If your student is the first person in your family heading to college, they may be eligible for first-generation scholarship opportunities. These scholarships are designed to make furthering their education more affordable for first-in-family college students.

The scholarships in this list either target first-generation college students specifically or tend to give first-gen students special consideration, increasing the odds that a first-generation college student is selected. The exact qualifications can vary from one scholarship to the next, as some have additional eligibility requirements as well.

Explore these scholarships or share others with us so we may add to our list.

Three students smiling in the library

SMU Book Tech Support

Tuition aside, materials required for classes is expensive! Many of our first-generation students work multiple jobs to pay for laptops, textbooks and school supplies. Therefore, we offer modest funds throughout the calendar year to help our first year and transfer first-generation students receive college school supplies. Applications open two weeks before the beginning of the term. 


Choose Your Future Scholarship Fund

To be eligible for any scholarships offered through The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, students only have to complete one application. If you would like to review the various details for over 150 scholarships the foundation offers, use the search options on the website to find first-generation specific opportunities. 

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FirstGen Fellows

The First Generation Civil Rights Fellowship Program, or FirstGEN, is a paid summer program for undergraduate students who are the first in their immediate families to attend college and who intend to pursue careers in social justice. Our mission is to identify and support first generation college students as they emerge into tomorrow’s leaders. Fellows receive hands-on experience advocating for civil rights, participate in training and professional development seminars, and join a growing community of emerging leaders in the FirstGEN Alumni Network. Fellows are placed with the national Lawyers’ Committee and its partners at Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC).

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I’m First! Scholarship

There is something special about being the FIRST……especially being the first in your family to attend and graduate from college. I’m First!, an initiative of UStrive, is an online community celebrating first-generation college students.

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ISFA First Generation College Student Program

Give first-generation college students a chance to benefit from the life-changing experience of studying abroad. This achievement-based scholarship program offers first-generation college students significant financial, academic, and pre-professional support for study abroad on a January, summer, semester, or year-long IFSA program.

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Sallie Mae and Hispanic College Fund First in My Family Scholarship

Start with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. It's a source of scholarships for Latinx students and supports Hispanic-American higher education. There are scholarships available for graduating high school students as well as two-year or four-year college students.

In efforts to promote and support diversity, many funds and organizations like the Hispanic Scholarship Fund offer resources and scholarships to minority students who are underrepresented in the community and on many college campuses.

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Becoming a first-generation college student is a tremendous honor. We’re looking to support one student who demonstrates leadership qualities, commitment to education, and a capacity to triumph over challenges to become the first member of their family to attend college with a scholarship.

Most college students have faced a multitude of challenges and detours to reach where they are today. This fact rings especially true for those who are first in their family to attend college. Becoming a first-generation college student is a tremendous honor. And StudySoup would like to reward the exceptional work that goes into overcoming this barrier. Therefore, we are offering a $2000 scholarship this semester to one student who is looking for a leg-up in increasing their educational mobility. The winning student will be able to clearly demonstrate leadership qualities, commitment to their education, and a capacity to triumph over challenges.

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TELACU Education Foundation College Success Program

The College Success Program is funded by TELACU and the generous contributions of our partners—corporations, colleges and universities, non-profit organizations and individuals—who have joined us over the past 35 years in advancing educational opportunities for our community.

Because TELACU believes that the future leaders of our community must be engaged in meaningful careers that will change the face of our world, our TELACU Scholar cohort in large part consists of young people majoring in the fields of STEM and business. These fields of study are where our Scholars are able to most immediately find employment upon graduation and embark on long-lasting, high-impact careers.

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