20 Great Scholarships for Appalachian Students

Residing in rural communities upon the rugged ridges of the Eastern Continental Divide makes you eligible for numerous scholarships for Appalachian students.

Stretching from Southern New York to Alabama, Appalachia is a 13-state cultural region with approximately 25 million people. Scholarships are especially important since poverty is a major epidemic in the Appalachians. The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) found that the combined poverty rate is 19.7 percent. Additionally, higher education attainment to the bachelor’s level significantly lags behind the national average at just 13 percent in central Appalachia. Nearly one in five Appalachian adults lacked a high school diploma!

Related: 10 Most Beautiful Colleges in the Appalachians

Overcoming financial barriers to sway these statistics and achieve your college dreams is possible with the following 20 great scholarships in Appalachia.

1. ABGPA Midstream Association Scholarship

Deadline: October 31st

The Appalachian Basin Chapter of the Gas Processors Association offers up to $10,000 total annually through its ABGPA Midstream Scholarship to regional residents who are earning associate or bachelor’s degrees in petroleum technology and engineering. Partnering colleges include West Virginia University, Pennsylvania State University, and Pittsburgh Technical College. Eligibility criteria mandates attaining sophomore status, enrolling full-time, carrying a minimum 2.8 GPA, and showing interest in the oil and natural gas industry.

Contact

ABGPA Midstream Association Scholarship

433 McClelland Road

Canonsburg, PA 15317

(724) 513-3325

scholarships@abgpa.org

Scholarship Link

2. Appalachian AC Association Scholarship

Deadline: None

Offering $1,000 for undergraduates or $3,600 for graduates each semester, the Appalachian AC Association Scholarship supports Advent Christian Church members who are earning degrees to fulfill God’s calling to ministry. Acceptable faith-based majors include Christian education, ministry, worship leadership, pastoral counseling, and more. Qualified applicants must reside in the Appalachians, maintain an overall GPA of 3.0, continually serve the AC Church, and satisfactorily complete a related internship.

Contact

Appalachian AC Association Scholarship

2321 Tarheel Place

Lenoir, NC 28645

(828) 758-4041

nealfam@charter.net

Scholarship Link

3. Barbara Paul Robinson Scholarship

Deadline: March 24th

Sponsored by the Appalachian College Association (ACA), the Barbara Paul Robinson Scholarship awards $2,500 to full-time seniors who are finishing the last Spring semester of their bachelor’s degree at member schools within Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Virginia, or North Carolina. For consideration, candidates must be accepted into an ABA-accredited law school, have post-graduation plans to become conscientious attorneys, graduate with a minimum 3.0 GPA, and submit two endorsement letters.

Contact

Barbara Paul Robinson Scholarship

801 Brighton Avenue

Richmond, KY 40475

(859) 986-4584

awards@acaweb.org

Scholarship Link

4. Choose Appalachian Teaching Scholarship

Deadline: June 1st

Belonging to the Choose Ohio First program, the Choose Appalachian Teaching Scholarship bestows $5,000 each year to education majors who plan to teach mathematics or science in middle and high schools in southeastern Ohio. Qualified pre-service teachers must be enrolled full-time at one of Ohio University’s campuses in Athens, Chillicothe, Eastern, Lancaster, Southern, or Zanesville with good academic standing. Recipients must commit three post-licensure years to teaching Appalachian youth.

Contact

Choose Appalachian Teaching Scholarship

1 Ohio University Avenue

Athens, OH 45701

(740) 597-9006

HarmisonM@ohio.edu

Scholarship Link

5. Colonel Lee B. Ledford Scholarship

Deadline: January 15th

Another of the scholarships for Appalachian students granted by the Appalachian College Association (ACA) is the Colonel Lee B. Ledford Scholarship. This unique fund provides a $1,000 scholarship and $8.50/hour stipend for a maximum of $5,120. Full-time returning students at member colleges utilize funding for summer laboratory and fieldwork research. Eligible recipients must have at least one semester remaining, have graduated high school in Appalachia, and possess a 2.0 GPA or better.

Contact

Colonel Lee B. Ledford Scholarship

801 Brighton Avenue

Richmond, KY 40475

(859) 986-4584

awards@acaweb.org

Scholarship Link

6. David V. Stivison Appalachian Scholarship

Deadline: April 1st

Funded by the Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development (COAD), the David V. Stivison Appalachian Scholarship provides $500 to $1,500 annually to residents of their 30-county service area, such as Adams, Athens, Pike, Ashtabula, Jackson, and Scioto counties. Suitable applicants must be enrolling in accredited two-year or four-year colleges, have attained a high school diploma or GED, have household income below 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines, and volunteer with community action agencies.

