be enrolled as a full-time student taking twelve or more credits applicable toward the degree program, per semester, and be charged at least $200 tuition per year
- Must not be in default on any state or federal student loans and not be in default of any repayment of state awards
- Complete the FAFSA to apply
The Excelsior Scholarship, in combination with other student financial aid programs, allows students to attend a SUNY or CUNY college tuition-free.
Deadline: The application for the 2023-2024 application (attendance in the FALL 2023 semester) will be available 5/23
- Full-time student
- Gross income under $125,000
NYSTAA strives to increase transfer student opportunities and improve articulation among New York State’s two- and four-year public and private accredited colleges and universities.
Deadline: March 24, 2023 Eligibility:
- Currently enrolled at an active NYSTAA two-year member college and will complete an Associate in Arts, Associate in Science or Associate in Applied Science by August
- Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5
- Apply and plan on attending a current four-year NYSTAA member institution in fall
For NYU applicants.
For students with U-Visa, T-Visa, temporary protected status or without lawful immigration status (including DACA).
- Nomination required by a faculty member or administrator at their community college
- Enrolled at a participating community college such as LaGuardia
- Have a 3.0 cumulative GPA at the community college
- At minimum, must have 60 transferable credits and a 3.0 GPA
NYS Dream ACT: APPLICATIONS OPEN NOW
For students with U-Visa, T-Visa, temporary protected status or without lawful immigration status (including DACA).
Deadline: NYS DREAM Act application available for 2023-24 applications will be available on October 1st, 2022
Deadline to apply for 2023-24 TAP is June 30th, 2024 (end of 2023-24 academic year)
- Families who earned $125,000 or less
- Without lawful immigration status (including those with DACA status)
- You attended a NYS high school for 2 or more years
- Graduated from NYS high school
- Enrolled for undergraduate study at an NYS college within 5 years of receiving your NYS high school diploma
With over $246 million in scholarships for eligible members. PTK offers two types of scholarships to help students complete an associate degree and prepare for transfer to a four-year college. Nearly $1 million in competitive scholarships are offered through PTK’s Foundation to support students to complete a degree.
Amount: Varies by college
- PTK’s Scholarship application process is open year-round with two deadlines.
- Spring Deadline: May 15, 5pm Central Time
***NOTE: Leaders of Promise, IPSLEI programs, Hurst, Walgreens, and Workforce Development programs have a May 15th deadline
- Fall Deadline: December 1, 5pm Central Time
***NOTE: All-USA, New Century, Coca-Coca Academic Team, Guistwhite, Hites, Hurst, Walgreens, and AMSA pre-med programs have a December 1st deadline
- Student must be PTK member to apply with a 3.5 GPA membership requirement.
- All scholarships offered on the application require students to be enrolled in an associate degree or certificate program in at least six semester credit hours (9 quarter credit hours) through December 31, 2022.
- If you are not currently enrolled in PTK, you are not eligible to apply
- Students may find many more scholarship opportunities by using PTK’s exclusive online tool, PTK Connect. Scholarship amounts, applications, eligibility requirements, and deadlines vary by college. Our college partners fund and administer these scholarships. Log in to PTK Connect to find out more about each college’s scholarships.
- Contact advisor at LaGuardia: Professor Dana Trusso, email: email@example.com
Military and Public Service Scholarships
NYS Military Enhanced Recognition Incentive Tribute (MERIT) Scholarship
Financial aid for children, spouses and financial dependents of members of the U.S. Armed Forces or state organized militia who at any time, while New York State residents, died or became severely and permanently disabled while performing their military duties, whether in combat or not.
Amount: $15,750 -$24,250
DEADLINE NOTICE: Once you have established your eligibility and are assigned an account number by HESC, you must do one of the following by June 30 of each academic year to request payment:
- Current New York State residents – Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and TAP on the Web application. FAFSA and TAP applications and instructions are available on-line at HESC.ny.gov.
