scholarships-for-immigrantsAs recent statistics demonstrate that around 40.4 million immigrants and foreign-born citizens are currently residing in the nation, there is a rising demand for organizations to provide scholarships for immigrants and first generation Americans to finance a college degree.

Although the United States has a legacy of being the globe’s “land of opportunity,” young people whose immigrant parents have little education are frequently held back from achieving their highest potential in academia due to financial limitations. Luckily, the following are 25 of the best scholarships available to remove barriers to higher education for immigrants and first generation Americans nationwide.

1. Achievement Scholarship for Refugees and Immigrants

Deadline: March 31st

For residents of Wake County in North Carolina who have completed at least one academic year at a county high school, the Triangle Community Foundation offers the Achievement Scholarship for Refugees and Immigrants for up to $4,000 annually for attending any two or four-year institution full-time in the state. Eligible applicants must be first-generation U.S. citizens or immigrants, have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher, and demonstrate a commitment for becoming a contributory member of society.

Contact

Achievement Scholarship for Refugees and Immigrants

324 Blackwell St. Suite 1220

Durham, NC 27701

(919) 474-8370

gabrielle@trianglecf.org

2. Alfred Hugo and Gerda Else Radke Scholarship

Deadline: April 8th

Established at Averett University from a generous endowment from a beloved couple who immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1950, the Alfred Hugo and Gerda Else Radke Scholarship presents $1,000 each year to international or first-generation American students who are currently enrolled full-time. Qualified candidates should demonstrate financial need, intend to graduate from Averett with a bachelor’s degree, and have a GPA of 3.0 or better.

Contact

Alfred Hugo and Gerda Else Radke Scholarship

420 West Main St.

Danville, VA 24541

(434) 791-5600

finaid@averett.edu

3. Ann Biggs/Thelma Salazar Scholarship for First-Generation Immigrants

Deadline: June 1st

At the University of Texas at San Antonio, the Ann Biggs/Thelma Salazar Scholarship for First-Generation Immigrants is awarded annually for up to $2,000 to first-generation Americans who have at least one parent who immigrated to the United States, with preference given to those from Mexico or Central America. Applicants must be enrolled full-time with good academic standing, show financial need, be pursuing a baccalaureate degree, and submit a copy of parent’s arrival-departure records.

Contact

Ann Biggs/Thelma Salazar Scholarship for First-Generation Immigrants

One UTSA Circle

San Antonio, TX 78249

(210) 458-4638

financialaid@utsa.edu

Scholarship Link

4. Banatao Family Filipino American Education Scholarship Fund

Deadline: April 28th

Through the Asian Pacific Fund, the Banatao Family Filipino American Education Scholarship Fund provides five annual awards for $5,000 to first-generation Americans of Filipino descent who will be enrolling full-time as a freshman undergraduate student at an accredited four-year institution of California. Eligible candidates must be majoring in engineering, mathematics, computer science, environmental science, or physical sciences with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Contact

Banatao Family Filipino American Education Scholarship Fund

225 Bush St. Suite 590

San Francisco, CA 94104

(415) 433-6859

scholarship@asianpacificfund.org

5. Caroline Sanecki Kuspa First-Generation American Scholarship

Deadline: April 15th

In honor of a first-generation American born to Polish immigrants in 1912 who was a passionate advocate for the arts, the Downriver Council for the Arts offers the Caroline Sanecki Kuspa First-Generation American Scholarship for $500 to high school graduates who are pursuing post-secondary education in any art form, including music, dance, theatre, literature, film, graphic design, and visual arts. Qualified applicants must be first-generation Americans, reside within the 21 DCA communities, and demonstrate financial need.

Contact

Caroline Sanecki Kuspa First-Generation American Scholarship

81 Chestnut St.

Wyandotte, MI 48192

(734) 720-0671

dc4arts@downriverarts.org

6. Chin Shui Kuen and Allen Chin Scholarship

Deadline: May 5th

For immigrants and first-generation U.S. citizens of Chinese descent, the Chin Shui Kuen and Allen Chin Scholarship is granted through the Asian Pacific Fund to provide $1,000 in financial support for pursuing a graduate degree in economics from an accredited American institution. Candidates should have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, be pursuing a career in academia, and be involved in research topics that benefit Asian Americans in economic need.

