Scholarships for College Freshmen

Introduction to Scholarships for College Freshmen

Ah, freshman year of college!

I remember my freshman year of college like it was just yesterday. Your freshman year of college usually involves typical activities such as getting acclimated to life on campus, meeting new people and starting to join clubs and student organizations. Are you thinking about scholarships for college freshman?

If you're me, you also spent a considerable amount of time locating the best pizza place on campus to order in from after a tough day of studying (I suggest you take notes on that one!).

It's no secret that your first year of college likely involves a lot of firsts. Hopefully, applying for scholarships isn't one of those first-time activities, but whether it is or not, the bottom line is that applying for scholarships as a college freshman is super important.

The habits that you develop as a first-year college student will eventually make their way into how you go about your remaining years, so by applying for scholarships as a college freshman, you're already setting yourself up for later success (and hopefully lots of money!).

So, in this post, I highlight over 25 great scholarships for college freshmen to apply for.

But first...some frequently asked questions about scholarships for college freshmen!

Can college freshmen even apply for scholarships?

To put it simply...YES! All college students, including first years, or freshmen, are eligible to apply for all kinds of scholarships.

As a college freshman, not only are you eligible to apply for scholarships through your college or university (which can usually be found on your school's website or financial aid page), but you're ALSO eligible to apply for private scholarships, which are scholarships offered through private organizations, companies/corporations, and small businesses.

What are the easiest college scholarships to get?

While there is no clear-cut answer as to which specific scholarships are the easiest to win, generally speaking, the scholarships you have the highest chance of winning are the ones in which the competition is the lowest. Oftentimes, the scholarships that tend to be lowest in competition are the ones which receive the fewest qualified applicants.

For a college freshman, this often comes down to the scholarships that are available directly through the college or university (for example, through your degree program, or through an extracurricular you're involved in), or outside private scholarships that are as specific to your profile as possible. By applying for extremely niche scholarships, you are giving yourself the best possible chance to succeed because you'll inevitably be competing against a smaller applicant pool.

What are the best scholarships for college?

Objectively, the best scholarships for college are the ones that offer you the most money! While they are few and far between, full-ride scholarships (scholarships which cover all or almost all of your college tuition and fees) are your best bet if you're trying to get as much of your college costs covered as possible.

The majority of full-ride scholarships are only available to high school juniors and seniors, as opposed to current college students.

25+ Scholarships for College Freshmen

  • Amount: $2.500

    Deadline: Monthly

    Eligibility: Open to all students 13 and older!

  • Amount: $4,000 given away monthly

    Deadline: End of each month

    Eligibility: Open to all US high school and college students ages 16 and older. All you need to do to apply is create an account!

  • Amount: $2,000

    Deadline: Quarterly

    Eligibility: Open to high school seniors and undergraduate students in the US.

  • Amount: $4,000 (4 awards, $1,000 each)

    Deadline: December 15


    -Open to high school and college students of all years studying in the US

    -No transcript required to apply!

    -Special consideration will be given to minority students, students who have experienced foster care, and students who are or will be the first in their family to attend college

  • Amount: $2,000

    Deadline: Monthly

    Eligibility: Open to high school and college students of all years.

  • Amount: Varies, but usually $1,000 - $2,500

    Deadline: Continuous

    Eligibility: Open to all students in the US and Canada ages 26 and under! 

  • Amount: Varies, but it's usually between $1,000 and $2,500!

    Deadline: Monthly

    Eligibility: Open to high school, college, and graduate students in the US.

  • Amount: up to $25,000

    Deadline: January 11

    Eligibility: Open to students (ages 16-26) who are passionate about creating a better future and making a positive impact on their community.

  • Amount: up to $5,000

    Deadline: January 19

    Eligibility: Open to undergraduate students of Asian and/or Pacific Islander ethnicity who are attending APIA partner schools (see list on application page). Minimum 2.7 GPA. Special consideration is given for students who live at or below the poverty level, or are otherwise of low socioeconomic status, or who are the first in their families to attend college.

