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Financial Aid

Scholarships

There are many scholarships available for students pursuing their higher education goals. The three main categories of scholarships include: 

Onondaga Community College Foundation Scholarships 

Onondaga Community College Foundation scholarships are both financial and merit based, and eligibility may require a specific GPA, program of study, etc. Some scholarships may require an essay, letters of recommendation, or interview. A majority of Foundation scholarships require that students have an up-to-date Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file in the Financial Aid office. Early submission is recommended. 

Onondaga Community Scholars Program

Onondaga Community Scholars provides qualified students with scholarships of up to $1,000 - saving students and families approximately 25 percent of tuition costs. The program helps provide financial assistance to students directly from high school, adults 21 and older who wish to begin college, and former Onondaga students who have earned at least 40 credits towards their degree (or 20 credits towards a certificate). Applications are being accepted now. Onondaga Community Scholars is funded through the College’s Reach Beyond Campaign. Scholarships are awarded based on academic performance and demonstrated financial need. Interested students must complete an Onondaga Community College free online Admission Application AND a 2013-14 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before completing the Onondaga Community Scholar’s application.

Students are encouraged to apply early.  For questions please review the FAQ's.

Local Agency Scholarships 

Local agency scholarship offerings for Onondaga Community College current and potential students. Many clubs and organizations offer scholarships to college students. Students can obtain information on some of these local opportunities from high school guidance counselors, libraries, or from the Internet. We have provided a list and description of those available. 

Nationwide Agency Scholarships

A list of websites where you can search for third-party scholarships is provided for your convenience. (Please note: These websites are not associated with the College). Onondaga Community College is a Collegiate Partner of Scholarship America and the Dollars for Scholars family of community scholarship foundations.

Onondaga Community College Foundation Scholarships

Onondaga Community College recognizes student achievement and individual merit with over 55 different scholarships. Anyone who has filed the FAFSA application is automatically considered for one or more of the financial scholarship awards through the OCC Foundation so complete and submit the FAFSA application as early as possible at www.fafsa.ed.gov.  Essentially, scholarships are free money – a form of financial aid that does not require repayment.

Please note: Availability and descriptions of scholarships are subject to change without notice. 

Scholarship Listing - Any Program 

Onondaga Community Scholars 

Onondaga Community Scholars provides qualified students with scholarships of up to $1,000 per academic year - saving students and families approximately 25 percent of tuition costs. The program helps provide financial assistance to students directly from high school, adults 21 and older who wish to begin college, and former Onondaga students who have earned at least 40 credits towards their degree (or 20 credits towards a certificate). Onondaga Community Scholars is funded through the very generous gifts of donors who supported the Reach Beyond Capital Campaign and by those who have established named scholarships within the Community Scholars program.

Applications are being accepted now. Onondaga Community Scholars is funded through the College’s Reach Beyond Campaign. Scholarships are awarded based on academic performance and demonstrated financial need. Interested students must complete an Onondaga Community College free online  Admission Application AND a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before completing the Onondaga Community Scholar’s application. For more info please see the frequently asked questions.

Best Fine Arts Portfolio Award (Scholastic Arts) 

Established in 2001 as an award to be presented to the winner of the Best Portfolio Award at the Scholastic Art Awards held on campus each spring. This scholarship is available only to participating high school artists. 

Craig J. Todeschini Memorial Scholarship 

Established in memory of Craig J. Todeschini, a 2002 graduate of the Criminal Justice program at Onondaga and member of the New York State Troopers, who tragically lost his life in the line of duty in April 2006. Candidates must be registered full-time in the Criminal Justice program or Fire Protection Technology program, have a FAFSA on file, and a minimum high school average of 80 or a 2.5 GPA for continuing students. Preference may be given to those who actively serve a volunteer fire department. 
Download application

Data Key Communications-Vera House Endowed Scholarship 

Established in 2008 by Data Key Communications to help empower women living in a world impacted by violence or severe hardship to empower them—through higher education at Onondaga Community College—to live safe, self-sufficient lives. Applicants must be female survivors of domestic violence, physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; high school seniors attending any public, private, or parochial high school in Onondaga County, have at least a “C” average in high school, and be enrolled as a full-time student in any degree or certificate program at Onondaga Community College. Applicants must submit an application form, an essay on how domestic violence and/or sexual abuse has affected their lives, and a copy of their high school transcript.   Download Application  

Learn as You Grow Endowed Summer Scholarship

Established in 2013 to support students enrolled in summer courses at Onondaga with financial need. The Financial Aid Office will invite eligible students to apply during the spring semester.

