Oakland Promise Scholarship 2024: Comprehensive Guide

Education is an investment in your future, but the cost is usually expensive, especially if you are from a poor background. Imagine having a helping hand to ease that burden. The Oakland Promise Scholarship does that, providing financial aid and support to high school graduates in Oakland, California, on their path to achieving their college dreams. 

Imagine dreaming of studying in the US, but you have no financial assistance, so decide to bury your dreams. With the scholarship, your tuition fees and other needs will be available. In this blog post, we shall discuss the Oakland Promise Scholarship, its eligibility criteria, the documents needed for application, plus other necessary information. Keep going through the article to get informed.

What is the Oakland Promise Scholarship?

The Oakland Promise Scholarship is a financial aid program established by the Oakland Unified School District and Mayor Schaaf in 2016.  The mission is to significantly increase the number of Oakland high school graduates who complete a college degree. This scholarship program directly addresses the financial barriers that often prevent students from pursuing higher education.

Oakland Promise Scholarship

The Oakland Promise Scholarship is here to help you take the next step toward your academic goals. We offer financial assistance to graduating seniors from Oakland public and charter high schools who plan to enroll in a college, university, or vocational training program right after graduation.

As an Oakland Promise Scholar, you’ll receive not only scholarship funding to bridge the financial gap but also valuable support services designed to ensure your success in higher education. This includes access to tutoring, mentorship programs, networking opportunities, and industry-specific resources to help you thrive throughout your college journey.

The Oakland Promise Scholarship is committed to removing financial barriers and creating a level playing field for qualified students. We offer need-based scholarships to all eligible students from low-income backgrounds, empowering them to pursue their educational aspirations without financial constraints.

Why Should I Choose the Oakland Promise Scholarship?

Here are some of the benefits of the Oakland Promise Scholarship:

  • Financial Assistance

Scholarship awards typically range from $2,000 to $4,000 per year. A limited number of scholarships are offered at higher tiers, reaching $8,000 and $16,000. This financial aid can significantly reduce the burden of college costs, making higher education a more realistic possibility.

  • College Completion Program

Scholarship recipients are automatically enrolled in the Oakland Promise College Completion Program. This program provides ongoing support services throughout their college journey, including academic advising, mentorship, and financial aid guidance.

  • Open to Diverse Programs

The scholarship applies to post-secondary institutions, including four-year colleges, two-year community colleges, and career technical education (CTE) programs. There’s flexibility in how you use the funds.

  • Additional Support

Beyond the financial aid, the program offers college completion support services to help you succeed.

  • Locally Focused

If you’re an Oakland resident and plan to stay in California, this scholarship prioritizes students from your community.

Eligibility Criteria for the Oakland Promise Scholarship?

The Oakland Promise Scholarship is open to graduating seniors from Oakland public and charter high schools. To be eligible, students must:

  • Have at least a 2 GPA.
  • Plan to attend an accredited post-secondary institution immediately following high school graduation. This can include a four-year college, a two-year community college, or a career technical education (CTE) program.
  • Demonstrate financial need.
  • Plan to further your academic career in the US.

Application Requirements for the Oakland Promise Scholarship 

Oakland Promise Scholarship

To be considered for the Oakland Promise Scholarship, you’ll need to gather the following documents:

  • Completed application form: This online form will ask for your personal information, academic history, post-secondary plans, and financial aid details.
  • Official transcripts: Submit your official transcripts from your high school, showcasing your academic achievements.
  • FAFSA or CADAA application: Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the California Dream Act Application (CADAA) is mandatory. This determines your financial need and eligibility for federal and state aid, which factors into the Oakland Promise Scholarship award amount.
  • Essay or personal statement: This is your opportunity to shine! Craft a compelling essay highlighting your academic goals, financial needs, and aspirations for the future.


Important Dates to note down:

  • November 1, 2023: The online application portal opens.
  • March 8, 2024: Online applications must be submitted by 11:59 PM PST. Before submission, applicants must complete the FAFSA/CADAA and report their student aid index from the confirmation email summary. Additionally, all applicants must submit an unofficial transcript.
  • For applicants seeking scholarships ranging from 8k to 16k:
  • March 15, 2024: Deadline for submitting letters of recommendation by 11:59 PM PST.
  • Interviews, if requested, will take place during the week of April 1st-5th, 2024.
  • April 12, 2024: Scholarship award letters will be sent out.
  • April 19, 2024: Deadline for accepting scholarship offers by 11:59 PM PST.

