First Generation Scholarships

Millions of Scholarships, personalized results

 and get matched to scholarships that are personalized for you.

What are First Generation Scholarships?

First generation scholarships are awards for students who are the first in their family to go to college. The NCES defines first generation college student as those whose parents never enrolled in post secondary education.

To qualify for a scholarship as a ‘first generation’ or ‘first scholar’, neither of your parents:

  • Obtained a certificate or college degree
  • Earned an associate degree or more advanced degree
  • Attained a bachelor’s degree or a more advanced degree
  • If neither parent nor a sibling has ever enrolled in or attended college

Apart from your ‘first’ status, there tend to be other rules about eligibility in place. An acceptable GPA and financial need (defined by your FAFSA application) are common. Also, volunteer work and leadership qualities are important to earn a first generation scholarship. There are scholarships for first generation minority groups too. For these, the provider may specify you must identify with a certain race or ethnicity.

There are also scholarships for low income, underserved students. So, cast a wide net while also focusing on ones with ‘first gen’ in the title. Take the American Indian College Fund for instance. They sponsor the Coca Cola First Generation Scholarship. It is a $5,000 annual, nonrenewable award for American Indian and Alaska Native college students. Some providers also offer first generation scholarships to students in local state or communities. These tend to ask for proof of residency and like others, your citizenship status.

Who Offers Scholarships for First Generation Students?

An example of first generation scholarships is the Regent’s Scholar Program which is available at Texas A&M University. It provides up to $6,000 per academic year. To qualify, you need to be the first in your immediate family to pursue a college degree. Additionally, student’s family income must be under $40,000 according to the FAFSA. So, there is additional application form and high school transcript to submit. The scholarship is renewable up to a max of eight semesters. Recipients must be in good standing with their academics to renew this scholarship.

The First Generation Grant is available at University of Colorado, Boulder. It is a $2,000 award or $4,000 if living on campus for the first year only. To qualify, you must be either an incoming freshman or transfer student and a Colorado resident.

You must also fill out a FAFSA and be someone whose parent(s) or legal guardians do not have a bachelor’s degree. If you qualify, you can apply for the grant through the CU Boulder Scholarship Application. As the season is closing, you should check with CU Boulder prior to the fall season for the deadline date.

Organizations that Help First Generation Students

There are many state and federal agencies with programs in place to help first generation scholars. Some of these organizations may also offer first generation scholarships.

Beyond 12
A national nonprofit founded in 2009. Their mission is to increase the number of low income first-gen and underserved students who graduate from college. To do this, they have several programs in place including a “MyCoaching” App. 

College for Every Student, Brilliant Pathways
CFES is a nonprofit that aims to help underserved youth prep for, gain access to and succeed in college. They now work with rural and urban schools in 24 states. Each school will work with low income youth, many of whom are first gen students.

First Scholars
The Firsts scholars model blends a business mindset with college student success strategies. It intends to have a national impact and boost the graduation rate of first generation students. They also empower students to build self awareness.

Questbridge
An internet platform that connects bright students from low income backgrounds with colleges. As a facilitator, they hope to see an uptick in the number of low income students who attend college.

College Greenlight
A website that connects first generation and underrepresented students to colleges. They allow students to connect with counselors and mentors as well. To use the tools, you need to create a College Greenlight profile.

Strive for College
The UStrive platform connects you to a mentor online who can walk you through the college application process. While they do not offer first generation scholarships, your mentor can guide you to ones that may suit your goals. They also power the I’m First online network of first gen students.

Why First Gen Students Should Apply for a Scholarship?

A first generation scholarship or grant can take some of the stress out of paying for college. So, unlike a loan, scholarships don’t need to be repaid as long as you follow the terms. Studies by the National Center for Education Statistics show that 51% of first scholars rely on financial aid. Many first generation students work full time while enrolled in school. However, many students in a first generation situation never make it to college.

