Top First Generation College Student Scholarships in October 2020
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 specific scholarships for first generation students.
Generally, first gen 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 2020
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Summary of First Generation Scholarships in 2020
- Expired First Gen 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 2020
- 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: All Asian-American (including Middle Eastern) students who are juniors in high school or older are eligible to apply. First-generation applicants will be preferred. An essay about growing up Asian-American is required
- Amount: $1,000
- Deadline: March 1, 2021
- 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
- Deadline: February 1, 2021
- 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)
- 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
- Deadline: October 12
Frequently Asked Questions
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! Here is our Ultimate Guide for Finding & Winning Scholarships. This guide will help you also discover and apply for other great scholarships.
How can I apply for need based financial aid?
Need based financial aid is an extremely important part of paying for college. First of all, you will want to see which need based financial aid forms the college in question requires. Almost all colleges will require the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (or FAFSA), but others may require additional forms like the CSS Profile. It is always best to check for the required forms on the college’s financial aid website.
Summary of First Generation Scholarships in 2020
- First Generation Matching Grant Program
- Life Reimagined First-Gen Scholarship
- Newman’s Own Scholarships
- Nikhil Desai Asian-American Experience Scholarship
- Nikhil Desai “Perspective” Scholarship
- Odyssey Scholarships
- Questbridge National College Match Scholarship
- Regents’ Scholars Program
- Thurgood Marshall College Fund Scholarships
Expired First Gen Scholarships
- Eligibility: First generation college students currently attending a four year college, two year college, or technical or vocational program.
- Amount: $1,000
- Deadline: December 31
- 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 26th