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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.

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

Carol A. Hurley Memorial Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 3/16/2020
  • 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

Fontana Transport Inc. Scholars Program

  • Application Deadline: 3/13/2020
  • 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

Layton Family Foundation

  • Application Deadline: 2/13/2020
  • Amount: $1,000
  • High school seniors residing in Shelby County (Ohio) and attending a school in Shelby County (Ohio) who will be a first-generation student (neither parent has a bachelor's degree or higher). You must have a minimum 2.5 GPA and will be enrolling as a full-time student in an accredited college or university in the coming academic year. The required essay cannot exceed 500 words. For more [...] More

Odyssey Scholarships

  • Application Deadline: Varies
  • Amount: Varies
  • Thanks to an extremely generous gift of $100 million from an anonymous alumnus, we are now able to offer an even more competitive financial aid package to many of our students. The 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 [...] More

Taigh Scholarship

  • Application Deadline: 3/16/2020
  • 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

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Last Reviewed: January 2020

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