First Degree Scholarship Program

For more than a decade, the First Degree Scholarship program has funded scholarships for eligible Kentucky high school seniors to attend any two- or four-year accredited college or university. Selected students are traditionally presented with their awards by the Kentucky School Boards Association at its  Annual Conference. Currently, four students are awarded with the First Degree Scholarship each year.

As the name suggests, the scholarship is awarded to eligible students who intend be the first in their immediate families to complete a post-secondary degree.

In spring 2021, to mark the ten-year anniversary of the First Degree college scholarship program, KSBA announced an expansion of the original First Degree Scholarship by introducing a scholarship program to support career readiness via Career and Technical Education (CTE). The CTE scholarship shall be awarded to eligible high school students to cover the costs associated with the assessments for Industry Certifications offered as part of Kentucky’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) Career Pathways/Programs of Study. Currently, at least 24 CTE scholarships will be awarded to Kentucky high school students each year – for one male and one female student in each of KSBA’s 12 regions.

Like the original First Degree Scholarship, eligible nominees will come from immediate families whose members have not previously earned a post-secondary degree.

First Degree scholarship funds are made possible by generous contributions to the KSBA Educational Foundation by our members, community partners and donors like you.

Read below for scholarship descriptions, criteria and nomination forms for both the First Degree college and CTE scholarship programs.


First Degree (College) Scholarship Criteria and Nomination Process

One scholarship each will be awarded to two male and two female students. These nonrenewable scholarships will be paid directly to the institution of higher education upon the recipients’ official admission acceptances. Eligible students are those who would be the first members of their immediate families (parents, guardians, siblings) to receive a degree from an institution of higher education. Eligibility must be affirmed and signed by the high school guidance counselor and the school district’s board chairperson and superintendent. Please review the eligibility requirements, award timeline and nomination form via the downloadable document linked below.

The nomination form must be completed in its entirety and received by the Kentucky School Boards Association no later than the enclosed deadline. Any board of education in Kentucky may place in nomination the names of up to two eligible students per public school district – one male, one female.

Following the application deadline, scholarship recipients will be drawn at random from the pool of eligible applicants. The drawing will be conducted by the KSBA Board of Directors during one of its scheduled meetings. 

Click here to access the online nomination form for the First Degree (college) Scholarship.

Questions about this scholarship? Please contact Beth Pritchett.


First Degree (CTE) Scholarship Criteria and Nomination Process

Nominations of one male and/or one female student per public school district will be accepted, selected by the school board (subject to award criteria). Scholarships will be awarded to at least one male and one female in each of KSBA’s 12 regions.  Eligible nominees come from immediate families whose members (parents, guardians, siblings) have not previously earned a postsecondary degree. Eligibility must be affirmed and signed by the high school guidance counselor and the school district’s board chairperson and superintendent. Please review the eligibility requirements, award timeline and nomination form via the downloadable document linked below.

The CTE scholarships shall be awarded to students who are currently pursuing Industry Certifications offered as part of the Kentucky Department of Education’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) Career Pathways/Programs of Study. These nonrenewable scholarships will be paid directly to the student’s district specifically to cover costs associated with Industry Certification assessments to be administered in the first six months of the calendar year.

The nomination form must be completed in its entirety and received by the Kentucky School Boards Association no later than the enclosed deadline. Any board of education in Kentucky may place in nomination the names of up to eligible two students per public school district – one male, one female.

Following the application deadline, scholarship recipients will be drawn at random from the pool of eligible applicants. The drawing will be conducted by the KSBA Board of Directors during one of its scheduled meetings. 

Click here to access the online nomination form for the First Degree (CTE) Scholarship

Questions about this scholarship? Please contact Josh Shoulta.  

%d bloggers like this: