Scholarships for Students Who Volunteer
Scholarships for students who have demonstrated a strong commitment to volunteerism are available from a variety of sources.
These tips will help students at all levels of their education locate and apply for scholarships and awards dedicated to students actively engaged in community service.
Advice for All Applicants
- Plan ahead and reserve time to conduct a full search of available scholarships. Scholarships are available from a wide variety of sources, including but not limited to
government entities, businesses and non-profit organizations, and are awarded at the local, regional and national levels.
- Be aware that not all applications are due at the end of the school year. Deadlines vary and fall at different times throughout the year.
Several websites are dedicated to providing information to students about scholarship opportunities.
- www.fastweb.com lists numerous volunteer scholarships and awards offered throughout the country. Students complete a registration form,
which the site uses to match opportunities with the students’ experience and areas of interest.
- www.FINaid.org lists numerous awards and specifically addresses scholarships for volunteering and community service.
- www.Scholarships.com facilitates searches for scholarships, including those that recognize youth participation in community service.
- www.SponsorChange.org helps graduates pay down debt by matching graduates who have student loan debt with non-profit organizations,
where they volunteer. In return, donors contribute to help pay down the students’ loans. Graduates can ask organizations with which they already volunteer to register.
Students who are involved in volunteering and community service should ask whether the organization where they perform their community service offers scholarships. It is possible
that such organizations, whether hospitals and nursing homes, veterans groups, religious institutions, fraternal organizations or other community service organizations, may provide scholarships to
recognize outstanding community service.
Colleges and Universities
Similarly, colleges and universities often offer scholarships for volunteerism. Be sure to inquire of any schools you are interested in.
- The Bonner Scholars Program, which is located at numerous colleges and universities, allows students with demonstrated financial need to participate in community service as
their work-study opportunity. www.bonner.org/interestedstudents
The Bonner Scholar Program supports individuals who otherwise could not afford to attend college because of financial need. In return for the financial support, the
Bonner Scholars are expected to engage in 10 hours a week of community service during the school year (140 hours per semester) and 280 hours in the summer.
The Bonner Leader Program supports individuals interested in serving throughout their college experience. Bonner Leaders receive financial aid directly from their
institution in the form of a scholarship and/or work-study.
Government Sponsored Programs
Each of the following programs is part of the Corporation for National and Community Service. Participants who complete their terms of service receive an education award and other benefits.
- AmeriCorps State and National offers thousands of opportunities for youth to serve with local and national non-profit organizations and public agencies that help address
needs in the areas of education, health, the environment, disaster services, veterans and economic opportunity. AmeriCorps members must be at least 17 years of age.
The New Jersey Commission on National and Community Service, within the New Jersey Department of State,
administers the State’s AmeriCorps program.
- AmeriCorps VISTA members serve with community-based organizations to help bring individuals and communities out of poverty. Participants must be at least 18 years of age,
have a college degree or a minimum of three years of work or volunteer experience.
- AmeriCorps NCCC focuses on disaster preparedness and relief as well as other urgent community needs. NCCC builds teams of volunteers that are deployed to specific project
sites. Participants serve full-time for 10 months and must be between 18 and 24 years of age.
Specific Scholarship Programs
As you’ll see when you undertake a search of scholarships, there are numerous options. A sample of such opportunities follows.
Please contact the New Jersey Governor’s Office on Volunteerism for additional information.