Scholarships at College of San Mateo - External Scholarships
External Scholarships


UC Santa Cruz Karl S. Pister Leadership Opportunity Scholarship Program
Due February 5, 2021

The Karl S. Pister Leadership Opportunity Program enables outstanding UC-qualified junior-level community college students to complete their undergraduate studies at UC Santa Cruz. The program provides a scholarship of up to $20,000 distributed over two years, mentoring and academic support, and assistance finding paid or volunteer summer work experience. Recipients will be selected by the UCSC chancellor from nominees submitted by the presidents of participating community colleges. One scholarship is available for each college.

Minimum Eligibility Requirements:
  • Show exceptional achievement through academic and extracurricular accomplishments despite adverse socioeconomic conditions;
  • Demonstrate an involvement in activities that assist and improve the lives of others;
  • Exhibit outstanding leadership qualities that reflect the ideals of the Pister Program;
  • Because of financial need, would not otherwise be able to attend UC Santa Cruz;
  • Are qualified for fall 2021 admission to UCSC as a new junior-level transfer student.
Application Process:
  • Fill out the application completely by clicking here. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • Apply for fall 2021 admission to UC Santa Cruz by submitting the UC Application for Undergraduate Admission and Scholarships by the extended deadline of December 4, 2020:
  • Apply for financial aid by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application by March 2, 2021. Students on a non-immigrant visa (e.g., F-1, J-1, etc.) are not eligible for this award.
  • Collect two (2) letters of recommendation. At least one letter must be from a faculty member. The other letter should be from an individual who is able to comment on such areas as extracurricular activities, leadership skills, commitment and dedication, etc.
  • Obtain transcripts from all colleges attended (unofficial copies are acceptable).

Submission Process:

Submit the following items in one packet to Karen Chadwick at as a PDF by February 5, 2021 no later than 11:59pm.

  1. Completed Karl S. Pister Leadership Opportunity Scholarship application with personal statement attached
  2. Two (2) letters of recommendation
  3. All college transcripts (unofficial copies are acceptable)

To Apply download the UC Santa Cruz - Karl S. Pister Leadership Opportunity Application. Please submit your completed application to Karen Chadwick no later than February 5, 2021 by 11:59pm to be considered for this scholarship. If you have any questions please call or email the Scholarship Coordinator, Karen Chadwick at or call (650) 574-6514.

San Bruno Community Foundation Crestmoor Neighborhood Memorial Scholarship
Due March 2, 2021
For the sixth year, the San Bruno Community Foundation will offer multi-year college scholarships to outstanding San Bruno students who have demonstrated a strong commitment to the San Bruno community through the Crestmoor Neighborhood Memorial Scholarship. With generous support   from the Joseph W Welch Jr Foundation, SBCF plans to award scholarships totaling $190,000 in the spring of 2021 for students planning to enroll in community college or four-year institutions in the fall of 2021.  

The Foundation created the Crestmoor Neighborhood Memorial Scholarship to honor the community members most directly affected by the 2010 gas pipeline explosion. Recognizing outstanding San Bruno students who have demonstrated a strong commitment to the San Bruno community, the Crestmoor Scholarship ensures that the tragedy of September 9, 2010, is not forgotten. 

High school seniors headed to college and community college students planning to transfer to a four-year college in the fall are eligible to apply for the Crestmoor Scholarship. Applicants must currently live or attend school in San Bruno.

Minimum Eligibility Requirement

  • Live in San Bruno or attend a community college located in San Bruno at the time of application
  • Plan to enroll, during the fall of 2021, as a transfer student from a community college to an accredited four-year college or university
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or, for AB 540 students, the California Dream Act Application

For more information and how to apply please visit

San Mateo Credit Union's 2021 Educational Scholarship

Due March 19, 2021 by 11:59pm
San Mateo Credit Union believes that a higher education is a catalyst for success.  That's why, year after year, the SMCU Education Scholarship helps students with the growing expenses that come along with a college education.  SMCU is proud to offer two $5,000 scholarships to graduating high school seniors to help cover the costs such as tuition, housing, books, and meals. 

Minimum Eligibility Requirement

  • Be a class of 2021 high school senior or a 2020 graduate who took a gap year and are enrolling in a college or technical school for the first time.
  • Have a GPA of 3.0 or greater and sumbit an unofficial transcript.
  • Provide a typed essay on the following prompt:
  • Credit Unions believe in the philosophy of People Helping People.  Tell us about a time when you helped someone in need and explain what you learned about the importance of having compassion and empathy.
  • Plan to enroll in an accredited college or technical school for Fall 2021. If selected as a winner, enrollment will be verified prior to receiving scholarship funds.
  • Additionally applicants are encouraged to submit a resume highlighting work experience, extra curricular activities, and/or talents if applicable.  There is no restriction regarding applicants county or residence. 

