Contests & Scholarships

Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship for High School Seniors

Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Logo

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is now accepting applications for its $40,000 per year College Scholarship! High-achieving high school seniors with financial need have until November 14 to apply.

The Cooke Foundation is the nation’s largest provider of scholarships to support the education of exceptionally promising students with financial need. In addition to the College Scholarship, the foundation offers a unique pre-college Young Scholars Program for students starting in middle school. This $40,000 per year scholarship program supports high-achieving, low-income students from 8th through 12th grade by providing intensive advising and financial resources for tuition, extracurricular pursuits, and summer programming. Interested 7th grade students should apply starting January 17, 2018.

Virginia Council on Women Annual STEM Essay Contest
The Virginia Council on Women sponsor an Annual STEM essay Contest. The Council will award five scholarships (one in each of five regions) to a female junior or senior who will be pursuing a STEM education at an institution of higher education. Essays will be judged by a panel of Council members and women who hold a degree in or work in STEM fields.


The Council will award five $5,000 scholarships to female junior or senior high school students who will be pursuing a STEM career at an institution of higher education. One scholarship will be awarded in each of five geographic regions across the state. Additional scholarships may be awarded at the discretion of the Council.

The STEM Essay Contest was launched in 2012 with 170 young ladies from across the Commonwealth submitting essays focusing on the student’s vision for a future STEM education or career. Last year, the Council received 381 essay submissions and distributed $33,000 in scholarships to five girls.

Who is eligible?

  • Junior or Senior high school girls

  • Must be residents of Virginia

  • Minimum 2.5 GPA

For more information about this scholarship program please visit: https://www.commonwealth.virginia.gov/advisory-boards/council-on-women/stem-essay-contest/.


The Society of Women Engineers
The SWE Scholarship Program provides financial assistance to women admitted to accredited baccalaureate or graduate programs, in preparation for careers in engineering, engineering technology and computer science. In 2014, SWE disbursed over 230 new and renewed scholarships valued at over $700,000.

Scholarships are typically awarded in May (sophomore, junior, senior and graduate students) and July (freshmen and reentry students) for use during the following academic year. Recipients are announced in September.

For more information click here

Strong Men and Women in Virginia History Essay Contest
Dominion Resources and the Library of Virginia have joined forces to present Strong Men and Women in Virginia History, an annual program recognizing the achievements of African Americans in the commonwealth. 

High school students throughout Virginia are eligible to participate in the writing contest, which provides an opportunity for all students to write a creative essay from an essay prompt.

An overview of the contest and guidelines are enclosed can be viewed by visiting https://usascholarships.com/signet-classics-student-scholarship-essay-contest/

Virginia Space Coast Scholars Program
New Virginia Space Coast Scholars Program Targets High School Sophomores
A new initiative funded through the Commonwealth’s biennial budget is the Virginia Space Coast Scholars (VSCS) program, which is a partnership between the Vir­ginia Space Grant Consortium, NASA Wallops Flight Facil­ity, and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. VSCS is a dy­namic, informal online learning experience highlighted by a seven-day residential summer academy at NASA Wal­lops Flight Facility for qualifying students. With a focus on scientific exploration, students will be introduced to the science, engineering, and technology concepts that are integral to earth and space-based missions launched or conducted from Virginia's Space Coast on the Eastern Shore. View the program flyer.

Building on the excitement around scientific explora­tion missions conducted or launched from NASA Wal­lops Flight Facility and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Space­port, the VSCS program is designed to inspire high school sophomores that possess technical or scientific interests to participate. During the seven-day summer academy, the students will design, construct, and fly an experimen­tal payload. For more information visit: www.vscs.spacegrant.org

Virginia Holocaust Museum Annual Art Contest
The Virginia Holocaust Museum’s Visual Arts Competition is a yearly art contest and exhibit. Held in April in conjunction with the VHM’s Holocaust Memorial Program middle and high school students are asked to interpret a Holocaust related theme using 2D and 3D art. The contest is judged by members of the Richmond art community and displayed in the VHM’s galleries. For information regarding this and other contests, visit the VHM website.


Smith Mountain Lake Arts Council Art Contest (SMAC)

The Smith Mountain Lake Arts Council holds an annual art contest each fall.
Entry forms and additional information regarding this opportunity can be found on the website for the Smith Mountain Lake Arts Council.


Virginia Association of Gifted (VAG) Summer Scholarships for Students K-12

VAG is pleased to offer summer scholarships designed for those gifted and talented students who wish to attend academic or artistic programs during the summer months. Applying for a scholarship through VAG does not constitute application to a specific program; students must make application directly to the summer program of their choice. VAG scholarships are contingent on acceptance into the program, and scholarship checks are made payable to the program. Many programs offer financial aid in the form of scholarships and grants. Students must contact programs directly for information on their scholarship and grant offerings.
The scholarships are in amounts ranging from $100 - $500 and are available for students, K-12. No more than one scholarship is awarded to a single individual within a three-year period. Applicants will be notified of their award status by April 15.
To obtain application materials for all Virginia Association for the Gifted Awards and Recognitions, visit the VAG web site:
http://www.vagifted.org/?page=StudSummScholarships.


Signet Classics Student Scholarship Essay Contest

Scholarship opportunity for high school juniors and seniors: The 19th annual Signet Classics Student Scholarship Essay Contest, in which five high school juniors or seniors can each win a $1,000 scholarship award to be used toward their higher education plus a Signet Classics library for their school. Students enter by writing an essay on one of five topics posed for this year's competition book, Emma, by Jane Austen. Submission deadline is April 14, 2016. For full information: http://us.penguingroup.com/static/pages/services-academic/essayhome.html


NASA Space Settlement Contest

Open to students in grades 6-12. Students should design their own space colony or can focus on one aspect of orbital living. Submissions may include designs, essays, stories, models, and artwork. Individuals, small teams of 2-6, or large teams of seven or more may enter. For full details: NASA Settlement Contest


Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

The application process for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Young Scholars Program, one of the most generous awards for outstanding seventh-grade students, opens in January.

Those selected receive financial support for educational and extracurricular activities, as well as one-on-one help applying to high schools, colleges, summer programs, and more. Young Scholars tell their advisor what they’d like to become. Over the next five years the Foundation uses its considerable resources to help them get there.

Each year, the Young Scholars Program honors 50 to 75 seventh-graders who can demonstrate outstanding academic ability, accomplishments outside of the classroom, and substantial financial need. The award is extremely competitive, but those selected receive financial support for educational and extracurricular activities as well as one-on-one help applying to high schools, colleges, summer programs, and more. Students are encouraged to apply online by going to jkcf.org

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation also offers a College Scholarship Program. This is an undergraduate scholarship program available to high-achieving high school seniors with financial need who seek to attend the nation’s best four-year colleges and universities. College Scholars receive up to $40,000 per year, college planning support, ongoing advising, and the opportunity to network with the larger JKCF Scholar community. The application period is open from early September to early November. Up to 40 College Scholars are selected for this program each year. High school seniors who are interested in applying should visit Jack Cooke Kent College Scholarship Program.


Scholarships for Women

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