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12 Community Service Scholarships for Students Who Give Back

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Have you made substantial efforts to be involved with and give back to your community? Are you looking for ways to supplement paying for your college tuition? Look no further. Here’s your guide to national community service scholarships.


This list includes general scholarships awarded on the basis of involvement in community service. It does not include scholarships aimed at specific demographics, locations, or areas of study or interest.


Why Community Service Matters


It’s important to give back to and participate in your community. Not only is the experience rewarding, but it also enables you to learn important leadership and professional skills.


Colleges don’t require community service, but it can be a valuable addition to your extracurricular activities. Read Do I Need Community Service for My College Applications? for more reasons why you should get involved.


Why Scholarships Matter


Scholarships often allow you to save significant money on tuition and other college expenses. There are many different scholarships available for particular demographics, such as first-generation students, as well as disciplines and fields, such as STEM.


There are two general classifications of scholarships. Merit scholarships are achievement-based, meaning you earn the award through your own efforts, such as community service participation or leadership. Need-based scholarships are awarded on the basis of who needs the award financially. Some scholarships take both factors into account.

Community-Service Scholarships


Americorps Vista

Americorps offers the Segal Education Award, a roughly $6,000 value, for education expenses upon the completion of a 10–11-month period of service. Alternatively, you may receive a $1,800 cash stipend upon your service completion. The program also pays for living expenses during this period.


AXA Achievement Community Scholarships

One student from each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico will receive scholarships of $2,500, $10,000 or $25,000. Students must demonstrate achievement in work-, school-, and community-related activities.


Bonner Scholars

The Cornelia and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation awards $4,000 scholarships to up to 1,500 students. In order to qualify, students must complete 10 hours of community service per week and participate in the foundation’s summer community service internship.


Christopher Reeve Award

The Heart of America recognizes one student per year with the Christopher Reeve Award. The $1,000 scholarship is awarded to a student who displays compassion in caring in her community.


The Coca-Cola Scholars Program

This program recognizes 150 students for leading, serving, and making an impact on their schools and communities. The awards are $20,000 each.


Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program

One student per high school may be nominated by a principal or guidance counselor to receive a scholarship totaling $1,000. Recipients must demonstrate a commitment to community service, academics, and leadership.


Do Something Easy Scholarships

For a chance at winning scholarships of different amounts, many totaling thousands of dollars, students take part in Do Something volunteer campaigns and demonstrate their participation through photos. Students may participate in multiple campaigns to earn more scholarship money.


GE-Reagan Foundation Scholarship

The GE-Reagan Foundation recognizes students who demonstrate exemplary leadership, drive, integrity, and citizenship with this $10,000 award. The scholarship is renewable for each year of college.


Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes

“Young heroes” who undertake community service projects are eligible to receive $10,000 scholarships.


Great Value Colleges Community Service Scholarship

Students who have shown passion for community service and enhanced their education through service may enter to win this $1,500 scholarship.


National Caring Award

Sponsored by the Caring Institute, this award recognizes five young adults who exhibit significant volunteer community service and commitment. The scholarships amount to $2,000 each.


The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards

These awards honor middle- and high-school students for outstanding service to others at the local, state, and national level. State honorees receive $1,000 scholarships, and national honorees receive an additional $5,000 each and a $5,000 grant to the charity of their choice. Local honorees are also recognized with a certificate.


To learn more about applying for scholarships and performing community service, read:


What You Need to Know for a Successful Scholarship Season

Best Places for High Schoolers to Do Community Service


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Short Bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket, and Funny-ish. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.