Merced County Office of Education

Virginia Smith Trust


The Virginia Smith Trust (VST) was established with the goal of helping future generations of Merced students achieve academic excellence. The scholarship’s namesake, Virginia, left Merced as a young teen but retained strong ties to her hometown. Such strong ties that in her will she declared that the land which supported her family for almost a century would be used to fund scholarships for “worthy, deserving and needy students” in Merced. 

Since its inception in 1976, the VST has benefitted 3,700 students through nearly $6 million in scholarships, and 200 high school seniors received $500 grants to assist with college tuition and housing. 




To be eligible for VST grants or scholarships, students must be a senior at a high school in Merced, have attended a school in Merced for at least 3 years, be on track ​to graduate with their A-G requirements and have a minimum GPA of 3.0.​


The 2023-24 VST Scholarship Application​​ is now available.  The application deadline is March 2, 2023.​​​


Virginia Smith Trust Office
632 West 13th Street, Room C-1, Merced, CA  95341​