The Best Scholarships in Kentucky

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Finding the best scholarships in Kentucky is almost as stressful as applying to college in the first place. The Bluegrass state, while blessed with an abundance of educational opportunities, is no stranger to student debt and financial burden. The percent of Kentucky students graduating from college with debt continues to climb at around 64%, with no indication of stopping anytime soon.

Let’s face it – college is wicked expensive. But have no fear! We’ve compiled a list of the best scholarships in Kentucky to help ease the pain of college’s financial burden. From KHEAA scholarships that provide complete loan forgiveness, to University of Kentucky scholarships providing full-tuition, we’ve found some hefty scholarships to make your college search far less stressful. After all, college is stressful enough. Paying for it shouldn’t be.

Looking for scholarships in another state? Check out our other scholarship lists here.

This post is part of our Ultimate FAQ for Applying to Scholarships.

The Best Scholarships in Kentucky for High-Achieving Students

The Best Scholarships in Kentucky for High-Achieving Students

The Best Scholarships in Kentucky for High-Achieving Students

  1. Stephen Keller Scholarship

  • Description: Sponsored by the Bluegrass Community Foundation, the Stephen L. Keller Scholarship provides three non-renewable scholarships each year to three outstanding students from Eastern Kentucky.
  • Amount: $2,000
  • Requirements: This scholarship is open to graduating high school seniors and current undergraduate students.
  • How to Apply: The application is available through the Bluegrass Community Foundation scholarship portal linked at the top of this page.
  1. CLARK Scholars Program

  • Description: Graduating high school seniors of Fayette County with a commitment to community involvement are eligible for this small, renewable award.
  • Amount: $1,000
  • Requirements: Be a graduating senior attending public high school in Fayette County, Kentucky. Family members of the CLARK Material Handling Company are also eligible. Preference is given to first generation college students.
  • How to Apply: The application is available through the Bluegrass Community Foundation scholarship portal linked at the top of this page.
  1. Emma E. Buckley Scholarship

  • Description: In honor of Emma Buckley, a lifelong philanthropist in Kentucky, this non-renewable scholarship awards graduating high school seniors demonstrating financial need.
  • Amount: Number and size of scholarships varies by year
  • Requirements: Students must be high school seniors at either Woodford County High School or a Fayette County Public School. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required. Preference is also given to first-generation college students.
  • How to Apply: The application is available through the Bluegrass Community Foundation scholarship portal linked at the top of this page.
  1. King-Barton Scholarship

  • Description: This scholarship provides monetary assistance to financially needy high school seniors attending Harrison County High School. Preference is given to first generation college students.
  • Amount: Number and size of scholarships varies by year
  • Requirements: A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required. Students must demonstrate significant financial aid according to the FAFSA.
  • How to Apply: The application is available through the Bluegrass Community Foundation scholarship portal linked at the top of this page.
  1. Provost Scholarship

  • Description: This University of Kentucky academic scholarship provides continuous monetary support to an incoming freshman for all four years of their undergraduate education.
  • Amount: $2,500 or $5,000 (depending on test scores and additional criteria)
  • Requirements: Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.30 and an ACT composite of 26 or an SAT score of 1230.
  • How to Apply: All application materials, including test scores and transcripts, must be received by the University of Kentucky no later than December 1st of the student’s application cycle.
  1. Presidential Scholarship

  • Description: This competitive University of Kentucky scholarship awards full in-state tuition to students meeting test score and GPA criteria.
  • Amount: Full in-state tuition
  • Requirements: Students must have an unweighted GPA of 3.50 and an ACT composite score of at least 31 or an SAT score of at least 1390.
  • How to Apply: All application materials, including test scores and transcripts, must be received by the University of Kentucky no later than December 1st of the student’s application cycle.
  1. Otis A. Singletary Scholarship

  • Description: This competitive University of Kentucky scholarship awards full in-state tuition to students meeting test score and GPA criteria. In addition to full in-state tuition, recipients of the Singletary scholarship also receive a housing stipend of $10,000 per year when living in a UK residence hall for the first two years of enrollment.
  • Amount: Full in-state tuition
  • Requirements: Students must have an unweighted GPA of 3.80 and an ACT composite score of at least 33 or an SAT score of at least 1450.
  • How to Apply: All application materials, including test scores and transcripts, must be received by the University of Kentucky no later than December 1st of the student’s application cycle.
  1. Patterson Scholarship

  • Description: This selective University of Kentucky scholarship awards full in-state tuition and a housing stipend to National Merit Finalists or National Hispanic Recognition Scholars.
  • Amount: Full in-state tuition and a housing stipend
  • Requirements: Students must list the University of Kentucky as their college choice on the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.
  • How to Apply: All application materials, including test scores and transcripts, must be received by the University of Kentucky no later than December 1st of the student’s application cycle.
  1. Rogers Scholars

  • Description: This University of Louisville admissions based scholarship awards talented students full in-state tuition.
  • Amount: Full in-state tuition
  • Requirements: A minimum GPA of 3.5 is required. Students must have achieved a composite ACT score of 31 or an SAT score of 1390.
  • How to Apply: No additional scholarship application is required. Eligible students will be notified of their status following admission to the university.
  1. Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship

  • Description: The Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarships, also known as the Kentucky Futures Scholarship, provides additional incentive for Kentucky high school students to perform better. Students who earn at least a 2.5 GPA every year receive a cash incentive that goes towards higher education.
  • Amount: Varies based on performance
  • Requirements: Students must earn at least a 2.5 GPA. See KHEAA scholarship website for additional information.
  • How to Apply: Eligible students will receive official notification of the amount of their award from KHEAA.