James Dupree Memorial Scholarship Endowment

Established in 2013 in memory of James Dupree, a former OCC professor and chair of the social services department. This scholarship is for African-American students with financial need, with a preference for students pursuing a degree in humanities and social sciences. The financial aid office will invite eligible students to apply.

Helen and John Etherington Endowed Scholarship 

Established in 1994 by Drs. Helen and John Etherington for non-traditional female students over the age of 25 who have completed a minimum of 9 credit hours at OCC by the end of the Spring semester. A G.P.A. of 2.5 or better is required, and student must be matriculated in a certificate or degree program. Essay must describe student, her goals and the reason why student should be selected as a recipient. Financial Aid Office will identify eligible candidates who will be required to submit an essay. The final recipient will be selected by the Etherington Scholarship Committee. 

William E. Markovitz Business & Accounting Endowed Scholarship 

Established in 2008 by alumnus Arthur H. Rees in honor of William E. Markovitz, a former professor in the Business Administration Department at Onondaga, for full-time students coming directly from high school into the Accounting or Business Administration programs with at least a 2.5 G.P.A. or 80 average with a FAFSA on file documenting financial need. No application form is required.

OCC Faculty Endowed Award for Academic Excellence 

Established by the OCC Faculty Association in 1990 with contributions from OCC faculty members. This merit scholarship is funded by contributions from OCC faculty members and is available for full-time, matriculated students. The award is offered during the Spring semester. Candidates can be registered in any curriculum but must have plans to register for classes during the following Fall semester. They must have at least 30 credit hours and a 3.5 grade point average at the time of application. A faculty committee will invite students to apply during the Spring semester and will select the final recipient(s). Forms can be picked up at the English department, the main desk of Coulter Library and at Student Central. Download Application 

Ghana Society Pan-African Endowed Scholarship 

Established in 2004 by the Ghana Society of CNY to motivate students of African/African American heritage to excel in college and to enhance the diversity of students studying at Onondaga. Candidates must be enrolled as full-time, matriculated students, have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0, have a FAFSA on file and have documented financial need. Ethnicity must be noted on SUNY application to be considered. No application form is required.

Marjorie Sexton Memorial Native American ScholarshipThis scholarship was established in 2003 by the New York Yearly Meeting Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in memory of Marjorie Sexton, a lifelong member of the Adirondack Meeting who helped secure a permanent charter from NYS. She served on the NYYM Indian Affairs Committee and served as scholarship clerk. Student must be a full-time, first-year, freshman student of Native American descent. Student must also have a FAFSA on file with Financial Aid. Students will be notified if they are eligible to apply. 

Rosamond Gifford Endowed Scholarship 

Established in 1998 by the Gifford Charitable Foundation to provide financial assistance for students from underrepresented backgrounds who are economically disadvantaged and in need of supplemental financial support. Funding is also available to assist the emergency needs of all students. Application form is available from Financial Aid Office. Recommendations for emergency funding may be submitted by faculty and others as needs are identified.

Horowitch Native American Endowed Scholarship 

Established in 1993 by Dr. Sheldon Horowitch, a former member of the OCC Foundation, for full-time Native students with Haudenosaunee membership, at least a 75 average and a FAFSA on file. No application is required. 

Library Research Award 

Established in 1999 through the efforts of OCC President Joe Bulmer and the Coulter Library staff. The Library Research Awards Committee invites the submission of papers written during each academic year. First, second and third place recipients will receive cash awards [$250, $150 and $100] and be recognized for their academic achievement during the final faculty meeting of the Spring semester. OCC faculty submit student research papers, after obtaining the student's permission to do so. Submission must come from a faculty member. If a student would like to submit a paper, s/he should contact the faculty member who assigned the paper. Submissions should include: the paper, a cover sheet containing the student's name, faculty member's name, the course and section number and a copy of the writing assignment. Papers ("clean" copies only, please) and cover sheets should be submitted to Jeff Harr, Chair of the Library, on or before the last day of classes in May. 

