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Top First Generation Scholarships in 2022
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 2022
- Need-based financial aid for first generation students
- Frequently asked questions for first generation students
- Resources for first generation students
- Summary of first generation scholarships in 2022
- Upcoming first generation scholarships
- Explore these other scholarship categories
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 2022
- Eligibility: Open to high school seniors with demonstrated financial need who want to travel for their first semester of college
- Amount: Up to $12,000 toward a Verto semester
- Deadline: May 1, 2022
- Eligibility: High school seniors who will be first-generation college students
- Amount: $33,520
- Deadline: July 1, 2022
- Eligibility: New Jersey high school senior or undergraduate students who have a GPA of 3.5 or above and are involved in curricular activities
- Amount: $2,500 (two scholarships are awarded!)
- Deadline: April 25, 2022
- Eligibility: First generation US citizens with parents of West Indian or Caribbean descent and students from the West Indies or Caribbean (including Guyana) attending school in the studying STEM fields
- Amount: $1,568
- Deadline: May 5, 2022
- Eligibility: First-generation undergraduates with a 3.0 GPA or higher who is transferring colleges
- Amount: $1,000
- Deadline: March 2, 2022
- Eligibility: High school seniors interested in a career in mental health (first-generation and underrepresented students are strongly encouraged to apply)
- Amount: $500
- Deadline: March 4, 2022
- Eligibility: First generation high school seniors who are underrepresented and need financial assistance
- Amount: $5,000
- Deadline: March 18, 2022
- 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.
Resources for first generation college students
First generation college students often face unique barriers in their college application process. Because their parents have not gone through the same trials and tribulations, they may not be able to help as thoroughly as parents who have. First-generation college students should check if they qualify for CollegePoint, a free online resource that matches you with a current college student to counsel you through the entire application process.
Many schools also have specific programs and resource hubs for first-generation college students. For example, the FirstGen program at University of California schools is a great initiative to improve college accessibility aimed towards first generation students. These resources can help with admissions as well as adjusting to campus life when you’re enrolled. Similar programs exist across the country, so make sure to inquire about them at any school you’re considering.
Summary of first generation scholarships
- Verto Opportunity Grant
- $33,520 Rita’s First-Gen Scholarship
- $2,500 New Jersey First Generation Scholarship
- $1568 First Generation POH Scholarship Fund
- $1,000 LikelyThis.xyz, LLC First Generation Scholarship
- $500 Shine Your Light High School Scholarship
- Fontana Transport Inc. Scholars Program
- First Generation Matching Grant Program
- Newman’s Own Scholarships
- Odyssey Scholarships
- Regents’ Scholars Program
Upcoming first gen scholarships
- 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
- Opens: Late summer 2022
- Eligibility: 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