Our automotive trades scholarship helps people start a skilled trade career in the collector car industry.

The Piston Foundation Automotive Trades Scholarship Application is Now Open

The application period for Piston Fund automotive trades scholarship is open until July 15th, 2022. Individuals who are accepted or enrolled in a 2- or 4-year automotive technology skilled trade program and have a strong interest in collector car restoration and service can apply to be considered for a scholarship award of up to $5,000.

Automotive Trades Scholarship

The Piston Foundation is helping students take their first steps towards a skilled trade career in automotive craft, collector car restoration, and service. Our automotive trades scholarship helps remove financial barriers and make a skilled trade education more accessible and affordable for high school graduates and re-skilling workers who have an interest in collector cars.

The Opportunity in the Collector Car Industry

The collector car industry has seen record growth over the past decade. But while the sales numbers keep getting bigger, the workforce keeps getting smaller. The craftspeople who built the industry are rapidly retiring. Today, there is a significant skills shortage across nearly every auto restoration trade and there is a real risk of losing irreplaceable car craft knowledge.

Many people today are looking for a hands-on career path that is different from the “college-at-any-cost” approach that has left so many college graduates with mountains of student loan debt and limited real-world job prospects. For those with the interest, a skilled trade career in the collector car industry can be the alternative they’re looking for, and a path to an exciting, rewarding, and well-paid career.

The Mission of The Piston Foundation

The Piston Foundation has a mission to bring more young people into the collector car industry. We’re working to help the craftspeople who built this American touchstone transfer their skills to a new generation and help young technicians build rewarding careers in the trades and services that fuel the passion of 25 million American car enthusiasts.

Scholarship Eligibility

Individuals who have a strong interest in pursuing a career in collector car restoration and service may apply to our automotive trades scholarship program if they meet the following eligibility requirements.

  • Be full-time U.S. citizens or permanent residents
  • Be high school graduates or GED recipients, or current college undergraduates
  • Plan to enroll in undergraduate study at an accredited two- or four-year college or vocational-technical school in the U.S. for the fall 2022 semester or term
  • Be pursuing an associate or vocational-technical degree or certification in one of the following skilled trade categories:
    • Automotive technology
    • Motorsports vehicle technology
    • Automotive restoration
  • Demonstrate financial need

Scholarship Awards

The Piston Foundation will award automotive trades scholarships for the Fall 2022-23 semester. Scholarship recipients will receive up to $5,000. Winners will be notified in July. Scholarship payments will be made directly to recipients’ schools in August.

Scholarship recipients will be selected on the basis of their demonstrated interest in a skilled trade career in collector car restoration and their related experience, as communicated through their personal statement and video essay. Their academic record, letters of recommendation, and financial need, will also contribute to the selection of scholarship recipients.

The scholarship committee responsible for reviewing applications and awarding scholarships is made up of Piston Foundation leadership, select Foundation advisors, and industry partners. All applicants agree to accept scholarship committee decisions as final.

How to Apply

Individuals can apply for a Piston Fund scholarship through our online application.

  • Visit pistonfoundation.grantplatform.com
  • Register for an account and verify your email address.
  • Complete all application questions.
  • Submit a personal statement about your interest in a career working with collector cars. Minimum length is 500 words.
  • Submit two letters of recommendation, one of which must be from a non-family teacher, supervisor, or mentor.
  • Submit a complete transcript of grades.
  • Submit a video essay about you and your interests in collector cars. No rules. Share a project, talk about your favorite cars, or tell us about your dream job. Maximum length is five minutes.

Scholarship Deadlines

The application period is open from May 1, 2022 to July 15, 2022. The deadline for completed applications is 11:59PM ET on July 15, 2022. An application is not considered complete until all required materials have been submitted electronically.

Required Materials

The following materials are required and must be uploaded and your online application completed before you can be considered for an award.

  • Personal statement. Minimum length is 500 words.
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • Complete transcript of grades.
  • Video essay. Maximum length is five minutes.

Apply Today

If you are accepted or enrolled in a 2- or 4-year automotive technology program, have a strong interest in working with collector cars, and meet the eligibility requirements, we encourage you to apply for a Piston Fund scholarship. Our mission is to bring more people into the collector car industry and help them build rewarding careers.

Please Support the Cause

If you know someone who would love to turn their interest in collector cars into a skilled trade career in an exciting and growing industry, please support the cause and share this information with them.

To get updates on our programs, events, and volunteer opportunities, please sign up for our newsletter.

If you would like to support our mission by making a financial gift, joining our Founders Club, or donating a collector car, please visit our website.

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