For more information and how to apply please visit

Real Estate Education Endowment Scholarship
Application Period: September 1, 2020 - April 30, 2021
The Foundation for California Community Colleges is pleased to announce the availability of 2020-2021 Real Estate Education Endowment Scholarships for California Community College students. These awards are available for students in good academic standing who need financial assistance to help afford enrollment costs in community college real estate education programs.

Minimum Eligibility Requirement

  • Must be pursuing either a major in Real Estate or, if a Real Estate major isn’t offered by their college, a major in Business Administration with a concentration in Real Estate.
  • Must have completed at least one college-level real estate course with a grade of C or better (2.0).
  • Can be full-time or part-time.
  • Must demonstrate financial need.

Award Amounts:

  • $600 max per semester.
  • $1,200 max per academic year.

The total amount available for scholarships is limited to the amount of interest income generated by the Real Estate Education Advancement Fund. 

The campus Financial Aid Director or Scholarship Coordinator, Karen Chadwick, will determine student eligibility and initiate award funding after the student submits the Real Estate Scholarship Application.

Selection Criteria:
Scholarship selection criteria has remained unchanged and includes low- income/disadvantaged status, GPA, and declared interest in real estate as a career path. Specific eligibility criteria are delineated in the Real Estate Education Scholarship Guidelines.

Submission Process:
Students must submit their application to Scholarship Coordinator, Karen Chadwick at The Financial Aid Office will determine eligibility and forward the Real Estate Scholarship Invoice to the Foundation’s office. All materials must be received by May 1, 2021, however, due to the limited funding available submit your application ASAP!


For more information and how to apply please visit

Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley - Latinos in Technology Scholarship

Due March 19, 2021
The Latinos in Technology Scholarship was established by the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley, a public foundation dedicated to inspiring community philanthropy and engaging people to invest in the educational achievement and leadership development of a thriving Hispanic community in Silicon Valley. This program will give up to 100 Latino students the support they need to graduate from college; an educational opportunity they would not have access to otherwise. Additionally, scholarship recipients will be considered for summer internships with sponsoring corporate investors.

Minimum Eligibility Requirements:
  • Must be of Latino or Hispanic origin (as defined by U.S. Census Bureau)
  • Have a declared major in and been accepted into a STEM program
  • Students with the following enrollment statuses are eligible to apply:
    • Current community college students transferring to a 4-year undergraduate college or university in the 2021 - 2022 academic school year and planning to enroll on a full-time or part-time basis. Preference will be given to full-time students and students with sufficient course credits to be classified as a rising junior (60 semester units or 90 quarter units).
  • Graduate of a high school in the following Northern California counties: Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Marin County, Napa County, San Francisco County, San Mateo County, Santa Clara County, Santa Cruz County, Solano County, Sonoma County and Yolo County;
    • OR, a Graduate of a high school not in the above counties, but enrolled at a college/university within the 11 listed counties.
  • Minimum cumulative college grade point average of 3.0
  • Demonstrated financial need
  • United States citizen or eligible non-citizen (eligible non-citizens include United States legal residents and students who have obtained Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals)
    • Note: A.B. 540 students who are also DACA recipients are eligible to apply
For more information and how to apply please see

TheDream.US Scholarship for Community College Graduates
Due February 25, 2021

TheDream.US National Scholarships are for highly motivated DREAMers1 who want nothing more than to get a college education but are unable to afford the cost.

Eligibility Requirements and additional instructions:
  • Have graduated or will graduate with a high school or GED diploma or a community college associate degree by the end of the 2021 Spring term;
  • Have a current DACA or TPS authorization or you meet TheDream.US immigration eligibility criteria; and
  • You must qualify for in-state tuition* at one of our public Partner Colleges (or are admitted to one of our private Partner Colleges).
For more information and how to apply please visit

Rotary Club of San Mateo Scholarship
Due March 11, 2021
This scholarship recognizes CSM students who will be transferring to a 4-year college/university Fall 2021/Spring 2022. Total awards will be based on financial need, acceptance at a 4-year college, and other financial support.

Eligibility Requirements & additional instructions:

  • Be a current CSM student transferring to a four-year university for the Fall 2021/Spring 2022 academic year
  • Attended high school in the city of San Mateo
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Good scholastic performance
  • Participate in school activities and community service

Download the Rotary Club of San Mateo scholarship application. Please submit your completed application to Karen Chadwick no later than March 11, 2021 to be considered for this scholarship. If you have any questions please call or email the Scholarship Coordinator, Karen Chadwick at or call (650) 574-6514.

