In addition to federal and state aid, scholarships are a great way to offset all or part of the cost of your education. Each year, HCC disburses approximately $2 million in institutional scholarships and the HCC Foundation provides $1.25 million in awards and scholarships (based on 2015-2016 year-end report).
We encourage you to learn about the different types of scholarships and use this webpage as a resource. Although many opportunities are on this page, we encourage you to seek scholarships from other sources as well.
Types of Scholarships Awarded by Financial Aid
This scholarship is automatically awarded to students who meet all five of the criteria below.
- Complete a FAFSA and are determined to have an expected family contribution ranging from $2,000 to $6,500.
- Have total household income less than $50,000.
- Enroll in 9 semester credit hours or more.
- Are new students or have a cumulative GPA of greater than 2.74.
- Meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements for financial aid.
Students will retain the Impact Scholarship as long as they meet all criteria elements. New students have a clean slate, but will lose the scholarship upon posting a GPA lower than 2.74.
With a maximum award of $1000 per a semester, the Impact scholarship will cover any remaining tuition, fee and book costs for qualifying students. For example, if you have other aid covering tuition, fees and books, the scholarship amount will be adjusted according to any remaining balance after that aid is applied.
The Chancellor Scholarship encourages very high performing students to finish out their degree at HCC. The $300 per semester scholarship is automatically awarded to students who meet following criteria.
- Complete the FAFSA
- Have a 4.0 cumulative GPA.
- Have more than 30 semester credit hours recorded at HCC.
- Meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements for financial aid.
As long as cumulative GPA remains at 4.0, students can maintain the scholarship.
HCC Foundation Scholarships
Scholarships Awarded by HCC Foundation
The HCC Foundation has awarded thousands of general and workforce scholarships to deserving HCC students.
With one application, applicants will be considered for every scholarship they are eligible to receive.
Most scholarships require that the student be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours at HCC per semester; many require enrollment in 9 or 12 credit hours per semester.
Some scholarships have specific requirements, such as the submission of a portfolio. If you are considered for one of these scholarships, you will be contacted to provide the proper documentation or schedule an audition. Please do not send information in advance.
Visit www.hccsfoundation.org/Scholarships to learn about eligibility, application and requirements.
These scholarships are managed by the HCC Foundation, not Financial Aid. If you have any questions regarding the scholarships, please contact the HCC Foundation at 713-718-8595 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
International F-1 Student HCC Foundation Scholarships
F-1 Students do not qualify for Financial Aid, however, the Chancellor Scholarship along with several HCC Foundation Scholarships are available.
How to Report Outside Scholarships
Each year, private, non-HCC scholarships are given by a variety of companies and non-profit organizations. The following steps are required for Private Scholarships.
- The donor will need to send the scholarship check to: Houston Community College, ATTN: Head Cashier, 3100 Main St., 11th Floor, Houston, Texas 77002
- Included with the check should be a cover letter with the following information:
- The recipient’s name
- Student ID number
- P number or social security number (if applicable)
- Award period
- Any restrictions (Please Note: Restrictions may include: a number of required courses; whether the scholarship covers books in addition to tuition and fees; or whether the student is allowed to receive a balance check for the unused portion of the funds).
*If the donor does not send the check to the head cashier, the processing of your scholarship will be delayed. Checks for private scholarships should NOT be sent to HCC Scholarship Foundation or to your local HCC Campus.
For more information about reporting scholarships and making payments as an international student, please visit http://www.hccs.edu/district/students//international/faqs.
How to find and apply for scholarships
Where to Look
Looking for a scholarship can be a bit overwhelming, but you have lots of resources at your fingertips. Try these free sources of information about scholarships.
- HCC Foundation (click to access)
- Scholarship Search Databases
- U.S. Department of Labor’s FREE scholarship search tool
- Minnie Stephens Piper Foundation
- Adventures in Education
- College Board
- CollegeNet Scholarship Database
- College Toolkit
- Good Call Scholarship Search
- Service-based organizations, religious or community organizations, local businesses or civic groups
- Organizations (including professional associations) related to your field of interest
- Ethnicity-based organizations
- Your employer or your parents’ employers
- University’s transfer scholarships for community college students
- Dreamers Scholarships
- HCC Financial Coaches who offer workshops on applying for scholarships (click to contact)
Scholarship Application Tips
Start the scholarship search process sooner than later.
If you’re debating on when to start applying, the time is now. You can apply for scholarships you qualify for as early as you would like and the rule of thumb is always the earlier, the better. The process can often be very slow, so be patient and continue applying while waiting to hear back from others.
Apply for scholarships in different categories.
Don’t limit yourself to one type of scholarship. Balance it out, by applying for any merit, athletic and artistic scholarships
Include letters of recommendation.
A good letter of recommendation can make all the difference in your scholarship application. Make sure that the letters you include are relevant and that you are confident in the person writing the letter for you. Also, give the person writing the letter significant time and a copy of your student resume so that they can easily reference your student activities.
Don’t count out scholarships with lower award amounts.
Some students only apply for scholarships with significantly large award amounts. The problem with that methodology is that you are going to have a lot more competition than with lower scholarship amounts. Whatever you can do to decrease your competition will be in your favor, so applying for all award amounts is a good way to ensure that you have a better chance of winning. Remember, there is no limit to how many scholarships you can apply for or win, so winning several smaller awards can really add up and serve the same purpose – paying for school.
Don’t become discouraged if you don’t win right away.
It’s important to keep in mind that applying for scholarships is a numbers game. The more you apply to, the better your chances of winning. There are millions of scholarships and they are refreshed daily, so don’t give up if your efforts aren’t rewarded immediately.
Don’t avoid scholarships that require essays.
Many students avoid scholarships that require essays. Yes, they do take more effort, but once you have several essay applications under your belt, the process gets easier. Why discard an essay after putting in hard work, time and effort? Many essays can be re-purposed (once edited) and applied to future applications.
Stay organized, keeping deadlines in mind!
Keep a calendar that outlines your deadlines. Financial aid checklists can help prepare you for college and keep you on track, as well. Always aim to complete your applications before the deadline so that you have enough time to review and submit your application. Remember, application deadlines aren’t suggestions – they are final.
Make a scholarship application schedule and stick to it.
Set aside a specific time that you’re going to focus on applying for scholarships. It can be one night a week, an hour each day or whatever works with your schedule. When the designated time rolls around, focus your efforts solely on your scholarship applications to ensure that you follow through with the process.
*Based on Fast Web’s Application Tips – August 2016, www.fastweb.com