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10 Kentucky Scholarships to Save You Thousands on College

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Student loan debt is a major source of stress for young people. Scholarships and grants will help ease the stress and financial burden. If you’re a college-bound Kentuckian on the lookout for an award to apply to your education, check out these ten great Kentucky scholarships.


10 Kentucky Scholarships 


1. KYTESOL Scholarship 


Amount: $1,500 

Deadline: April 15, 2022


  • Graduating Kentucky high school senior
  • ESL/LEP student with a native language other than English
  • Enrolled in ESL classes during middle school 
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA
  • Accepted into a two-year or four-year post-secondary institution in Kentucky
  • Demonstrated financial need

Application Requirements: 

  • Personal essay 
  • Two letters of recommendation (one must come from a current high school teacher)
  • Transcript 
  • Letter of acceptance from the post-secondary institution the student plans to attend 


This scholarship is provided by the Kentucky Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (KYTESOL) to assist deserving Kentucky high school students to continue their educational pursuits beyond high school. The scholarship is delivered in two installments—at the beginning of the first and second semesters—to help cover the cost of tuition, books, and fees. 


2. KHEAA College Access Program Grant


Amount: Up to $2,200 

Deadline: Application opens October 1st, 2022, rolling acceptance


  • Kentucky resident
  • Attend an eligible college 
  • Enrolled at least half-time in a two-year or longer program
  • Demonstrated financial need

Application Requirements: FASFA


The Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority’s (KHEAA) mission is to expand educational opportunities and enable Kentuckians to attain their higher education goals by providing financial and informational resources. The KHEAA College Access Program Grant is a step toward meeting that goal; it helps the state’s financially needy undergraduate students attend eligible public and private colleges and universities, proprietary schools, and technical colleges.


3. KHEAA Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES)


Amount: varies based on academic achievement 

Deadline: N/A

Eligibility: Attend a participating Kentucky high school and have a minimum 2.5 GPA 

Application Requirements: Meet certain academic marks 


This clever program rewards students at participating Kentucky high schools for their academic performance—the higher a student’s GPA, the more money they’re awarded. Students can also earn bonuses to this awesome Kentucky scholarship for achieving an ACT score over 15 and for earning a qualifying score on Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or Cambridge Advanced International (CAI) exams. 


4. KySTE STLP Scholarship 


Amount: $1,000  

Deadline: February 26, 2022

Eligibility: Seniors in rural Kentucky high schools

Application Requirements: 

  • Three essays
  • Two letters of recommendation 
  • Demonstrated accomplishments in technology 
  • Has made an impact on their peers, school, district, and community
  • Active participant in the Student Technology Leadership Program (STLP)


Participants in the Kentucky Department of Education’s Student Technology Leadership Program are eligible for this generous award. Essay questions ask applicants about the fields of technology they’re most interested in, how the rural communities they grew up in have shaped them, and what computer skills and technology should be taught in rural high schools. 


5. Democratic Woman’s Club of Kentucky Scholarship


Amount: $1,000  

Deadline: September 25, 2021

Eligibility: Graduating seniors who plan to attend an accredited Kentucky institution of higher learning.

Application Requirements: 

  • Minimum 3.0 GPA 
  • Two character references: one from a  school official and one from a community member
  • Transcript 
  • Demonstrated leadership while working on the behalf of Democratic nominees 
  • Registered Democrat or intending to register as a Democrat when they reach voting age
  • Parents/guardians (or custodial parent/guardian) registered as a member(s) of the Kentucky Democratic Party
  • One-page essay on Why I support the Democratic party 


In addition to winning the $1,000 award, recipients of the Democratic Woman’s Club of Kentucky Scholarship will deliver a four-minute speech at the annual Democratic Women’s Club of Kentucky annual convention, receive one night of lodging at the convention hotel, and receive three tickets to the event where the scholarship winner is presented their award. 


6. Kentucky Federation of Republican Women (KFRW) Scholarship


Amount: $1,500 

Deadline: April 1, 2022

Eligibility: Kentucky senior girls who are, or will be, registered Republicans and registering at an accredited college or university in Kentucky.