- If you are not a resident of New York State, email the HESC Scholarship Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a Scholarship and Grant Payment Application.
- Attend an approved post secondary institution in New York State
- Graduated from high school in the U.S., earned a high school equivalency diploma (GED) or passed a federally approved “Ability to Benefit” test as defined by the Commissioner of the State Education Department
- Enrolled as a full-time student
- Matriculated in an approved program of study
- Be in good academic standing
- Not be in default on any state or federal student loans or on any repayment of state awards
NYS Memorial Scholarship
For families of those who have died as the result of injuries sustained in the line of duty in service to the State of New York in specific occupations.
- U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
- Child, spouse or financial dependent of deceased firefighter, volunteer firefighter, police officer (including NYS correction officers) or emergency medical service worker who have died as the result of injuries sustained in the line of duty in service to the State of New York
- Graduated from high school in the U.S., earned a high school equivalency diploma earned or passed a federally approved “Ability to Benefit” test
- Attend an approved post secondary institution in New York State
- Matriculated in an approved undergraduate program of study
- Enrolled full-time, taking 12 or more credits per semester applicable toward the degree program
- Be in good academic standing
- Be in a non-default status on a student loan made under any NYS or federal education loan program or repayment of any NYS award
- Must follow the terms of any service condition imposed by a NYS award
AES Engineering Scholarship
AES Engineering is pleased to be able to continue offering scholarships to motivated students to help in the furthering of their education.
- Requires an essay of between 500 and 1000 words.
Deadline: October 8, 2023
Details and application
For Hispanics planning to pursue a STEM program at any stage of their undergraduate career.
- Active SHPE member – visit shpe.org and select “Join”
- Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 listed on the transcript of your latest academic institution.
- Plan to pursue a STEM degree by attending an academic institution in the U.S., including Puerto Rico
Organization of Latino Actuaries
The Organization of Latino Actuaries (OLA) furthers its mission of increasing the number of Latine actuaries by awarding academic scholarships to Latines who will be attending a US college/university next school year and are interested in the actuarial profession. There are several scholarships available.
Applications are evaluated on various criteria including, but not limited to, academic performance, commitment to pursuing the actuarial profession, exam progress, work experience, and leadership experience. Finalists for both the named and general scholarships are expected to be selected by mid-June.
Deadline: Deadlines varies by scholarship. For a list of ongoing scholarship opportunities click here
Amount: Up to $7,000
- Based on work, achievements and effort
Esperanza Fund Scholarship
Must have been born outside the U.S. OR both parents were born outside the U.S.
Amount: Each scholarship award will be no more than $20,000. In 2022, awards for students attending community colleges ranged from $3,000 to $7,000. Awards for students attending four-year universities ranged from $4,000 to $16,000. Amounts are determined based on need.
- Must have been born outside the U.S. or both parents were born outside the U.S.
- Must be a graduating senior at a high school in the District of Columbia, Maryland or Virginia or have earned a GED within the last four years and reside in District of Columbia, Maryland or Virginia
- Must plan to enroll full-time in an accredited, four-year college/university in the U.S. for 2023 – 2024.
The Finch College Alumni Foundation Trust Transfer Scholarship for Women
The Finch College Alumni Foundation offers numerous grants/transfer scholarships to women 22 years and older who are transferring from a community college in the Tri-State area (NY, NJ, CT) to any accredited four-year college in the United States.
- Maintain 3.5 GPA
- Women students must be enrolled in the second year of community college in New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut
- Must be 22 years and older
- Must be transferring to any accredited four-year college in the United States
- Proof of United States citizenship or permanent United States residency
- For more information on criteria and how to apply please visit Finch College Scholarship website
DEADLINE: MAY 1st of the student’s Transfer Year
NOTE: Any candidate currently holding a U.S. or foreign bachelor’s degree is not eligible.
For women attending college on the path to fulfilling their dreams.
- Female students currently attending high school, college, technical/vocational, or graduate school
Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
Dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need.
