San Diego Foundation offices
The San Diego Foundation offices in Liberty Station.

The San Diego Foundation opened applications Wednesday for its Common Scholarship, with $3.5 million available for local students.

Through one online application at SDFoundation.org/CSA, students can access nearly 150 scholarships, including for four-year universities, two-year colleges, and graduate and vocational schools. According to the foundation, scholarships are available for graduating high school seniors, undergraduates, graduates, medical and professional school students,, and adult re-entry students.

Students can apply through March 8.

“When we support historically under-resourced college students, we’re fostering equity of opportunity in San Diego and supporting the local talent pipeline that builds our region’s workforce,” said Danielle Valenciano, director of the foundation’s Community Scholarship Program. “Research shows that scholarships reduce students’ work and debt burden, making them more likely to graduate from college and to do so on time.”

The SDF Community Scholarship Program and Community Scholars Initiative fund the scholarships. According to a statement from the foundation, the Community Scholars Initiative works with college access organizations to “help hundreds more low-income and first-generation students prepare for, pay for and persist through college.”

In 2022, the foundation awarded more than $3.5 million in college scholarships to 989 local students for the 2022-23 academic year.

Among those recipients, officials said 69% are first-generation college students or the first in their immediate families to pursue higher education, and 93% of students are considered low-income.

The San Diego Foundation’s Community Scholarship Program is supported by 146 charitable funds. Since 1997, the program has awarded more than $46 million to more than 12,000 college students from San Diego.

— City News Service