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First Generation Scholarships

Are you the first person in your family to go to college? If so, it is admirable that you are taking this important step to advance yourself and your career options. It can be difficult for many first generation college students to find the money needed to go to college. Luckily, there are many fantastic scholarships available that can ease your financial burden and help you make the dreams come true for you and your family. If you need some assistance in paying for your education, these scholarships can go a long way toward making your dream come true:

University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas Austin offers first generation scholarships to entering freshman students who apply by December 1. To apply, students must complete the Apply Texas Application and choose UT Austin as the intended university. Before the scholarship section is available, students must complete the admission section. In addition, applicants must submit the completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. For more information and to access a scholarship application, visit www.texasscholarshipsorg.

Dorrance Scholarship Program

This scholarship is available to first-generation students who are graduating from an Arizona high school and who are planning to attend university as a college freshman. To qualify, students must have at least a 3.0 GPA and a combined SAT score of at least 1040 or a composite ACT score of at least 22, excluding writing. In addition, applicants must be admitted to one of Arizona’s three residential public universities and must show financial need as well as community service and leadership skills. Recipients must agree to participate in all features of the program, must reside on campus the first year, and must participate in the University Summer Transition Experience. Recipients receive as much as $10,000 a year in renewable aid up to a maximum of four years. To renew, recipients must meet all program requirements, must complete at least 12 units each semester with a 3.0 GPA, and must submit the FAFSA each year. In addition, students must participate in 10 hours of volunteer service each semester and must submit a year-end report by May 1 each year. To apply and to get further information, visit

Coca-Cola Foundation First Generation Scholarships

These scholarships are available to students who are the first to attend college in their immediate families. There are about 400 colleges in the United States that participate in the program. Interested students should contact the financial aid office at their chosen college or university. To be eligible, students must demonstrate financial need, be accepted for full-time enrollment at a participating school, possess a strong record of community service, and have at least a 3.0 GPA. This average must be maintained as long as the student receives the award.

J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation

The goal of this scholarship program is to create a better, more educated workforce for Idaho and its people. To be eligible, students must be attending Boise State University, College of Idaho, College of Southern Idaho, College of Western Idaho, Eastern Idaho Technical College, Idaho State University, Lewis-Clark State College, North Idaho College, Northwest Nazarene University, Treasure Valley Community College Caldwell, or the University of Idaho. If interested, contact the financial aid office at one of these universities.

UCF Foundation

The First Generation Matching Grant Program provides grants to undergraduate students enrolled in state universities who have financial need. The University of Central Florida has one of the highest enrollment rates of first-generation students, with the number being over 12,000. Most of these students have an EFC of over $8,000, leaving a substantial gap between the cost of attendance and the available funding. This program makes a dollar-for-dollar match on private contributions to support these students. If you think you qualify and plan on attending the University of Central Florida, contact the financial aid office for applications and further information on receiving funding.

Bernard and Audre Rapoport MCC First Generation Scholarships

To apply for these scholarships, students must submit a completed online application from this website, hard copies of transcripts, and online letters of recommendation by January 15. Funds are limited and competition is high, so it is recommended that students apply and submit all required documentation as early as possible for the best chance of earning a scholarship.

These first generation scholarships can make a seemingly impossible dream a reality for students who wish to earn a college degree. Students who are the first in the family to pursue a higher education are often less prepared for the experience and face greater challenges to success. These scholarships remove some of these obstacles and provide a more level playing field so that all students have the chance to experience educational and employment success.

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