Contact

Chin Shui Kuen and Allen Chin Scholarship

225 Bush St. Suite 590

San Francisco, CA 94104

(415) 433-6859

scholarship@asianpacificfund.org

Scholarship Link

7. D.H. Gustafson Family Paradigm Foundation Scholarship

Deadline: February 28th

Within the Eagan Foundation, the D.H. Gustafson Family Paradigm Foundation Scholarship is distributed annually for $1,000 for male and female immigrants or first-generation Americans who are currently residing and/or attending school in Eagan, Minnesota. In order to qualify for this scholarship funding, high school graduates should have financial need, possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, and demonstrate leadership in community involvement.

Contact

D.H. Gustafson Family Paradigm Foundation Scholarship

P.O. Box 211192

Eagan, MN 55121

(651) 243-1198

admin@eaganfoundation.org

8. Douvas Memorial First Generation American Scholarship

Deadline: April 30th

Named in honor of a generous bequest from Peter George Douvas, who was an immigrant from Greece to the Wyoming Department of Education, the Douvas Memorial First Generation American Scholarship provides $500 to first-generation American citizens whose parents were not born in the United States. Applicants must be high school seniors between the ages of 18 and 22, reside in Wyoming, and be entering their first year of undergraduate study in the state.

Contact

Douvas Memorial First Generation American Scholarship

2300 Capitol Avenue

Cheyenne, WY 82002

(307) 777-7690

Julie.Magee@wyo.gov

9. Educators for Fair Consideration New American Scholars Program

Deadline: March 12th

For those who intend to graduate from high school within the San Francisco Bay Area, the Educators for Fair Consideration New American Scholars Program offers up to $7,000 annually for foreign-born students with a minimum GPA of 3.3 or higher who will be enrolling full-time in an accredited undergraduate program. Candidates must submit a high school transcript, two personal essays, three recommendation letters, and evidence of being born in a country outside of the United States

Contact

Educators for Fair Consideration New American Scholars Program

354 Pine St. Suite 700

San Francisco, CA 94104

jazmin@e4fc.org

10. Esperanza Education Foundation Scholarships

Deadline: April 1st

Ranging in value from $5,000 to $20,000 depending on financial need, the Esperanza Education Foundation Scholarships are granted annually to immigrant students in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia with two parents who were born outside of the United States. Regardless of immigrant status, applicants must be graduating high school seniors, plan to enroll full-time at an accredited public university, and submit an essay on their involvement in the immigrant community.

Contact

Esperanza Education Foundation Scholarships
P.O. Box 27507
Washington, DC 20038
info@esperanzafund.org

11. Foroutan Foundation Scholarship

Deadline: May 15th

Funded by the Foroutan Foundation, the Foroutan Foundation Scholarship is designed to give up to $10,000 annually to first-generation immigrants to the United States of Iranian descent who will be pursuing an undergraduate degree at an accredited university or college. Qualified applicants must be incoming freshmen or transfer students, have U.S. citizenship or legal residence in California, and possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher from a public high school.

Contact

Foroutan Foundation Scholarship

18101 Von Karman Avenue Suite 700

Irvine, CA 92612

(877) 968-6328

grants@foroutanfoundation.org

 

12. George and Anita Rimler Scholarship

Deadline: February 15th

At the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), incoming freshmen are eligible to receive the George and Anita Rimler Scholarship for $1,000 as support for pursuing an undergraduate degree in business full-time with honors. With preference given to first-generation American students with financial need, the award is only open to deserving students who will maintain at least 15 credit hours per semester with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher.

Contact

George and Anita Rimler Scholarship

1015 Floyd Avenue 1st Floor

P.O. Box 843026

Richmond, VA 23284

(804) 828-6669

faidmailag@vcu.edu

13. Jack G. Shaheen Mass Communications Scholarship

Deadline: April 1st

Sponsored by the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), the Jack G. Shaheen Mass Communications Scholarship presents $1,000 annually to an extraordinary first-generation American student of Arab heritage who is majoring in journalism, radio, television, and/or film with at least junior-level standing. Applicants must submit a one-page statement of career goals, two original signed letters of recommendation, and an official academic transcript.

