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The Piston Fund:

A Skilled Trades Scholarship for Automotive Study, Technology, & Restoration

A Career working with collector cars.
If That Interests You, Read On.

From mechanics to welding. Woodwork 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. Our automotive trades scholarship can make it possible.

A Transparent, Simple Scholarship Process

Scholarship Awards

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. 

If selected as a scholarship recipient a student will receive up to $5,000 for an academic year. Awards are for undergraduate study only. Students may apply in each scholarship period they are eligible. A student may receive a scholarship award up to two times.

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.

Eligibility Requirements

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.

Applicants Must:

  • Be full-time U.S. citizens or permanent residents
  • Be a graduating high school senior, high school graduate, GED recipient, or current college undergraduate
  • Plan to enroll in undergraduate study at an accredited two- or four-year college or vocational-technical school in the U.S.
  • 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

Application Dates & Deadlines

Piston Fund automotive trades scholarships are awarded twice per year. 

Fall 2024 Scholarships

Awarded for Fall 2024 and Spring 2025 SEmesters

Application Open: January 1, 2024

Application Deadline: April 30, 2024

Award Announcement: June, 2024

Spring 2025 Scholarships

Awarded for Spring 2025 and Fall 2025 Semesters

Application Open: May 1, 2024

Application Deadline: August 31, 2024

Award Announcement: October, 2024

An application period closes at 11:59PM ET on the application deadline date. An application is not considered complete until all required materials have been submitted electronically.

Funds will be distributed in two equal payments made directly to the school. The Fall semester payments are distributed in August and Spring semester payments are distributed in December.

Fall 2023


Jan 1, 2023


June 30, 2023


July 2023

How to Apply

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

  • 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.

Required Application Materials

The following materials are required to be submitted electronically along with your completed online application 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 for a Piston Fund Scholarship

Our mission is to bring more people into the collector car industry and help them build rewarding careers.

If you plan to enroll or are enrolled in a two- or four-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 Foundation scholarship.

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