The 2024 scholarship application is NOW OPEN


2024 Application

CTSF scholarship application closes on May 17, 2024 at midnight. Please follow us on social media for updates. Please add social media logos below the above information.

Please read all instructions thoroughly before you apply. You will be required to participate in specific activities/events. No extensions or makeup events will be provided.

Who can apply:

  • High school seniors.
  • General Educational Diploma holders (GED).
  • Undergraduate students (all years).
  • Community college students who are transferring to four-year universities.
  • Graduate students.
  • Undocumented, AB 540, and DACA holders.
  • Students of color.

Priority will be given to first-year university students (i.e., rising freshmen or first-year community college transfer students).


  • Must be a first-generation college-goer (i.e., neither parent completed a 4-year university in the United States).
  • Must be a low-income student.
  • Minimum GPA of 2.5.
  • Physically reside and attend an educational institution within San Francisco, Alameda, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties.
  • College and undergraduate students must be enrolled full-time.
  • Graduate students must be enrolled in graduate school.
  • Former CTSF scholarship recipients: Must follow the same process as new applicants, and meet the same requirements and criteria.
  • Participate in the CTSF Award Presentation, Seeds to Degrees workshops, and Mentorship Program.
  • Participate in foundation activities and requests as outlined below:
  • Minimum of 10 hours of volunteer service with the foundation throughout the year.
  • Submit updates on your school progress every six months from receiving the scholarship award.
  • For scholars who are dependent students, your parents must reside within the four eligible counties.

About the Award

  • The award ranges from $2,500 to $3,000 for tuition expenses.
  • A $250 stipend for technology or school supplies.
  • Scholars whose parents are gardeners, field workers (trabajadores del campo), landscapers, janitors, or housekeepers may be selected to receive an additional $1,000 under the Family Tapia Award of Excellence.
  • Awards will be based on available dollars and may be stand-alone scholarships.

Scholarship Disbursement Process

If selected, the scholarship award amount will be paid in two payments. June 2024; the following award amount will be distributed in January 2025. 

Scholarship awardees will be required to participate in the following mandatory events:

We highly recommend marking these dates on your calendar.

  • From Seeds to Degrees Workshops Part I and II are mandatory.
  • Part I - This will be a full-day, in-person event.

Date: Saturday, June 22, 2024

Location: Mitchell Park Community Center  

3700 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto, CA 94303

  • Part II - This will be a virtual event taking place in January of 2025. The date is yet to be determined.
  • The CTSF Award Recognition is an in-person event on the same day and at the same location as From Seeds to Degrees Workshops Part I.

Need help with your application?

We can assist with the following:
  • Application and eligibility questions.
  • Questions about writing your personal statement.

Days: Monday through Friday

Times: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Schedule help here

We have created a checklist to ensure you prepare the requested information and documentation before applying.

Required Documentation

  1. Financial Information – All applicants must submit proof of financial income tax filing (1040 form).
  2. Personal Essay –  Preset questions and instructions can be found in the application.
  3. Academic Achievement – All applicants must submit a copy of their official or unofficial transcripts. To qualify for the scholarship, applicants must have a minimum of 2.5 unweighted GPA.
  4. Civic and Community Involvement: Due to the current Covid-19 restrictions, we have modified the Volunteer Hours, Community, and Civic Engagement. We will continue to ask applicants to submit hours completed as volunteers. For the 2024 application, we will accept applications that have not completed the 50 hours required. To satisfy this requirement, we will ask each applicant to submit a brief paragraph (250 words) describing how they have supported their communities, family members, and/or overall personal/professional growth.
  5. Letters of recommendations (2) – We recommend all applicants work on this as soon as they plan to apply. Recommenders can be mentors, professors/teachers, counselors, or employers. More details can be found in the application.

Scholarship Application Tips

  • Meet all application deadlines. Use a calendar or planner, make a schedule, and stick to it. 
  • Gather application materials early. 
  • Request letters of recommendation early. 
  • Write a great essay. 
  • Treat scholarship applications like a job. 
  • Submit your application and required materials on time. Do not wait until the last minute.
  • Find and understand application requirements. 
  • Review your application before submitting it.
  • Ask questions 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this scholarship renewable?

Yes, you can re-apply for the scholarship if you continue to meet the eligibility requirements.

How do I receive my scholarship funds?

An awarded scholarship is paid directly to you in two installments, one in June and the other in early January.

Would my immigration/citizenship status prevent me from applying for the CTSF scholarship?

No, your immigration status does not prevent you from applying for a CTSF scholarship. CTSF welcomes applicants who are AB 540 students, DACA holders, Undocumented students, TPS, or U Visa holders.

Can I recycle scholarship essays?

If you have already written general essays about your future career goals or to describe yourself, there is a good chance that you can use parts and pieces of these essays in most of the essays you write later. For smaller and community-based scholarship programs and some college and university applications, you may be able to choose your essay topic. If this is the case, you may reuse previously written descriptive essays about you, your interests, or your career goals. However, if you are a returning student applying for the scholarship, you should submit a new essay expressing your growth and accomplishment after receiving the scholarship. Remember, the selection committee would love to learn something new about you! Submit a brand new essay!

Please contact Yanet Gutierrez if you have any questions.
Phone: 650.631.1200 

CTSF Scholarship Recipients

Audrey Yingwei Xu

Stanford University

Human Biology

Brian Perez Wences

UC, Berkeley

Computer Science

Brianna Rangel Arroyo

Yale University


Daine Becerra Garcia

University of San Francisco

Computer Science

David Parsons

SF State University

Business Administration

Debora Rosas Lopez

De Anza College


Edith Arias

University of San Francisco

Organization and Education Ed.D.

Federico Rodriguez

UC, Los Angeles

Human Biology and Society

Geraldine Urgel

UC, Santa Barbara

Marine Biology

Jessica Sierra Ornelas

San Jose State University

Master's in Education Counseling

Katiuska Pimental Vargas

USF - School of Law


Lizette Barragan Cervantes

UC, Berkeley

Microbial Biology

Mahnoor Wani

UC, Los Angeles


Maria Casique Leon

UC Berkeley

Cell and Molecular Biology

Marta Lilian Marcos

SF State University

Early Childhood Education

Mistica Espinoza

SF State University


Moises Correa

UC, Santa Cruz

Business Management

Nancy Moran

University of Southern California

Civil Engineering

Sandra Landa-Sanchez

University of California, Merced


Victor Hernandez

UC, Irvine

Business Information Management

Yanet Gutierrez

San Jose State University

Political Science

Zahir Mammadzada

Goucher College

International Relations