Scholarships for Immigrants

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Are There Scholarships for Immigrants?

If you are an immigrant or first generation American, there are scholarships for you. Scholarships for immigrants help remove barriers to higher education and may fund all or part of a college degree. 

Some awards are open to all immigrant students regardless of ethnicity, national origin, or immigration status. Others may be for members of a certain ethnic group and heritage such as Filipino Americans or DACA recipients. 

To apply for a scholarship, you need to meet the provider’s criteria. To start with, you may qualify as a first generation U.S. citizen or immigrant.  

There may also be awards you could apply to if you are a refugee. The Triangle Community Foundation offers up to $16,000 awards. It’s called Achievement Scholarship Fund for Refugees and Immigrants in Wake County. They offer annual awards to refugees and immigrants in Wake County, North Carolina.  To be eligible, high school seniors must have a 2.5 GPA. They also must be enrolled as a full time student in an accredited college in NC.

Many providers also grant scholarships to local residents. You may want to look into your community to see what awards they offer. You can search by nationality, state and college major. 

Often these scholarships go to people with high financial need. So, you may first need to fill out a FAFSA or, Free Application for Federal Student Aid.   

Another thing some providers look at are your transcripts. They may set eligibility for people with a specific GPA (E.g. 2.5 or higher). And may want to see if you have a record of giving back to your community. 

Why Should You Apply for Scholarships for Immigrants?

About 43.3 million people in the nation are immigrants. Foreign born groups include about 20.7 million naturalized US citizens. There are 22.6 million non citizens, including lawful permanent residents.  

Studies show that compared with all Americans, U.S. born children of immigrants are more likely to go to college.  As a naturalized citizen or a permanent resident with immigration status, pursuing a college degree may lead to:  

  • Higher employment rates 
  • Increased salary potential 
  • Potential for home ownership 
  • Chances of independence from public service programs

That said, not all immigrants and international students can afford a college degree. Since a scholarship is free money, it may be a useful way to offset tuition and related costs.  

List of Scholarships for Immigrants

If you are a proud first generation American or immigrant, a wide range of donors offer scholarships for immigrants. Check out our list of 91 scholarships worth $3M.

The Nargis E. Ragab Scholarship for First Generation Immigrants and the Children of Immigrants

Applicants must be currently enrolled in a two-year or four-year degree program at an accredited college or university in the United States. High school seniors who will be graduating on or before the scholarship deadline are also eligible to apply as long as they are enrolled to attend an accredited college or university in the United States in the upcoming fall.

Total: $1500

Awards: 1

Deadline: July 31, 2022

Mcdonald’s HACER National Scholarship Program

U.S. high school seniors of Hispanic descent may apply for this scholarship. Students must be less than 21 years of age at time of application. Applicants must have at least one parent of Hispanic heritage, have a GPA of 2.7 or higher and be under age 21. Click here to learn more and apply today!

Total: $100000

Awards: 4

Deadline: February 05, 2023

Red Thread Fellowship

The Red Thread Foundation for Women represents former international students, immigrants, and first-generation Americans who have benefitted from the academic and professional support they have received. The fellowship offers a $1000 scholarship award and year-long mentorship support. Learn more and apply today!

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: February 28

We the People Magazine Scholarship

The We the People Magazine Scholarship is available for immigrants and first-generation Americans who reside in the New York City area.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: March 01

Fred S. Findling Immigrant Memorial Scholarship

Each year, a scholarship is offered to an immigrant, full-time student at an accredited college or university in the State of Michigan. Every person is valued. Awards are granted without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation, age, gender identity or expression, disability or national origin.

Total: $1500

Awards: 1

Deadline: March 01

Esparanza Education Scholarship Fund

This scholarship is available to U.S. students residing in District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia who plan to attend a public college or university. Applicants must have immigrated to the U.S. since birth, or have two parents who were both immigrants.

Total: $35000

Awards: 7

Deadline: April 01

Larry Carp Memorial Scholarship

The Larry Carp Memorial Scholarship is available for graduating high school seniors in St. Louis who are immigrants or the children of immigrants. Applicants must plan to major in a STEM field and must show evidence of community involvement and service.

Total: $4000

Awards: 1

Deadline: April 15

Vipin Agrawal Memorial Scholarship Fund

The Vipin Agrawal Memorial Scholarship Fund is available to high school seniors who are first generation Americans. Applicants must plan to attend a college or university in California and major in computer science, science, technology, engineering, or medicine. Click to learn more and apply today!

Total: $8000

Awards: 4


Population Media Center 2021 One Planet, Many People scholarship video contest

Population Media Center (PMC), an international nonprofit organization, is rewarding students who submit a winning short video (60 seconds or less) that explores how a growing human population may cause problems for humanity and our planet.

Total: $20000

Awards: 16

Deadline: July 15

Angels On The Move Scholarship

Angels On The Move is commited to improving the quality of life by helping students fund their education. This scholarship is open to all students and can be used for any kind of academic endeavor. There are no restrictions on citizenship, residency, age, level of study, school/college, GPA, scores, finances, activities, or major.

Total: $500

Awards: 1

Deadline: May 15