Top First Generation Scholarships in 2021
Will you be the first person in your immediate family to attend college? If so, you are a first-generation college student! There are numerous colleges and private organizations that offer first generation scholarships for students who will be the first in their family to attend college!
Generally, first generation scholarships are open to students whose parents have not earned a four year undergraduate degree. However, specific organizations and colleges may define first generation differently, so always double-check.
Jump ahead to:
- Top First Generation Scholarships in 2021
- Need-Based Financial Aid for first generation students
- Frequently Asked Questions for first generation students
- Summary of First Generation Scholarships in 2021
- Upcoming First Generation Scholarships
Keep on reading to learn more about eligibility, award amount, and tips for how to find and win first generation scholarships!
Top first generation scholarships in 2021
- Eligibility: Refugee, immigrant, or first-generation American students
- Amount: $2,500 (4 scholarships are awarded)
- Deadline: September 15, 2021
- Eligibility: First-generation, female high school seniors from the class of 2021
- Amount: $2,500
- Deadline: August 1, 2021
- Eligibility: High school seniors or current undergraduate students who are the first in their family to attend college or university
- Amount: $500
- Deadline: August 2, 2021
- Eligibility: Open to high school seniors who have demonstrated financial need (while Questbridge is not exclusive to first generation students, 70% of finalists are first generation students)
- Amount: Full funding (including tuition, room, and board) for four years
- Deadline: September 26, 2021 (opens in late summer 2021)
- Eligibility: Open to high school seniors in Florida who have demonstrated financial need. Students must be planning on attending a Florida state college or university (4 year or 2 year)
- Amount: Varies
- Deadline: Varies depending on the college
- Eligibility: First generation high school students who are applying to Kenyon College
- Amount: Varies (this scholarship eliminates the loan portion of a student’s financial aid package and replaces it with a grant)
- Deadline: Varies (depending on whether the student applies Regular Decision, Early Decision 1, or Early Decision 2).
- Eligibility: First generation high school students who are applying to the University of Chicago.
- Amount: Varies
- Deadline: Varies (depending on whether the student applies Regular Decision, Early Action, Early Decision 1, or Early Decision 2).
- Eligibility: High school seniors with demonstrated financial need who apply to Texas A&M.
- Amount: $6,000 per year for up to four years
- Deadline: January 1st (this is the date that students submit the FAFSA in order to be eligible)
Frequently asked questions about first-generation scholarships
Am I first generation if my siblings went to college?
Some organizations may define first generation as students whose parents and siblings do not have four year degrees. Others may say that you are only first generation if your parents have not received any degree at all (including two year degrees).
However, the most common definition is students whose parents have not completed four year college degrees. If you are interested in learning more about why being a first generation college student matters, check out this post!
Am I first gen if a parent started college, but did not finish?
Yes, the key part of being first generation is that your parents did not complete college. If they took a few classes or semesters, but did not ultimately graduate, you are first generation.
Do you have any application tips for first generation colleges students applying for scholarships?
Yes, we do! Our Ultimate Guide to Finding and Winning Scholarships is just what you’re looking for. This guide will help you also discover and apply for other great scholarships.
First generation college students can also apply for need-based financial aid through the FAFSA and for some colleges, the CSS Profile. This can allow students to access grants like the Pell Grant, federal student loans, state financial aid, and work-study.
Summary of first generation scholarships
- $2,500 Imagine Dragons Origins Scholarship
- $2,500 The Heart of the Game Scholarship
- $500 First-Generation College Students Scholarship
- Thurgood Marshall College Fund Scholarships
- Questbridge National College Match Scholarship
- First Generation Matching Grant Program
- Newman’s Own Scholarships
- Odyssey Scholarships
- Regents’ Scholars Program
Upcoming first gen scholarships
- Eligibility: Open to students at all levels of education who submit an essay about a moment that changed their perspective on life. Preference given to first generation students
- Amount: $1,000
- Incoming/full-time college students at one of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s (TMCF) 47 publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities
- Amount: $500 to $15,000