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9 Top Scholarships for First-Generation College Students

Feb. 20, 2013
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This article was last updated on March 4, 2015.

Getting accepted to college is a proud achievement, especially if you’re the first in your family to enroll. If you’re paving that path, take a look at the college and graduate school scholarships below that are designed to help students in your situation.

Check out our scholarship search for more award listings.


Bay Area Minority Law Student Scholarship Program

This scholarship is designed for law students belonging to underrepresented minority groups in the San Francisco Bay Area. All current and incoming law students at an American Bar Association accredited law school in the Bay Area may apply.

TELACU Arts Award

Students with a minimum GPA of 2.5 who are members of a low-income household may apply. Applicants must reside in the California cities of Los Angeles, East Los Angeles, Bell Gardens, Commerce, Huntington Park, Montebello, Monterey Park or South Gate.

AAUW Virginia Beach Branch Scholarship

Female students ages 23 and older who are residents of Virginia Beach, Virginia, may apply. This scholarship is awarded to students who are returning to college after a gap. Applicants should have completed a minimum of two semesters at a U.S. college or university and be enrolled in a Hampton Roads area undergraduate program. Students must have at least a 3.0 GPA.

Choose Your Future Scholarship

Students who plan to pursue a college education within the U.S. and have at least a 2.5 GPA and an ACT score of 21 may apply. In order to qualify, applicants must be high school graduates of a Metropolitan Nashville Public School in Davidson County, Tennessee.

Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship

Seniors who are graduating from high school and are the first among their immediate family to attend college may apply.

Hispanic Scholarship Fund/VAMOS Scholarship

High school seniors from Hidalgo County, Texas, of Hispanic origin may apply. Applicants must maintain a 3.0 GPA. This scholarship is awarded to those planning to enroll in a four-year college in the U.S. or its territories.

Buick Achievers Scholarship Program

Students interested in engineering/technology or certain design and business fields, and planning to pursue a career in the automotive industry, are eligible applicants. Primary consideration will be given to students who are female, of a minority group, or those who are dependents of military personnel or military veterans themselves.

Patty & Melvin Alperin First Generation Scholarship

High school seniors in Rhode Island whose parents have not graduated from college may apply.

Partners in Arts Scholarship

Awarded by the East Texas Community Foundation, this scholarship is given to high school seniors from Texas’ Smith County. Those who apply must participate in the arts, either performing or visual. Students must plan to pursue a degree in these art fields. Check out our article on scholarships for the performing arts as well.

More ways to pay

The scholarships on this list are all great ways to help pay for college. But be sure to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid so you get other sources of financial aid, too. The FAFSA is the key to unlocking grants, work-study opportunities and even additional private scholarships. Learn more about the FAFSA.

Nishita Shetty contributed to this report.

Student studying photo via Shutterstock.