First-Generation College Student Scholarships

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Two women talking while looking at a piece of paper.

First-Generation College Student Scholarships

Attending college is a significant step toward achieving academic and career goals, but it can be expensive. For first-generation college students, the financial burden of pursuing higher education can be even more daunting. However, scholarships are a viable option for students who need financial assistance to make their dreams of attending college a reality. First-generation college student scholarships allow students to receive financial aid that covers tuition fees, textbooks, and other expenses related to attending college.

These scholarships are designed to help ease the financial burden on students and provide them with the necessary resources to succeed academically. In this way, scholarships are critical to supporting first-generation college students and empowering them to achieve their educational goals.

What are first-generation college student scholarships?

What are first-generation college student scholarships? First-generation college student scholarships are financial awards specifically designed to help students who are the first in their families to pursue a college degree. These scholarships provide financial assistance to students who may not have the resources or financial support necessary to pay for college.

Government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private foundations fund many first-generation college student scholarships. These scholarships can cover a wide range of expenses related to attending college, including tuition, books, and living expenses.

View of a student taking an exam.

Overall, first-generation college student scholarships are a way to help break down the barriers that can prevent students from pursuing higher education and from ensuring that more people have the opportunity to achieve their academic and career goals.

What are the different types of first-generation college student scholarships?

What are the different types of first-generation college student scholarships? Various scholarships are available to students who are the first in their families to attend college. Some of the most common types of first-generation college student scholarships include:

Merit-based scholarships: These scholarships are awarded to students who have demonstrated exceptional academic achievement or talent in a particular area, such as sports, music, or the arts.

Need-based scholarships: These scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate financial need, typically through submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or a similar financial aid application.

Institutional scholarships: Many colleges and universities offer scholarships for first-generation students. These scholarships may be based on merit, financial need, or other criteria.

State and federal scholarships: Government agencies and non-profit organizations also offer scholarships for first-generation college students, such as the Federal Pell Grant, awarded based on financial need.

Career-specific scholarships: Some scholarships are geared towards students pursuing a specific career path, such as nursing, engineering, or education.

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Minority scholarships: Some scholarships are specifically designed for minority students, such as African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, or LGBTQ students.

Essay-based scholarships: Some scholarships require applicants to write an essay or personal statement about their experiences as first-generation college students, academic goals, or career aspirations.

Many typesof these scholarships are available, each with its own eligibility requirements and selection criteria. It’s essential for students to research and apply for as many scholarships as possible to increase their chances of receiving financial assistance.

How to become eligible for first-generation college student scholarships?

How to become eligible for first-generation college student scholarships? To become eligible for these scholarships, you typically need to meet specific criteria, such as:

  • Demonstrate that you are the first person in your immediate family to attend college. Your parents or legal guardians did not earn a college degree.
  • Be enrolled in or accepted to an accredited college or university. Many scholarships require one to be accepted to a college or university before applying for the scholarship.
  • Meet the eligibility requirements for the specific scholarship you are applying for. This may inch as academic achievement, financial need, or community involvement.
  • Provide supporting documentation, such as transcripts, financial statements, or essays, as the scholarship application requires.
  • Follow the application instructions carefully and submit all required materials by the deadline.

To increase your chances of becoming eligible for first-generation college student scholarships, you can also improve your academic performance, participate in extracurricular activities, and seek mentorship and support from organizations serving first-generation college students. Additionally, you can research and apply for as many scholarships as possible to maximize your chances of receiving financial assistance.

What are some first-generation college student scholarships to apply for?

What are some first-generation college student scholarships to apply for? Many first-generation college student scholarships are available, each with its eligibility requirements and application process. Here are some examples of first-generation college student scholarships to consider:

Merit-based first-generation college student scholarships

Several of the scholarships listed are only available to first-generation college students. On the other hand, some may prefer first-generation college students but are open to all students.

Foot Locker Scholar Athletes

This scholarship program seeks diverse candidates, making it an excellent opportunity for first-generation college students with good sportsmanship, a strong community service record, and academic excellence. The awardees receive $20,000 to help with their higher education costs.

Fontana Transport Inc. Scholars Program

First-generation kids of color who want to study math, science, transportation, environmental design, premed, engineering, architecture, psychology, or Spanish language or literature. Applicants must have at least a 3.5 GPA and demonstrate financial need.

