Top 10 First Generation Immigrant Scholarships – Apply Now

You’re probably wondering if there are scholarships for first-generation immigrants in the United States? The answer is Yes! Here is a list of scholarships for illegal immigrants or children of undocumented immigrants.

The term illegal immigrants sound pretty offensive and as such doesn’t sit well with a lot of people because of its connotation hence they are also regarded as undocumented or unauthorized Immigrants.

First of all, let’s take a look at what it means to be an illegal immigrant. An illegal immigrant can be referred to as someone who lives or works in another country that is not their own without having the legal rights to do so. 

Illegal in this context is assigned to unauthorized immigrants who are undeserving of the rights of the foreign country in which they reside. They can also be referred to as foreigners in a country who do not possess a valid visa, other immigration documents or have the right to live or remain in their host country. 

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Over the years, there has been a record of approximately 65,000 unauthorized immigrants students graduating every year in the United States.

For the most part, these unauthorized immigrant children can only acquire a high school education. Subsequently, they drop out because they lack the proper documentation needed to further their study.

Other factors that necessitate them dropping out include inadequate knowledge of funds and scholarships accessible to them and the financial status of their communities (low-income).

Due to their vague immigration status, these students live in the awareness that it is impossible for them to legally attend any college in the US. Financial constraint is also another factor that hinders them from attending a recognized college in the US.

The tuition fee charged by most colleges is usually exorbitant because of the out-of-the-state fee required to be paid by the Immigrants to be allowed to attend their campus. Hence it’s imperative for them to drop out of school. This false impression is a result of inadequate knowledge about the incentives and financial scholarships accessible by the students. 

The U.S government has put in place many private and public foundations to help students from low-income countries who have migrated to pursue their dreams realize it.

These foundations have been established to give these less privileged students the opportunity for higher education. With the emergence of this development, every unauthorized immigrant has access to federal financial aid.

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First Generation Immigrant Scholarships

Below are the lists of college scholarships accessible by undocumented immigrant students:

1. The Martin family foundation honors scholarship program

The Martin family foundation honors scholarship was integrated by the University of Washington solely for unauthorized students residing in Washington.

It’s strictly reserved for those who exhibit phenomenal work in their communities and extraordinary talent to go for higher education. The students are allowed to pursue any course of their choice.

The major requirement to apply for this grant is that you must be attending or must have attended a community college in Washington.

Applications are not based on race, color religion, or economic status. The major benefactor of this scholarship is the Martin family foundation – the University of Washington, which covers the undergraduate level of education.

The portal will be opened for application by May 22 and the amount of scholarship offered can be estimated to be $12,000

2. Scholarship 360

Scholarship 360 was developed mainly to provide affordable education to all students living in the U.S. They are devoted to making sure the objectives are met by ensuring that the grants are available to graduate students, college, high school, transfer, and community college.

This grant disregards school records, financial status, community development, or immigration boundaries. 

The only requirement to earn this scholarship are to complete your registration on the scholarship 360 website, remain dedicated to their emails, newsletter, and promotional content.

The amount provided is about $1,000, it doesn’t require an essay to be written nor does it require a recommendation. It provides scholarships for a student to study any course of their choice at the undergraduate level.

The deadline for application is on the 30th of September.

3. Kennedy Memorial King Scholarship

This scholarship scheme was established in the year 1968, it has awarded scholarships of about $6million to meritorious students from low-income communities who have not been authorized in the U.S.

The scholarship is named after two historical dignitaries, Senator Robert F. Kennedy. And Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Its major objective is to cater to the educational needs of youths who come from low-income communities and are faced with financial constraints.

By providing quality education to the youths. The scholarship provides about $2,501 to $5,000 grants to eligible students.

The students are expected to provide proof of their financial status alongside the grant application. They are also expected to be community-oriented and they should possess an outstanding academic record.

They should also be eligible to transfer their education to a four-year course in a recognized college in the U.S. application for the scholarship ends by 4th February.

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4. The Anthelo Project Dream Scholarship Application 

Anthelo Project is a non-profit organization that is based in Chicago. Its major purpose is to elevate the unauthorized students who are financially constrained to pursue higher education.

Since its inception, it has been able to grant $200,000 scholarships for students who come from economically challenged situations. The students are required to have exceptional academic skills, community-oriented and must have made a level of achievement, and also possess leadership qualities.

They must be able to maintain a grade score that falls between 2.0 to 4.0, they must also be registered in an authorized university in the state of Illinois, and also devoted to spending about 20 hours of volunteer service at the Anthelo project campus.

The amount provided by the project varies and just like others, it covers Undergraduate courses. Two letters of recommendation are also required from a teacher or counselor. The application should be submitted on or before 29th January 2022

5. Cooke College Scholarship Program

The Cooke college scholarship program has emerged to deliver various scholarship programs to students from across the country from economically challenging conditions.

