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Virginia Smith Trust (VST) Scholarship



The Virginia Smith Trust (VST), operated by the Merced County Office of Education, is an endowment established from the will of Merced-native Virginia Smith, who declared that the land, which supported her family for more than a century, be used to generate scholarships for “worthy, deserving and needy students” in the City of Merced. 

The VST has benefitted more than 3,000 Merced students through nearly $6 million scholarships since its inception in 1975. Plans to expand scholarship opportunities to students countywide are projected to take effect by 2026. 



In order to be eligible for the VST Scholarship, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Students who attended a public high school in the city of Merced for a minimum of three years and lived in Merced County during the period of attendance. 
  • Students who applied to a four-year public or private institution of higher education in the state of California that is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. (This does not include community or junior colleges).
  • Students who have a cumulative high school GPA of 3.0 or more. (Applicants who are renewing their application must maintain a college GPA of 2.8 during the year awarded).


How to Apply

The deadline for 2024-25 VST Scholarship Applications is April 2, 2024.  Applications will only be accepted online.  The link to the scholarship application is: