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San Diego Foundation offers over $4.5 million in scholarships  

REGION — More than $4.5 million in scholarships for local college students are now available from the San Diego Foundation’s Common Scholarship Application.

The SDF Community Scholarship Program offers more than 150 scholarships to local students attending four-year universities, two-year colleges or graduate or vocational schools. Scholarships are available for graduating high school students, undergraduates, those attending graduate, medical or professional school and adult re-entry students, a statement from the foundation read.

Students can apply for a scholarship at

“The increased cost of living in our region, along with complexities in the updated FAFSA, has made it more difficult for local students to determine how they will pay for college,” said Danielle Valenciano, director of the SDF Community Scholarship Program. “Thanks to San Diego Foundation donors, we can aid historically under-resourced college students, foster equity of opportunity in San Diego and support the local talent pipeline that builds our region’s workforce.”

Seven new scholarships are available to students this year, including the Rainbow College Scholarship that is available to local students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. To apply for this scholarship, students should select the appropriate sexual orientation and/or gender identity on the Common Scholarship Application. Applicants’ demographic information is kept confidential and will only be used to determine scholarship eligibility.

According to the foundation, the Common Scholarship Application requires students to include financial information via the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or the Federal Student Aid Estimator in lieu of the FAFSA for this year only, or the California Dream Act Application for undocumented students.

In 2023, San Diego Foundation awarded more than $4 million in college scholarships – a record – to more than 1,000 local students for the 2023-2024 academic year. Among the scholarship recipients, 70% are first-generation college students, or the first in their immediate families to pursue a higher education, and 92% of students are considered low-middle income, according to their Earned Family Contribution data.

The Community Scholarship Program is made possible through the donor support of 154 unique charitable funds at San Diego Foundation and is the largest in the region outside of the university system. Since 1997, the program has awarded more than $49 million to more than 13,000 college students from San Diego, the statement from the foundation reads.

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