Application Requirements: 

  • One-page essay about a Republican woman the applicant admires or who has influenced their life
  • Official transcript 
  • Two letters of recommendation


This Kentucky scholarship is open to female high school seniors who are registered (or intend to register) as a Republican and have been active in the party—supporting candidates and advocating for public policies. The scholarship aims to promote and visibilize women in politics by offering young women a chance to pursue higher education. 


7. KSBA First Degree Scholarship Program


Amount: $2,500 

Deadline: Fall, 2021


  • Kentucky high school senior
  • Immediate family (parents, guardians, siblings) have not earned a college degree
  • Minimum ACT reading score of 20

Application Requirements: One-page application signed by a guidance counselor, board chairman, and superintendent.


The Kentucky School Boards Association (KSBA) awards four of these scholarships annually to two male and two female students who will be the first in their immediate family to attend college. The scholarship is non-renewable and applicable at any two-year or four-year college or university—in state or out. 

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8. Women Leading Kentucky Scholarship


Amount: $1,000 to $1,500 

Deadline: April 1, 2022


  • Female Kentucky high school senior
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA 
  • Enrolling in college or university in Kentucky for the upcoming fall semester

Application Requirements: 

  • Demonstrated leadership at school or in the community 
  • 400-word essay on leadership
  • Letter of recommendation from an instructor, employer, or community leader


Leadership is the theme of this scholarship for female Kentucky high school seniors. The scholarship’s application involves writing a 400-word essay explaining what makes an effective leader, how the applicant has excelled as a leader, and their goals as a future leader. 


 9. Stephen L. Keller Scholarship


Amount: $1,500 

Deadline: Mar 4, 2022


  • Graduating high school seniors and current undergraduates 
  • Residing in eastern Kentucky
  • Majoring in, or intending to major in, a business-related field

Application Requirements: 

  • Minimum GPA of 3.0 
  • Attend, or plan to attend, an accredited four-year educational institution in Kentucky


The Stephen L. Kellen Scholarship was established to provide financial assistance to students from eastern Kentucky who intend to pursue a degree in a business-related field. The scholarship is renewable for up to four years and is administered by the Blue Grass Community Foundation, an organization connecting charitable individuals, families, businesses, communities, and nonprofit organizations in Central and Appalachia Kentucky with laudable causes.


10. Korean American Scholarship Foundation—Eastern Regional Chapter


Amount: $500 to $5,000

Deadline: June 30, 2021


  • Korean heritage (Korean parent, grandparent, or great-grandparent, or be adopted from Korea) 
  • Full-time student in one of the designated Eastern region states (Delaware, District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, or West Virginia)
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA

Application Requirements: 

  • Demonstrated financial need 
  • Essay


High school students with Korean heritage from Kentucky (as well as other eastern-region states) can win an award of up to $5,000 from the Korean American Scholarship Fund. Scholarships are awarded on the following criteria:


  • GPA or Special talent: 60%
  • Recommendations: 20%
  • Essay: 20%


Three Tips for Applying to Scholarships


Scholarships are becoming increasingly competitive, but there are a few tricks you can employ to increase your odds of winning an award. 




Start researching scholarships early and make a list of the scholarships that you’re a good fit for and their deadlines. Prioritize these scholarships first and complete them first before moving on to other opportunities where winning is less likely.  


Pay Attention


Make sure you know the eligibility and application requirements and read the instructions carefully before working on a scholarship application. Time is a valuable resource and you don’t want to waste it on an award you don’t qualify for. Similarly, make sure you follow the scholarship’s guidelines and meet its deadlines—you don’t want your hard work to go to waste because of a silly mistake or oversight. 


Build a Team 


There’s no need to go at it alone on your scholarship search. Tap friends, family, and your high school counselor to help you research available opportunities. Have a question about a scholarship? Many scholarships list points of contact on their website to help answer them. Before submitting your application, have someone proofread your application to ensure it’s free of mistakes.

Short Bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.