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Scholarships Orange County Students Should Know About

Updated: Apr 14, 2022

Make sure to bookmark this page for future reference as we continually update and add to this list of scholarships that students should consider applying for. But first, let's explain the three types of scholarships that exist out in this world, and when you should consider applying to which colleges.

Types of Scholarships

Did you know that there are three different categories of scholarships? Well... now you do. However, be strategic with the types of scholarships you pursue by choosing the scholarships you can reasonably attain at the right time.

Institutional Scholarships

These are the scholarships that schools give out to students when they want to incentivize students to attend their school. They have many different names, but sometimes they are called merit aid, gift-aid, etc. They are typically the scholarships with the most significant rate of return.

Because these scholarships really depend on how well you craft your application to fit that particular college, you'll need to create a good-fit college list with your counselor. So this blog post won't be featuring many of those kinds of scholarships. Suppose you are running on these kinds of scholarships to help decrease the cost of college tuition. In that case, you'll want to start working with your college counselor closely as early in your junior year as possible.

Juniors, start working with your one-on-one college counselors to create that good-fit college list. Don't have a college counselor yet? Well then, check us out!

Local Scholarships

If you are a high school senior - you'll want to start here (although if you are a junior, bookmark this page to come back to it next year).

Although not as hefty of a return as institutional scholarships, local scholarships will be your bread and butter to helping you make college life a bit easier. They won't pay for the big bills, but they can add up to a good chunk of change if you win several. These local scholarships are easier to win because they are sponsored by nearby clubs, groups, and organizations for particular communities. The Assistance Leagues are an excellent example of this. Each chapter of the assistance league raises its own scholarship funds, which they provide only to students in that region.

Because these scholarships are local, they may be harder to find, but they are worth the effort. Getting several scholarships should be relatively easy if you know what you are doing and how to sell your story well in an essay.

Bottom line: High school seniors should look for these kinds of scholarships. For the go-getting type, try calling up local organizations and community groups and ask if they have any scholarships.

For students that need additional help with their scholarship application or writing their essay, talk to one of our college admissions counselors and book a free consultation.

Wildcard Scholarships

These scholarships are what they sound like: unpredictable. They can be either big-ticket scholarships or chump change. Still, they typically require some innovative features, like the scholarship that gives students $20,000 to create the best prom dress out of duck tape.

Finding these scholarships can be a bit of a hassle and require some searching, but we will highlight any that we come across here.

Because these scholarships are typically national, you may be competing with many other applicants. However, they are a creative way to invest your effort into things that are a bit out of the ordinary. You can typically win these scholarships if you are above the age of 14 (check each scholarships' eligibility first), so these are good scholarships to look for before senior year.

Bottom line: Anyone can try out for these scholarships (I'm talking to you first- and second-year students). But don't bank financing your entire college tuition on wildcard scholarships alone.

student wearing prom dress made out of duck tape to win a scholarship.
Yes, my friends. This is made out of duck tape.


List of Upcoming Scholarships for Orange County and Newport Beach Students


I know that many of you have concerns about how to make a college education more affordable. Through a new, free program called RaiseMe, students can guarantee scholarships from 250+ colleges as early as 9th grade, making it easier to plan financially for school. RaiseMe has proven to be a great tool to motivate students in high schools. Here are a couple of easy ways to support your students in using this unique tool:

  • Ensure that you create an account

  • Regularly add good grades, community service, extracurricular activities, and other achievements to your RaiseMe Portfolio to earn micro-scholarships from colleges.


Talking Rain has been committed to giving back to the community and partnering with cause-related organizations since we first opened our doors in 1987 – supporting hundreds of nonprofits across the country. We are excited to offer a $5,000 scholarship to a graduating senior.



Authentic Girl Foundation is honored to present the Pearl Cotliar Scholarship Award. The PCSA was established in loving memory of Pearl Ruth Cotliar of Newport Beach, CA, who passed away on December 24, 2011. Pearl's character and life reflected the core values of AGF, and we are deeply honored to be a part of this very special award generously donated by the Cotliar Family. This award is open to all senior girls attending high school in the U.S. with plans to go to college. The winner will receive a $1,000 cash award.


WE ARE AWARDING $30,000 TO HELP PAY FOR COLLEGE! Six high school seniors have the chance to earn $5,000 in the 2022 Nuvision Essay Challenge Scholarship. Submit an essay on your personal views on what financial success means to you and how you plan to reach those goals and you could be on your way to a great start to lifelong success!


This annual scholarship is for students who have experienced personal challenges that may not have allowed them to perform well academically, but who still have the drive to succeed. With no GPA requirement, students are encouraged to apply as this scholarship is meant to be inclusive.


This award is open to anyone interested in geriatric, senior care, and/or programs to support seniors in our community. The main criterion for the Friends Award is interesting in geriatrics and care for seniors.


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