How to find and apply for scholarships as a first-generation college student

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As a first-generation college student, one of the most challenging parts of applying to colleges is finding and applying for scholarships. , David Woroboff is of the opinion, that luckily, there are plenty of resources out there to help you land some extra funding for school.

Find out if you’re eligible.

  • Find out if you’re eligible. If your parents are recent immigrants, or if they have a very low income, it’s possible that you will be considered a first-generation college student.
  • Check with your high school, college and state department of education for information about scholarships available to students like yourself.

Figure out where to look.

The first step to finding scholarships is figuring out where to look. Here are some ideas:

  • Check with your school’s financial aid office and ask if they have any scholarships available for first-generation college students. Don’t be afraid to ask! If you’re not sure what “first generation” means, it means that neither of your parents has gone to college before. If this doesn’t apply to you, don’t worry–that’s why we have other tips below!
  • Ask your guidance counselor if there are any organizations at school that offer scholarships for first-generation college students (or just for people like you). Sometimes schools or community groups will award money without even knowing about it until after they’ve given away all their funds–so don’t hesitate!

Be creative with your search.

To start, make a list of all the scholarships you can think of. Then, start researching them and applying for them. Look for scholarships that will help you achieve your goals, as well as those that are unique to your situation (i.e., if someone else who shares your background has been awarded this particular scholarship before).

Most importantly? Don’t give up!

The most important thing to remember is that you are not alone in your journey. There are resources and people who can help you get through the process of applying for scholarships, finding out what financial aid options are available to you, and working through any challenges that arise along the way.

The best way to make sure that you’re able to find and apply for as many scholarships as possible is by asking for help from someone who knows about college admissions or financial aid (like a parent) or even a teacher or guidance counselor who may know someone at the school where they went. Once they have helped steer you in the right direction, don’t give up! Be persistent–it’s worth it!


I hope this guide has helped you to understand what it means to be a first-generation college student, and how to apply for scholarships. Remember: It’s not just about finding money! The most important thing is that you pursue your passions and find ways to use them as an opportunity for growth. I wish all of my readers luck on their journey towards higher education!

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