Earning a degree below the 39th parallel can be considerably cheaper with tuition assistance from scholarships in the Southwest.
The Southwest traditionally stretches from Arkansas through New Mexico and Arizona to California. Since the Gadsden Purchase was made in 1853, the region’s population has grown to approximately 11 million. College students are often attracted to the Southwest for its ethnic diversity, Mexican-inspired cuisine, scorching sunshine, and stunning natural landmarks like Carlsbad Caverns. Several top-ranked universities, such as Arizona State, Texas A&M, Southern Methodist, and Brigham Young, call the Southwest home.
Nevada was honored as America’s fastest-growing state, so it’s clear many graduates remain in the Southwest. Job prospects are also blooming at the 70+ Fortune 500 companies, including Exxon Mobil, Avnet, Devon Energy, and Southwest Airlines.
Fulfill your career potential by cashing in some of these 20 great Southwestern scholarships for college.
1. AWWA Southwest Section Memorial Scholarships
Deadline: June 25th
The Southwest Section of the American Water Works Association (AWWA) offers three $1,000 scholarships annually to one college student each in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. It’s intended for high school graduates who have a parent or legal guardian who has held AWWA membership for at least 12 months. Funding can reduce tuition and fees at any accredited two- or four-year U.S. college. Arkansans can specifically apply for the $2,000 Ted and Clara Gentry Scholarship too.
AWWA Southwest Section Memorial Scholarships
30 Hidden Hills Lake
Arnaudville, LA 70512
2. Bob Ondrusek Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: June 15th
Named after the president of Dallas’ Columbia Packing Company, the Bob Ondrusek Memorial Scholarship grants at least $2,500 from the Southwest Meat Association (SMA) to students from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Suitable candidates must be enrolled full-time at accredited U.S. universities with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 in animal science, food science, beef production, agricultural engineering, and similar majors to enter the commercial meat industry.
Bob Ondrusek Memorial Scholarship
505 University Drive E. Suite 701
College Station, TX 77840
3. Charles W. Margolf Higher Education Scholarship
Deadline: February 15th
Since 2009, the Rocky Mountain Coal Mining Institute (RMCMI) has presented one $2,750 Charles W. Margolf Higher Education Scholarship for former scholars pursuing post-graduate degrees in mining-related fields, including engineering, geology, mineral processing, and metallurgy science. Southwest residents of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah can apply. Additional qualifications include being United States citizens, expressing interest in Western coal careers, and having academic merit.
Charles W. Margolf Higher Education Scholarship
3500 S. Wadsworth Blvd. Suite 211
Lakewood, CO 80235
4. Church’s Partners Community Scholarships
Deadline: February 15th
Several Southwestern states, including Arkansas, Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada, and Texas qualify for the $1,000, one-time Church’s Partners Community Scholarships. Funded by the Cajun chicken chain, the program supports legal U.S. residents who are enrolling full-time or part-time at accredited post-secondary schools with a minimum 2.7 GPA. The online application from Scholarship America must include a transcript, adult applicant appraisal form, and personal goals statement.
Church’s Partners Community Scholarships
980 Hammond Drive Suite 1100
Atlanta, GA 30328
5. Floyd E. McDonald Scholarship Program
Deadline: April 1st
The Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientists Inc. sponsors the Floyd E. McDonald Scholarship Program to gift $1,000 awards to undergraduates in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico. Eligible juniors and seniors must be pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree at least half-time (6+ credits) in forensics, chemistry, biology, or related natural sciences with a cumulative “B” average or better for careers in crime investigation. Don’t forget to attach an official transcript and three recommendations.
Floyd E. McDonald Scholarship Program
P.O. Box 2106
Humble, TX 77347
6. George J. Elking Jr. Scholarship Fund
Deadline: April 30th
To honor the VP of Marketing & Sales at Slay Industries and two-time SWARS Person of the Year, the Southwest Association of Rail Shippers administers the George J. Elking Jr. Scholarship Fund for $500 to $2,000 annually. College-bound high school seniors from Arizona, Arkansas, Southern California, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah who are enrolling at regionally accredited U.S. institutions for their first bachelor’s degree can apply.
