Now more than ever, students first in the family to attend college are enrolling and completing degrees at schools all over the nation. First-generation college students face their own unique challenges as students; many are the children of immigrants or impoverished citizens, are ethnic minorities, and sometimes choose to attend college in order to aid their families in securing a better financial future.
To help ease the financial and psychological stress of being a first-generation college student, a great many programs – including scholarship funding programs – are available to assist first-gens in completing their degree, especially if they are supporting family members at home. Here are five great scholarships for first in the family students.
Benjamin and Patricia Allen Scholarship
A varied-amount scholarship, the Benjamin and Patricia Allen Scholarship places first priority on first-generation college students. Citizens and non-citizens alike are encouraged to apply for this scholarship, which is applicable to any major and minor combination. This year’s scholarship application deadline is set for February 2nd, 2018.
Fontana Transport Inc. Scholars Program
This generous scholarship – totaling five thousand dollars to the recipient – is open only to low-income, first-generation, and/or minority students. The process of applying for this scholarship is a trifle more rigorous than some, considering the amount, and is limited to students taking full-time courses towards degrees in transportation, mathematics, and a short list of other majors. Students need not be US citizens to apply. This year’s application deadline is March 15, 2018.
Administered by the prestigious University of Chicago, the Odyssey Scholarships are varied-amount scholarships given to students on a need-based basis, taking family circumstances into account (such as if a student is helping to support their family). In addition to the scholarship award, Odyssey scholars are guaranteed a summer internship – complete with stipend – for the length of their study at the university. Students applying to the university who have completed a FAFSA are automatically considered for this scholarship.
TELACU College Success Program Scholarship
Ranging in amount from five hundred to five thousand dollars, the TELECU College Success Program Scholarship is available to all students beginning their first year of college or university, and is renewable for up to four years after the initial reward. For new students, the application deadline is January 29th, 2018; for renewing scholars, February 26th.
Smith Scholarship Foundation
The Smith Scholarship foundation provides scholarships to students living in and studying in the state of Alabama who have performed services to their community and maintained at least a C+ average. Each year they study, students must provide documentation of having maintained a C+ average at their college or university, degree credits completed, and maintenance of acceptable degree progress. The scholarship application opens in August 2017, and all documentation must be submitted by two weeks following the student’s final class of the semester or quarter for that year.
These and many other scholarships are available to first-generation students. First-generation students should search online and talk to guidance counselors, teachers, and professors for resources on applying for them.
Being first in the family to attend college can be an enormous strain, not to mention intimidating – but being financially prepared via grant and scholarship aid can help to break down some of the barriers first-generation students face in completing their studies. First-generation students should apply for as much scholarship aid as they can because it can help them achieve a brighter future for themselves and their families.