Apply for a College Scholarship

Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

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One of the biggest challenges young people face is trying to achieve a higher education. This is why the Hillsborough County Department of Social Services, the Community Action Board, and the Community Advisory Committees offer up to $5,000 scholarships to students who meet the certain eligibility requirements.

Application Availability

  • Applications for Returning (2017 Scholarship recipients) applicants will be made available October 16, 2017, and the deadline to return completed applications will be no later than January 19, 2018.
  • Applications for new recipients (and any returning recipients prior to 2017) will be made available starting January 2, 2018, and the deadline to return completed applications will be no later than March 30, 2018.


  • Applicants must be between 16 and 24 years old, and have a high school diploma or GED equivalent (16-year-olds may apply if they are a graduating senior)
  • The candidate must have a minimum GPA of 2.5
  • Applicants must reside in Hillsborough County
  • The applicant's household income must fall within 125 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines of the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG)

How To

You can submit your application online or by mail starting January 2, 2018.

Online Applications

  1. Review the checklist and make sure you have all the required forms and documentation
  2. Download, print and complete required forms. Have them available to upload (acceptable files include Word .doc, .docx, and PDF .pdf)
  3. Complete online application 

Mail-In/Hand Delivered Applications

  1. Review the checklist and make sure you have all the required documentation
  2. Print and complete the application 
  3. Mail to Marie Theodore , P.O. Box 1110 Dept. of Social Services 24th flr., Tampa, FL 33601
    • Email or call (813) 277-1649
  4. Completed applications may also be dropped off at any of the five Community Resource Centers no later than March 30, 2018.


Before submitting your Hillsborough County Department of Social Services Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) packet, please make sure the following items are included:

Identification One (1) form for EACH member of household. Acceptable Documents:

Adults 18 and above

  • Current (non-expired) Driver’s license or State ID; Immigration verification (green card); Military Photo ID; VA Identification card with DD214; passport; Certificate of Naturalization.

Minors 17 and under: Exemption: no ID required for newborns within first 60 days of birth, if not available

  • Current (non-expired) Driver’s License or State ID; Immigration verification (green card); Birth certificate; Immunization records, with government seal or letterhead; passport; Certificate of Naturalization.

Social Security Number Verification (One (1) form for EACH member of household.) Acceptable Documents documentation must include full name and full social security number: (Exemption: no SS required for newborns within first 60 days of birth, if not available)

  • U.S. Social Security Administration (SS card); or official STAMPED document from: Florida Department of Children and Families; U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs; U.S. Internal Revenue Service; official school documentation (i.e. transcripts)

Two (2) separate verifications of Hillsborough County residency with physical address. Acceptable Documents at least one verification must be at current physical address:

  • Driver’s license or state ID; Current lease agreement; Mortgage Statement; Homestead Exemption Documentation; Verification of Home Ownership; Rent receipt listing: date, property address, landlord’s name and contact information (excluding motel, hotel, or extended stay receipts); Public utility (water, gas or electric) bill *NO Counter Bills; Vehicle registration; Voter registration card; Verification of child school enrollment; Recent historical record of residence documented through a County department or other social service agency’s case record; Canceled mail (envelope) from a federal, state, or county agency; and/or Declaration of Domicile recorded stamped with the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Hillsborough County

Verification of income (Gross income for ALL household members for the past 30 days, from date of application
Acceptable Documents

  • Employment pay statement; award letters or print out for: SSA benefit; Unemployment; Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF); Affidavit of Support, Child Support, Alimony, Workman’s Compensation, Pension/Retirement/Cost of living allowance; Strike Benefits from Union Funds; Foster Independent Living Programs payments; Annuity/Insurance; Education Assistance (allotted for living expenses); Long term/Short Term Benefits; Rental income receipts or statements; Bank Statement (eBay, PayPal, and cash deposits only); Crimes Compensation letter; Other income (If applicable: Employment Verification form; Certificate of Relative/ Friend Financial Assistance form; Letter on letterhead from last employer with dates and gross wages) For non-verifiable income (Self-Employment: Odd jobs or paid in cash, Cash from a relative or friend, or No income): Self-Declaration form

Verification of Resources, Acceptable Documents (if applicable):

  • Current award letter for: Food Stamps or Section 8/HUD/THA

Community Service Block Grant (CSBG) department forms

  • Customer Case Set-up Applicant worksheet
  • Notice Regarding Collection of Social Security Number form
  • Applicant Acknowledgements and Agreements form (Required for each head of household)
  • Grant Only form (Complete bottom portion only with Signature of Applicant(s) and date signed)
  • Self-Declaration (if undocumented/no income) all adults 18 and over in household.

Scholarship Application required forms

  • Scholarship application General/High School/college information (unless application completed online)
  • Recommendation form
  • Official school transcript. (If mailed send to PO Box 1110 Dept. of Social Services 24th flr. Tampa, FL 33601)
    (If faxing official transcripts must be sent directly from school administration/registrar to (813) 276-8593)

Scholarship Essay: Minimum two (2) pages typed double spaced, 1” margins all around Arial/Times new Roman Font

  • The essay should address the following questions:
    1. Why should you be selected for the award?
    2. What are your academic strengths and weaknesses?
    3. What are your career goals?
    4. What extenuating circumstances might prevent you from entering college?
    5. What are your plans to fund your post-secondary education beyond this scholarship?

Things to Consider

Does anyone in the household claim you as a dependent for income tax purposes? If yes, the following list of forms included in this packet must be completed by the person who claims you:

  • Applicant worksheet
  • Notice regarding collection of social security number form
  • Media release form (signed by student if 18 years or older)
  • Applicant acknowledgemets and agreements form (required for each head of household)
  • Grant only form (bottom portion only: signature of applicant(s) and date)

If no one claims you as a dependent for income tax purposes, the scholarship applicant must complete all forms.

What's Next?

  1. Eligible new applicants will be required to participate in a panel interview. Applicants will be notified by April 20, 2018. Interviews will take place on Saturday May 5, 2018.
  2. Scholarship recipients will be notified prior to the start of the fall semester

Get Help

(813) 277-1649

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