Scholarships

Generous community members support the higher education dreams of students throughout Santa Cruz County through scholarships they start or support.

Welcome Students!

We're excited that you are interested in our scholarship opportunities. Please read the descriptions of our 12 academic scholarships available to Santa Cruz County students to find out if there are any that you are eligible to apply for. Additionally, we have one outdoor wilderness award (no open application process) for those attending Cypress Charter High School.

Start A Scholarship

Help students achieve their education goals and leave a legacy that supports ambitious youth for generations to come! We make it easy to establish a scholarship in your name tailored to your specifications to impact the students you'd like to help.

Contact Robin Larsen, our Donor Services Officer, to get the ball rolling.

Contact Robin

Current Scholarships



The 2020 Scholarship application period has closed. Please visit us next year! If you have questions about your application, please contact ISTS.

Scholarship awards are subject to change from year to year. Scholarships may range in amount from $1,000 - $5,000 and include both one-time awards and renewable awards.

Judy Anton Woman of Valor/Lupita Loves to Read Project Scholarship

One $1,250 award—renewable for up to three years—is available for Latina women who are graduates or current graduating seniors of any high school in Santa Cruz County or a student of Cabrillo College, reside in the Live Oak area or Watsonville at the time of application, and demonstrate financial need.

R.H. Beel Memorial Scholarship

One $1,000 award—renewable for up to three years—is available for graduating seniors from Santa Cruz High School who demonstrate financial need, academic achievement, show history of service activities or volunteer work, will personally contribute to their educational costs, and are US citizens.

Burton Scholarship

Two $5,000 awards—renewable for up to three years—are available for graduates or current graduating seniors of any high school in Santa Cruz County who have maintained a minimum 3.0 GPA for two consecutive years, demonstrate financial need, and are US citizens.

Ernest V. Cowell Scholarship

One $2,000 one-time award is available for graduates or current graduating seniors of public high schools in the Santa Cruz City Schools District who demonstrate financial need, and will be attending a University of California campus.

Jack DeBord Memorial Scholarship Fund

One award of $5,000 - renewable for up to three additional years based on continued enrollment - is available for a graduating senior from San Lorenzo Valley High School who has a minimum 3.0 GPA, and who has participated in a varsity or junior varsity sport at SLVHS. Recipient may attend any accredited community, vocational, or two or four-year college.

Bob & Betsy Darrow Scholarship

Three $1,000 one-time awards are available for current graduating seniors of any high school in Santa Cruz County who demonstrate financial need, and have a minimum 2.0 GPA.

Hank Garcia & Family Scholarship

Five $2,000 awards—renewable for up to three years—are available for graduating seniors from Aptos High School, Monte Vista High School, Pajaro Valley High School, St. Francis High School, or Watsonville High School who have a minimum 3.5 GPA, demonstrate financial need, and are US citizens.

Emmett & Elsie Geiser Scholarship

Three $1,000 awards—renewable for up to three years—are available for graduating seniors from Watsonville High School, Pajaro Valley High School, or Aptos High School who have a minimum 3.0 GPA and have earned at least one varsity letter in an athletic program.

Louis J. & Mary Ellen Schultz Scholarship

Two $2,200 awards—renewable for up to three years—are available for graduates or current graduating seniors of any high school in Santa Cruz County who demonstrate financial need.

Simunovich Family Agricultural Scholarship

One $1,500 award—renewable for up to three years—is available for graduates or current graduating seniors of any high school in Santa Cruz County or the Pajaro Valley or students of Cabrillo College or Hartnell Community College who were residents of Santa Cruz County or the Pajaro Valley at least two years prior to their Cabrillo or Hartnell registration, and will be attending a 4-year university to study agriculture.

Barbara J. Thompson Scholarship

One-time awards of up to $2,500 are available for graduates or current graduating seniors of any accredited high school physically located within the Santa Cruz City Schools District who have a minimum 3.0 GPA, are US citizens who have resided in Santa Cruz County for three of the past four years, and have participated in three of the following during their high school years: Employment, Family Care, Community Involvement, Volunteer Work, and Sports.

John L. Turner Scholarship

One $1,000 one-time award is available for graduating seniors from Watsonville High School or Pajaro Valley High School who have a minimum 2.0 GPA, demonstrate financial need, and are US citizens.

Matt’s Climb Scholarship

This scholarship is a one-time non-academic award for a Cypress Charter High School student to attend Camp Unalayee for a wilderness adventure. There is no online application process. Contact cfgrants@cfscc.org for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to the most common questions about our scholarships.

A Changed Life

"I want to do what you donors have. Give back to my community and support those who are disadvantaged."

Read The Story

Germain Medina

Graduate, Aptos High School