The Best Scholarships in Pennsylvania

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When it comes to higher education, Pennsylvania is blessed with an abundance of stellar colleges, universities and trade schools. The state is home to a wealth of prestigious research universities, including an Ivy League institution; getting the best scholarships in Pennsylvania is key to being able to attend these schools.

The prestige that comes with Pennsylvania schools includes a pretty hefty price tag. According to Peterson’s annual financial-aid survey, Pennsylvanian students have the highest average student debt per borrower – averaging at around $35,185 per student! For this reason, the state government has fashioned a variety of government grants to help mitigate these tremendous costs.

Alas, have no fear, we’ve compiled a list of scholarships and Pennsylvania government grants that exist to ease the financial burden of higher education. Additionally, most of these grants are exclusive to Pennsylvania residents, so there’s already a smaller pool of applicants! In this article, we’ll be looking over the best scholarships in Pennsylvania.

Finding the means to fund one’s education is a massive stressor. You’re likely already overwhelmed with the tremendous stress of finals, college applications, and deciding on where you may want to live for the next four years! College is stressful enough as it is – funding it shouldn’t be. Here are some key school scholarships for the Keystone state!

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.

What We Review hide

The Best Scholarships for High-Achieving and Talented Students in Pennsylvania

The Best Scholarships for High-Achieving and Talented Students in Pennsylvania

The Best Scholarships for High-Achieving and Talented Students in Pennsylvania

  1. Clarkston Scholars Program

  • Description: This hefty scholarship should be on the radar of any freshman. The Clarkston Scholars Program provides funding to one sophomore majoring in the life sciences at a four-year college or university in Pennsylvania. Award recipients also receive close mentoring with Clarkston Consulting during their junior and senior years.
  • Amount: $10,000 total ($5,000 each for junior and senior years)
  • Requirements: The program is open to sophomore undergraduates majoring in a life sciences related field of study at a Pennsylvania college or university. Students maintain a cumulative unweighted GPA of 3.0 or higher to be eligible. Finalists may be asked to interview in-person. Recipients must be willing to attend two life sciences industrial events in the Philadelphia area, to be approved by their program mentor.
  • How to Apply: Applicants must complete the scholarship application listed on the beneficiary’s website. Applications must be received by the due date listed on the website, typically in early January of the student’s sophomore year.
  1. “I Matter” Scholarship

  • Description: This tuition-assistance program provides support for teenagers attending a metropolitan high school and are enrolled in undergraduate study for next fall. Applicants are selected based on their academic achievement, community involvement, quality of verbal and written communication, along with their resumes and reference letters.
  • Amount: $5,000
  • Requirements: Available to current high school seniors attending school in a metropolitan area that has a VILLA store (the funding organization). Students should anticipate completing their high school diploma shortly after the time of application, followed by full-time enrollment in an undergraduate program of study. A minimum 2.5 GPA is required.
  • How to Apply: Application materials and contact information are available on the funding organization’s website.
  1. Dollars for Scholars – York County

  • Description: Dollars for Scholars is a national scholarship program with chapters throughout the country, including York County, Pennsylvania. This institution aims to reach the financial needs of students.
  • Amount: Varies
  • Requirements: Be a student attending high school in York County, Pennsylvania.
  • How to Apply: Interested students must contact their local high school guidance counselor and ask for a referral.
  1. Ready to Succeed Scholarship (RTSS) Program

  • Description: This state-sponsored program provides financial awards to high-achieving high school students.
  • Amount: $500-$2,000
  • Requirements: Students must be Pennsylvania residents with an annual family income not exceeding $110,000.
  • How to Apply: Students must be nominated into this program and meet Pennsylvania Grant eligibility requirements in order to qualify. Interested students should consult with their high school guidance counselor regarding qualifications and nomination. More information is available through the program’s website.

