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Scholarship FAQ’s

CNCDA Foundation’s “CAR CAREERS” Scholarship Program
Shift your Auto & Truck Tech Career into Gear!

What is the CNCDA Foundation’s Car Careers’ Scholarship Program?

The “Car Careers” Scholarship Program is an annual scholarship opportunity through the CNCDA Foundation. The program supports the future automotive workforce by offering scholarships to highly skilled and motivated students enrolled or currently studying auto technology in California. Our goal is to contribute to the industry’s success for years to come by encouraging skilled and talented students to fulfill their educational goals in support of a promising career path in the California automotive industry.

Who qualifies for the award?

To be eligible for a scholarship award, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a resident of California.
  • Be a high school senior or graduate, or current college student.
  • Pursuing an Automotive Technology degree.
  • Enrolled or plan on enrolling in study at an accredited college or vocational technical school for the entire upcoming academic year.
  • Maintain at least a part-time status of 6 units each term.
  • Have a minimum grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale (or its equivalent).

Preference will be given to: 

  • Applicants who are enrolled or plan on enrolling in a factory specific program such as TTEN, ASSET, ASEP, CAP or PACT.
  • Applicants that are employed at, or mentored by, a member dealership.

CNCDA members and/or relatives of the Association or Foundation members and their boards of directors are ineligible. No FAFSA or income information is required to apply for this scholarship. Incomplete or late applicants will not be considered.  

What expenses will the award cover?

The CNCDA Foundation “Car Careers” Scholarship will cover tuition and fees, books, and tools for students enrolled in an accredited auto or truck technician or management program. Should the need arise, awardees may make a special request to access funds for other expenses. Please contact or call (916) 441-2599 for further information.

Where can students apply?

Students should follow the application link. Once there, students will need to create an account with International Scholarship & Tuition Services (ISTS). The application submission requires students to complete:

  • Online application form. 
  • Personal Recommendation – provide a name and email address of your personal recommendation.  A personal recommendation or recommender is intended to be a current or former supervisor (if employed at a franchised new car dealership), teacher or college instructor, local auto or truck dealer, or an automotive industry mentor. A recommender cannot be related to you.  
  • High School transcript – if your school does not use a 4.0 grading scale please have your GPA converted to a 4.0 scale before submitting. Current technical college students must also provide their first semester technical college grades

You can save your application and return it anytime before the deadline to complete your work.  

If you experience delays in response, refresh your browser. Please contact Angel Nash or for assistance if the issue persists.

What can a person selected to be my recommendation expect?

When you apply, you will provide the name and an e-mail address of someone who can provide a personal recommendation for you. Their response will be an online response only.

You can tell your recommendation to lookout for an e-mail from “ISTS” (our application portal partner). Ask them to respond promptly to the questions (eight questions and a comment section) with you in mind.

How many scholarships are available?

Car Careers Scholarships: there will be 20 regional awards available: the top 4 candidates from 5 regions across the state will each be awarded a $5,000 scholarship. One (1) statewide winner will be awarded an additional $5,000 scholarship.

Ford Motor Company – 5 scholarships @ $2,500 will be available to students in or pursuing Ford ASSET training in Los Angeles County and the San Francisco Bay Area. The Foundation is proud to expand scholarship in partnership with Ford Motor Company.  

When is the deadline to apply for the CNCDA’s “Car Careers” Scholarship Program?

The scholarship application must be submitted by May 3, 2022, at 11:59 Pacific Standard Time (PST). No incomplete applications will be considered. 

How and when will applicants be notified? 

You will receive an e-mail notification decision from the ISTS portal no later than June 30, 2022. Scholarship funding is for the 2022-23 academic year, beginning with the 2022 Fall semester. 

Any changes to the decision notification dates will be communicated via e-mail to the address you provided in your application, so please be sure that the e-mail address you provide is a valid address that is frequently monitored.

How are awardees scored and selected?

Applications will be evaluated based upon past academic performance, demonstrated leadership, and participation in school and community activities, work experience, a statement of goals and aspirations, and a personal recommendation from a mentor. This personal reference is intended to be a current or former supervisor (if employed at a franchised new car dealership), teacher or college instructor, local auto or truck dealer, or an automotive industry mentor. A recommender cannot be related to you.  

Preference will be given to applicants employed at a member dealership or enrolled in a factory-specific program such as: TTEN, ASSET, ASEP, CAP, or PACT. The financial need of the applicant will not be considered.

This is the criteria that will be used to select finalists. The CNCDA Foundation Board will review the finalist applications and has the sole responsibility for selecting scholarship recipients. 

Non-discrimination: The selection process shall not be based on, or consider, discrimination of any kind based upon race, religion, national origin, ancestry, color, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.

Reasonable accommodations: ISTS And the CNCDA Foundation are committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals. As part of this commitment, ISTS will ensure that persons with disabilities are provided with reasonable accommodations. If reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the scholarship application process, please contact Angel Nash – or CNCDA Foundation Staff –

How will I know my application has been received? 

The receipt of your application will be confirmed by e-mail within 7 days. If you do not receive a confirmation, your application was not received.

Please be sure that the e-mail address you provide is a valid address that is frequently monitored.

When did this scholarship begin?

The “Car Careers” Scholarship Program began in 1993 and is managed by the CNCDA Foundation. Funds have been donated by auto dealers, manufacturers, and industry friends. The “Car Careers” Scholarship Program is now available annually, though award amounts may vary from year to year.

Why is this scholarship so important?

As the auto industry continues to grow and innovate, a skilled workforce is needed to meet the demand for services and support the changing technology in modern vehicles. The CNCDA Foundation is invested in building a strong pipeline of skilled workers to fill these roles and replace current workers who are expected to retire over the next decade. The purpose of the scholarships is to help offset the rising cost of tuition, books, and tools, which can make it difficult for students pursuing a career as an auto tech to focus on attaining their academic goals.

How much money has been awarded as part of the scholarship thus far?

Since 1993, the CNCDA Foundation has awarded scholarships to 1,345 students preparing to enter into the workforce at a California new car dealership. This represents a total impact of more than $1 million in supporting our state’s future auto workforce. 

How can I support the CNCDA’s “Car Careers” Scholarship Program?

Competition for high-quality automotive service workers is fierce, and the Foundation will continue its efforts to attract skilled and motivated individuals and increase understanding of the opportunities within the automotive industry as a whole. If you’re interested in making a tax-deductible donation to the CNCDA Foundation, please donate here or feel free to contact, or call (916) 441-2599.

Notes for success:  

  • Spelling, punctuation, and grammar matter! Please review your answers before submitting.
  • All correspondence regarding your scholarship application will be done by e-mail. Be sure that the e-mail address that you provide is a valid address that is frequently monitored.
  • A practice form is provided on our website for classroom assignments and preparing to submit this application.

How do I contact if I have questions?

Please be sure you read through the application questions available on our practice form here. If you have further questions, please contact or call (916) 441-2599. 

Best of luck! 

Award disclaimer: The California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA) and its Foundation recognize there may be unprecedented challenges to your learning community due to natural disasters, pandemics, or other circumstances beyond your control, which may result in interruption or cancellation of your academic program’s suspension.  

Should your program face suspension, we reserve the right to suspend our scholarship program awards for the academic year.

Proud Recipient of the GuideStar Gold Seal. Awarded in recognition of our organization’s dedication to fiscal transparency.

Members: Support CNCDA’s IE PAC and help us raise funds to DIRECTLY support dealer-friendly candidates today!

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