Women's Auxiliary of Master Plumbers of CNY Scholarship 

Established in 1979 to commemorate the work of outstanding leaders of the Master Plumbers of CNY. This award is available to CNY students who are full-time students in any program with at least a 2.0 G.P.A. or "B+" average and show interest in the Auxiliary's desire to maintain pure water sources and provide suitable solid and liquid disposal plants. Candidates must self-identify themselves by contacting the Financial Aid Office and requesting an application form. Essay is required. Preference may be given to students with a relative in the plumbing industry. Download Application 

Donald M. Mawhinney, Jr. Endowed Honors Scholarship 

Established in 1991 in honor of Donald Mawhinney, founding trustee of Onondaga and founding director of the OCC Foundation, for high school graduates from Onondaga County entering OCC right from high school with a "B" average. Candidate must have a FAFSA on file, although eligibility for financial aid is not a requirement for this merit scholarship. The Financial Aid Office will identify and contact eligible students who will be required to provide an unofficial high school transcript and an essay of 250 words that describes why they deserve this award. 

Ann McKinnon Memorial Endowed Scholarship 

Established in 1997 in memory of Ann McKinnon, a 1977 OCC graduate, by the members of her family for a female Fowler High School graduate planning to attend Onondaga. Student must be registered full-time for the fall semester and be of Native American, African American or Latino ethnicity in good academic standing and modeling responsible civic attributes. Interested Fowler students should contact Susan Centore at 435-4370. 

John H. Mulroy Memorial Endowed Scholarship 

Established in 1987 in honor of John H. Mulroy, former Onondaga County Executive and former member of the OCC Foundation Board of Directors, who passed away in 1999. Student must apply for admission as an incoming freshman coming directly from high school with at least a "B" average and be registered as full-time and matriculated in the Humanities program. Applicants must have a FAFSA on file. No application form is required.

OCC - Onedia-Herkimer-Madison BOCES Scholarship 

Awarded each spring for an exceptional student graduating from the OHM BOCES Career & Technical Education Center who plans to attend Onondaga in the fall semester.

Onondaga Civic Development Corporation Scholarship 

The Onondaga Civic Development Corporation (OCDC) is a not-for-profit local development corporation. OCDC is offering assistance to unemployed or underemployed individuals from the Central New York area who enroll in an Onondaga Community College degree or certificate program, or a specific workforce-related course offered through OCC's Continuing Education and Workforce Development. Award amounts vary. Individuals wishing to be considered for such assistance must complete an application and demonstrate financial need.  Download Application

Onondaga Nation Endowed Native Scholarship 

Established by the Onondaga Nation in conjunction with the Haudenosaunee Friendship Festival held on the OCC campus during the summer of 2004. To be eligible students must be members of the Onondaga Nation and reside on the nation. Financial Aid Office will notify eligible candidates. Those without a FAFSA on file may self-identify with the Financial Aid Office. Applications received by August 1 will be considered. 

Dr. Thomas D. Sheldon Endowed Scholarship 

Established in 2006 in memory of Dr. Thomas D. Sheldon, former interim president during 1983-84 for full-time students in any program who have at least a 75 average for incoming high school students and have a FAFSA on file. Priority may be given to the candidate with the highest GPA. 

Bettie Mann Stevens Endowed Scholarship 

Established in 2008 in memory of Bettie Mann Stevens, a proponent of higher education, by her son who was an Onondaga graduate. For full-time students in any program who come directly from high school with at least an 85 average, have a FAFSA in place and documented financial need. This scholarship can be renewed. Scholarship can be applied to a total of four semesters for recipients in good academic standing. No application is required. 

SUNY/OCC Diversity Honors Scholarship 

Established in 1988 and maintained with annual matching gifts by the SUNY Empire State Diversity Honors Scholarship Program and the OCC Foundation. For students in all curricula who make a contribution to the diversity of the student body. Applicants must have at least a 3.5 G.P.A. and a FAFSA on file. An essay is required, and finalists will be selected by a scholarship selection committee. The Financial Aid Office will invite eligible students to apply during the spring semester. Spring award.

