Alex Keenan ︱Fleet Maintenance
WyoTech Ribbon Cutting Students

Scholarships to jump-start vehicle repair careers

Feb. 1, 2024
Commercial vehicle maintenance students have several scholarship opportunities available to them, including those offered by TMC and UAF.

A surefire way to battle the technician shortage is to bring more talent to the industry through any of the technical programs throughout the country. However, a study from TechForce showed that post-secondary diesel training completions have fallen a long way from their peak in 2017.

While the cost of attending vocational school is still far less than that of a traditional four-year program, the lack of completions could partially be due to lack of funding. Luckily, this is the season for aspiring maintenance technicians to apply for the various scholarship opportunities available to them. Thirteen students at WyoTech, an automotive, diesel, and collision trade school in Laramie, Wyoming, were already awarded scholarships from the Mike Rowe Works Foundation, which divvied up $675,000 between this year’s 124 recipients.

But the Mike Rowe Works Foundation isn’t the only one offering cash to those looking to study a skilled trade. Below are some other scholarship opportunities for prospective maintenance technicians to consider.

ATA’s TMC Technician and Educator Committee scholarships

The Technology and Maintenance Council’s TEC is offering 14 scholarships from five different schools in 2024. Applications are due by April 15 and scholarships will be awarded by May 15.

TMC’s TEC is specifically offering scholarships for the below institutions:

  • One full-paid scholarship of $20,000 from the University of Northern Ohio in Lima, Ohio
  • Four half scholarships from the Lincoln Technical Institute locations at Denver, Colorado; Indianapolis, Indiana; Nashville, Tennessee; Grand Prairie, Texas; East Windsor, Connecticut; and Plainfield, New Jersey
  • Three partial scholarships of $5,000 each from WyoTech in Laramie, Wyoming
  • Two half scholarships from Western Technical College in El Paso, Texas
  • Four half-scholarships for the Universal Technical Institute’s diesel technology program or the combined auto/diesel tech program. These scholarships are available for the school’s located at Avondale, Arizona; Long Beach, California; Rancho Cucamonga, California; Sacramento, California; Austin, Texas; Houston, Texas; Dallas, Texas; Lisle, Illinois; Exton, Pennsylvania; Orlando, Florida; Miramar, Florida; Canton, Michigan; Bloomfield, New Jersey,  and the NASCAR Technical Institute in Mooresville, North Carolina.

To apply, students must download the application form for their school of choice. The application requires that students have a dues-paying TMC member as a sponsor or be employed or contracted by a company with a TMC member. This sponsor must provide the applicant with a letter of recommendation, and both the applicant and the sponsor will need to complete sections of the form. In many cases, the student’s school counselor will need to fill out a section as well. The student must also be able to provide a high-school transcript from an appropriate school and verify their attendance to one of the applicable post-secondary programs.

Read more: Trade school vs. college: Experts, students weigh in

Finally, applicants must mail their work to the TMC office, located at Technology & Maintenance Council American Trucking Associations, Inc. 80 M Street, SE, Suite 800 Washington, DC 20003, by the stated deadline.

University of the Aftermarket Foundation scholarships

Scholarships from the University of the Aftermarket Foundation (UAF) are due March 31 and can be submitted online, through the mail, or over email. Applications can be found at www.AutomotiveScholarships.com and www.HeavyDutyScholarships.com, and filling out a single application will allow the student to be considered by several scholarships, as long as they are eligible.

To apply, students will need to complete the form, write a one-page essay about their career goals, collect one letter of reference from the respective organization or an automotive instructor, and provide a high-school or post-secondary transcript. Below are the potential submission options:

  • Online applications can be completed at this site.
  • Mailed applications can be sent to Automotive Aftermarket Scholarship Committee, C/O MEMA; P.O. Box 13966; Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-3966.
  • Emailed applications can be sent to [email protected]. Emails must include applicant’s name and “Automotive Scholarship Application Information” in the subject line, and the email body must include descriptions of any attached files.