Create a Scholarship

25Surprisingly, it doesn’t require tens of thousands of dollars to enable a qualified student to go to college. In fact, our average annual scholarship award is $2,500. These scholarships, combined with school provided financial aid, government financial aid programs, and personal payment, enable students to pursue their studies.

Our Scholarship Program requires that applicants have attended high school in Santa Barbara County and plan to be full-time students at an approved vocational school, community college, four year college, or graduate or medical school. Students complete an application that includes an essay, academic transcripts, extracurricular activities list, an academic recommendation letter, an employer or other supervisor recommendation letter, and parent and student financial information. Applications are evaluated by our professional program staff and each qualified new applicant receives a personal interview by a community volunteer.

  • The Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara does not charge an administrative fee to scholarship fund donors. 100% of your gifts for scholarship go directly to deserving students.
  • You may work with the Scholarship Foundation to establish selection criteria for your fund to give preference to a particular segment of students or field of study.
  • For both Annual and Endowed Scholarship Funds, you decide on the name for the fund. Perhaps you might want to honor or remember a loved one, or recognize your family.
    • As a Scholarship Fund donor, you’ll receive written profiles describing the students you are supporting each year, as well as thank you letters from the scholarship recipients, keeping you closely tied to the impact of your gift.


Annual Scholarship Funds

CoupleThe Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara manages scholarship funds for individuals, families, business, foundations and civic groups. Starting at $2,500, you may establish a named scholarship to support deserving local students attending two-year colleges, four-year colleges, graduate/medical schools, or vocational schools. You retain the flexibility to renew your gift each year.

Endowed Scholarship Funds

Gifts of $50,000 or more may be designated to establish an endowed scholarship fund. The Scholarship Foundation will invest the principal and use the earnings to provide scholarships for worthy undergraduate or graduate students in perpetuity. The Scholarship Foundation’s assets are invested as a whole, with return on investments credited pro-rata to each individual scholarship fund. You may add to this fund at any time.

For more information contact Raissa Smorol, Director of Development, at (805) 687-6065 or

Make a gift now using our secure online giving form Click here to make a gift .

Be assured that your contribution will be used effectively and efficiently. The Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara does not charge an administrative fee to scholarship fund donors. 100% of scholarship gifts go directly to deserving students.

Donor Spotlight: Rose Hernandez

Hernandez_Lisa_Rose “As a wife and mother, Rose Hernandez was extraordinarily dedicated.  Her commitment to the students of Santa Barbara High School was equally as special.  During her 28 year career there she helped hundreds of ESL students achieve their greatest potential.  The first in her family to attend college, Rose was a trailblazer who was passionate about the transforming power of education.  Upon her death we felt the most appropriate way to honor her and continue her legacy was to create the Rose Hernandez Endowed Scholarship Fund with the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara.” – Lisa and Steve Hernandez (Rose’s daughter and husband)

Fast Facts

Did you know....

  • In 2016, we provided 3,016 scholarships totaling $8.74 million.


  • In 2016, we provided financial aid advising services to more than 45,000 students and families in our County.


  • The Scholarship Foundation does not charge an administrative fee to scholarship fund donors. 100% of contributions to support scholarships goes directly to deserving students.