First-Generation College Students Scholarship

The First-Generation College Students Scholarship is a $500 scholarship open to undergraduate and high school senior students.

Scholarship Award: $500

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About the Scholarship

A college degree is a transformational milestone in life, especially for those who are attending as the first generation in their family.

First-generation college students are trailblazers. They are often extremely academically prepared, and highly talented. They serve as role models for younger siblings in cousins within their family, and they carry the dreams of their parents and grandparents on their shoulders.

The First-Generation College Students Scholarship is meant to support and encourage these students as they take on the biggest educational milestone thus far in their lives. This $500 award will help current or aspiring students who are the first in their family to attend college or university pay their tuition or student loans.


Scholarship Details

Scholarship details
  • Deadline: The application deadline is Feburary 1, 2022.
  • Award Amount: $500
  • Time To Apply: 2 minutes

Eligibility Requirements

  • Current undergraduate or high school senior who is a first-generation college student

  • U.S. Citizen or permanent legal resident

Eligibility requirements

How to Apply

You can apply for this scholarship on the Bold.org scholarship platform. Just set up a student profile on Bold.org and submit your application.

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Scholarship Frequently Asked Questions

When is the scholarship deadline?

The application deadline is February 1, 2022.

What is the scholarship prize?

The scholarship award is $500.

When will the winner be chosen and notified?

Prior to the announcement date, we may contact finalists with additional questions about their application. Winners will be chosen based on the merit of their application.

How will the scholarship be paid?

We will send the $500 award check to the winner in their name.

How can I contact you with questions?

If you have any questions about the scholarship, you can email scholarships@wisegeek.com

How will my application information be used?

WiseGeek manages this scholarship with the support of the Bold.org scholarship platform. Bold.org takes student confidentiality and privacy incredibly seriously. Please refer to the application page on Bold.org for full details.

About Scholarships for First-Generation College Students

First-generation scholarships are created to assist those who are the first in their family to attend college or to get a college degree (the distinction depends on the specific scholarship).

College is a huge adjustment. It requires prospective students to learn complicated application and enrollment processes, and often adjust to new levels of independence and responsibility—taking on rigorous study schedules and often learning to live on their own.

But first-generation students don’t have family to turn to with questions about the process of college applications and adjusting to life as college students. Because of this, they need some extra support in this journey. These students also tend to come from lower-income households, so the financial aid of a scholarship can be instrumental in their efforts to pay for schooling. It also gives motivation to those who are considering higher education, but are not certain they can manage it on their own.

When you’re new to the college experience, you may not know how to navigate financial aid processes. Many scholarships require you to first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Fill this out the October before your first fall semester. The information in this form is extremely helpful to the Department of Education, your state, your school, and any other award opportunities you apply for. FAFSA gives these organizations the necessary information to determine your financial need and eligibility for funding.

Even if you don’t have family to turn to with college questions, there are plenty of other resources available to you. If you’re in high school, chat with your guidance counselor to help you through the processes of beginning college. If you’re already in college, a visit with a counselor, financial aid office, or registrar can help to answer many of your questions as you begin this endeavor.

How to Qualify for First-Generation College Scholarships

As mentioned earlier, different scholarship awards will have different definitions for what it means to be a “first-generation student.” Each donor organization will have unique eligibility requirements, so it’s important to pay close attention to what each opportunity specifies in this regard.

“First-generation student” could have any of the following definitions:

  • Neither of your parents has a bachelor’s degree or above
  • Neither parent has an associate’s degree or more
  • Neither parent nor sibling have ever enrolled in or attended college
  • No members of your immediate family (parents, sibling, or children) have obtained a degree nor attended college

Many scholarships for first-generation students also have other requirements, such as belonging to an ethnic minority, demonstrating high academic performance, pursuing a particular field of study, or financial need.

How to Apply for First-Generation College Scholarships

Where to look for scholarships

There are so many scholarships out there, it can feel a bit overwhelming to start your search. But there are a few key places to look that can help you get going.

Visit with your high school counselor or the financial aid office on your college campus. They might know of unique award opportunities you may qualify for, as well as helpful tips to guide your search and application process. You can also find local opportunities by checking with organizations within your community, such as libraries, youth groups, churches, and volunteer committees.

Check out the U.S. Department of Labor’s free scholarship search tool, as well as Bold.org for additional tools to help widen your search.

Types of scholarship sponsors

Scholarships may be funded by a variety of organizations, including:

  • College departments
  • Employers
  • Individuals
  • Community organizations
  • Charitable foundations
  • Minority advocacy associations
  • Professional groups or corporations

Scholarship application strategy

When it comes to scholarships for first-generation students, there is a vast pool of opportunities to choose from. Because of this, it’s important to find ways to narrow your search. Though it’s encouraged to apply for as many scholarships as you can, it’s also a good idea to be selective in the scholarships you apply for.

Focus on the award opportunities that are most likely to benefit you. Awards that are more local or more specific or unique in eligibility requirements may have less competition, thus giving you a better chance of winning.

Gather up all the personal information you’ll need for applications. Scholarships often require your transcripts, SAT or ACT scores, and sometimes letters of recommendation or other financial information.

Be sure to pay attention to scholarship amounts, application deadlines, and eligibility requirements. Applying early before the deadline can help you stand out, as can following submission directions carefully and writing a creative essay.

Other First-Generation College Scholarships

First-Generation, First Child Scholarship

  • Amount: $1,446
  • Application deadline: April 4, 2021
  • Details: Donna Hoang, who funds the First-Generation, First Child Scholarships knows the challenges of being the first child. For those who are also the first in their family to attend college, it can be extremely difficult. Not only were you the subject of parents practicing trial and error in raising you – but you also have the added pressures of setting an example for your siblings and paving the way for the younger generation of your family to succeed.

    To apply to this scholarship, complete an essay about your unique experience as a first child and a first-generation student and how these experiences shaped you and the aspects of your life today.

First Generation College Student Scholarship

  • Amount: $1,000
  • Application deadline: November 7, 2020
  • Details: Bold.org’s First Generation College Student Scholarship seeks to support students who are the first in their families to attend college. With an average of $50,000 lower household income, first-generation students often have all the desires to trailblaze the college experience for their family but lack the funding and resources to accomplish this goal.

    To apply, write about your greatest challenge, how you’ve overcome it, and the lessons you’ve learned from those experiences.

Commonly Asked Questions About Hispanic Scholarships

Who qualifies for a first-generation scholarship?

Different scholarship opportunities will have different ways of defining what it means to be a “first-generation student.” Common definitions include:

  • Neither of your parents has a bachelor’s degree or above
  • Neither parent has an associate’s degree or more
  • Neither parent nor sibling have ever enrolled in or attended college
  • No members of your immediate family (parents, sibling, or children) have obtained a degree nor attended college

Pay attention to the eligibility requirements of each scholarship you apply for to ensure you meet their specific definition of a first-generation student.

Are there any scholarships for first-generation college students?

Yes! There are plenty of opportunities for scholarships for first-generation college students. The goal of these awards is to support those who are first in their family to receive higher education.

How can a scholarship help a first-generation student?

A scholarship can help a first-generation student remove some of the obstacles these students may typically face, such as lack of resources, funding, and emotional support. With extra funds to power them forward, they can become trailblazers for their families in pursuing higher education.