For many people, paying for college creates challenges. One form of financial aid some may wish to see is a scholarship. Scholarships are gifts that you do not need to repay. They come from a wide range of organizations, including schools, private organizations, individuals, employers, and many others. Often, scholarships may be accessible only to those who meet specific requirements. One such scholarship is a first generation college student scholarship. What Is a First Generation College Student Scholarship? A first generation college scholarship is typically designated for those who are the first member of their family to attend college. Though this may be exciting for families, it may also be financially difficult. That’s why many organizations offer scholarships meant just for those on this path. Where Are First Generation College Scholarships? A variety of organizations may offer these opportunities. What’s important is to know that there are a lot of options available – from your school of choice, local organizations, and national companies. You may need to do some research and find opportunities that you may be eligible for, but it is worth the work that you put into it in many cases. A fine starting place for finding scholarships for students who are the first in their family to attend college is Unigo. Check out the First Generation Scholarships that fit your goals. Before you start applying, consider a few tips and details that may help you on your path. What Do You Need to be Eligible for a First Generation College Student Scholarship? Each scholarship sets its rules for applying and obtaining the scholarship. It’s important to read those first before applying. Often, a first generation or first scholar may need to consider their parent’s education. Often, the requirements for this type of scholarship state that the student’s parents did not obtain a certificate or a college degree program, nor earned an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s. Also, a sibling may not have enrolled in or attended college. Here are some typical requirements: Neither of the applicant’s parents has an associate’s or bachelor’s Neither of the parents has enrolled in collegeNeither of the parents has attended college No other immediate family member has attended college If you are eligible, fill out the application from the scholarship provider. You may be able to find that on their website or on the Unigo website. Be sure to provide any information available requested by the application. What Other Requirements Exist? Scholarship providers set other requirements, in some cases, for individuals to meet to apply. For example, they may require a specific GPA or that the student demonstrates financial need. Some may require that the student study in a particular field or have a specific background. Be sure to determine what the specific scholarship provider is looking for in applicants before applying. Is It Possible to Apply for First Generation and Other Scholarships at the Same Time? There’s no reason not to do so! It is possible to students to apply for numerous scholarships. This includes those for first generation and those for others that you may be eligible for. Some other potential scholarships to look into may include: Scholarships for extracurricular activities, such as sports, clubs, or activitiesAcademic scholarships, including those for high GPAs, competitive scores on testing, or honor society membership]Need-based scholarships for those who have a financial need and limited means to cover the cost of their college educationCommunity service and volunteer scholarships based on previous efforts Athletic scholarships based on performance or participation in sports Employer scholarships from the student’s or the parent’s employers A wide range of options are available at Unigo that fit into many of these categories. It’s worth it to look into any that you may be eligible for based on the requirements set by the provider. Why Should First Generation College Students Apply? The National Center for Education Statistics provides some key information. It found that 51% of first scholars are dependent on financial aid. Many need this type of financial support to pay for their college education. If you need financial support to help you pursue your education, there are very few reasons not to apply for scholarships. Typically, there is no cost to apply. They do require some work in filling out an application many times. There are no limitations on when or how to apply. Junior and senior high school students may be able to apply. More so, students may be able to apply again later in later years of college, if needed, to increase how much they earn towards their education. Do Scholarships Impact Other Financial Aid? A scholarship may impact your financial aid. All of your student aid, which includes scholarships earned, are added together. It is not possible to earn more financial aid than the cost of your education, such as the cost of attendance to college. This may include tuition, books, and supplies. If you are offered scholarships, those are applied to the cost of your education first. Then, other financial aid, such as through government aid programs, are applied next. The school’s financial aid officer may be able to help if you have any concerns about this process. Tips for Scholarships Applicants Give yourself time to apply for scholarships. It may be helpful for you to focus on some basic strategies that may ensure you have a chance at winning the scholarship: Make sure to meet all deadlines set by the scholarship provider. Even just a day late may mean the provider does not consider your application.Write a clear essay that follows the specific question or prompt provided by the scholarship provider. If applicable, include information about being a first generation scholar.Request letters of recommendations, if requested by the scholarship provider, early on. Ask those writing these recommendations early on, so they have plenty of time to create them. What’s important is to follow the requests provided by the organization issuing the scholarship. Apply to as many as you like, no matter how big or small they are. That could help you secure the funds you need to pay for your education. This is an offer for educational opportunities that may lead to employment and not an offer for nor a guarantee of employment. Students should consult with a representative from the school they select to learn more about career opportunities in that field. Program outcomes vary according to each institution’s specific program curriculum.