The Best Scholarships for Minorities and Disadvantaged Groups in Pennsylvania

The Best Scholarships for Minorities and Disadvantaged Groups in Pennsylvania

The Best Scholarships for Minorities and Disadvantaged Groups in Pennsylvania

  1. The Pittsburgh Promise Program

  • Description: The Pittsburgh Promise Program promotes the success and educational pursuits of Pittsburgh high school students planning on moving forward in higher education.
  • Amount: Up to $30,000
  • Requirements: Applicants must be enrolled in a Pittsburgh Public School or charter and be residents of the City of Pittsburgh since 9th grade. Applicants must also graduate with a minimum GPA of 2.50 and demonstrate an attendance record of 9-% or higher.
  • How to Apply: Interested students must create a profile on the Pittsburgh Promise Student Portal linked on their website. From there, they can review their eligibility status. Students must then complete a FAFSA and Pennsylvania State Grant Form by May 1st.
  1. Pennsylvania State Grant Program

  • Description: The Pennsylvania State Grant Program provides financial assistance to eligible state residents, assisting them to afford the costs of higher education.
  • Amount: Award amount varies based upon financial need.
  • Requirements: Students must demonstrate significant financial need in order to be eligible for the Pennsylvania State Grant Program.
  • How to Apply: Interested students must complete the FAFSA and fill a separate Pennsylvania State Grant Form listed on their FAFSA confirmation page. More information is available through the program’s website.
  1. Blind or Deaf Higher Education Beneficiary Grant Program

  • Description: This state-funded program provides financial support to Pennsylvania residents experiencing a visual or hearing impairment.
  • Amount: Up to $500 per academic year.
  • Requirements: Students must be Pennsylvania residents and have a visual or hearing impairment.
  • How to Apply: Students should supply documentation from a licensed physician regarding a visual or hearing impairment to the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency. Students must also file a FAFSA for the applicable year.
  1. Pennsylvania Chafee Education and Training Grant Program

  • Description: Another state-funded program, the Pennsylvania Chafee Education and Training Grant Program helps former foster care children that are also pursuing higher education. The goal of the program is to help former foster children gain valuable skillsets to guide them into their young adult careers.
  • Amount: Up to $5,000 per academic year.
  • Requirements: Students must be Pennsylvania residents and eligible for Pennsylvania’s John H. Chafee Foster Care Program for Successful Transition to Adulthood.
  • How to Apply: Eligible students must complete a FAFSA and fill out an application for the Pennsylvania Chafee Education and Training Grant Program on the program’s website. Completed applications must be mailed in to the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency office.
  1. Pennsylvania National Guard Education Assistance Program (EAP)

  • Description: In partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, this state-sponsored program provides tuition assistance for students committing to at least 6 years of service into the Pennsylvania National Guard.
  • Amount: Up to 100% of tuition
  • Requirements: Students must be members of the Pennsylvania National Guard and enrolled in a program of study at a Pennsylvania institution.
  • How to Apply: Current members of the state National Guard should contact a noncommissioned officer through their unit. Prospective members can find more information about joining the Pennsylvania National Guard on their website.

Krausse Scholarship

  1. Krausse Scholarship

  • Description: The American Association of University Women (AAUW) sponsors several scholarships available to women from Dauphin, Cumberland, or Perry County in Pennsylvania. The Krausse scholarship provides support to a female pursuing a bachelor’s degree in a STEM major.
  • Amount: $1,500
  • Requirements: Applicants must be females enrolled at a Pennsylvania college or university full-time. A recipient must complete 30 credits and maintain at least a 3.25 GPA.
  • How to Apply: Application packets can be found on the funding organization’s website.
  1. Beverly J. Smith Memorial Scholarship

  • Description: Also sponsored by the American Association of University Women, the Beverly J. Smith Memorial Scholarship is awarded to one female resident from Dauphin, Cumberland, or Perry County pursuing a bachelor’s degree at an accredited college or university in Pennsylvania.
  • Amount: $2,500
  • Requirements: Applicants must be females enrolled at a Pennsylvania college or university full-time. A recipient must complete 60 credits and maintain at least a 3.40 GPA.
  • How to Apply: Application packets can be found on the funding organization’s website.
  1. Mary Lou McDowell Scholarship