George J. Elking Jr. Scholarship Fund
8800 E. Chaparral Suite 155
Scottsdale, AZ 85250
7. Goodwill Maximum Independence Scholarship
Deadline: March 15th
Goodwill Industries began the Maximum Independence Scholarship to grant $1,000 to students with documented disabilities who are entering accredited U.S. colleges or vocational schools. Applications are selected from select Southwestern counties in Oklahoma and Texas, including Baylor, Comanche, Kiowa, Tillman, and Wichita. Eligibility criteria includes finishing high school or GED equivalent, taking 12+ credits per term, demonstrating unmet need, and recording at least 15 volunteer work hours.
Goodwill Maximum Independence Scholarship
1901 Gore Blvd.
Lawton, OK 73501
(580) 699-5580 ext. 3004
8. Henry and Joyce W. Sumid Scholarship
Deadline: February 15th
Created in memory of the 1940 Pasadena Playhouse College of Theatre Arts graduate and his wife, the Henry and Joyce W. Sumid Scholarship presents $5,000 annually to high school seniors, undergraduates, and post-graduate scholars of the performing arts. Residing in Southwestern states like Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Utah is accepted. Young actors, set designers, theatrical directors, stage technicians, and playwrights must excel academically with a cumulative GPA above 3.0.
Henry and Joyce W. Sumid Scholarship
P.O. Box 398
Pasadena, CA 91102
9. Italian Catholic Federation Scholarships
Deadline: March 15th
Ranging from $400 to $1,000, the Italian Catholic Federation Scholarships are awarded to United States citizens living in California, Arizona, or Nevada whose parents, legal guardians, or grandparents are of Italian descent. Qualified applicants must profess the Roman Catholic faith, gain admission at accredited four-year colleges, attain a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or greater, and engage in charitable efforts. The Mario Cugia Scholarship is specifically available to Italian Studies majors in the Southwest.
Italian Catholic Federation Scholarships
8393 Capwell Drive Suite 110
Oakland CA 94621
10. Joe Eddleman Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: February 15th
The Southwestern Fertilizer Conference (SWFC) bestows the Joe Eddleman Memorial Scholarship for $2,500 yearly to four outstanding undergraduates who have chosen agricultural majors, including soil science, plant biology, and horticulture. Natives of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana studying at any accredited U.S. institutions may apply. Applications need a course transcript, three recommendations, and a 500-word essay titled “Fertilizer’s Significance in Production Agriculture.”
Joe Eddleman Memorial Scholarship
P.O. Box 339
Cedar Park TX 78630
11. John Michael Caldwell Student Scholarship
Deadline: February 21st
Named after the first archivist at Oklahoma University’s Carl Albert Center in 1979, the John Michael Caldwell Student Scholarship provides $600 from the Society of Southwest Archivists. It’s designed for current, dues-paying members who are enrolled full-time in archival administration programs, including library and information science, at graduate schools in Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. Other SSA scholarships in the Southwest include the Otis Hebert Jr. and David B. Gracy II funds.
John Michael Caldwell Student Scholarship
4503 Glomar Avenue
P.O. Box 301311
Austin, TX 78721
12. KASF Southwestern Regional Chapter Scholarship
Deadline: July 8th
College students of Korean heritage who are studying full-time in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, or Texas can receive the Southwestern Regional Chapter Scholarship for $500 to $5,000 from the Korean American Scholarship Foundation (KASF). Qualified applicants must be U.S. citizens or nationals, carrying a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, and lacking financial assistance for tuition. Extra funds are also made available to non-Korean descendants of American veterans who served in the Korean War.
KASF Southwestern Regional Chapter Scholarship
P.O. Box 420242
Houston, TX 77242
13. Larry J. Mildren Graduate Scholarship
Deadline: October 17th
The Therapeutic Recreation Symposium for the Southwest (TRSSW) gifts the Larry J. Mildren Graduate Scholarship for $750 to post-graduate students studying in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, or Texas. Eligible master’s and PhD candidates must declare an emphasis in therapeutic recreation, obtain an outstanding GPA of 3.5 or better, have healthcare work experience, be supported by two recommendation letters, and pursue the CTRS certification.
Larry J. Mildren Graduate Scholarship
20400 Colonel Glenn Road
Little Rock, AR 72210
14. Michael A. Shutt Academic Scholarship
Deadline: December 16th
The Southwest Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives (SWAAAE) created the Michael A. Shutt Academic Scholarship to honor his 35-year career leading Hodges & Shutt and logging over 4,000 pilot hours. For the $1,500, undergraduate or graduate students must be attending universities in Arizona, California, Nevada, or Hawaii full-time to enter the aviation industry. Acceptable majors will include airport administration, transportation engineering, aviation business, and aeronautics.