The next rounds of applications have not been announced. Students can sign up for update here
- Be a current student at an accredited U.S. community college or two-year institution with sophomore status by January 1, 2023, or a recent graduate (since Spring 2018)
- Plan to enroll full-time in a baccalaureate program at an accredited college or university in the fall
- Have a cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.50 or better on a 4.0 scale (or the equivalent)
- Demonstrate unmet financial need. (We will consider applicants with a maximum annual gross income of $95,000.) During the selection process, the Foundation will conduct a full financial review, which will consider all income and assets of the student and the student’s parents.
- No previous enrollment or attendance at a four-year institution. (Note: Ifyou started at a four-year institution but did not complete a semester of full-time study, then you may be eligible. Please contact us to verify your eligibility.)
- Students who have already transferred to a four-year institution or plan to transfer to start during the spring semester are not eligible
HBCU Sustainable Communities Initiative
Provides educational and career development opportunities through scholarship awards and prospective internships for African American/Black students.
- Must be enrolled as a full-time college undergraduate junior
- Complete FAFSA application
- Minimum 2.8 GPA
- African American/Black ethnicity
- U.S citizen
- Must be in a business, engineering, mathematics, science, sustainability or technology major
- Must attend a UNCF member institution in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, or Virginia. (See the full list of eligible institutions under “Colleges/Universities.”)
The National Scholarship is for high school or community college graduates; the Opportunity Scholarship is for students who live in targeted, locked-out states where they cannot get in-state tuition. Your eligibility for both is based on where you live.
Amount: The amount of your annual award will be based on the cost of tuition and fees based on your enrollment status (i.e., number of credits). We will not reduce the amount of your award by other institutional aid, scholarships, or grants, unless your total financial aid package exceeds the estimated cost of attendance based on your living arrangement (e.g., on campus or off campus). In addition, you may receive an additional amount per year for books, supplies, and transportation. Purdue Global University Scholars are not eligible for this stipend.
- Have DACA; TPS; or came to the country before November 1, 2016 and otherwise meet the DACA criteria
- Came to the U.S. before the age of 16. (If you were born in the U.S., you are not eligible.)
- Have significant unmet financial need
- Have graduated or will graduate from a U.S. high school
Aids people active in movements for social and economic justice. Recent grantees have been active in the struggle against racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of oppression, building the movement for economic justice and creating peace through international anti-imperialist solidarity.
Amount: The maximum grant is $15,000 and may be considerably smaller depending on the applicant’s circumstances and the amount of money available.The average grant in 2022-23 was about $7,500. All of the scholarship funds come from the contributions of individual donors.
- Students enrolled at the college or university level or in a trade or technical program
- Active in the progressive movement
Seeks candidates whose daily actions are guided by spiritual motives. Fellows enjoy a life-long community with other fellows, including annual retreats and online connections.
Amount: Grants are typically $5,000 to $7,000 and may be renewed for subsequent years.
- Must submit 3 essays, 3 recommendations letters and transcripts
- Must have a current or intended residency in one of the following states by March 1st of the year in which the application is made: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Virginia, West Virginia or North Carolina.
- The applicant must be pursuing graduate or undergraduate study at an accredited U.S.-based college or university. Note: Preference is shown to those who have completed at least one year of undergraduate study or beyond.
Additional Scholarship Resources and Guides
- LaGuardia Community College Honors Student Advisory Committee Scholarship Guide
- KAPLAN Scholar Leadership Program
- MALDEF – Latino legal civil rights organization
- Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute
- Hispanic Scholarship Fund
- Latin American Professional Women’s Education
- United Negro College Fund – Scholarships for Black/African American and minority students
- Career One Stop Scholarship Finder
- Super Scholar – 50 Great Scholarships
- The Arc New York – Scholarships
- The Education Foundation for Women in Accounting – Undergraduate Scholarships
- Academy of Interactive Arts and Science Foundation – Scholarships
Check out the following scholarship research tools, and be cautious of scholarship scams.