Top Scholarships in Kentucky State to Apply in May 2024

College costs have skyrocketed in recent decades at institutions all across the country. In the last 20 years, tuition and fees have risen by 144% at private national universities. Even public universities, which are typically thought of as an affordable option relative to private colleges, have become more expensive in the last two decades. In-state tuition and fees have grown by 211%, and out-of-state costs have risen by 171%.

As a result of this growing gap between the costs of college and the financial resources of students, scholarships have emerged as a critical source of financial aid. Scholarships in Kentucky aim to specifically support Kentucky residents by assisting with their unique costs and financial limitations.

Top 10 Scholarships for Kentucky Students

  1. Jake Stover Memorial Scholarship: $2,500 for a high school senior attending an eligible school in Kentucky. Submit photos/videos of an outdoor experience, artwork, or an entrepreneurial project along with a short essay.
  2. Gulo Marketing Website Design Scholarship: $1,000 for an undergraduate or graduate student in Kentucky, Ohio, or Indiana pursuing web design or development. Write about the importance of having strong principles and a well-designed website. Application due: May 11th.
  3. A Push Forward Scholarship: $500 for a high school senior or college student in Kentucky. Write about your career or education goals for the future.
  4. BJB Scholarship: Open to high school students with strong academic records.
  5. Dan Leahy Scholarship Fund: For high school students demonstrating leadership and community involvement.
  6. Abby’s First-Generation College Student Scholarship: Supports first-generation college students in Kentucky.
  7. Travel with a Purpose Scholarship: For students passionate about travel and cultural exchange.
  8. Scholarship Institute Future Leaders Scholarship: For undergraduate students in Kentucky with leadership potential.
  9. Youssef University’s College Life Scholarship: Open to all college students in Kentucky.
  10. Robert F. Lawson Fund for Careers that Care: Supports students pursuing careers in healthcare, social work, government, or education.

Kentucky Students and Student Debt

Kentucky residents have not been immune to the financial struggles that come from rising tuition costs and living costs combined with stagnant wages. As a result, many Kentucky students have had to turn to student loans to finance their degrees.

Colleges in Kentucky

Kentucky is home to 647,987 public K-12 students, giving Kentucky colleges a sizable pool of prospective students to recruit from. Kentucky has 75 different colleges and universities, including 24 public institutions, 24 for-profit private schools, and 27 non-profit private schools.

The variety of colleges in Kentucky offers opportunities for all students regardless of the college experience they’re looking for. Kentucky colleges and universities have an average acceptance rate of 73.31%, giving students plenty of opportunities to enroll.

The highest-ranking school in Kentucky is the University of Kentucky, ranking 127th among national universities. The University of Kentucky is also a large school with 22,227 undergraduate students enrolled. The University of Louisville ranks 187th among national universities and has 15,927 undergraduate students.

Students looking for a smaller college experience can consider institutions like Bellarmine University, located in Louisville, KY, which has 2,484 undergraduate students.

Demographics of College Students in Kentucky

There are 268,065 college students in Kentucky, including 207,484 undergraduates and 60,581 graduates. Following the national trend of women outnumbering men in higher education, Kentucky is home to 156,962 female college students and 111,103 male students.

Kentucky colleges tend to be white-dominated, with 184,571 total white college attendees. Additionally, 22,343 Kentucky college students are Black, 11,415 are Hispanic, and 5,742 are Asian.

Costs of Higher Education in Kentucky

The average cost of tuition and fees in Kentucky is $20,664 for out-of-state undergraduates and $6,496 for in-state students. Kentucky is unique in having lower average graduate tuition than undergraduate tuition, with in-state graduate students paying $11,255 for tuition and fees and out-of-state graduate students paying $13,054.

Kentucky college students also have to pay an average of $1,217 for books and supplies each year in addition to just under $13,000 in living expenses both on and off-campus. In total, these costs add up and are overwhelming for the average student.

Student Debt in Kentucky

Kentucky students contribute to the growing $1.7 trillion student debt crisis in the US. 61% of Kentucky graduates have student debt, owing an average of $28,356 each. Additionally, 11% of Kentucky graduates have private loans, which often prove more difficult to pay off due to high interest rates.

Kentucky student borrowers owe less than the national average of $37,693 each, but their debt can still prove difficult to pay off. Scholarships are needed now more than ever to help all students access higher education, regardless of financial status.

Additional Scholarships that Students in Kentucky Should Consider

While state-based scholarships are great opportunities, Kentucky students should consider other types of scholarships, such as non-local scholarships with other restrictions or requirements.

Scholarships for High School Students in Kentucky

While some scholarships cater specifically to high school seniors, there are scholarships for Kentucky high school students of all grade levels. High school students can find funding for college by applying for local scholarships or scholarships related to their background, field of study, or academic achievement.

