5 Scholarships for Students in Texas

The Lone Star State. It’s indisputably one of the most iconic state nicknames, high on the list with New York (the Empire State) and California (the Golden State). However, while New York and California’s nicknames reflect a desire to lead, to convince others of their state’s glory, Texas’s moniker shouts clearly that they are independent, proud, and self-sufficient. Texas pride is palpable in all areas of life. It is the only state in the union where the state flag is permitted to be flown higher than the star-spangled banner. Its thriving cattle industry set it apart from other Midwestern states through the determination and gritty hard work of their wranglers. Locals have immense pride, reflected everywhere from American folk heroes to reality television (“When I wake up in the morning, there’s two things I’m thankful for: I’m thankful I’m alive, and I’m thankful I’m a Texan.” – Survivors Colby Donaldson).

Yes, Texas has an independent streak the rest of the country should admire. Their pride in their home state never ceases, and their self-made determination shows a key factor in how this country was built. However, as Soul singer Bill Withers once said, “We all need somebody to lean on.” Even the strongest and most stubborn of Texans will admit that sometimes, everyone Lone Star Stater needs help; be they a cowboy, oil driller, rancher, businessman, small-business owner, or student. The Lone Star State relies heavily on self-dependence, yes, but they also place a great amount of importance in helping their fellow citizens. Here are scholarships for those in Texas:

The Dallas city skyline at night.

Houston Public Service Week Essay Contest

Deadline: March 23, 2020

Amount: $2,000

If one was to ask someone on the street what the four largest cities in the country were, odds are they’d come up with New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago…but what’s the fourth? Well, we have a problem: it’s Houston. Just like the three ahead on the list, the city is bustling with activity; home to NASA’s Mission Control, twenty-four Fortune 500 companies (second only to New York), and three professional sports teams. Houston is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, but unfortunately, not all the effects of urban growth are positive.

The ever-expanding population leads to understaffed public service jobs, and to combat this issue, the city government holds an annual “Public Service Recognition Week” to both celebrate those working municipal jobs and garner interest in the field. The week’s highlight is the essay contest, which offers a top prize of $2,000 to a Houston-area high school senior who best outlines, in 500 words, “how they would make a difference as an employee of Houston municipal government”. The scholarship awards the top three finishing essays, followed by two honorable mentions.

Austin Alliance for Women in Media Scholarship

Deadline: TBD for 2020-2021

Amount: $5,000

The Lone Star capital of Austin is unique in many ways, home to the University of Texas and their famous Longhorns athletic program, the SXSW music festival, and one of the fastest-growing urban centers in the country. The area is generally considered to be one of the more progressive areas of the state, reflected in organizations such as the Austin Alliance for Women in Media, which aims to increase interest in journalism among young women.

Open to all female Austin-area university juniors and seniors who study media or a related field, the winner of the scholarship gets $5,000 towards their tuition in their chosen field. Possible tangential majors include radio, television, film, digital media, and many more. Applicants must have a GPA of at least 3.25 and at least seventy-five credit hours. The winning applicant is bestowed with the award at the AWM’s annual gala, where they will be a guest of honor.

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Texas Urban Scholarships

Deadline: Varies

Amount: $2,000

The image that some have of Texas, a desert state with tumbleweeds rolling across Old West towns, could not be further from the truth. According to 2016 statistics, six of the twenty most populous cities in the country are in the Lone Star State, an astounding number. For comparison, the second-most represented state, California, has four cities on the list. As urban areas in Texas grow, the number of students from these cities grows as well, leading some to get lost in the shuffle.

To combat this, the Texas Association of Developing Colleges has established the Urban Scholarship Fund, intended for inner-city students in large metropolitan areas such as San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Amarillo, and Arlington, among others. The application consists of a short questionnaire, a request for documents, and a FAFSA form to determine financial need. To be eligible, students must graduate from a high school in one of a certain number of metropolitan areas, of which a full list is available on their site. The scholarship awards $2,000 as a top prize towards tuition at a four-year private university.

Hellenic Professional Society of Texas Scholarship

Deadline: TBD for 2021

Amount: Varies

Many colleges throughout the nation have varying degrees of “Greek Life,” referring to social clubs, fraternities, and sororities. The Hellenic Professional Society of Texas, however, takes Greek Life to a new level. According to their website, the HPST was founded by Greek-American Texans to “preserve the rich culture and heritage of Greece.”

To that end, the HPST sponsors a scholarship each year for a student of Hellenic (Greek) origin who pursue or plan to pursue a higher education in Texas. The society asks for highly-skilled applicants involved in both academic and community organizations. The prizes vary, and more than one scholarship can be awarded per year, evidenced by the 150+ recipients over the forty years of the scholarship’s existence. Even though the pool is very competitive, it’s definitely worth a shot. When in Ro—uh, Greece, right?

Natural Resources—Excellence In Education Scholarship

Deadline: March 31

Amount: $10,000

Texas has a long history of making money off its natural resources, whether quadrupedal (livestock), fossil fuels (oil), or anything in between. To this day, the state’s diverse economy is often based on in-state sources, supervised by many different organizations. Two of these are the Texas Wildlife Association Foundation (TWAF) and the San Antonio Livestock Exposition (SALE), which have teamed up to offer a lucrative scholarship to students who are pursuing a career in a field related to natural resources.

The scholarship, with a whistle-worthy top prize of $10,000, is open to Texas students-slash-residents who will be going to school in the state. They must also be majoring in a field such as agricultural science, wildlife science, forestry, et cetera. Five students receive an award based on a simple application process involving a short essay.

And remember, most Texas schools will offer scholarships to their own students, so make sure you look for those as well!


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