Charles T. White Endowed Scholarship 

Established in 1999 in memory of former OCC employee Charles T. White by his family for OCC students coming directly from high school in all programs who are full-time, have a FAFSA on file, have at least an 80 average and have documented financial need. No application is required. 

Thomas & Louise Woodford Scholarship

This scholarship was established in 2013 by an anonymous donor in honor of his/her grandparents, an interracial couple married in 1902, who deeply regretted they could not help their son pay for college. It is the intention of the donor to support non-traditional, returning students with financial need, to achieve their dream of obtaining a college degree or certificate. The applicant must write an essay that describes his/her personal and educational goals and the reason why receiving this scholarship is essential to achieving those goals. A completed application and two letters of recommendation are also required. Download Application.

Scholarship Listing by Academic Department

Architecture & Interior Design Technology 

Sarah T. Morrison Endowed Memorial Award 

Established in 2004 in memory of Sarah Morrison, an OCC student studying photography and architecture at OCC at the time of her death. The recipient of this award is selected by members of a selection committee composed of Interior Design and Architectural Technology faculty. No applications are required.

Arts-Scholastic

Best Fine Arts Portfolio Award

Established in 2001 as an award to be presented to the winner of the Best Art Portfolio at the Scholastic Art Awards held on campus each spring. This scholarship is available only to participating high school artists.

Nicholas Todisco Scholastic Arts Inspiration Award

Established by the OCC Foundation and awarded in conjunction with the Scholastic Art Competition held on the OCC campus. A high school art teacher is selected to receive the Teacher Inspiration Award, and in turn selects a high school student who receives a scholarship award for art supplies and/or art courses at Onondaga. Participating high school artists are eligible to win scholarships. No application form is required.

Automotive Technology 

Crouse-Hinds Co. Mechanical Tech. Scholarship 

Established in 1989 by Cooper Industries/Crouse-Hinds Company for incoming freshman coming to OCC directly from high school who are enrolled full-time and matriculated in the Mechanical Technology program. Student must have a final high school average of 80 ("B") or better and a FAFSA on file. No application form is required.

CNY Factory Management Council Scholarship 

Established in 1991 by the CNY Factory Management Council for incoming freshman who come directly from high school with a final high school average of 80 (“B”) or better who are enrolled in the Mechanical Technology program. Applicants must have a FAFSA on file. No application form is required.

Rick Kent Automotive Technology Endowed Scholarship 

Established in 2006 in memory of Rick Kent, a long-time employee and former Chair of the Automotive Technology program at OCC, by his wife for students in the Automotive Technology Program. Candidates must be incoming freshman with an academic average of at least 80 with a FAFSA on file. Priority can be given to the candidate with the highest academic grade. No application is required. 

Business Administration 

Harold A. Phillips Endowed Scholarship 

Established in 2005 in memory of Harold A. "Hal" Phillips, a former CNY banker and OCC faculty member, who taught courses in banking through the Business Administration program. Candidates must be full or part-time students in the Business Administration program and have at least an 85 average for incoming high school students. No application is required.

Childhood Education 

Dr. Debbie and Harry Sydow Advancing Education Scholarship Endowment

This scholarship was established to support students pursuing a career in the field of education who matriculate and remain in one of the teacher education degree/transfer programs offered at Onondaga Community College. The scholarship is inspired by the careers of Dr. Debbie L. Sydow, former OCC President, and her husband Harry. The financial aid office will invite eligible candidates to apply.

Syracuse Assoc. for the Education of Young Children Endowed Scholarship 

Established in 2002 by the Syracuse Association for the Education of Young Children, this scholarship is available to incoming freshmen, either full or part time, studying Childhood Education who have at least a 70 average. No application is required.

Electronic Media Communications 

Donna Speziale-Richards Memorial Endowed Scholarship 

Established in 2001 in memory of Donna Speziale-Richards by family, friends and peers. Donna was an OCC Radio-Television graduate who was a popular and well respected member of the local Syracuse area media and community. The award is for incoming freshman, coming directly from high school with at least a "B" average, who are enrolled full-time and are matriculated in the Electronic Media Communications program. Student must have a FAFSA on file and have documented financial need. No application is required.