Contact

Jack G. Shaheen Mass Communications Scholarship

1990 M St. NW Suite 610

Washington, DC 20036

(202) 244-2990

organizing@adc.org

14. James Angelo Memorial Social Justice Scholarship

Deadline: May 1st

In honor of a refugee from South Sudan who was shot and killed in the fall of 2008 while working as a security officer in Portland at Mercy Hospital, the Maine-African Partnership for Social Justice has created the James Angelo Memorial Social Justice Scholarship to award $5,000 annually. Candidates must be first-generation African immigrants, be graduating high school seniors, and have an interest in pursuing a career in social work or criminal justice to affect social change in the local African immigrant community.

Contact

James Angelo Memorial Social Justice Scholarship

P.O. Box 16

Peaks Island, ME 04108

(207) 741-5957

info@mapsj.org

15. Kereakos Family Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: April 15th

At Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC), the Kereakos Family Memorial Scholarship is presented annually for $1,000 to an incoming freshman who is in an immigrant, child of an immigrant, or a first-generation American citizen with financial need. Eligible candidates must exhibit good academic standing with a cumulative GPA of 2.8 or higher, be entering community service-oriented careers, and be planning to pursue a four-year degree.

Contact

Kereakos Family Memorial Scholarship

851 30th Avenue SE

Rochester, MN 55904

(507) 281-7771

foundation@rctc.edu

16. Marcella Kochanska Sembrich Vocal Competition Scholarship

Deadline: April 5th

In memory of the great Polish soprano who made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1883 and led an extravagantly successful career, the Marcella Kochanska Sembrich Vocal Competition Scholarship is hosted by the American Council for Polish Culture for up to $1,500. Eligible first-generation U.S. citizens of Polish descent must be pursuing higher education study in voice or music, be under the age of 35 years old, not be under professional management, and submit a recording of a 19th or 20th century operatic aria.

Contact

Marcella Kochanska Sembrich Vocal Competition Scholarship

15 East 65th St.

New York, NY 10065

(212) 734-2130

jkowalski@thekf.org

17. Mary Rosenblum Somit Scholarship Fund

Deadline: April 1st

Within the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Buffalo, the Mary Rosenblum Somit Scholarship Fund will award $3,000 annually to hard-working undergraduate students who are majoring in biochemistry, biomedical science, pharmacology, or toxicology with at least sophomore-level standing. Candidates must be immigrants or children of immigrants, show financial need, exhibit academic promise, and submit a personal essay.

Contact

Mary Rosenblum Somit Scholarship Fund

127 Sherman Annex

Buffalo, NY 14214

(716) 829-3005

khickey@buffalo.edu

18. Mexican American Dream Scholarship

Deadline: October 25th

For outstanding students who are immigrants or of immigrant descent, the Mexican American Dream Scholarship is offered through the Council of Mexican Federations (COFEM) for $1,000 to provide financial support in pursuing an undergraduate degree at a four-year university. Applicants must be AB-540 students, be enrolled full-time with at least 12 units, have a minimum GPA of 2.8 or greater, demonstrate financial need, reside in Southern California, and agree to complete at least 50 hours of volunteer service.

Contact

Mexican American Dream Scholarship

125 Paseo de La Plaza Suite 500

Los Angeles, CA 90012

(213) 417-8380

info@cofem.org

Scholarship Link

19. National Italian American Foundation Scholarships

Deadline: March 1st

Ranging in value from $2,000 to $12,000, the National Italian American Foundation offers annual scholarships for first-generation Americans of Italian descent to cover the cost of tuition for enrolling full-time in an undergraduate, graduate, post-graduate, medical, dental, or legal professional program. For consideration, applicants must demonstrate high academic achievement, outstanding potential, financial need, and dedication to community service.

