Becoming a United States citizen is a wondrous milestone in itself, but it can also help immigrants unlock numerous scholarships for newly naturalized American citizens to attend higher education.
Our nation has historically been a “land for opportunity” and welcomed immigrants from all parts of the world. Over just the last decade, more than 6.6 million foreign-born lawful permanent residents have achieved naturalization by taking the Oath of Allegiance.
Many of these new U.S. citizens may be held back from truly reaching their American dream though due to a lack of financial resources to cover tuition costs. Luckily, the following are 25 excellent scholarships available for newly naturalized citizens from various ethnicities and backgrounds to remove any financial barriers to their education goals.
1. Achievement Scholarship for Refugees and Immigrants
Deadline: March 31st
Funded by Larry and Sue Yarger, the Achievement Scholarship for Refugees and Immigrants is granted for $1,000 to $4,000 annually by the Triangle Community Foundation for first-generation U.S. citizens, newly naturalized citizens, refugees, and immigrants residing in Wake County of North Carolina. Eligible candidates must be graduating high school, plan to attend an accredited in-state institution, maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5, exhibit family financial need, and be committed to being a contributory member of American society.
Achievement Scholarship for Refugees and Immigrants
324 Blackwell Street Suite 1220
Durham, NC 27701
2. Ameen Rihani Scholarship Program
Deadline: March 15th
Through the Arab American Institute, the Ameen Rihani Scholarship Program is available to provide $1,500 to naturalized U.S. citizens or permanent residents of Arab descent who are intending to study literature, philosophy, or political science in American higher education. To qualify, applicants must be enrolling full-time in a degree-granting program, carry a minimum overall GPA of 3.25, and demonstrate leadership abilities through participation in community service or extra-curricular activities.
Ameen Rihani Scholarship Program
1600 K Street NW Suite 601
Washington, DC 20006
3. Atsuhiko Tateuchi Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: March 1st
Administered by the Seattle Foundation, the Atsuhiko Tateuchi Memorial Scholarship is granted annually for $5,000 to students from the Pacific Rim states of Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington who are of Asian heritage. Qualified candidates must be U.S. citizens or naturalized citizens, be accepted at an accredited two or four-year college full-time, possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, demonstrate financial need, and write a 500-word essay explaining the most interesting book they’ve read.
Atsuhiko Tateuchi Memorial Scholarship
1200 5th Avenue Suite 1300
Seattle, WA 98101
4. Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship
Deadline: April 15th
In the Institute of International Education, the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is open to all U.S. citizens and naturalized citizens of limited financial means who are enrolled at accredited higher learning institutions in good academic standing. To receive up to $8,000 in funding, candidates must be accepted in a study abroad program for at least four weeks. Preference is given to students who speak Arabic, Chinese, Bahasa Indonesia, Japanese, Turkic, Persian, Indic, Korean, Russian, and Swahili fluently.
Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship
1800 West Loop South Suite 250
Houston, TX 77027
5. Chicana/Latina Foundation Scholarships
Deadline: March 31st
For female newly naturalized U.S. citizens of Hispanic heritage, the Chicana/Latina Foundation offers up to 31 scholarships of $1,500 apiece annually to lower the tuition costs of attending an accredited college, university, or community college. Eligible applicants must be enrolled full-time, have completed 12 college units, have lived at least two years in Northern California, carry a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5, agree to attend the CLF Leadership Institute, and commit to volunteering at least 10 hours after being selected.
Chicana/Latina Foundation Scholarships
1419 Burlingame Avenue Suite W2
Burlingame, CA 94010
6. Denny’s Hungry for Education Scholarships
Deadline: April 5th
Ranging in value from $1,000 to $3,000, the Denny’s Hungry for Education Scholarships are given annually to citizens, naturalized citizens, or permanent residents of the United States and Puerto Rico who are enrolling full-time in an accredited post-secondary institution. Eligible candidates must be at least 18 years old, meet low income requirements, achieve a minimum overall GPA of 2.5, and provide a 500-word essay on how Denny’s can impact childhood hunger in their community.
Denny’s Hungry for Education Scholarships
761 Main Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06851
7. D.H. Gustafson Family Scholarships
Deadline: February 13th
Sponsored by the Eagan Foundation and the Paradigm Foundation, the D.H. Gustafson Family Scholarships are presented each year for $1,000 to one male and one female first-generation American, newly naturalized citizen, or immigrant who is furthering their education to the post-secondary level. Qualified applicants must live or attend school in Eagan, Minnesota, carry a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, exhibit financial need, write a personal essay, and be actively involved in extra-curricular or volunteer activities.
D.H. Gustafson Family Scholarships
P.O. Box 211192
Eagan, MN 55121
8. Edna M. and Maurice Gedance Scholarship
Deadline: February 1st
At the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), the Edna M. and Maurice Gedance Scholarship was founded to deliver up to $2,000 to currently enrolled full-time undergraduate or graduate students who carry a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75. Priority is given to students who are naturalized citizens of the United States and can provide a certified copy of their Certificate of Naturalization attesting to their status as a foreign-born immigrant.
