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It’s not too early to apply for spring scholarships

Tonia Smith feared the out-of-pocket costs associated with returning to college. So in addition to applying for financial aid at Tidewater Community College, Smith browsed scholarship opportunities.

To her surprise, Smith didn’t receive just one scholarship; she was awarded several through the TCC Educational Foundation.

“I was extremely surprised when I was given multiple scholarships,” said Smith, who is working toward an associate degree in computer-aided drafting and design while holding a full-time job. “The scholarships paid for books, tuition, and even a new laptop that can handle the graphics of AutoCAD. I didn’t think students like myself would qualify for such large scholarship awards.”

Most TCC students qualify for scholarships. Browse the list of opportunities at to find your fit.

The scholarship deadline for spring semester is Nov. 15. Scholarships will be awarded on a first-apply, first-award basis as long as applicants meet all the criteria.

Regional Automotive Center student Sawyer Matthews received a $2,000 scholarship.

Remember, scholarships are a form of financial aid that do not need to be repaid. Most scholarships awarded by TCC are worth at least $500.

Some scholarships factor in demographics. The Beazley Foundation Nursing Scholarship, for example, gives preference to students from Portsmouth. The George Flaherty Trust Scholarship seeks students whose home base is the Chesapeake Campus.

Others target a student’s background. The Chris R. Marcia Veterans Tribute Scholarship requires applicants to have served at least three years of active duty in the military. Some require essays, often about career and educational goals or how you will contribute to campus life at TCC.

Shanice Mills sitting on the seal in the Portsmouth Campus Student Center.
Shanice Mills has won multiple awards, including the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Student Scholarship.

A few, including the Barnes and Noble Textbook Scholarship, offer multiple scholarships to students on each of the four campuses and have minimal requirements.

TCC’s workforce education programs also offer scholarships. The Virginia Glennan Scholarship Fund, for example, requires a written recommendation by an employer.

Last fall, the TCC Educational Foundation awarded 504 student awards to 335 students.

Here’s what some of the most recent recipients had to say about their awards:

“With this scholarship, I have been able to be stress-free while focusing on my 16 credit hours for this fall semester. I was recently early discharged a year ago and wanted to obtain this goal in my life without feeling the need to go broke over it. Applying was as easy as 1-2-3. I got the email a few weeks later saying I was chosen.” — Navy veteran Dasha Chaney, recipient of the Christopher M. Garrett Memorial Scholarship

“I’ve received the Fred W. Beazley Scholarship this semester, but the one I am most honored to have received was the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship in 2019. I never fathomed I would receive this award. I just applied, and next thing you know, I was selected and honored at the award ceremony.” — Shanice Mills, recipient of the Fred W. Beazley and the 2019 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Award

“Every little bit helps.” — Regional Automotive Center student Sawyer Matthews, recipient of the Hampton Roads Automobile Dealers Association scholarship

“Thank you so much for choosing me to receive the textbook scholarship! My education has been so thrown off by COVID, and I have been out of work for 6 months now. Having one less financial burden will allow me to continue with this semester instead of having to drop classes to support my children’s virtual learning. This is truly a blessing. — Stephanie Mortimore, recipient of the Barnes & Noble scholarship