The Best Scholarships in Kentucky for Minorities and Underrepresented Groups

The Best Scholarships in Kentucky for Minorities and Underrepresented Groups

The Best Scholarships in Kentucky for Minorities and Underrepresented Groups

  1. Women Leading Kentucky Scholarship

  • Description: This program offers scholarships to women planning on attending Kentucky colleges and universities. Applicants must demonstrate leadership abilities on campus or within her community.
  • Amount: $1,000-$1,500
  • Requirements: Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and be planning on enrolling at a Kentucky college in the upcoming fall semester.
  • How to Apply: Application materials are available on the funding organization’s website.
  1. Thomas D. Urmston Scholarship

  • Description: This scholarship provides support for female graduating high school seniors of Harrison County High School that demonstrate financial need.
  • Amount: Varies by year
  • Requirements: A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required.
  • How to Apply: The application is available through the Bluegrass Community Foundation scholarship portal linked at the top of this page.
  1. Kids’ Chance Kentucky

  • Description: Through the Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Act, this scholarship helps the children of any Kentucky worker who was seriously or fatally injured in a work-related incident.
  • Amount: Varies
  • Requirements: Applicants must be between the ages of 16 and 25 and demonstrate substantial financial need.
  • How to Apply: Applications must be submitted by the deadline specified on the funding organization’s website.
  1. Women’s Educational Grant

  • Description: This scholarship honors female non-traditional students that are members of the Kentucky Farm Bureau.
  • Amount: $1,500
  • Requirements: Applicant must be interested in resuming her education after leaving school to fulfill a family or work-related duty.
  • How to Apply: Application materials must be postmarked by the deadline specified on the funding organization’s website.
  1. Jane Allen Newman

  • Description: High school seniors demonstrating significant financial need are encouraged to apply to this scholarship.
  • Amount: $2,500
  • Requirements: Applicants must be attending high school in the Kentucky counties of Fayette, Harrison, or Union.
  • How to Apply: The application is available through the Bluegrass Community Foundation scholarship portal linked at the top of this page.
  1. Kentucky Tuition Grant

  • Description: This KHEAA scholarship provides need-based financial aid to Kentucky residents planning on attending Kentucky private colleges.
  • Amount: Up to $3,000
  • Requirements: Students must be Kentucky residents demonstrating financial need.
  • How to Apply: Students must submit a FAFSA ASAP. Funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
  1. Work Ready Kentucky Scholarship Program

  • Description: This KHEAA scholarship helps Kentucky residents who have yet to earn an associate’s degree. This scholarship allows them to receive an industry-recognized certificate or diploma.
  • Amount: Up to $400 per year
  • Requirements: Students must be Kentucky residents who have not earned an associate’s degree or higher degree. Recipients must maintain satisfactory academic progress.
  • How to Apply: Students must file a FAFSA in order to be considered. Additional application information is available on the KHEAA website.
  1. College Access Program Grant

  • Description: This KHEAA scholarship helps fund the education of Kentucky students demonstrating high financial need.
  • Amount: Up to $2,000
  • Requirements: Students must be Kentucky residents attending an eligible college.
  • How to Apply: Students must file a FAFSA ASAP. Funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Best Field-Specific Scholarships in Kentucky

The Best Field-Specific Scholarships in Kentucky

The Best Field-Specific Scholarships in Kentucky

  1. Collier Family Memorial Scholarship

  • Field: STEM
  • Description: Granted annually in memory of Hazel Collier Booth, this scholarship helps students of Wolfe County High School. This one time award assists students studying a STEM program at a 4-year university or college.
  • Amount: Varies based on financial need
  • Requirements: Awarded to an academically talented graduating senior of Wolfe County High School.
  • How to Apply: Application materials available on the funding organization’s website.
  1. STLP Scholarships

  • Field: STEM
  • Description: Outstanding high school seniors who have demonstrated great achievement in technology are eligible for this scholarship. The program is sponsored by the Kentucky Society for Technology in Education.
  • Amount: $1,000
  • Requirements: Students who have demonstrated strong technology skills and leadership are encouraged to apply.
  • How to Apply: Application materials available on the funding organization’s website.
  1. Gill-Elliott Scholarship

  • Field: STEM
  • Description: Graduating seniors of Highlands High School planning on pursuing a degree in a STEM field or pre-medicine should consider applying to this scholarship.
  • Amount: $2,000
  • Requirements: Open to graduating seniors of Highlands High School
  • How to Apply: The application is available through the Bluegrass Community Foundation scholarship portal linked at the top of this page.
  1. William Tolbert Whittenberg Scholarship for Performing Arts Excellence