Apart from the financial help, there is another possible benefit. Once you graduate, a college degree may open up job opportunities and earning potential. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that having a college degree boosts lifetime earnings. In fact, workers with a bachelor’s degree may earn twice as much as those who finished high school.

List of First Generation Scholarships

Check out our list of first generation scholarships below. We have 694 awards worth $3M.

Upper Valley Scholarship

This award is available for undergraduate students who are residents of Vermont’s Upper Valley region. Students must demonstrate financial need and community service/involvement; preference will be given to students who are among the first generation in their families to attend college.

Total: $4000

Awards: 4

Deadline: February 11, 2023

Taigh Scholarship

This scholarship is open to undergraduate students from Caledonia County, Vermont; preference is given to students who are residents of Peacham and/or among the first generation in their families to attend college. Students must demonstrate financial need and education/work ethic.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: February 11, 2023

Whistleblower Education Scholarship

When you see something wrong, what do you do? Are you someone that pushes the scene to the side and ignores it? Or are you taking action and pointing out the wrongdoing? If you are an individual that stands up and calls out the injustice, then you can call yourself a whistleblower! Every day, Tony Munter, a Whistleblower attorney at Price Benowitz Accident Injury Lawyers, LLP, assists others in fighting for what is right by helping them expose wrongdoings. Tony understands the power behind using your resources to take a stand to uncover the inequity in your community. No matter how small or large the wrongdoing, taking action against lawlessness is how individuals work together to build a society based on shared values. For that reason, Tony Munter is proud to announce the 2023 Whistleblower Education Scholarship. This scholarship will award $1000 to a student who has taken a stand against wrongful actions. Students will explore how much of an impact they can make by taking a stand and the value of doing so.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: February 20, 2023

Hatfield Foundation Scholarship

We provide scholarships and educational resources for first-generation college students to help ensure their success in academics and in life. College can be a significant burden to students, especially first-time college students. We help by providing financial assistance through our scholarship program. However, the program is much more than just money for school. We also provide educational resources and mentoring to help you along your journey.

Total: $20000

Awards: 4

Deadline: March 15, 2023

First Generation College Student Scholarship

Attorney David Kadzai appreciates the resilience and hard work it takes to become a first-generation college student. The journey of becoming the first person in your family to attend university is often filled with intimidating challenges and difficult circumstances. Attorney Kadzai hopes to alleviate some of the stress and difficulty of this journey by offering financial assistance to students. His law firm established The Law Offices of David A. Kadzai, LLC First Generation College Student Scholarship to make higher education more attainable for those who are embarking on this journey.

Total: $2500

Awards: 1

Deadline: April 04, 2023

First of Us Scholarship

The Gutierrez Law Firm have created the First of Us Scholarship for first-generation college students to share their experiences of facing and overcoming hardships as the first in their families to pursue higher education. This is a $1,000 scholarship opportunity. We will be accepting applications until August 31, 2023.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: August 31, 2023

CESDA Diversity Scholarship Application

This award is available for graduating high school seniors from the state of Colorado who plan to enroll in an accredited college or university in Colorado. Applicants must have a grade point average of 2.8 or higher, and must be a member of a minority group or a first-generation college student.

Total: $1000

Awards: 7

Deadline: January 18

Melissa D. Bisaccia Memorial Scholarship

This award is available for high school seniors graduating from Roy C. Ketcham High Schoool in Wappinger Falls, New York. Applicants mus demonstrate academic merit, financial need, and achievement in overcoming personal obstacles.

Total: $1500

Awards: 1

Deadline: April 01

Richard W. Mitchell Memorial Scholarship

This award is available for current high school seniors in Dutchess County, New York. Selection is based on providing financial assistance to students who must overcome economic, physical, developmental or emotional barrier(s) to pursue a higher education.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: April 01

Patty & Melvin Alperin First Generation Scholarship

This scholarship is available for Rhode Island high school seniors whose parents did not graduate from college. Applicants must demonstrate financial need and community service.

Total: $4000

Awards: 2

Deadline: April 26