VCCF STUDENT
SCHOLARSHIP APPLICANTS

The 2022/23 Scholarship Application is now open, click here to access it.

Click here for scholarship guidelines. Click here for a scholarship index.

Congratulations on Pursuing Higher Education!

Through the generosity of local donors, the Ventura County Community Foundation is able to partner with you to help you reach your career and educational goals. The application process for scholarships is highly competitive and there are many scholarship categories to choose from.
Each year we have several thousand applicants and it is very important your application is completed in full to be considered eligible.

We highly recommend each student applicant read carefully through the following page to understand what is required for the application process.

Additional questions can be directed to scholarships@vccf.org. Please allow 24 to 48 hours for reply, and be sure to check your spam folder for responses.

“Receiving a VCCF Scholarship meant that my community believed in me — that they stood behind me as I overcame barriers.”

—DR. CRISTINA MIRANDA, VCCF SCHOLARSHIP DIRECTOR
AND FORMER VCCF SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENT

Getting Started

In order to facilitate the application process, please review all the information within this page.

  1. Request official transcripts from your school counselor (please make sure your GPA is visible!).
  2. Reach out to two individuals who are willing to fill out a recommendation questionnaire on your behalf. One of the individuals must be a teacher or school counselor. Other can be a coach, pastor, employer, or someone who is not a family member. Letters from peers will not be accepted.
  3. Create an Account on the VCCF Academic Works portal by clicking here
  4. Be sure to use your personal email address and check your email frequently. Do not use your school email address. Identify a password by following these guidelines. Your password must:
    • Not contain your username or common words or phrases.
    • Contain a minimum of 12 characters.
    • Include at least 1 digit, 1 uppercase letter, 1 lowercase letter, and 1 of these special characters: # ? ! @ $ % ^ & * –
  5. After you have filled out the general application, click on “other opportunities” to make sure you meet the requirements for the individual opportunities you are applying to.
  6. If you need assistance, attend the convenings and support sessions hosted by VCCF Scholarship staff.
  • You must submit a transcript as a PDF file in order for your application to qualify.
  • Student Profiles will not be accepted.
  • Screenshots of Student Connection Portals or any other portals will not be accepted.
  • If you are a freshman in college, please also submit your high school transcripts for a more complete academic history.
  • Your GPA must be visible.

Please note most recommenders will need at least two (2) weeks notice to fill out the recommendation questionnaire, but it is never too early to ask. We encourage you to give your recommenders as much advance notice as possible when requesting a reference.

This year, your recommenders will be filling out a questionnaire on your behalf.

  1. Give your recommenders enough time to fill out the questionnaire.
  2. At least 1 recommendation should come from a teacher or academic counselor.
  3. Other letter(s) can be from a coach, pastor, employer, mentor, or anyone who knows you and is not a family member.
  4.  
  • When filling out the application, you will need to enter your most recent financial information.
    • If you are a dependent you will need your parents/spouse total income from the most recent filing tax year.
    • If you are independent you will need  the total income for your most recent filing tax year.
    • Many of our scholarships require that applicants demonstrate financial need. Please click here to see 2022/23 Financial Need Guidelines.

The Ventura County community foundation has nearly 100 scholarship opportunities! Please review the guidelines and apply only for the opportunities you qualify.

New scholarships are available, and some changes have been made. All applicants, even those who have previously been awarded a scholarship, should review the guidelines as criteria may have changed. Click here for 22/23 Scholarship Guidelines. Click here for Scholarship Index of majors and populations served.

  • TIP #1 Apply only if you are eligible.
    Read the scholarship requirements and directions carefully, and make sure that you are eligible before you apply. Your application won’t be considered if you are not qualified to apply.
  • TIP #2 Complete the application in full.
    Be sure to complete the entire application. If a question does not apply, note that on the application (“n/a” for not applicable). Don’t just leave a blank. Include all required documents.
  • TIP #3 Follow the directions.
    Provide everything that is required, but do not supply things that are not requested – your application will be disqualified. If a special letter or form is required, make sure that you include it. Make note of all scholarships that require additional letters of recommendation/portfolios/documents/etc.
  • TIP #4 Make sure your essay makes an impression.
    The key to writing a strong essay is to be personal and specific. Include concrete details to make your experience come alive: the ‘who,’ ‘what,’ ‘where,’ and ‘when’ of your topic. The simplest experience can be monumental if you present honestly how you were affected. There is a specific prompt or topic for each scholarship. Be sure that you respond to that prompt. Be sure to check your spelling. Think of your essay as a narrative picture of you for our selection committee.
  • TIP #5 Do not wait until the last minute
    The application takes time to fill out, be thoughtful about your answers.
  • TIP #6 Give it a final ‘once-over.’
    Proofread the entire application carefully. Be on the lookout for misspelled words or grammatical errors. Ask a friend, teacher or parent to proofread your essays.
  • TIP #7 Ask for help if you need it.
    If you have a problem with the application, visit your school’s Scholarship Coordinator. If you have specific questions about the application, contact Ventura County Community Foundation. Please note: VCCF provides Convenings and Support each week to provide help with the application. Please see below for the schedule if you’d like to meet with scholarship staff.
  • TIP #8 Remember: your scholarship application represents you!
    Your ability to submit a neat, timely, complete application reflects on you. It’s your face to this organization. Take pride in yourself by submitting the best application you can.