Della Smoot PEO Scholarship
Due March 12, 2021
This scholarship recognizes CSM students who will be attending Fall 2021/Spring 2022. Total awards will be based financial need, community involvement, and complete at least 12 units at CSM in the 2021-2022 academic year.

Eligibility Requirements:

To apply for the Della Smoot Scholarship, you must:

  1. Be a student enrolled at the College of San Mateo, who has completed at least18 graded College of San Mateo units by the end of the Fall 2020 Semester.
  2. Be enrolled in a major, certificate, AA/AS degree, or transfer program of courses that requires at least 48 units of college classes, including general education requirements.
  3. Have and maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or higher.
  4. Plan to complete at least 12 units at CSM during the 2021-2022 academic year. 

Download the Della Smoot PEO scholarship application. Please submit your completed application to Karen Chadwick no later than March 12, 2021 to be considered for this scholarship. If you have any questions please call or email the Scholarship Coordinator, Karen Chadwick at or call (650) 574-6514.

Pivotal College Scholarship

If you're a foster youth who's already enrolled in or planning to enroll in community college or vocational training... you're eligible to receive up to a $3,000 scholarship for each year that you're in school, for a maximum of 5 years. We'll also pair you with an amazing Pivotal coach who will stick with you throughout your college journey, connects you to free tutoring, and helps you get a job when you're done with school.  

Pivotal has opened its application cycle for the Pivotal scholarship program.  Pivotal is committed to improving the life outcomes for former and current foster youth in Silicon Valley through advancing opportunities for education and employment.  Our scholarship program began in year 2000, and we are currently serving approximately 150 students across California and the United States.  If you are interested in receiving scholarship funds for the 2020-2021 academic year, we highly encourage you to apply!  Please make sure you have closely reviewed the scholarship eligibility criteria (found at, to ensure you are eligible to apply.

For more information and how to apply please see

Silicon Valley Community Foundation Scholarships
2020 APPLICATIONS OPEN: January 2020 + additional scholarships offered by SVCF 
Deadline: February 14, 2020 - September 21, 2020

Several opportunities for new, continuing and tranferring students.The Silicon Valley Community Foundation administers a variety of scholarship programs that grant up to $40,000 to high school, community college and university students. The majority of our scholarships are designated for current or former residents of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties.

For more information and how to apply please see

Hispanic Scholarship Fund
2020 APPLICATIONS OPEN: approximately January 2020
HSF General College Scholarships are designed to assist students of Hispanic heritage obtain a college degree. Scholarships are available, on a competitive basis, to: graduating high school seniors, community college transfer students, undergraduate students and graduate students.

For more information and how to apply please see

Chicana/Latina Foundation Scholarship Program

2020 application opens approx. January/February 2020
The purpose of the Chicana/Latina Foundation (CLF) Scholarship Program is to assist Chicana/Latina students in completing their undergraduate and graduate college education. We are committed to serving Latina women of all races and from all countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. We honor all roots of our communities.

For more information and how to apply please see

Scholarships Open to Undocumented Students
Within the link above please finds scholarships that have various deadlines and that are open to undocumented students. These scholarships are provided by external foundations, organization, and/or individual donors.

AB540/Undocumented Student Scholarship List
Within the link above please finds scholarships that have various deadlines and that are open to undocumented students. These scholarships are provided by foundations, organization, and/or individual donors.

Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC)

Educators for Fair Consideration lists scholarships that don't require proof of U.S. citizenship or legal permanent residence. This carefully researched list contains 44 pages of up-to-date information about scholarships available for immigrant students that don't have U.S. citizenship or legal permanent residency as well as advice and tips for writing winning scholarship applications.

E4FC offers additional scholarship lists to use as a resource for scholarship searches.

MALDEF Scholarship Resource Guide

The MALDEF Scholarship Resource Guide is a free, informative resource guide for students, parents, and educators with an extensive list of scholarships, including many that do not inquire about immigration status.

Search for Scholarships

A number of local and national organizations offer scholarships to CSM students. These can be viewed on our Search for Scholarships page. Eligibility requirements vary and separate applications for these scholarships are available through the Scholarship Office. For specific dates and additional information, please contact the Scholarship/Financial Aid Office. 

Funding for CSM Scholarships comes from the San Mateo County Community Colleges Foundation. Founded in 1966, the Foundation raises funds for scholarships as well as educational programs at the District's three colleges. Contributions to the Foundation are received from many sources: individuals, businesses, civic groups, community organizations, and other foundations. 

The mission of the Foundation is to promote student success and nourish program innovation and excellence by providing special financial support for the District's colleges. 

For more information about the Foundation, please visit