Edna M. and Maurice Gedance Scholarship
4505 South Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, NV 89154
9. Foroutan Foundation Scholarships
Deadline: May 15th
In the maximum amount of $10,000, the Foroutan Foundation awards several scholarships each year to first-generation immigrants and foreign-born citizens of Iranian descent who have been naturalized in the United States. Eligible recipients must be pursuing a four-year undergraduate degree at an accredited American college, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, carry a full-time academic courseload, demonstrate financial need, exhibit strong personal character, and be committed to completing their education.
Foroutan Foundation Scholarships
18101 Von Karman Avenue Suite 750
Irvine, CA 92612
10. Frederick and Demi Seguritan Scholarship
Deadline: February 20th
Through the Asian Pacific Fund, the Frederick and Demi Seguritan Scholarship is distributed annually for up to $5,000 to first-generation immigrants or naturalized citizens of Asian and Pacific Islander descent who clearly showcase a passion for business. Qualified students must be incoming freshmen enrolled full-time at an accredited four-year U.S. college, reside in an approved county of California, earn a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, demonstrate financial need, and be actively involved in community service.
Frederick and Demi Seguritan Scholarship
465 California Street Suite 809
San Francisco, CA 94104
11. Hellenic Times Scholarship Fund
Deadline: March 18th
Newly naturalized U.S. citizens of Greek descent who are between the ages of 17 and 25 can apply for financial support through the Hellenic Times Scholarship Fund to lower the cost of tuition for undergraduate or graduate studies at an accredited U.S. university. In order to be considered for $1,000 to $5,000 in funding, students must register, submit an online application, attach academic transcripts, provide proof of full-time enrollment, and send in tax forms.
Hellenic Times Scholarship Fund
823 Eleventh Avenue 5th Floor
New York, NY 10019
12. Henry Salvatori General Scholarship
Deadline: February 28th
Sponsored by the Order Sons of Italy in America (OSIA), the Henry Salvatori General Scholarship is available for $5,000 for U.S. citizens or naturalized citizens of Italian descent who are enrolling full-time within a four-year undergraduate or a graduate program at an accredited American institution. Along with an application, candidates must submit official transcripts, test scores, a current resume, two letters of recommendation, and a 750-word personal essay showing pride in their Italian heritage.
Henry Salvatori General Scholarship
219 E Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
13. John R. Mott Foundation Scholarship
Deadline: April 15th
In honor of an American immigrant, entrepreneur, and dreamer originally born in the mountain village of Serra d’Aiello, the John R. Mott Foundation has created a $10,000 scholarship that’s available for naturalized citizens or permanent residents of the United States who are native to the region of Calabria in Italy. Eligible recipients must be accepted to attend an accredited U.S. university and work towards a degree or professional certification starting this upcoming fall.
John R. Mott Foundation Scholarship
1860 19th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
14. Jose Robles Dream Scholarship Fund
Deadline: May 1st
Funded by the Catholic Community Foundation, the Jose Robles Dream Scholarship Fund will give $1,000 to $2,000 each year to Hispanic students who have immigrated to the United States as children and become naturalized citizens or permanent residents. Qualified applicants must currently live in Arizona, have graduated from high school, be accepted at an accredited post-secondary institution, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 2.0, not qualify for in-state tuition, and demonstrate unmet financial need.
Jose Robles Dream Scholarship Fund
1404 East Ninth Street
Cleveland, OH 44114
15. Kosciuszko Foundation Tuition Scholarships
Deadline: January 15th
Ranging in value from $1,000 to $7,000 each, the Kosciuszko Foundation Tuition Scholarships are available for naturalized U.S. citizens of Polish descent who are pursuing graduate studies in select states and major fields. Qualified candidates must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, attend an accredited American graduate school, maintain full-time enrollment, exhibit financial need, show involvement in the Polish American community, and be motivated for success inside and outside the classroom.
Kosciuszko Foundation Tuition Scholarships
15 East 65th Street
New York, NY 10065
(212) 734-2130 ext. 210
16. Lebanese American Heritage Club Scholarships
Deadline: April 6th
Through the Lebanese American Heritage Club (LAHC), scholarships are awarded for $1,000 to $10,000 apiece annually for U.S. citizens of Lebanese or Arab descent who reside in Michigan and are enrolled full-time in an accredited post-secondary institution with a minimum overall GPA of 3.5. Special preference will be given to candidates who are majoring in political science, mass communications, journalism, and related fields as well as those who have not received a scholarship previously.
Lebanese American Heritage Club Scholarships
4337 Maple Street
Dearborn, MI 48126
17. Ludmila Smolyansky Empowerment Scholarship
Deadline: January 31st
In partnership with the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) of Chicago, the Ludmila Smolyansky Empowerment Scholarship is delivered annually for $2,000 to empower a young woman to find passion in her career by exploring fields of study where women are typically underrepresented. Eligible recipients must be female U.S. naturalized citizens or permanent residents who immigrated from Russia, the Former Soviet Union, or Ukraine and are enrolling in a four-year undergraduate degree program.