  • Field: Performing Arts
  • Description: This competitive program sponsors gifted students in pursuit of advanced study in the performing arts.
  • Amount: $10,000
  • Requirements: This scholarship is restricted to students of the Greater Louisville region that plan on pursuing a career in the performing arts. Students must be between the ages of 16 and 20.
  • How to Apply: Application materials available on the funding organization’s website.
  1. Young Farmer Scholarship

  • Field: Agriculture
  • Description: Members of the Kentucky Farm Bureau are eligible for this renewable scholarship.
  • Amount: $2,000 (4-year institution) and $1,000 (vocational and technical schools)
  • Requirements: Students must be between the ages of 18 and 35 and have reached at least sophomore status to apply. Vocational students are welcome to apply regardless of class status. Students should be majoring in agriculture or a related field at a Kentucky college or university.
  • How to Apply: Application materials available on the funding organization’s website.
  1. KFB Education Foundation

  • Field: Agriculture
  • Description: Students who have demonstrated leadership in agriculture along with academic achievement should consider applying for this Kentucky Farm Bureau scholarship.
  • Amount: Varies
  • Requirements: A minimum 3.5 GPA is required. Applicants must be the child of a Kentucky Farm Bureau member and plan on finishing high school within the year of applying for the scholarship.
  • How to Apply: Application materials available on the funding organization’s website.
  1. Horse Farm Workers’ Educational Assistance Fund

  • Field: Equestrian
  • Description: This fund provides academic assistance for students of full-time Thoroughbred horse farm workers in central Kentucky.
  • Amount: Average award is $2,000
  • Requirements: Be the child of a Thoroughbred horse farm worker
  • How to Apply: Application materials available on the funding organization’s website.

Vengu Family Memorial Scholarship

  1. Vengu Family Memorial Scholarship

  • Field: Medicine and Photography
  • Description: This scholarship awards students planning on pursuing one of two very different professions – medicine and photography.
  • Amount: $1,000
  • Requirements: This scholarship is available to graduating seniors from Scott County, Kentucky. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required.
  • How to Apply: The application is available through the Bluegrass Community Foundation scholarship portal linked at the top of this page.
  1. Nursing Incentive Scholarship Fund

  • Field: Nursing
  • Description: Sponsored by the Kentucky Board of Nursing, this scholarship exists to provide extra incentive for future nurses of Kentucky.
  • Amount: Varies based on financial aid
  • Requirements: Recipients must work full-time as a nurse in a Kentucky practice for one year per each academic year has been funded. This obligation begins after graduation.
  • How to Apply: Application materials available on the Kentucky Board of Nursing website.
  1. Kitchen Challis Scholarship

  • Field: STEM
  • Description: This scholarship awards graduating seniors of Harrison County that plan on pursuing a STEM program in college.
  • Amount: $2,000
  • Requirements: Students must be graduating seniors of Harrison County High School in Kentucky.
  • How to Apply: The application is available through the Bluegrass Community Foundation scholarship portal linked at the top of this page.
  1. Kentucky Teacher Scholarship Program

  • Field: Education
  • Description: This KHEAA scholarships program provides financial aid to Kentucky students planning on earning their teacher certification at a Kentucky college.
  • Amount: Up to $2,500 per semester
  • Requirements: Students must already be admitted into a teacher education program and pursuing teacher certification. Certified teachers pursuing additional credentials are also eligible. Students must demonstrate significant financial need to be eligible. Recipients must complete a teacher education program and provide at least one semester of teaching for every semester of scholarship receipt in order to fulfill the service commitment of the award.
  • How to Apply: Students must submit a FAFSA prior to applying. Applications are available on the KHEAA website.
  1. Early Childhood Development Scholarship

  • Field: Early Childhood Education
  • Description: This KHEAA scholarships program provides financial aid to Kentucky students pursuing one of the following programs: Child Development Associate Credential, an Associate’s degree in early childhood education, a Bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary early childhood education or something similar.
  • Amount: Up to $1,800 per year
  • Requirements: Students must be Kentucky residents and enrolled in no more than 9 credit hours per term. Students must maintain satisfactory academic progress while being employed at least 20 hours weekly in a participating early childhood facility. Recipients must also agree to a service commitment in accordance with the credential they are pursuing.
  • How to Apply: Students must submit a FAFSA prior to applying. Applications are available on the KHEAA website.

Thanks to the philanthropy and generosity of many state-sponsored programs and charities, obtaining an education in Kentucky is all the more attainable! We hope you’ve found this comprehensive guide to the best scholarships in Kentucky helpful. KHEAA scholarships and other similar scholarships exist to reward students planning on serving Kentucky communities after they graduate. Please don’t hesitate to inquire further about additional scholarship opportunities through the financial aid offices of any of your prospective schools. Chances are that there are an abundance of scholarships that have slipped under the radar.

If you enjoyed this list of the best scholarships in Kentucky, please be sure to check out our other guides providing additional scholarship information in other states.

You may also find our post on the best scholarship sites helpful.

Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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