Financial Aid for Arizona College Students

Scholarships & Grants

Arizona is a hotbed of higher education; home to noted four-year universities like Arizona State, Northern Arizona and University of Arizona.  The state also hosts a far-reaching community college system that serves metropolitan areas like Yuma, Phoenix, Tuscon and Avondale.  The fun in the sun lifestyle at ASU and other state schools does not come cheap, so most Arizona college students turn to some form of financial aid.

Federal Direct Student Loans are indispensable for making ends meet, but even the low-interest federally-subsidized varieties eventually come due.  For student aid that does not require repayment, college students turn to merit-based scholarships and need-based grants for tuition relief.  Federally funded programs offer deep financial aid pockets, but state aid from Arizona sources serves to round out university funding packages for students throughout the state.  Government agencies, private-sector sources, and special interest organizations put forth general financial aid, in addition to student assistance designed to help certain groups.

State-Based Arizona Student AssistanceArizona scholarships

Graduates of  two-year Arizona Community College programs  are eligible to apply for Arizona Private Post-Secondary Education Student Financial Assistance Program grants. The awards are typically valued at $750-$1,500 and include a need-based component that requires proof of financial hardship.

For financially needy students who are enrolled at Arizona vocational, technical, two-year, and four-year institutions of higher education, the Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP) provides viable college funding opportunities.  Awards max-out at $2500 per qualified applicant each school year, with most participants drawing approximately $1000 worth of aid.  Undergraduate Arizona residents who demonstrate substantial financial need, as determined by FAFSA results are invited to apply for these state-sponsored educational funding staples.

The Arizona Commission for Post-secondary Education maintains ‘Pay4College‘, an informational resource that directs Arizona college students to the various student aid outlets within the state.

Arizona uses the Early Graduation Scholarship Grant Program to encourage high school students to graduate early, and then promptly enroll in Arizona higher education programs.  By graduating at least one year early and engaging immediately in advanced educational pursuits, participants earn $2000, which is distributed over the course of two academic years.  The funds can be applied to tuition, books, fees and other college expenses.

Private Aid for Arizona College Students

Arizona Community Foundation is the state’s largest provider of private scholarships.  Over 1000 Arizona students benefit from the groups financial aid efforts annually.

The Arizona College Scholarship Foundation stands committed to gathering private scholarship dollars for Arizona university students. On-campus suppoprt and mentoring services round-out the educational programs administered by the organization.

Dependents of American Society of Travel Agents members in Arizona are eligible to apply for the Arizona Chapter Dependent/Employee Membership Scholarship. This $1,500 award is open to AZ resident applicants with minimum GPA of 2.5.

The American Helicopter Society Arizona Chapter administers a competitive scholarship award to engineering student hopefuls each year.  The one-time merit based awards are worth $1500-$3000 to each qualified fixed-wing or rotorcraft engineering specialist.

Campus-Specific Arizona Aid

Arizona Community Colleges distribute financial aid on a campus-specific basis.  To access the aid at your school, consult with in-house financial aid advisors.  Maricopa Community College, for example, hosts several campuses including; Gateway, Glendale, Mesa, Scottsdale and Phoenix.  In Scottsdale, students enjoy access to a financial aid portfolio that includes scholarships, loans and work-study.

University of Arizona attracts talent with the help of a stable of financial aid offerings designed to fill the affordability gap for incoming students.  The school maintains Scholarship Universe, a student assistance locator that matches users to the right types of financial aid.  Arizona Excellence award is for incoming non-resident students, while the Wildcat Excellence award benefits resident freshman at the school.  Transfer students are also eligible for aid under the Phi Theta Kappa and Transfer Academic Achievement programs.

Northern Arizona University Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid assists students with college-related financial planning.  Several college aid options are distributed based on assessments of each student’s exhibited level of need, academic record and personal character.  Students who have been accepted to the school and filed a federal FAFSA financial aid request are invited to compete for campus resources like NAU Merit Scholarships, private donor grants, departmental aid and NAU Foundation Scholarships.

Central Arizona College financial aid department distributes campus-specific assistance to supplement federal and state programs.  These funding examples put forth by the school target specific student groups:

  • CAC Academic Scholarships are reserved for students placing in the top 30% of their high school classes following the seventh semester.  A 3.0 GPA is required for application and continued eligibility.
  • Incentive Scholarships target first generation college students who are able to maintain eligibility standards; including a 2.5 minimum GPA.
  • Non-Traditional Student Scholarship facilitates re-entry for students whose higher education was interupted.  The award targets students who are at least 23 years old and enrolled at least half-time.  Full-time student awards are valued at 50% of tuition and registration fees.

Career Related Resources for Arizona College Students

The American Legion Auxiliary Department of Arizona issues a few worthy scholarships that target specific Arizona careers.

Past Presidents Parley Scholarship Assistance in Health Care Occupations Scholarships are worth $500 each for qualified applicants enrolled in accredited degree and certificate programs at Arizona schools.  Students pursuing health credentials to work as nurses, physical therapists, dental assistants, lab technicians and other specialized health care providers are eligible for the annual awards – with special consideration given to veterans and their immediate family members.

The Wilma Hoyal-Maxine Chilton Memorial Scholarship is available for students who have reached their second year in college, or are upper division students. This annual scholarship, worth $1,000, is given to a student enrolled at one of the three top Arizona State Universities.  Eligible applicants are pursuing degrees in political science, public programs, or special education.

The American Legion also offers an American Legion Auxiliary Department of Arizona Nurses Scholarship worth $600 to the winner.  Like the Health Care Occupation Scholarship, qualified applicants are Arizona resident enrolled at accredited Arizona colleges and universities.  The awards are reserved for nursing students who have reached at least the second year of their degree-granting programs.  Veterens’ immediate family members receive special consideration for securing these scholarships.

Students pursuing degrees in education, health sciences and social sciences are eligible to apply for the Anne Lindeman Memorial Scholarship. Three awards worth $1000 each are awarded annually.  Check with your campus financial aid administrator for application requirements.

High school seniors who expect to study manufacturing technology, manufacturing engineering technology, or industrial technology at Arizona universities or two-year colleges, are eligible to participate in the Phoenix Chapter 67 Scholarship program. Students already enrolled at accredited Arizona schools are also encouraged to apply for the single $1,000 scholarship that is given out each year.


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