Ludmila Smolyansky Empowerment Scholarship
216 West Jackson Street Suite 700
Chicago, IL 60606
18. Mexican American Dream Scholarship
Deadline: October 17th
Newly naturalized citizens who immigrated from Mexico can receive the Mexican American Dream Scholarship to provide $500 for community college courses or $1,000 for attending a four-year university each year. Qualified applicants must be enrolled full-time in an accredited post-secondary institution, carry a minimum overall GPA of 2.8, demonstrate financial need, reside in select California counties, show pride in their Mexican heritage, and agree to volunteer at least 25 hours with the Council on Mexican American Federations (COFEM).
Mexican American Dream Scholarship
125 Paseo de La Plaza Suite 101
Los Angeles, CA 90012
19. OCA-AXA Achievement Scholarship
Deadline: January 10th
Since 1993, the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA) has partnered with AXA to deliver the Achievement Scholarship for $2,000 each year to ten Asian Pacific Americans who are entering their freshmen year of college in the upcoming fall. Eligible candidates must be U.S. naturalized citizens or permanent residents, carry a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, be dedicated to academic achievement, showcase leadership ability, apply for federal aid, and volunteer their service in the Chinese American community.
OCA-AXA Achievement Scholarship
1322 18th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
20. Paul and Katherine Ohtaki Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: March 1st
In honor of a successful businessman and his wife who were dedicated to the Nikkei community, the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) has created the Paul and Katherine Ohtaki Memorial Scholarship to present $5,000 annually. Applicants must be graduating high school seniors, be accepted full-time at a college or university in the United States, be U.S. citizens or naturalized citizens of Japanese heritage, have student JACL membership, and demonstrate academic achievement.
Paul and Katherine Ohtaki Memorial Scholarship
6917 Town View Lane
San Diego, CA 92120
21. Richard R. Tufenkian Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: July 31st
For $2,500 annually, the Richard R. Tufenkian Memorial Scholarship is granted by the Armenian Educational Foundation (AEF) to U.S. naturalized citizens or permanent residents originally from Armenia who are enrolling full-time in a two or four-year undergraduate degree program. To qualify, candidates must demonstrate financial need, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, be actively involved in the Armenian community, submit two reference letters, and write a personal essay on their hopes for living in America.
Richard R. Tufenkian Memorial Scholarship
600 West Broadway Suite 130
Glendale, CA 91204
22. Ruth C. Bailey Endowed Scholarship
Deadline: February 15th
At the Ohio State University, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion has created the Ruth C. Bailey Endowed Scholarship to award $1,500 annually to three foreign-born naturalized American citizens who are enrolling in an undergraduate program. Eligible students must maintain full-time enrollment, attend the Columbus campus, demonstrate financial need, carry a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, and be involved in community service. Preference will be given to applicants who wish to study Italian culture.
Ruth C. Bailey Endowed Scholarship
154 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
23. SALEF Fulfilling Our Dreams Scholarship
Deadline: May 31st
Through the Salvadoran-American Leadership and Educational Fund (SALEF), the Fulfilling Our Dreams Scholarship is given annually for $500 to $2,500 to naturalized citizens or permanent residents who immigrated to the United States from Central America. Eligible applicants must demonstrate financial need, possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5, reside in the San Francisco Bay Area or Los Angeles Area, be attending an accredited higher learning institution, and be willing to complete 52 community service hours as a SALEF mentor.
SALEF Fulfilling Our Dreams Scholarship
1625 West Olympic Blvd. Suite 718
Los Angeles, CA 90015
24. Soros Fellowships for New Americans
Deadline: November 1st
Annually, the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans provides up to $90,000 in funding for newly naturalized citizens, green card holders, and first-generation immigrants hailing from around the globe who are advancing their career to receive a master’s or doctoral degree from a U.S. graduate school. Selection will be based on candidates’ accomplishments, creativity, originality, initiative, ability to overcome adversity, academic achievement, financial need, and immigration experience.
Soros Fellowships for New Americans
224 West 57th Street
New York, NY 10019
25. Western Union Family Scholarship Program
Deadline: May 25th
In partnership with the Institute of International Education (IIE), Western Union has created the Family Scholarship Program to provide university tuition to immigrant fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, or brothers and sisters seeking to move up the economic ladder through education. All applicants must be age 18 or older, be members of the same family, have lived in the United States for seven years or less, be currently living in America legally, be accepted at an accredited post-secondary school, and exhibit significant financial need.
Western Union Family Scholarship Program
1400 K Street NW Suite 700
Washington, DC 20005
Earning a degree in post-secondary education is highly suggested for new citizens seeking to build a prosperous life in America with job stability, increased salary potential, and more independence. Even if money is tight, you’ll qualify for virtually any scholarship once you have received your Certificate of Citizenship. Plus, there’s these great scholarships for newly naturalized American citizens like you to help lower tuition expenses for your education.