IFSA First-Generation Scholarship

First-generation college students who want to study abroad can earn up to $2,500 to cover travel, passport fees, and living expenses. In addition to financial assistance, the award provides pre-professional and academic assistance to students who have proven outstanding academic and personal accomplishments.

UNCF Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship

First-generation college students can apply for $5,000 renewable prizes from the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and Coca-Cola. Candidates must intend to study full-time at a UNCF member university. Students must have a 3.0 GPA and demonstrate an unmet financial need to apply.

The Kim and Harold Louie Family Foundation

College students entering their freshman year at a U.S. college or university can apply for this award by writing essays and submitting letters of recommendation. The foundation selects recipients with remarkable leadership skills and a track record of personal accomplishments, academic excellence, and community involvement. First-generation students, those in financial need, and children of military service personnel are given special consideration.

A Step Forward Scholarship

A Step Forward winners earn $1,000 to attend an approved college or university in the United States. Candidates must be the first in their family to attend college, have a GPA of 3.0 or better, and submit a CV, transcripts, and a statement about educational ambitions.

Education Accessibility Scholarship

First-generation college students enrolled in or preparing to enroll in two- or four-year institutions can receive up to $1,000 toward their tuition expenditures. Candidates must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and submit official transcripts and an essay on improving student access to higher education.

Forward Freethought Tuition Relief Scholarships

This award is intended for young people who identify as secular, with consideration given to first-generation college students in previous years. Candidates submit a letter of recommendation, a brief essay, and documentation of their involvement in community-based activities. Winners will get up to $5,000 in college fees.

Need-based first-generation college student scholarships

Students who do not qualify for merit-based scholarships have various choices for paying for education. The list below can help you start your quest for need-based financial assistance. Many of the above scholarships are only available to first-generation college students, while others have broader eligibility conditions.

Students should know that scholarship details can change yearly, so check the applications for the most up-to-date information.

First in My Family Scholarship Program

The Sallie Mae Foundation created this scholarship in collaboration with the Hispanic College Fund for Latino students who will be the first in their families to attend college. Awardees receive $500 to $5,000 to help with higher education expenses. Students can register on the site and search to obtain access to the scholarship details.

StudySoup First in Family Scholarship

This award provides $2,000 to first-generation college students dedicated to their studies. Students in their senior year of high school and undergraduate and graduate college students with leadership skills are eligible to apply.

Laughing indian female student with group of multi ethnic young adults outdoor

TELACU College Success Program

The TELACU Education Fund offers $500 to $5,000 to support incoming college freshmen for up to four years. Scholarship judges give first-generation college students and people from underserved neighborhoods extra consideration. In addition to financial assistance, the program provides career development and educational counseling.

APIA Scholarship Program

Underserved Asian or Pacific Islander students, especially first-generation and low-income students, can receive up to $20,000 for higher education expenses. Candidates must have a GED diploma or a minimum GPA of 2.7.

Red Thread Foundation for Women

Women worldwide can apply for this scholarship when they begin their first year at a college or university in the United States. There are no GPA or residence requirements for the Red Thread Fund for Women.

TMCF Walmart Foundation First Generation Scholarship

Tuition assistance of up to $6,200 is available to first-generation college students attending or planning to attend a Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) member school. Candidates must demonstrate financial need, have a high school GPA of at least 2.5, and be U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents.

Jasdeep Singh Scholarship

First-generation college students entering their freshman or sophomore year at a nonprofit two-year or four-year accredited school are eligible to apply. Each awardee receives $1,000 to cover educational expenses.

In conclusion, first-generation college student scholarships provide an important opportunity for students who are the first in their families to attend college to pursue higher education and achieve their academic and career goals. These scholarships can help alleviate financial barriers and support students who may not have access to the same resources and opportunities as their peers.

By providing financial assistance and mentorship to first-generation college students, scholarships can help to increase diversity and representation in higher education and create a more equitable and inclusive society. Students interested in pursuing higher education should research, apply for as many scholarships as possible, and seek resources and support to help them navigate the college application process.

Having all the necessary information is important before choosing any course of action. AdmissionSight is always here to assist you with any questions or concerns. We have more than ten years of expertise assisting students in successfully navigating the challenging admissions process.

Consult with AdmissionSight and find out what we can do to help you get into the school of your choice by ensuring that you are sufficiently aware and well-prepared for the application process.





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