Frequent Questions

/Frequent Questions

Frequently asked questions about the TechForce Foundation and about applying for scholarships and grants.


Our Board of Directors has established the Minimum Eligibility Requirements for an individual applicant:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident and/or approved DACA status;
  • have a high school diploma or GED;
  • be an enrolled future student — or — an active, current student in good standing at a post-secondary, NATEF/ASE accredited educational institution offering a vehicle technician curriculum;
  • must demonstrate financial hardship by having a completed and approved FAFSA on record at campus (or other financial-need based evidence, if using DACA status), and available for review by the Foundation;
  • be requesting funds for the purposes directly related to pursuing a technical education and/or career in the transportation industry.

Applicants must also meet any requirements for specific scholarships or grants offered by the Foundation, such as minimum GPA or attendance record criteria. (See individual Scholarship & Grant descriptions and requirements.)

TechForce Foundation (formerly known as Universal Technical Institute Foundation) is an Arizona nonprofit corporation, recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) public charity. The Foundation is autonomous, has its own board of directors and governance system.

The mission of TechForce Foundation is to support and encourage technical education for the AUTOMOTIVE, DIESEL, COLLISION REPAIR, MOTORCYCLE, MARINE, NASCAR and other transportation industries through SCHOLARSHIPS, GRANTS, CAREER DEVELOPMENT and other special programs.

We were formed in 2005, and began operations in 2007. We celebrated our 10 year anniversary in 2015.

While completely separate and autonomous corporations, both are committed to fostering the education and careers of those wish to work in the transportation technician industry. UTI, Inc. is currently the Foundation’s largest corporate donor. UTI, Inc. is a Delaware corporation with 13 campuses across the United States offering education and training for the success of its transportation industry clients who seek skilled, entry-level technicians. The Foundation is a separate 501(c)(3) charity that strives to inspire the next generation of students to pursue their dreams of becoming a technician, provides support to students pursuing their technical education and careers, and connecting the industry to champion these students’ abilities and dreams.

The Foundation seeks integrated, long-term strategic alliances with corporations able to provide funding, in-kind products or services, marketing muscle, employee engagement, deep discounts, cause-marketing or consumer activation campaigns or other resources. Download a corporate alliance resource kit by clicking here, and visit a listing of our current corporate partners here. To begin discussions, contact Jennifer Maher, Vice President/Executive Director at or 623.445.0933.

While the Foundation is a separate corporation, we support thousands of students attending the campuses of Universal Technical Institute (UTI), Motorcycle Maintenance Institute (MMI), Marine Maintenance Institute (MMI-Orlando), and NASCAR Technical Institute (NTI) in Charlotte. Hence, we’re often asked for information about these campuses. Learn more by visiting

The current board is comprised of the following individuals: Executive Committee:  Todd Armstrong, Chair (IMG College, North Carolina); Dan Hancock (General Motors- Retired, Indiana), Vice President & Treasurer; Jennifer Maher (TechForce Foundation, Arizona), Secretary/Executive Director.   Directors:  Warren DeBardelaben (Nissan North America Inc., Tennessee); Damien Harmon (Bridgestone Retail Operations, Illinois); Ronald J. Kutz (Automotive Dealership-Retired-Texas); Bogi Lateiner (180 Degrees Automotive, Inc., Arizona); Fred Nader (Autotech Technology Development, Inc., Michigan); John Heenan (Fairlane Management Corporation, Pennsylvania); Lynn Parker (Lynn Parker Associates, Florida) and Greg Rintala (Snap-on, Wisconsin).

Download the Foundation’s most recent Form 990.

Download the 990 Disclosure

No. In fact, the Foundation provides tremendous funding and is a strong advocate for high school CTE (career and technical education) programs across the U.S., and other nonprofits offering S.T.E.M.-based technical education, skills- and career-development opportunities to middle- and high-school students, and NGO partners that provide support services to students pursuing their post-secondary education degrees.