Michael A. Shutt Academic Scholarship
107 S. Southgate Drive
Chandler, AZ 85226
15. NEWH Dallas Chapter Scholarship
Deadline: April 3rd
The Network of Executive Women in Hospitality (NEWH) Dallas Chapter offers an Southwest scholarship yearly for $1,000 to female college students studying full-time in Texas, Missouri, Kansas, or Oklahoma. Eligible candidates must attain at least junior standing with a minimum 3.0 GPA and unmet financial need in an accredited hospitality-related program, including culinary arts, architecture, event planning, and hotel administration. There’s also a NEWH House Chapter Scholarship available.
NEWH Dallas Chapter Scholarship
5646 Milton Street Suite 213
Dallas, TX 75206
16. Osage Nation Higher Education Scholarships
Deadline: July 5th
Led by Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear, the Osage Nation Higher Education Scholarships are ideal for Southwest residents in Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas who have Osage tribal membership. Interested Native Americans must be pursuing associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees full-time at accredited U.S. universities with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Specifically, the Eugene Daniel Scholarship supports medical-related majors and the John L. Rubel Scholarship assists with technical study.
Osage Nation Higher Education Scholarships
102 Buffalo Avenue
Hominy, OK 74035
17. Southwest Athletic Trainers Association Scholarships
Deadline: April 1st
Representing District 6, the Southwest Athletic Trainers Association (SWATA) funds $1,000 scholarships to juniors, seniors, and graduate students from Arkansas and Texas who are enrolled full-time in CAATE-accredited athletic training programs. Eligibility criteria requires holding NATA membership, lack financial means, hold a 2.5 GPA or better, and have worked in their college’s athletic department. Applications are incomplete without a personal narrative, two recommendations, and unofficial transcripts.
Southwest Athletic Trainers Association Scholarships
3411 Peter’s Colony
Flower Mound, TX 75022
18. Southwest Tribal NARCH Scholarships
Deadline: August 22nd
The Southwest Tribal Native American Research Center for Health (NARCH) Scholarships present up to $2,500 for American Indian students belonging to federally-recognized tribes, preferably in New Mexico, Texas, and Colorado. Accepted candidates must carry a 3.0 GPA or higher in an accredited health-related graduate program, such as nursing, health administration, nutrition, public health, counseling, and speech-language pathology. Writing a 300-word essay about one’s commitment to serving tribal communities is required.
Southwest Tribal NARCH Scholarships
5015 Prospect Avenue NE
Albuquerque, NM 87110
19. USTA Southwest Tennis Foundation Scholarships
Deadline: March 31st
Valued at $1,500 each, the USTA Southwest Tennis Foundation grants four annual college scholarships for varsity tennis players graduating from high schools in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. The merit- and need-based program seeks applicants who excel academically, participate in USTA tennis events, admitted to U.S. senior colleges, and supported with three recommendation letters. Southwestern athletes could also gain the Sam Fields Junior Scholarship or Junior Activity Grant.
USTA Southwest Tennis Foundation Scholarships
7010 E. Acoma Drive Suite 201
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
20. William M. Olson Scholarship Program
Deadline: May 2nd
The AVS Science and Technology Society’s New Mexico Chapter hosts the William M. Olson Scholarship Program yearly to present $3,500 to first-year freshmen who are pursuing STEM majors in the physical sciences or engineering. Southwest residents in the Mountain Time Zone, including New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arizona, and Texas, are qualified. Applications must arrive with an official transcript, SAT/ACT score, one-page goals statement, and two endorsement letters from science teachers.
William M. Olson Scholarship Program
P.O. Box 5800, MS-1248
Albuquerque, NM 87185
Affording a college education in the Southwest won’t necessarily make your bank account drier than the Sonoran Desert. Bargains can be found at inexpensive schools like New Mexico Highlands University where in-state tuition costs $5,400. Yet private, nonprofit institutions like Rice University charge upwards of $40,000 yearly. Luckily, financial aid opportunities are nearly as vast as the Grand Canyon to lower out-of-pocket tuition costs without racking up debt. Consider these 20 great scholarships in the Southwest along with state-based programs like the Texas Public Educational Grant or Arizona Post-Secondary Education Grant.