  • Description: The smallest of three scholarships sponsored by the Harrisburg AAUW branch, the Mary Lou McDowell Scholarship awards one female resident of Dauphin, Cumberland, or Perry County in Pennsylvania.
  • Amount: $1,000
  • Requirements: Applicants must be females enrolled at a Pennsylvania college or university full-time. Recipients must complete 15 credits and maintain at least a 3.25 GPA.
  • How to Apply: Application packets can be found on the funding organization’s website.
  1. Hope Through Learning Award

  • Description: Homelessness is a tremendous obstacle challenging a child’s education, let alone their well-being. This award aims to mitigate the financial burden of tuition or other school-related expenses for current or formerly homeless students moving on to higher education for the first time.
  • Amount: $2,500
  • Requirements: Applicants must be 24 years or younger and reside in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Applicants must have experienced homelessness during school attendance years, as defined on the program’s website.
  • How to Apply: Applications are available on the program’s website. Students must mail or email their most recent transcript, an acceptance letter, and at least one letter of recommendation to the Homeless Children’s Education Fund.
  1. NAAP Philadelphia Scholarship

  • Description: Sponsored by the National Association of Asian American Professionals, this Philadelphia chapter provides benefits to Asian/Asian American students either graduating or currently attending college. Applicants are selected based on their leadership potential and extracurricular involvement, along with the quality of their application.
  • Amount: $1,000
  • Requirements: Students must be of Asian American or Asian descent and have at least a 3.0 GPA. Graduating high school seniors must be currently attending a greater Philadelphia high school (region as defined on the organization’s website). Current college students must be attending an accredited college or university in the greater Philadelphia area.
  • How to Apply: Applications and recommendation forms are listed and are to be submitted on the organization’s website.

The Best Field-Specific Scholarships in Pennsylvania

The Best Field-Specific Scholarships in Pennsylvania

The Best Field-Specific Scholarships in Pennsylvania

  1. Beulah Frey Environmental Scholarship

  • Field(s): Environmental Studies and Conservation
  • Description: The Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania awards one graduating high school senior of seven Pennsylvanian counties (see listed) pursuing a two or four-year plan of study in an environmentally-related field.
  • Amount: $2,500
  • Requirements: Applicants must attend high school in one of the listed counties and be pursuing an environmental science or related degree. Students need not attend school in the Western Pennsylvania region.
  • How to Apply: Applications are available on the organization website. Updated applications are posted beginning in January.
  1. Pennsylvania House of Representatives Scholarship

  • Field(s): Political science and law
  • Description: Graduating high school seniors in Pennsylvania with a strong track record for community service and leadership are eligible for this four-year scholarship.
  • Amount: Varies based on financial need. Renewable.
  • Requirements: Applicants must be Pennsylvania residents and be planning to study in state.
  • How to Apply: The application can be completed online.
  1. Pennsylvania Targeted Industry Program (PA-TIP)

  • Field(s): Energy, Manufacturing, and Agriculture
  • Description: This state-sponsored scholarship was created to better prepare students for high demand industrial fields, including energy, advanced materials and diversified manufacturing, agriculture, and food production.
  • Amount: Matches the maximum State Grant award amount (listed on site)
  • Requirements: Applicants must reside in Pennsylvania and demonstrate financial need.
  • How to Apply: Applicants must complete the FAFSA, followed by a PA-TIP student application.
  1. Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF)

  • Field: Law
  • Description: Students interested in pursuing a legal career may qualify for federal loan forgiveness on their education.
  • Amount: Varies
  • Requirements: To receive forgiveness, the student must remain employed with a qualifying employer.
  • How to Apply: More information on the PSLF program available on the PHEAA website.
  1. Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program

  • Field: Education
  • Description: The Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program provides extra incentive for students entering the teaching profession. Students planning on teaching full-time at low-income schools are given preference.
  • Amount: Varies
  • Requirements: Students must match program requirements as listed on the Federal Student Aid website.
  • How to Apply: Visit the Federal Student Aid website as linked above.

