When you’re the first person in your family to go to college, finding a way to pay for it can be tough. While grants and scholarships are great ways to cover some costs of your education without having to take out loans, they aren’t available for all students.

If you’re among the many 1st gen students who want more options when it comes time to cover tuition, here’s what you need to know:

What Is A First Generation Student

A first generation student according to Jeremy Schulman is someone who has never attended college and these young people are more likely to be low income and the first in their families to attend college, as well as the first person in their family to graduate from high school.

First generation students are also at an increased risk for dropping out of school due to financial hardship, cultural barriers such as being unfamiliar with the college application process, or lack of support from parents who may not understand what it takes for a student to succeed at college level classes.

Scholarships Available On The National Level

There are many scholarships available in your local area per se by Jeremy Schulman, but there are also national scholarships that can help you pay for school.

First Generation Scholarship – This scholarship program is open to students who are the first generation in their family attending college and have financial need.

  • To apply, you must be accepted into an accredited U.S. college or university and submit the FFS application by March 1st each year with exception.
  • You’ll need to write an essay about how being first gen has impacted your life experience so far, explain what it means for you personally to go back to school now as opposed to when others from your family did so long ago if applicable
  • Then provide two letters of recommendation from teachers/professors who know you well enough to speak confidently about how well prepared they think this experience will be for both learning & success at higher education levels overall
  • finally include any other information relevant such as SAT scores or GPA or both

Scholarships Available At Your School Or Local Area

Your school or local area is a great place to look for scholarships and many colleges and universities offer their own private scholarships, which can be applied for directly through the school.

 Additionally, many businesses and organizations within your community offer scholarships as well. Check with local businesses or community groups that you may already be involved with such as the Rotary Club and see if they have scholarship opportunities available.

If you’re still having trouble finding scholarships that meet your needs, contact government agencies such as city halls or county offices of education to see if any grants are available from them; these may require additional forms beyond just completing an application form but could be worth it when considering how much money they can save over time,

If none of these options work out for whatever reason perhaps because they don’t apply, then contact your local library they’ll likely have information about other sources like newspapers which publish articles about upcoming awards events throughout each year.

  • Law school scholarships for first generation students
  • Medical school scholarships for first generation students


As you can see, there are many different scholarships available to first generation students and if you’re looking for help with your education expenses and want to break down some barriers, consider applying for one of these scholarships.