How to Apply for the Oakland Promise Scholarship 

The Oakland Promise Scholarship is for graduating seniors in Oakland public or charter high schools who plan to attend a college or vocational program after high school in the US. 

Below are steps to follow for a successful application.

  • Applications typically open on November 1st. You can check the Oakland Promise scholarship website for the latest information.
  • To apply, you’ll need to complete the online application through the Oakland Promise Scholarship portal.
  • Financial need is considered, so be sure to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA) before applying [1].

If you are awarded the scholarship, you can receive between $2,000 and $16,000 for college and be connected with support services to help you succeed in your studies.

Application Process for Oakland Promise Scholarship

Seniors in high school who intend to enroll in a CTE program, 2-year college, or 4-year college right out of high school are eligible to apply for the Oakland Promise Scholarship. Oakland Promise Scholarship recipients not only receive financial aid but also access to industry resources such as mentorship, networking opportunities, tutoring, and other services, all of which help them succeed in college. 

Seniors at Oakland public and charter high schools who satisfy our eligibility standards can apply for the Oakland Promise Scholarship. However, Oakland Promise will offer need-based college scholarships to all qualified students from low-income homes to address the funding gap and lower financial barriers for Oakland kids.

How Much Does the Oakland Promise Scholarship Award?

The Oakland Promise Scholarship offers a helping hand that can vary in size depending on your financial need and academic achievement. Scholarship awards range from $2,000 to $16,000, significantly contributing to college expenses.

How to write a scholarship essay about why you deserve the Oakland Promise Scholarship?

To craft a compelling scholarship essay for the Oakland Promise Scholarship, describe why you deserve this opportunity. Discuss how your education aligns with your career aspirations and broader life goals post-graduation. Be sure to emphasize the specific purpose of the scholarship and its origins, tailoring your essay to resonate with the review committee’s values and objectives. This approach ensures your essay effectively communicates your suitability for the scholarship and stands out among other applicants.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Oakland Promise Scholarship

Q1: Am I eligible for the Oakland Promise Scholarship if I attend a private high school in Oakland?

A: Unfortunately, the Oakland Promise Scholarship is only available to graduating seniors from Oakland public and charter high schools.

Q2: What if my GPA isn’t super high? Can I still apply?

A: The Oakland Promise Scholarship considers various factors, not just GPA. While a solid academic record is beneficial, demonstrating financial need and a clear commitment to pursuing higher education are equally important.

Q3: I’m unsure how to complete the FAFSA or CADAA application. Can I get help?

A: Absolutely! The Oakland Promise team offers resources and workshops to guide you through the FAFSA or CADAA application process. You can also seek assistance from your high school counselor or financial aid office.

Q4: Does the Oakland Promise Scholarship cover the total cost of college?

The scholarship amount varies depending on your financial need and funding availability. It typically ranges from $2,000 to $4,000 annually, so you might need to combine it with other financial aid options to cover all your college expenses.

Q5: When will I find out if I received the scholarship?

A: Scholarship notifications are usually sent out by the following spring. The Oakland Promise team will communicate directly with applicants regarding their application status.

Q6: Is there a deadline to apply for the scholarship?

A: Yes, the application window typically opens on November 1st each year. Check the Oakland Promise website for the most up-to-date deadlines and application information.

Conclusion Oakland Promise Scholarship

The Oakland Promise Scholarship is a beacon of hope for Oakland’s high school seniors, offering financial assistance and critical support services to navigate the college journey. By understanding the eligibility requirements, application process, etc., as discussed in this article, you can position yourself for success in securing this scholarship and achieving your academic dreams. 

Take advantage of the workshops, mentorship opportunities, and financial aid guidance offered by the College Completion Program. Remember, the Oakland Promise Scholarship is for students who want to study in the US but are not financially strong enough to process their tuition fees and other academic needs.

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2. UK Scholarships for International Students 2024 | Fully Funded

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