  1. BJB Scholarship
  2. Dan Leahy Scholarship Fund
  3. Abby’s First-Generation College Student Scholarship
  4. Travel with a Purpose Scholarship

Scholarships for Current College Students in Kentucky

College students in Kentucky can find financial aid to pay their tuition or even to pay off their existing student debt. Opportunities exist for undergraduates, graduates, and even those attending technical colleges. Outstanding students can take advantage of academic merit scholarships, and students pursuing careers in certain fields can find scholarships related to their field of study.

  1. Scholarship Institute Future Leaders Scholarship
  2. Youssef University’s College Life Scholarship
  3. Robert F. Lawson Fund for Careers that Care
  4. Bold Volunteering Matters No-Essay Scholarship

Scholarships for Nursing Students in Kentucky

As the growing nursing shortage threatens the health of the country, especially in light of the pandemic, many donors seek to encourage prospective students to pursue nursing. Additionally, current undergraduates pursuing nursing and those in graduate nursing programs can also take advantage of Kentucky nursing awards.

  1. Deborah Stevens Pediatric Nursing Scholarship
  2. National Healthcare Heroes Grant for Nurses
  3. WiseGeek Nursing No-Essay Scholarship
  4. Jeffrey A. Mattos Memorial Nursing Scholarship

Scholarships for Women in Kentucky

Women are making up increasingly larger portions of student bodies at colleges and universities around the country, yet they’re still underrepresented in many lucrative fields such as engineering or other STEM sectors. As a result, many scholarship awards aim to uplift women pursuing higher education or certain fields of study.

  1. Paybotic Women in Finance and Technology Scholarship
  2. Latinas in STEM Scholarship

Scholarships for Single Mothers in Kentucky

In addition to facing gender-based barriers, single mothers in Kentucky are also faced with parental responsibilities and the financial and time constraints that come from parenting. For single mothers and other single parents, financial assistance can be critical when it comes to earning a degree.

  1. Law Family Single Parent Scholarship
  2. Larry Darnell Green Scholarship
  3. Saroya Byrd Legacy Scholarship

Scholarships for Education Majors in Kentucky

Teachers play a vital role in society and shape the minds of the students who spend time in their classrooms. For the next generation of bright and passionate teachers to reach their career goals, education scholarships are critical to the ability of prospective teachers to attend college.

  1. Dr. Ruth Lewis Knight Memorial Scholarship for Educators
  2. Future Female Educators Scholarship
  3. Frances Loretta Memorial Scholarship
  4. Future Teachers of America Scholarship

Frequently Asked Questions About Scholarships in Kentucky

How to apply for scholarships in Kentucky?

The application process for scholarships is designed to be as easy as possible. Some no-essay scholarships require just seconds to apply for!

Each scholarship has its own unique requirements and application instructions that applicants must read. Most scholarships require a short essay as part of the application process. To write an essay, students must check out the scholarship prompt and then paste the essay into the text box under the description before clicking “submit.”

Are there Kentucky scholarships for out-of-state students?

Yes, most Kentucky scholarships are open to all students attending school in Kentucky, even if they’re out-of-state students. Out-of-state college students typically pay higher tuition than in-state students, making scholarships even more essential to cover their college costs.

If you’re having significant difficulties coming up with college funding as an out-of-state student, you can look for a scholarship for students who demonstrate financial need, such as low-income scholarships.

When can I start applying for scholarship opportunities?

You can begin applying as soon as you start high school and are at least fourteen years old. Taking advantage of the extra time you may have during the earlier years of high school can help you take control of your college costs and financial needs so that you’re prepared when you finally begin college.

Applying earlier is great and allows you to maximize your winnings, but it’s never too late to start searching for scholarship opportunities. Plenty of undergraduate college students are just beginning to apply for scholarships. Some students submit their first application while enrolled in a graduate program.

Even if you’ve already graduated, you can find grant options available. Recent graduates who are paying off student loan debt can take advantage of student loan relief scholarships.

How do I know if I’m eligible for a scholarship?

Many students don’t prioritize scholarship applications due to time constraints and other responsibilities. As a busy student, you don’t want to waste your time working on an application you don’t qualify for. To make sure you’re using your time wisely, always check the eligibility requirements to make sure you’re eligible to apply.

Each scholarship will list eligibility criteria in the description, making it easy to determine if you qualify or not.

How can I increase my chances of winning?

To boost your chances of winning a scholarship, you can apply for scholarships early, make your profile unique and detailed, and earn more points. These actions can help your profile stand out to donors when they review applications.

You can also increase your chances of winning by applying for scholarships that have fewer eligible applicants. The more eligibility requirements a scholarship has, the less competition there will be. Most scholarships have at least one or two eligibility requirements, which can include education level, race, gender, financial status, field of study, or extracurricular experience.

You can browse scholarships by education level and by category to find narrow scholarships that you qualify for.

In conclusion, Kentucky offers a variety of scholarships to help students manage the high costs of college. By applying to both general and exclusive scholarships, Kentucky residents can increase their chances of receiving financial aid and reduce their reliance on student loans.