Important Dates

*Please note: Applications submitted by the Dec 9 deadline will be reviewed for accuracy by the VCCF; students will have an opportunity to correct errors and resubmit applications.

Student Support Sessions for the 2022-2023 VCCF Scholarship Application and Zoom Registration Links

Nov 2, 2022 04:30 PM PST – Essay Workshop

Nov 10, 2022 05:30 PM PST – Using VCCF Scholarship Guidelines

Nov 15, 2022 06:00 PM PST – Letters of Reference Workshop

Nov 22, 2022 05:00 PM PST – Financial Questions & Extra-Curriculars

Dec 1, 2022 06:00 PM PST – Open Forum

Dec 5, 2022 05:00 PM PST – Essay Workshop

Dec 13, 2022 05:30 PM PST – Using VCCF Scholarship Guidelines

Dec 19, 2022 02:00 PM PST – Letters of Reference Workshop

Dec 30, 2022 11:00 AM PST – Open Forum

Jan 5, 2023 03:30 PM PST – Open Forum

Jan 11, 2023 05:30 PM PST – Financial Questions & Extra Curriculars

Jan 19, 2023 06:00 PM PST – Last Minute Questions Open Forum

The Application Process

You’ve reviewed the eligibility guidelines to make sure you are eligible, you’ve requested your most recent transcripts, gathered your financial documents, and requested your letters of recommendation — great! Now it’s time to work on your application. Click here to access the VCCF Scholarship Application.

Student Success: Antonio Plancarte Jr.
During my senior year of high school, I decided to apply for the scholarship program because I didn’t want money getting in the way of my education. Being able to receive the scholarships I received means making college a reality and avoiding financial stress for my family and I. The scholarships will help pay for my attendance to California University State Chico.

I was initially planning on majoring in business administration; however I recently changed my major to nursing. My ultimate goal after college is to change the world in a positive way and save lives!
Student Success: Jessie Peterson
I applied for a scholarship through VCCF my sophomore year in college because I was having trouble paying for tuition, housing, and food. I am so glad and grateful that I did because I know I would not be where I am today without VCCF’s support. Not only has VCCF helped me pay for all of those things in college, the foundation continues to help me pay for these things in law school. In addition to funding support, VCCF gave me a support system and wonderful mentors who I look up to and who inspire me. VCCF reminds me that people believe in me, people are rooting for me, that I am not alone, and that my hard work is worth it. Receiving the scholarship means so much to me. The scholarship has significantly lightened my financial burden, allowing me to focus on my learning and developing my legal skills to serve underserved and disadvantaged communities. It allows me to invest the time I would have spent working (and stressing) into focusing on my passion for public service, participating in pro bono opportunities, and preparing for the BAR after graduation. I currently attend University of San Francisco, School of Law. I will receive my J.D. in June 2021.
Student Success: Sophie Nguyen
My name is Sophie Nguyen and I am a senior year at California State University Channel Islands pursuing a BS in Sociology and Chicanx Studies minor. As a daughter of immigrants and a transfer commuter student from Oxnard, I have a deep appreciation for my educational journey and the incredibly valuable support I have received from the VCCF community. Thank you so much for making this scholarship possible. Receiving support from community members like you has instilled in me a strong passion and commitment to helping empower and uplift my campus community. Because you gave, I will be able to pay tuition my final year at CSUCI while I serve as Student Government President to help unify and advocate for fellow students. This scholarship truly means so much to me and I am incredibly grateful for your kindness, compassion, and generosity!
Student Success: Amisha DeYoung-Dominguez
I am the first in my family to go to law school, so receiving the scholarship was a very big deal for our family! My parents were both first generation college students, so I was proud I had the opportunity to live out the value of higher education that they instilled in me. I currently work as a lawyer that works for a state agency called the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB). I work in our Oxnard office, and the ALRB helps farmworkers who have been discriminated against for joining together to ask for higher pay or better working conditions (clean water, shade, sanitary bathrooms, etc). I spend my day working on legal writing assignments, discussing my cases with our team of lawyers, and interviewing farmworkers and the companies they work for. It's challenging but very rewarding work!
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