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Applications are Open! Apply for an Automotive Trades Scholarship

The Piston Foundation is now accepting applications for its 2023 scholarship program. If you or someone you know is passionate about pursuing a skilled trades education, we encourage you to apply and spread the word. Aspiring technicians may receive up to $5,000 per year to help cover tuition costs of a two- or four-year automotive technology program.

By Christopher Perkowski

January 11, 2023

Helping the Next Generation of Automotive Technicians

From mechanics to welding, custom paints to engineering. The collector car industry is an exciting, challenging, and rewarding place to learn a craft and build a career. You don’t need to know everything about cars, you just have to have a passion for working with your hands and solving problems.

The Piston Foundation is dedicated to bringing more young folk into the collector car industry. We’re working to help the craftspeople who built this American touchstone transfer their skills to a new and diverse generation and we’re helping young technicians build rewarding careers in the trades and services that support the passions of over 25 million American car enthusiasts.

Trades Scholarship Eligibility

Our automotive trades scholarship helps remove financial barriers and make skilled trade education more accessible and affordable for high school graduates and re-skilling workers. Individuals with 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.

  • Full-time U.S. citizenship or permanent residency
  • Graduating high school senior, high school graduate, GED recipient, or current college undergraduate
  • Current or planned enrollment 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
  • Pursuit of an associate or vocational-technical degree or certification in one of the following skilled trade categories:
    • Automotive technology
    • Motorsports vehicle technology
    • Automotive restoration
  • Demonstration of financial need

Trades Scholarship Awards

The Piston Foundation will award automotive trades scholarships for the Fall 2023-24 semester. Scholarship recipients will receive up to $5,000. Selected applicants will be notified in July 2023 with scholarship funds disbursed directly to recipients’ schools in August.

Recipients are 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 consists 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
  • 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 of 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).

Trades Scholarship Deadlines

The application period is open from January 1, 2023 to May 31, 2023. The deadline for completed applications is 11:59PM ET on May 31, 2023. An automotive trades scholarship application is not considered complete until all required materials have been submitted electronically.

We Value Your Support

If you know someone who would love to turn their interest for collector cars into an exciting skilled trade career, please support the cause and share this scholarship 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.

Support skilled trade education for future auto restoration technicians.


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