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First in Family Scholarships

The road to a college degree is paved with countless detours for the average student, but if you are the first in your family to choose that path, you can anticipate more obstacles in your academic endeavors. Rest assured, there is ample financial support for those who qualify.

As a first-generation student, you are likely to be challenged with navigating the college process without the learning curve that comes from having a college graduate family member to lean on. Parents who do not have much first-hand experience or insight on how to maximize your financial aid package or the importance of internship opportunities, and networking can be difficult. While figuring out how to balance a full course load, a part-time job, and social life are skills you will develop along the way, most colleges and quite a few organizations offer scholarships specifically for first-generation students to help them thrive in higher education.

Saint Mary’s University, for example, started their First-Generation Initiative that offers access and financial support to first-generation students. The University of Iowa provides the First Generation Iowa program to first in family students, the University of Colorado Boulder has the First Generation Grant and Texas A&M University offers the Regents’ Scholarship.

Wherever you are in your college journey, Scholarships.com can help you reach your destination. Below is a list of some popular first-generation scholarships from our database of over 2.7 million awards. You can find even more scholarships by conducting a free college scholarship search and be well on your way to starting a new family tradition.

Arnold White Memorial Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 3/15/2021
  • Amount: $1,500
  • To apply for the Arnold White Memorial Scholarship, you must be a GED graduate, or be a current graduating senior or former graduate from high schools in the communities of Lyons, Lincoln and Fairbury in Nebraska. The applicant must demonstrate financial need. Preference will be given to those applicants that are first-generation college students. (This criterion will only be used as a [...] More

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program

  • Application Deadline: Varies
  • Amount: $5,000
  • Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program is a grant program that enables students of limited financial means to study or intern abroad, thereby gaining skills critical to our national security and economic competitiveness. The Gilman Scholarship Program is open to U.S. citizen undergraduate students who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding at a two-year or four-year college or [...] More

Benjamin and Patricia Allen Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 2/2/2021
  • Amount: Varies
  • To be eligible for the Benjamin and Patricia Allen Scholarship, applicants shall be enrolled in the Ivy College of Business full-time. Preference shall be given to first generation students which is defined as a student whose parents have not graduated from an institute of higher education with a four-year degree. This scholarship shall be made available to undergraduate students. This [...] More

California Hispanic Education Endowment Fund (HEEF)

  • Application Deadline: 12/31/2020
  • Amount: $2,500
  • The Orange County (OC) Hispanic Educational Endowment Fund (HEEF) serves US Citizens, Permanent Residents and Dream Act/ AB 540 students who live in Orange County, California only. HEEF offers competitive academic scholarships for OC high school and community college transfers who qualify for need based financial aid and who enroll at a 4-year college or [...] More

Carol A. Hurley Memorial Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 3/16/2021
  • Amount: $1,000
  • This scholarship was established by the friends, family, and colleagues of Carol Hurley, a VSAC outreach counselor who helped first-generation college-bound students prepare for college. In order to apply, you must be a graduate of one of the following high schools: Randolph Area Vocational Center, Randolph Union High School, Rochester Union High School, Whitcomb High School, Windsor High School, [...] More

Colorado Mesa University's First Generation Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: Varies
  • Amount: $1,000
  • CMU's First Generation Scholarship is valued at $1,000 per academic year. This award is available to all incoming freshmen students whose parents have not graduated with a four-year degree. Applicant must complete a FAFSA and have earned a 3.0 GPA. The scholarship can be renewed for a maximum of 120 credit hours as long as the student maintains a 3.0 cumulative GPA and full-time status (12 Credit [...] More

Fontana Transport Inc. Scholars Program

  • Application Deadline: 3/13/2021
  • Amount: $5,000
  • The Fontana Transport Inc. Scholars Program is open to underrepresented, low-income and first-generation college-bound students. Students must be pursuing an undergraduate degree full-time in transportation, math, science, engineering, architecture, environmental design, PreMed, psychology, Spanish language/literature. The applicant does not have to be a U.S. citizen but must have a minimum 3.5 [...] More

Odyssey Scholarships

  • Application Deadline: Varies
  • Amount: Varies
  • he Odyssey Scholarship program provides enhanced academic, social, and career support to students from lower-income families or who are the first in their families to attend college. Odyssey Scholars are selected on the basis of financial need and family circumstances, and are eligible for additional funding for study abroad and other costs (such as health insurance). Students must apply for [...] More

Taigh Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 3/16/2021
  • Amount: $1,000
  • The Taigh (a Gaelic term for "home or dwelling") Scholarship was established to inspire and encourage residents of Peacham, Vermont, to pursue a post-secondary education. In order to apply, you must attend an accredited school approved for federal Title IV funding (Pell grants, Stafford loans, PLUS loans); reside in Caledonia County (preference given to applicants who are residents of Peacham [...] More

The David C. Lizárraga Fellowship

  • Application Deadline: 2/26/2021
  • Amount: Varies
  • Through The David C. Lizárraga Fellowship, TELACU recognizes graduate students who demonstrate the potential and commitment to advance TELACU's mission of building self-sufficient communities through economic empowerment. Applicants must be a first-generation college student, pursuing a master's degree in business administration or engineering (students pursuing other graduate degrees may also be [...] More

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Last Reviewed: June 2020

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