Top Scholarships in Louisiana State to Apply in May 2024

Louisiana provides its high school and college students with enriching opportunities to advance their learning. However, with the growing tuition rates and higher education budget cuts, affording education at four-year universities and community colleges is becoming increasingly difficult to manage.

Top 10 Scholarships for Louisiana Students

  1. Centenary College of Louisiana “Grow” Scholarship: Grants $1,000 to high school or undergraduate students attending Centenary College based on demonstrated purpose, impact, and ambition.
  2. Sports In Action Scholarship: Awards $500 to high school or undergraduate students who play sports and are interested in a career in sports.
  3. I Am Third Scholarship: Offers $1,000 to students who write a 400-600 word essay on their ambitions and desire to make a positive impact on the world.
  4. “Equal Opportunity” Scholarship: Provides $500 to two students with a 2.0 GPA or higher.
  5. Environmental Impact Scholarship: Grants $500 to high school seniors interested in environmental problem-solving, based on a 400-600 word essay.
  6. Robert F. Lawson Fund for Careers that Care: Awards $750 to two low-income high school seniors or undergraduate students pursuing careers in healthcare, social work, government, or education.
  7. Chef John Patrick Thompson Culinary Arts Scholarship: Grants $1,500 to high school seniors planning to pursue a degree and career in culinary arts, based on a 400-600 word essay.
  8. Uniball’s Skilled Trades Scholarship: Awards $2,500 each to two high school or undergraduate students pursuing trade degrees, based on application essays.
  9. Dashanna K. McNeil Memorial Scholarship: Awards $1,050 each to three nursing students of any educational level, based on application essays.
  10. WiseGeek Diversity in Law No-Essay Scholarship: Awards $500 to students of any education level who are committed to promoting diversity.

Louisiana and Financial Aid

The Louisiana Budget Project monitors public policy and its impact on low-to-moderate-income families. According to Greg LaRose of Louisiana Illuminator, a survey from the state Board of Regents found a 26% decrease in enrollment at Louisiana colleges and universities for the fall 2021 semester. This decrease is linked to the pandemic, natural disasters, and fewer students qualifying for the Taylor Opportunity Program (TOPS).

Standard eligibility requirements for TOPS include a 3.25-3.5 high school GPA, BESE-Approved Home-Study Student Eligibility, full-time enrollment, and attendance at eligible institutions. In 2021, only 65.7% of graduating high school seniors qualified for TOPS, the lowest rate since 2016.

In addition to TOPS, Louisiana offers other grants and scholarships, such as the Rockefeller State Wildlife Scholarship and the Chafee Educational and Training Voucher Program.

Student Debt in Louisiana

With fewer students able to receive in-state financial assistance and increases in student fees, college students often rely on federal and private loans. The average student loan balance in Louisiana is $33,823, which is 8% lower than the U.S. average. Nationally, borrowers owe more than $1.7 trillion collectively, with Louisiana contributing a small portion to this debt.

Louisiana Students and Tuition Rates

Despite the opportunities for higher education, Louisiana’s spending per student at both four-year universities and community colleges has dropped by 37.7%. As a result, institutions now spend $4,340 less per student than they did in 2008. Meanwhile, tuition in Louisiana rose by 96.8%, or roughly $4,729 per student, from 2008 to 2019. Students are paying more for their education, but colleges are spending less on them.

Since the 2009 recession, Louisiana public colleges have shifted from being 80% funded by the state and 20% by student fees to being 80% funded by tuition and 20% by state support. From fiscal years 2009-2010 to 2019-2020, direct state support to colleges and universities decreased by 44.4%.

Louisiana Higher Education Budget Shifts

College fees in Louisiana have outpaced inflation by 113.5%, leading to undergraduate students paying an additional $318.3 million in fees, or $6,247 per student, to obtain a degree. Louisiana students are paying more than necessary due to inflation and are under-supported by their universities.

Frequently Asked Questions about Louisiana Scholarships

When can I start applying for scholarships?

Students can begin applying for scholarships at any point in high school, with many starting in their senior year. If awarded scholarship funding while in high school, the reward will be held until enrollment in a college or university.

How do I apply?

To apply for scholarships, create a profile on scholarship platforms, collect necessary materials, and follow the eligibility requirements, instructions, and deadlines provided in each scholarship description. If awarded, funds will be sent to the college’s financial aid office.

Are there scholarships in Louisiana for trade schools?

Yes, there are scholarships encouraging students to pursue trade degrees, such as Uniball’s Skilled Trades Scholarship and the Marilyn J. Palmer Memorial Scholarship.

Are there scholarships in Louisiana for nursing students? Yes, options like the Dashanna K. McNeil Memorial Scholarship are available for nursing students.

Are there scholarships that elevate diverse students?

Many scholarships support students who are racial minorities, low-income, LGBTQ+, disabled, and/or women, such as the WiseGeek Diversity in Law No-Essay Scholarship and the Melaninwhitecoats Podcast Annual Scholarship.

How many scholarships can I receive?

Students can win an unlimited number of scholarship awards, contributing to their ability to afford college without relying on loans. The sooner students apply, the more money they can win.

In conclusion, obtaining a scholarship for a four-year or two-year degree in Louisiana is more challenging than ever. Students with financial needs must utilize all available state-specific scholarships, grants, and general scholarships to afford their educational costs.