Contact

David V. Stivison Appalachian Scholarship

1 Pinchot Lane

Athens, OH 45701

(740) 594-8499

scholarships@coadinc.org

Scholarship Link

7. Dorothy Foster McCombs Scholarship

Deadline: April 15th

Virginia Tech University’s College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences awards the Dorothy Foster McCombs Scholarship for $1,000 yearly to full-time sophomores, juniors, or seniors who are proudly from the Appalachian region. Eligible Hokies must sustain a minimum 2.5 grade point average, have taken at least one course in Appalachian Studies, showcase leadership potential, exhibit unmet financial need, and write a 250-word essay about their background in Appalachia.

Contact

Dorothy Foster McCombs Scholarship

295 West Campus Drive

Blacksburg, VA 24061

(540) 231-6779

apuckett@vt.edu

Scholarship Link

8. Gene and Lee Meyer Scholarship

Deadline: January 15th

The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina (CFWNC) has established several scholarships for Appalachian students, such as the $2,000 Gene and Lee Meyer Scholarship. This renewable resource selects legal U.S. citizens residing in Graham, Jackson, Macon, or Swain counties and the Qualla Boundary who are pursuing full-time college education with a minimum weighted GPA of 3.0. Preference is given to Native Americans with at least 25 percent tribal heritage and former foster children.

Contact

Gene and Lee Meyer Scholarship

4 Vanderbilt Park Drive Suite 300

Asheville, NC 28803

(828) 254-4960

belcher@cfwnc.org

Scholarship Link

9. Houston Caldwell Scholarship Program

Deadline: April 15th

Named for an extraordinary young musician who passed away at 18, the Houston Caldwell Scholarship Program is hosted annually with HoustonFest to cover tuition or private lesson fees for mastering traditional acoustic instruments. High school graduates up to age 21 who reside in the central Appalachian region of Virginia, North Carolina, or Tennessee may apply. Application packets must include two reference letters, a 150-word personal essay, and a CD displaying candidates’ musical talent.

Contact

Houston Caldwell Scholarship Program

P.O. Box 1516

Galax, VA 24333

(276) 236-9908

HoustonFestGalax@embarqmail.com

Scholarship Link

10. James Sterling Ayars Jr. Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: March 15th

Although Berea College has a generous Tuition Promise Scholarship for debt-free learning, other funding resources like the James Sterling Ayars Jr. Memorial Scholarship are available. This annual $1,000 scholarship recognizes undergraduates of high character and academic achievement who are from the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky or western North Carolina. Berea also confers the Thornton A. Lemaster Scholarship and Virginia Palmer Widener Memorial Scholarships for Appalachian students.

Contact

James Sterling Ayars Jr. Memorial Scholarship

101 Chestnut Street

Berea, KY 40403

(859) 985-3310

finaid@berea.edu

Scholarship Link

11. Mary Bob Clinton Scholarship

Deadline: March 16th

Valued at $750, the Mary Bob Clinton Scholarship is presented by the Girl Scouts Council of the Southern Appalachians to support Girl Scout ambassadors who exhibit the highest community service achievement. To qualify, female members must be graduating high school this spring, have received the Gold Award, be accepted into an accredited U.S. college, and show leadership activity outside Girl Scouting. Attaching transcripts, ACT/SAT scores, two recommendations, and a one-page essay is required.

Contact

Mary Bob Clinton Scholarship

1567 Downtown West Blvd.

Knoxville, TN 37919

(865) 481-3099

ameade@girlscoutcsa.org

Scholarship Link

12. Ora E. Anderson Scholarship Fund

Deadline: March 31st

Established in memory of a devoted outdoor writer who advocated conservation, the Ora E. Anderson Scholarship Fund provides $500 to $3,000 annually through the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio. Eligible high school seniors must live within Ohio’s 32 Appalachian counties, pursue college study in the natural sciences, have outstanding academic performance, and be committed to environmental protection. Acceptable majors include forestry, wildlife management, botany, geology, ecology, and environmental studies.

Contact

Ora E. Anderson Scholarship Fund

35 Public Square

Nelsonville, OH 45764

(740) 753-1111

info@ffao.org

Scholarship Link

13. Peter Veglahn Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: March 25th

Worth $1,000 each year, the Peter Veglahn Memorial Scholarship is administered by the Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge to Appalachian students who reside within Virginia’s Shenandoah, Rockingham, Augusta, and Page counties, including Harrisonburg and Staunton. Eligible full-time undergraduates must be completing a SHRM-aligned human resource management degree in the Continental United States with a minimum 3.0 GPA and active professional organization involvement.

Contact

Peter Veglahn Memorial Scholarship

117 South Lewis Street

Staunton, VA 24401

(540) 213-2150

info@communityfoundationcbr.org

Scholarship Link

14. Richard L. Davis FACMPE Scholarship

Deadline: May 1st

In partnership with the North Carolina Medical Group Managers, the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) confers the Richard L. Davis FACMPE Scholarship for up to $5,000 to students who are enrolling full-time at Appalachian State University or the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. Eligible applicants must be pursuing graduate degrees in public health, business administration, healthcare administration, or related fields. Ohioans and West Virginians could earn the Oncology Practice Alliance Scholarship instead.