Follow these steps:

1. DETERMINE IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE. To be considered for a scholarship or grant, applicants must meet certain eligibility criteria including:

For Individual Applicants. To be eligible to apply for and/or receive a scholarship or grant from the TechForce Foundation, its Board of Directors has established the Minimum Eligibility Requirements:

For an individual applicant:

  1. Be a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident or have approved DACA status;
  2. Be requesting funds for the purposes directly related to pursuing a technical education and/or a technical career in the transportation industry;
  3. Have a high school diploma or GED
  4. Be currently enrolled at a UTI/ MMI/ NTI campus or a similar post-secondary technical education school (Note: to be “enrolled” means student has paid the enrollment deposit and signed the intent to attend documentation – or – is a current, active student and not on a leave of absence, withdrawn, or other status that is not actively attending classes);
  5. Demonstrate financial need and/or merit-based achievement, depending upon the nature of the award opportunity being considered.

For organization applicants:

  • Shall be either a 501(c)(3), and/or:
  • A public, private or charter secondary school (middle-, junior- or high school) that offers a career & technical education (CTE)-type of program that includes automotive.

2. SIGN UP FOR AN ACCOUNT Visit and click “Apply Now.” At top right corner, select Sign Up to create a user account for our online scholarship and grant application system. You MUST use the SAME email address that is on file with your UTI campus to access the system. If you don’t know it, see your campus representative, and ask them to look up in SMART your permanent, active email address. This is the address you should use to Sign Up.

3. COMPLETE YOUR GENERAL APPLICATION Complete the General Application. When done, click Submit. Don’t stop here!

4. APPLY TO A SPECIFIC OPPORTUNITY.  You MUST apply to at least one of the Recommended Opportunities on the top navigation bar in order to be considered for an award. Read the descriptions, and Apply To any recommended opportunity for which you are eligible.

4. SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION BY THE DEADLINE Our timeline provides key dates for the application and award process.

Download our Student Tip Sheet for more helpful information.

All scholarships and grants of facilitated through our website at Simply login to check the status of all applications. If you are selected to receive an award, an EMAIL will be sent to the email address used to Sign In to your account. Also a notice will appear on your dashboard.  You have 14 days to accept the award offer, or it will be revoked.

If you are not selected for an award, eventually the words “not selected” will appear on your dashboard attached to the specific opportunity.

Try, try again—as you’re always welcome to apply repeatedly.

There are a slew of reasons this may be happening, and we can’t comment on every hypothetical situation. But keep this in mind: to be good stewards of donor funds, the Foundation’s application review process strongly considers a student’s track record of reliability, work ethic, communications and responsibility. Hence, those who maintain a solid GPA and attendance record, offer letters of recommendation, complete the form and answer all the questions, show a well-considered budget and plan for the future, have raised and save some of his/her own money, meet deadlines, and demonstrate credibility and passion for the industry will continually earn more points and rank higher in the scoring process. Consider this in completing future applications, and your chances may improve. As always, it’s also contingent upon the strengths of others in the applicant pool, limitation of funds available, and any donor restrictions that may apply. Don’t give up, if you need support, however. Keep applying.

Yes, the Foundation has a unique Veterans at Work: Military Transition Fund that provides support to Veterans wishing to transition their skills to transportation technician careers here at home.

Through the Military Transition Fund, the Foundation participates in the federal government’s Combined Federal Campaign (CFC). Additionally, children of Marines may apply for scholarships to attend a UTI campus through the Foundation’s relationship with the Marine Scholarship Education Fund.

Children of Marines may apply for scholarships to attend a UTI campus through the Foundation’s relationship with the Marine Scholarship Education Foundation. Click here for more information.

Visit your school’s student services office, library, or consider asking a teacher, friend, or family member if they can help you. Also, the Foundation’s website as well as its scholarship & grant application system is accessible via SmartPhones at


Visit your local copy center, your school library, or consider asking a teacher, friend, or family member if they can help you. Also, most SmartPhones now have a camera or receipt scanning apps. Take a photo of your receipt, ensuring the merchant, date, and amount of clearly visible, and email the receipt to yourself, open and save the file, and then attach the file to your submission.

The majority of awards are based upon financial hardship, thus financial need must be demonstrated by each applicant. In order to reduce the paperwork and steps needed to apply to the Foundation, we require the student or his/her parent to grant the Foundation permission to access the applicant’s FAFSA and student transcript on file with any UTI campus.