Meadville Medical Center Memorial Scholarship

  1. Meadville Medical Center Memorial Scholarship

  • Field: Medicine
  • Description: Students matriculating into a medical, dental, osteopathic, or podiatric school program are eligible for this scholarship.
  • Amount: $1,000 annually
  • Requirements: Must be residents of Crawford County, Pennsylvania.
  • How to Apply: Applications are available on the funding organization’s website.
  1. Runkel Nursing Scholarship

  • Field: Medicine (Nursing)
  • Description: Students pursuing either an associate degree or Bachelor of Science in nursing are eligible for this annual, renewable scholarship.
  • Amount: $350 annually
  • Requirements: Must be residents of either Crawford or Mercer County, Pennsylvania.
  • How to Apply: Applications are available on the funding organization’s website.
  1. Shafer Scholarship

  • Field: Theology
  • Description: Students planning on pursuing study at a theological school, divinity school, or seminary are eligible for this scholarship.
  • Amount: $1,000 annually
  • Requirements: Must be residents of Crawford County, Pennsylvania.
  • How to Apply: Applications are available on the funding organization’s website.
  1. Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers – Undergraduate Scholarships

  • Field: Engineering
  • Description: The Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers awards two grants to help fund the education of young engineering students.
  • Amount: $1,000
  • Requirements: Students must be Pennsylvania residents with a minimum SAT math score of 700 and EBRW score of 600. Students must have a minimum 3.6 GPA.
  • How to Apply: Applications are available on the funding organization’s website and must be mailed to the address listed on the application.
  1. Allegheny Mountain Section Air & Waste Scholarships

  • Field: Environmental Science, Engineering, or Law
  • Description: Students pursuing one of the above-listed professions and attending one of the eligible colleges may apply to this annual scholarship program.
  • Amount: $5,000
  • Requirements: See above
  • How to Apply: Scholarship applications are available on the organization website.
  1. Northern Tier Hardwood Association Community Forests Scholarship

  • Field: Forestry
  • Description: Students with an affinity for the great outdoors should consider this scholarship program, which funds programs related to forestry, arboriculture, and other related fields of study.
  • Amount: $500
  • Requirements: Applicants must be residents of one of the listed Pennsylvanian counties and pursuing a forestry-related program.
  • How to Apply: Applications are available on the funding organization’s website. Applicants must provide at least three reference letters.
  1. Society of Women Engineers – Lehigh Valley Section

  • Field: Engineering
  • Description: Graduating female high school seniors interested in the engineering profession should apply to this program.
  • Amount: $5,000
  • Requirements: Applicants must be graduating from a high school residing within a zip code beginning in 177-187 or 195-196. Computer science students are not eligible.
  • How to Apply: Applications are available on the funding organization’s website.
  1. Meland Foundation Nursing Scholarships

  • Field: Medicine (Nursing)
  • Description: This program provides funding to students residing in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania and are pursuing Nurse Practitioner degrees. Students with a pediatric specialty take preference.
  • Amount: $2,000 – $5,000
  • Requirements: Applicants must already have a BSN degree and live in one of the aforementioned states.
  • How to Apply: Applications are available on the funding organization’s website.

From teaching grants to nursing scholarships, our hopes are that we’ve given you an effective shortlist of the best scholarships in Pennsylvania. If you’re keen on applying to a specific school in Pennsylvania, please don’t hesitate to reach out to their financial aid office and inquire about additional school-specific scholarships for which you may be eligible. Thankfully, there are many opportunities for students to independently fund their education. Keep in mind that these are only scholarships exclusive to Pennsylvanian students, and that a cornucopia of national scholarships is out there waiting for you. Happy hunting!

If you’re applying to schools in other states, be sure to check out our other state guides to scholarships here.

Finally, if you need even more scholarships than this list, sign up for a scholarship database. We go over the best scholarship sites here.

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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