First generation scholarships are offered by different corporations and colleges to students who are the first in their family to attend college. When no member of your family has gone to college before, it can be a challenging time for both you and your parents to cope with the college fees. All your family members may be resting their hopes on your success. Moreover, the college fees may not be easy to raise. First generation scholarships are meant to provide a financial relief to families that are sending their kids to college for the first time.
Most students who qualify for first generation scholarships are usually from minority communities and those from poor backgrounds. These scholarships are also referred to as first in family scholarships.
a) J. Craig and Page T. Smith Scholarship
This scholarship is offered by the J. Craig and Page T. Smith Scholarship philanthropic organization that is based in Alabama. The fund is only open to students from Alabama and is meant to enable those coming from disadvantaged backgrounds to afford college. This scholarship is mainly focused on first generation college students although other students are also regularly considered. With the scholarship, any student attending college can qualify for full tuition fees. Academic excellence is not the main consideration when awarding the scholarship.
b) The Sallie Mae Fund
There are many first generation scholarship opportunities that you can take advantage of. One of the most well-known is the Sallie Mae Fund, which is mainly targeted at Hispanic students. To be eligible for this scholarship, students must show exceptional academic performance and must be studying a four-year undergraduate program. The maximum amount of funds given is $5,000. The scholarships are meant to subsidize college fees and other expenses.
c) College Specific First generation Scholarships
A number of colleges across the state offer first generation scholarships to students in their colleges. The main criteria for selection is academic excellence and coming from a disadvantaged background. Students usually have to write an essay about a particular topic and the scholarship winners are selected based on merit. Examples of colleges that offer college specific first generation scholarships include Catawba College in North Carolina and University of Colorado.
d) Corporation First Generation Scholarships
Some corporations also offer first generation scholarships to deserving students. The most known corporation scholarship in this category is the Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship. This scholarship is available in different colleges all across the country. To be eligible for the scholarship, a student must be the first person in his or her family to attend college, must demonstrate a financial need, must have been accepted to pursue a program at a participating college at the time of application, and must have taken part in a number of community service projects. When you qualify and are awarded the scholarship, you are required to maintain an average of 3.0 academic record.
e) Other Types Of First Generation Scholarships
Some colleges offer other related types of first generation scholarships. These scholarships are usually open to first generation college attenders or families of the alumni. For example, the University of California—Santa Cruz offers a UCSC Alumni Scholarship for first generation college students. The scholarship is given to needy and deserving students and is mainly based on academic performance. Other colleges and universities may have related types of first in family scholarships that may have different eligibility and selection criteria.
Competition for first in family scholarships is usually high. The most deserving and students with exceptional academic records have greater chances of getting the scholarships.