Trade and Technical scholarships

MarieFelverMarieFelver Posts: 16 ✭✭✭
Regional Training 5 Likes First Compass Anniversary First Comment
edited July 2022 in Grants & Scholarships

Hello! We have scholarships available to students getting a trade or technical degree or certification. There is a big push toward trade and technical fields, and we know kids are going into these fields. We also have donors willing to fund more of these types of scholarships. However, we struggle to get kids to apply. This year, we set up a cycle just for trade and technical scholarships outside of our normal cycle and simplified the application. We found good applicants, but still wish we had more students apply. The pool was limited. This is a hard group of students to reach. Has anyone had luck with these types of scholarships? Any tips to suggest?



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    LaurieAbildsoLaurieAbildso Posts: 69 ✭✭✭
    First Compass Anniversary Name Dropper First Comment Summit 2022

    I feel your pain, @MarieFelver. We have a trade/technical scholarship to retrain adults who experienced job loss, and we are struggling to get applicants. The most success we have had is through connecting with the trade schools and community colleges in our area to make them aware of the scholarship, and they send students our way. Traditional media and even social media has not worked well for us. Good luck!

    Laurie Abildso

    Vice President

    Your Community Foundation of North Central West Virginia, Inc.

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    Do you have a link to more info that can be shared with trade schools?

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    MichelleCollinsMichelleCollins Posts: 16 ✭✭✭
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    We also have a trade/technical award in our offerings. Like others here we have a very hard time getting students to apply for it, despite multiple extensions and school outreach. This past year we had one student come onto SLM and start her application but did not submit it. In the end, we awarded it to her anyways because she was the only person to show any effort at all.

    This year we also tapped into our grantee organizations that were best aligned and were running education/training programs for soon to be high school grads and young adults. We heard that there was interest from these individuals but unfortunately this didn't translate into applications. We are going to try this targeted outreach from the beginning of our awards season. 🤞

    I do wonder if the relatively low dollar amount is the deterrent. It's only a $500.00 award. The same students can apply for a more generalized award like Rotary and get a $1,000 award. Unfortunately the donor can't/won't increase the amount.

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    DeirdreMcLoughlinDeirdreMcLoughlin Posts: 65 ✭✭✭
    First Compass Anniversary U.S.A. First Comment 5 Likes
    edited September 2022


    Trying to find this non-traditional, adult student market is very difficult to find. I tried posters and flyers all over the place, newspaper. Talked to everyone I knew and put-up posters in hairdressers, talked to employees in Verizon stores and cafe and supermarkets.

    Met with nonprofits for the working poor and at-risk youth, who all were delighted to meet with me and whom I felt were really our target market, however, like your experience, they failed to complete the application actually they failed to start the application!

    I did get a very suitable candidate who had been released from juvenile detention who is training to become a cosmetologist.

    So far, I found the only way to reach out to this group is through the colleges or schools that they will be attending. The scholarship we have will pay for the usual colleges and for for-profit schools. The for-profit colleges do short and really expensive programs and while it is very disheartening to see people signing up for some really expensive programs, at least we can help there. I will tell you that after year three, there has been a good increase in applications. 

    I also reached out to the massage schools in town and I was able to assist their students.

    As for the amount, $500 is not a lot of money, but I don't think that the amount is the issue.  

    We created a short application process in SLM.  

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    DaraGannonDaraGannon Posts: 29 ✭✭✭
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    We also struggle with this. This year we made a grant to our technical high school to administer scholarships. We just weren't getting students applying to us. The tech school said they also struggle to get students to apply, but they have relationships with the students, so I'm hopeful they will have better luck. Honestly, it's also easier administratively to grant to an institution than add to our scholarship program. We'll know how it goes after this school year!

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