Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition

Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills Competition

This nationwide automotive technology competition is co-sponsored by AAA and Ford Motor Company to encourage young people to pursue careers as automotive service technicians. Winners in state-based and national hands-on skills competitions can win various levels of scholarships from UTI, including tuition for the Ford Accelerated Credential Training (FACT) elective.


Each participating high school automotive technology instructor must select two students (juniors or seniors) to take an online written exam. Teams are limited to two students per instructor. In most states, the 10 teams scoring the highest on the exam advance to the hands-on state finals scheduled each year between mid-April and mid-May. The winning two-person team plus their instructor are provided expense-paid trips to the national finals in June. At the national competition, the same written exam and hands-on competition format are followed, with a new but different "bugged" Ford vehicle. Teams must perform the highest quality workmanship in the lowest total time.

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Talk to your automotive technology instructor about competing. Registration materials are available online.

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Step 3: Match

Focus Your Effort

Review your list but don't feel like you have to apply for every scholarship. You'll enjoy better results if you compare and rank every opportunity then focus on scholarships that match you best. How you compare and rank these scholarships is up to you. Evaluate whether or not you qualify for scholarships based on an honest inventory of each scholarship’s eligibility requirements.


Eligibility Requirements
Eligibility is often the first consideration during scholarship committee reviews. Applicants who fail to meet all eligibility requirements are often immediately discarded and not considered further. If you don’t meet one or more of a scholarship’s requirements, skip it and apply your time toward other scholarship opportunities.

Application Deadline
Do you have a realistic amount of time to gather your application materials, many of which can include recommendations, a written exam or essay? Give your references ample time to write you a thoughtful recommendation and give yourself enough time to write a well-thought-out essay then have it reviewed by a trusted advisor or teacher.

Application Requirements
Look at what each scholarship requires in order to apply and make a checklist. Are you able to gather recommendations? Are you willing to sit down and write an essay response to a scholarship question? Does the application require a copy of your high school transcript? Make sure you have these items ready before deciding to apply for a scholarship.

Number of Awards Offered
The more scholarships that an organization awards, the more likely your chances are of receiving one. If you still find your list of potential scholarships is overwhelming, try narrowing down your applications by applying for those that award more students.

Award Amount
You can narrow your search even further by focusing your time and efforts on the larger scholarships first. Then, if you have time, go back and apply for the smaller ones.

Step 4: Apply

Application Tips & Resources

With your choices narrowed, it's time to apply. Relax! Most applications are easy to complete. The key is to follow directions and provide exactly what is required.

Read First. Write Second.
Most applications require multiple steps, so make sure you understand the entire application before filling it out.

Master the Basics
Many applications require essays or recommendations. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance. A favorite teacher, high school counselor, or trusted advisor or mentor can help you complete your applications. It’s always a good idea to ask someone to proofread your work and help you catch mistakes before you submit your application!

We'll Do Our Part
If a scholarship requires UTI to complete part of your application, contact your UTI representative for assistance or email us at

Follow Up For Best Results
After submitting your scholarship applications, it's important to follow up with every organization personally. (Phone calls are preferred.) Remember to speak professionally and to thank each representative for the opportunity to apply. A good impression could be the very thing that puts you over the top! Be sure to ask when scholarships are due to be awarded and note each of those dates on a calendar to track your results.

Great job and good luck!