Wesley P. Valentine Memorial Endowed Scholarship 

Established in 2008 in memory of Wesley P. Valentine who was an Electronic Media Communications student at Onondaga at the time of his tragic death. For full-time students coming directly from high school into the EMC program who have a FAFSA in place, have at least a 75 average and have unmet financial need. No application is required.

ESL - English as Second Language 

Patricia M. Baggett Memorial ESL Scholarship  

Established in 2009 in memory of Patricia Baggett, a beloved instructor and tutor in the English Skills Lab at Onondaga, where she established and taught courses in English as a Second Language. This scholarship is for students studying or who have studied ESL. The ESL student with the highest GPA at the end of each Fall semester will receive a $500 award. Should a tie occur, the number of credit hours taken and date of application will be considered. The contacts for this scholarship are Jamie Sindell, English/Reading/Communication (X2639), Hui Chen (International Students) X7216 and Linda Peters X2260. Application is available online or from English Department secretary. Application is available online or from English Department secretary. Download application 

Fire Protection Technology & Emergency Services

John F. Downes Endowed Memorial Scholarship  

Established in 2008 in memory of John F. Downes of Syracuse, NY by his family for students who are registered as a full-time students in the Fire Protection Technology program, have a FAFSA on file in the Financial Aid Office and have documented financial need. Recipients will be identified by the Financial Aid Office and will be selected with input from representatives of the Fire Protection Technology program. No application is required. 

James McGroarty Memorial Endowed Scholarship 

Established in 2001 by the New York Firefighter's Foundation for OCC students who are a dependent or immediate family member of a New York State firefighter who was killed in the line of duty. Candidates must self-identify with the Financial Aid Office and submit an application form.

State Farm Agents Emergency Services Award 

Established in 1991 by local State Farm Insurance agents to help satisfy the critical need for volunteer firefighters. Candidate must be a volunteer firefighter or emergency services worker and must have plans to serve in a volunteer fire department or ambulance corps for 3 years after graduating from Onondaga. The Financial Aid Office will identify eligible candidates from Fire Protection, Homeland Security and Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Medical Technician programs and will request information to document applicant’s years of service, offices held, educational plans and desire to continue to serve as a volunteer firefighter or member of ambulance corp. Eligible candidates with no FAFSA on file may self-identify by contacting the Financial Aid Office.

Health Professions

Dr. Anthony A. Malfitano Health Professions Endowed Scholarship 

Established in 2006 in memory of Dr. Anthony A. Malfitano, a well-respected member of the OCC Dental Hygiene faculty and curriculum committee, and former chairman of the OCC Board of Trustees for second-year health professions students (Nursing, Physical Therapy Assistant, Respiratory Care, Surgical Technology, Health Info Technology). Candidates must have a FAFSA on file, have at least 30 credit hours, reside in Onondaga County and have at least a 2.5 G.P.A. Candidates will be contacted by the Financial Aid Office and will need to provide a short biography that includes personal accomplishments and educational/ career goals.

Maria Draker Endowed Scholarship for Excellence & Compassion 

Established in 2002 by Dr. Robert A. Dracker, former member of the OCC Foundation Board of Directors, in honor of his wife, Maria. Eligible students must be full-time, matriculated nursing students with at least a 3.0 G.P.A.. Applicant must have completed at least one semester at OCC or 12 credit hours. This is a merit scholarship, but the applicant must have a FAFSA on file. The Financial Aid Office will identify eligible candidates and will work with program representatives to select the final recipient. No application form is required.

Hospitality Management 

David deLima Endowed Memorial Scholarship 

Established in 1987 by the Paul deLima Company of Cicero in memory of David deLima. To be eligible, student must apply for full-time admission to Food Service/Hotel Technology Program as an incoming high school graduate with a minimum "B" average. No application form is required.