Contact

Richard L. Davis FACMPE Scholarship

1717 Pennsylvania Ave NW #600

Washington, D.C. 20006

(877) 275-6462 ext. 1300

scholarship@mgma.org

Scholarship Link

15. Robert C. Byrd Memorial Scholarships

Deadline: Varies

The Turkish Coalition of America instituted the Robert C. Byrd Memorial Scholarships to award $5,000 in honor of the West Virginian who worked as a humble welder before becoming the United States’ longest-serving senator. Undergraduate and graduate students of Turkish, Armenian, Bosnian, or Macedonian heritage who hail from the Appalachian region’s 13 states could qualify. Preference is given to those accepted into study abroad programs in Turkey or Cyprus.

Contact

Robert C. Byrd Memorial Scholarships

1510 H St. NW Suite 900

Washington, DC 20005

(202) 370-1399

scholarships@tc-america.org

Scholarship Link

16. Stephen L. Keller Scholarship Program

Deadline: March 15th

The Blue Grass Community Foundation created the Stephen L. Keller Scholarship Program to grant $2,000 yearly to full-time undergraduates from Eastern Kentucky’s Appalachian region who are studying business administration disciplines, including finance, marketing, project management, and human resources. Future business leaders must be earning a bachelor’s degree from an accredited Kentucky college, demonstrate significant financial need, maintain a cumulative GPA above 3.0, and have entrepreneurial experience.

Contact

Stephen L. Keller Scholarship Program

499 East High Street Suite 112

Lexington, KY 40507

(859) 225-3343

kbranham@bgcf.org

Scholarship Link

17. The Appalachian Connection Scholarship

Deadline: March 31st

The Appalachian Connection Scholarship distributes $2,500 for four years to financially bolster graduating high school seniors with $10,000 total for their accredited undergraduate education. Eligible recipients must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, have attended school in Kentucky’s Perry County, intend to take 12+ college credits per term, and show dedication to community leadership in Appalachia. High school transcripts, essays, standardized tests, and recommendations are reviewed before the final Skype interview.

Contact

The Appalachian Connection Scholarship

148 Woodland View

Boerne, TX 78015

info@appalachianconnection.org

Scholarship Link

18. Valkyrie-Thor Theatre Arts Scholarship

Deadline: February 15th

Finding scholarships for Appalachian students isn’t hard with the East Tennessee Foundation because there are over 60 funds, including the Valkyrie-Thor Theatre Arts Scholarship. Newly created in 2016, this one-time $1,000 scholarship supports high school seniors from East Tennessee’s 25 Appalachian counties who will study acting, costume design, drama, theatre, directing, or related art fields at select colleges full-time. Holding a minimum “B” average and demonstrating financial need is imperative.

Contact

Valkyrie-Thor Theatre Arts Scholarship

520 West Summit Hill Drive

Knoxville, TN 37902

(865) 524-1223

bheller@etf.org

Scholarship Link

19. West Virginia PROMISE Scholarship

Deadline: March 1st

Living in the “Mountain State” makes Appalachian students eligible for the PROMISE Scholarship from the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. For the maximum award of $4,750, meritorious applicants must have graduated from an in-state public or private high school, be enrolling as full-time freshmen at accredited institutions, achieve a minimum 3.0 GPA, score at least 22 on the ACT or 1100 on the SAT, and meet household income requirements.

Contact

West Virginia PROMISE Scholarship

1018 Kanawha Blvd. East

Charleston, WV 25301

(304) 558-4618

PROMISE@wvhepc.edu

Scholarship Link

20. Zelma Gray Medical School Scholarship

Deadline: None

Another option from the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio is the Zelma Gray Medical School Scholarship, which honors a lifelong resident of Londonberry Township. Here collegiate seniors could receive financial backing to attend ABMS accredited medical schools where they’ll pursue an M.D. or D.O. degree full-time in any clinical specialty. Eligibility criteria requires living in Guernsey County, achieving satisfactory MCAT scores, and intending to practice within the underserved Appalachian region.

Contact

Zelma Gray Medical School Scholarship

35 Public Square

Nelsonville, OH 45764

(740) 753-1111

info@ffao.org

Scholarship Link

Resilient students hailing from poor, isolated coal-mining towns, farming villages, and Indian reservations in the Appalachian region’s 406 counties can find collegiate success. Plentiful scholarship opportunities have been established to empower teens and adults towards prosperity in the “hollers.” Scholarship money can help you afford 4+ years studying at top-ranked regional universities like Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, West Virginia, and UNC Asheville. In addition to these scholarships for Appalachian students, don’t forget applying for the Federal Pell Grant and FSEOG Grant programs.