Over time, the Jack Kent cookie foundation has awarded over $230 million as scholarships to students from various financial, ethnic, migrant, and cultural settings.

Students who are meritorious and high-flier get into an undergraduate four-year course in an authorized college across the US. The student will have access to a scholarship of about $55,000 and also a one-on-one mentorship session with the executive members of the foundation as regards application to the university and choice of course.

Tips on how to handle finances will also be given. The application closes on the 18th of November.

6. The Dream US Opportunity Scholarship

The Dream US was established for the upliftment of students stuck in locked out states without education and are unable to afford out-of-state and college tuition.

It’s the largest establishment that has collaborated with business entrepreneurs, individual foundations, successful tech companies, and donors to give grants to migrant students who have access to documentation.

Its main aim is to actualize the dreams of a large number of students who move into the US in search of a better future.

The grant sums up to about $80,000, it is renewable every year and it covers the undergraduate course fee, meals, financial assistance to afford materials relevant to the course, and hostel expenses.

The students are expected to only continue their course, which will last for four years in a college that is linked to the Dream US organization. Application for the year closes on the 31st of January.

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7. The Ascend Fund NY

The Ascend Fund NY has been founded solely for Immigrants who are attending a high school in any area in New York.

It’s accessible to students who are interested in pursuing higher education in a four-year course in any recognized college in the United States. 

The grant is accessible to students regardless of ethnic background, nationality, or immigration status. The availability of the grant makes it possible for the students to attend any university of their choice, providing that the university is accredited. It sums up to about $2,500 to $20,000.

To be a beneficiary of this grant, the student must be an undocumented non-US citizen with an exceptional academic background and also belong to one of the five districts of New York City.

The application closes on the 4th of February.

8. RTDNF Journalism Scholarship

The RTDF has been a trailblazer when it comes to transforming the news broadcast system, ensuring instant coverage of all that is happening in the world. The RTDNF scholarship is usually awarded yearly by the Radio-television digital news association to students who are interested in building an active career in journalism.

The grant sums up to about $80,000. Over the years, this agency has given out over $1million grants to creditable students who are willing to build an active career in broadcasting. 

There has been a practice that the beneficiaries of this scholarship have served at the White House and even become board members with the RTDNA. The grant signals a start into journalism in various fields of television, radio, and digital news broadcasting.

The successful beneficiaries of this grant are usually invited to the annually held RTDNA conference.  The student’s interests, plans, and prospects of the field are expected to be submitted alongside the application.

Application closes for the year on the 12th of January.

9. Ted Rollins Eco-Scholarship

This scholarship was named after the founder Ted Rollins, who is a trailblazer in the field of marketing, construction, investment banking, start-up business funding, and tech financing.

This grant provided by the Valeo group covers just a single student twice a year, it is solely for students who are interested in taking a course in business, marketing, and sustainability. The amount given is estimated to be about $1000.

Applications are expected to be submitted alongside an essay describing the benefits of business and sustainability in line with the preservation of the environs. It offers full coverage of the tuition fee, hostel expenses, and course materials. The deadline for application is on the 1st of December.

10. Mexican – American Dream Scholarship

Consejo De federations Mexicanas has been committed to the need of the migrant students that have been given a chance to actualize their dream education with a certain scholarship.

The Mexican American dream Scholarship is one that was founded exclusively for the children of immigrants. Students eligible are those who are from economically challenged countries.

Annually the grant covers the expenses of students registered for a four-year course in a recognized college in the states. The amount given is estimated to be about $500-$1000.

An important criterion is that students who are applying must be a member of the COFEM club. Academic excellence is also considered, a student is expected to have a GPA score of 2.8 and above.

Service to the community through COFEM is also encouraged by the bursary. Application for the grant opens by spring of every year.

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Can I Get a Scholarship for being First Generation?

Yes, you can get a scholarship for being a first-generation. The Mexican American dream Scholarship, Ascend Fund NY, Cooke college scholarship program, and others are scholarship opportunities for first-generation immigrants or students from across the country from economically challenging conditions.

Can I Get a Scholarship for being an Immigrant?

You can get a scholarship for being an immigrant. Scholarship opportunities like Mexican American dream Scholarship, Dream US Opportunity Scholarship and others listed are for immigrants in the United States of America.


Currently, we have several universities and organizations in the U.S that are dedicated to helping immigrant students actualize their dream of pursuing higher education and getting a degree.

Proper research should be carried out to ascertain which university is best to enroll in and also to know if you have all the requirements.

There are various scholarship options available to Immigrant students, both the ones that strictly require exceptional academic performance and the ones that don’t. This post has outlined them and their various benefits and requirements. What matters most is the student’s preference and choice of course that will enhance your career goals. 

The scholarships described above provide adequate information to help Immigrant students actualize their Vision of a better future and also get appropriate financial aid for their preferred course.

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