Human Services

NYS/Onondaga County Home Bureau Scholarship 

Established by the NYS/Onondaga County Home Bureau in 1989 as an achievement and financial-based award for tuition and/or educationally related expenses for full-time students from qualifying counties in the Human Services curriculum with at least a 2.8 G.P.A., 30 credit hours and carrying 9 credit hours during the fall semester of the year student applies. Applicant must be a U.S. citizen and provide at least one letter of recommendation from an OCC faculty/staff member. Eligible candidates will be notified by the Financial Aid office. 

Dorothy L. Kelly Endowed Human Services Award 

Established in 1992 by Dorothy Kelly, former Human Services professor and department chair, for full-time matriculated female Human Services students with at least a 2.5 G.P.A. and 15 or more credit hours at OCC. The Human Services program Chair will assist in the selection of the recipient. Applicants must have a FAFSA on file. No application form is required.

Humanities/Liberal Arts 

James Dupree Memorial Scholarship Endowment

Established in 2013 in memory of James Dupree, a former OCC professor and chair of the social services department. This scholarship is for African-American students with financial need, with a preference for students pursuing a degree in humanities and social sciences. The financial aid office will invite eligible students to apply.

John H. Mulroy Memorial Endowed Scholarship 

Established in 1987 in honor of John H. Mulroy, former Onondaga County Executive and former member of the OCC Foundation Board of Directors, who passed away in 1999. Student must apply for admission as an incoming freshman coming directly from high school with at least a "B" average and be registered as full-time and matriculated in the Humanities program. Applicants must have a FAFSA on file. No application form is required.

Journalism Concentration 

David E. Feldman Endowed Journalism Scholarship 

Established in 2002 by OCC faculty members to recognize the accomplishments of OCC journalism professor David Feldman. Candidates must be enrolled with concentration in journalism, be in attendance during the fall semester and have a FAFSA in place. Award will be made in Spring to the candidate with the highest cumulative GPA at the end of the previous fall semester. Candidates will be recommended and assessed by members of the Journalism faculty.

Mathematics and Science 

Robert F. Malek Memorial Excellence Scholarship 

Established in 1988 in memory of former OCC Biology Professor Robert F. Malek, founder of the OCC Medical Technology program, for mathematics and science students (preferably those taking biology courses) with at least a 75 average. Applicants must have a FAFSA on file. No application form is required.

Music 

Barbara Micale Endowed Piano Scholarship 

Established in 1975 in memory of Barbara Micale, former OCC music professor, for piano majors. Music Department faculty select winners after a competitive audition. Winner is featured at a recital and traditionally plays at the College Honors Convocation in April. Contact your music major professor for more information. Spring award. 

Donald & Mary Miller Endowed Guitar Scholarship 

Established in 2003 by retired music professor Donald Miller and his wife Mary for full or part-time students in the Music program. Student must be a talented guitarist accepted as a full or part-time, matriculated in the Music program. Student financial need can be taken into consideration during the selection process. Having a FAFSA on file is recommended, but not required. Preference will be given to a first year student, however, all guitar students will be considered with the exception of second semester, sophomore students. Student may be required to perform a separate guitar audition. Music program faculty will recruit candidates, and the Guitar Chair will select the recipient during the Fall semester.

Kevin & Selma Moore Endowed Music Scholarship 

Established in 2001 by Kevin and Selma Moore and available to incoming freshmen enrolled full-time in the OCC Music program who can demonstrate financial need. Award is based on audition before Music Department faculty. For more information, contact Selma or Kevin Moore in the Music Department.

Music Performance Honors Award

Established with funding from the Edith Stoddard Endowment for outstanding full-time music majors. Music program faculty members select winners after a competitive audition in Spring. Winner will play at Honors Convocation in April. Contact your music major professor for more information. Spring award.

Photography 

Victor and Halyna Lisnyczyj Endowed Scholarship 

Established in 2002 in honor of retired OCC Photography program Chair Victor Lisnyczyj and his wife, Halyna, a Distinguished OCC alumna. Candidates must be second-year Photography students with at least 30 credits, have a minimum 2.5 G.P.A. with a FAFSA on file reflecting documented financial need. No application form is required. 

Please note: Availability and descriptions of scholarships are subject to change without notice.  

To learn how you can establish a Foundation scholarship or support any of those listed above, contact the OCC Foundation.