Contact

National Italian American Foundation Scholarships

1860 19th St. NW

Washington, DC 20009

(202) 939-3116

gmileti@niaf.org

20. New Immigrant Scholarship Program

Deadline: April 15th

Through the National Network of Presbyterian College Women, the New Immigrant Scholarship Program distributes $1,500 annual awards to female immigrants to the United States between the ages of 18 and 25 years old who have been living in the country for fewer than five years, regardless of immigration status. Applicants must be enrolling in an accredited post-secondary institution, demonstrate financial need, be involved within the Christian church, and submit two sealed letters of recommendation.

Related: Scholarships for Christian Students

Contact

New Immigrant Scholarship Program

100 Witherspoon St. Suite 3044

Louisville, KY 40202

(888) 728-7228

lydia.kim@pcusa.org

21. Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans

Deadline: November 1st

Annually, the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans are gifted for up to $25,000 to 30 deserving students who are green card holders, naturalized citizens born abroad, or the children of naturalized citizens born in the United States. Qualified candidates must be pursuing a graduate degree in any field, promote a strong sense of community, already hold a bachelor’s degree, have not reached their 31st birthday, and express a commitment to the values expressed within the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Contact

Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans

224 West 57th St.

New York, NY 10019

(212) 547-6926

yramos@sorosny.org

Scholarship Link

22. Reggie Poyau Memorial Scholarship

Deadline: Varies

Established in 2004 in partnership with the Community Foundation of Greater Plymouth County to honor the memory of a Haitian immigrant who died while studying abroad in Africa during his junior year at Brandeis University, the Reggie Poyau Memorial Scholarship is granted for $2,150 annually to a deserving immigrant or first-generation American citizen. Selection will be based on applicants’ financial need, ambition, educational goals, character, and academic promise.

Contact

Reggie Poyau Memorial Scholarship

107 Wheeler Avenue

Brockton, MA 02301

(508) 580-7860

parks@cobma.us

23. SALEF Fulfilling Our Dreams Scholarship

Deadline: May 31st

Sponsored by the Salvadoran American Leadership and Educational Fund (SALEF), the Fulfilling Our Dreams Scholarship is available for $1,000 to immigrants and first-generation American students in the Los Angeles area who are enrolling at a community college, vocational/trade school, university, graduate school, or medical/dentistry school. Applicants must be pursuing a health-related degree, prove financial need, maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher, participate in community service, and be of Central American descent.

Contact

SALEF Fulfilling Our Dreams Scholarship

1625 West Olympic Blvd. Suite 718

Los Angeles, CA 90015

(213) 480-1052

ehilleprandt@salef.org

24. Smart Cookie Scholarship Fund

Deadline: April 2nd

Administered through the Women’s Foundation of California, the Smart Cookie Scholarship Fund is available for first or second-generation immigrants from Latin America who reside in Fremont, Newark, Menlo Park, Union City, Hayward, East Palo Alto, Redwood City, North Fair Oaks, or Santa Clara. Qualified applicants must be first-generation college students, be currently enrolled in an undergraduate program, showcase significant financial need, display leadership potential in the immigrant community, and foster a culture of respect.

Contact

Smart Cookie Scholarship Fund

340 Pine St. Suite 302

San Francisco, CA 94104

(415) 837-1113

smartcookie@womensfoundca.org

Scholarship Link

25. Turkmani Family Scholarship for First-Generation Americans

Deadline: February 23rd

At Cornell University, the School of Hotel Administration presents the Turkmani Family Scholarship for First-Generation Americans annually for up to $1,500 to undergraduate students who are currently enrolled in Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Hotel Administration program full-time with good academic standing. Strong preference will be given to immigrant students or first-generation children of immigrants who are from Western New York State.

Contact

Turkmani Family Scholarship for First-Generation Americans

174 Statler Hall

Ithaca, NY 14853

(607) 255-3565

hotelsociety@sha.cornell.edu

Overall, whether you are a naturalized citizen or a permanent resident with immigration status, pursuing advanced education beyond high school is strongly associated with higher employment rates, an increased salary potential, enhanced rates of home ownership, and heightened independence from public service programs. Therefore, be sure to check out these 25 great scholarships for immigrants and first generation Americans to overcome the rising cost of tuition and get on the right track to achieving your American Dream for success.

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