  • Amount: $5,000

    Deadline: April 13

    Eligibility: Open to underrepresented and economically disadvantaged undergraduate students who are pursuing degrees in illustration, photography, and communication design disciplines at colleges and universities in the United States. Minimum 2.0 GPA.

  • Amount: up to $3,000

    Deadline: January 15

    Eligibility: Must be a STEM student accepted at, or enrolled in, a full-time program at a U.S. or Canadian school that MPOWER supports (includes international students studying in the US and students with DACA status)

  • Amount: $1,000

    Deadline: January 30

    Eligibility: Open to students in high school, college, and graduate school. Must be a US citizen/resident to apply.

  • Amount: $1,000

    Deadline: February 26

    Eligibility: Open to women of international backgrounds who will be entering their first year at an American college or university.

  • Amount: Varies

    Deadline: March 1

    Eligibility: Freshman scholarships are open to current college freshmen as well as high school seniors. Some, but not all, scholarships require SWE membership. Applicants complete one application and are considered for all scholarships for which they are eligible.

  • Amount: Varies

    Deadline: March 31

    Eligibility: Scholarships for students enrolled full-time and attending UNCF-member Institutions. Must have a demonstrated financial need. Minimum 2.5 GPA required.

  • Amount: $1,000

    Deadline: March 31, June 30, September 30, December 31

    Eligibility: Open to all high school, college, and graduate school students studying in the US (includes US residents, international students in the US, and undocumented students).

  • Amount: up to $5,000

    Deadline: April 1

    Eligibility: Open to all students who are US residents who are attending a post-high school institution full-time. This could be a community college, an undergraduate college or university, or a graduate school in the U.S.

  • Amount: Varies

    Deadline: May 15

    Eligibility: Open to undergraduate students in the US who are majoring in one of the following areas: Culinary Arts, Baking/Pastry, Hospitality Management or Agriculture. Minimum 2.5 GPA.

  • Amount: up to $5,000

    Deadline: May 28

    Eligibility: Open to Asian high school, undergraduate, and graduate students in the US. International students in the US are welcome to apply. Must be majoring in (or planning to major in) one of the engineering/architecture-related disciplines listed on the application page.

  • Amount: $3,000

    Deadline: July 30

    Eligibility: Open to undergraduate and graduate students in the US. Minimum 3.0/4.0 GPA.

  • Amount: $500

    Deadline: July 31

    Eligibility: Open to all students who are either enrolled as a full-time student in an accredited U.S. University or College or are able to present a legitimate letter of acceptance from an accredited U.S. University or College.

  • Amount: Varies

    Deadline: August 31

    Eligibility: Open to STEM undergraduate majors and professionals who plan to become teachers (K-12 STEM).

  • Amount: $500 - $1,000

    Deadline: September 1

    Details: Open to all high school and college students in the US, including DACA recipients. Students who identify as part of a minority or who are be first-generation college students are encouraged to apply.

  • Amount: $1,000

    Deadline: September 1

    Eligibility: This scholarship is open to all high school and college students. International students are also encouraged to apply.

  • Amount: $1,500

    Deadline: September 30

    Eligibility: Open to current undergraduate students of all years who are pursuing a degree in Computer Science or Technology. Open to international students, you must reside in one of the countries indicated on the scholarship page. 

    Additionally, applicants must self-identify as one or more of the following: Woman, LGBTQIA+, Person with disability, Military Veteran, Indigenous, Native American or Alaskan Native, Asian American, Black, African American, Hispanic or Latino/Latina, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander.

  • Amount: Varies ($500 - $1,000)

    Deadline: October 15

    Eligibility: Open to undergraduate and graduate LatinX students. Undergraduate students must have completed one year of study. Minimum 2.8 GPA.

  • Amount: up to $2,500

    Deadline: October 31

    Eligibility: Open to high school seniors, college students, and graduate school students. Must be a US citizen, permanent resident, or have undocumented/DACA status.

  • Amount: $1,000

    Deadline: December 1

    Eligibility: Open to any current, full-time student of an accredited two-year or four-year American university or college is welcome to apply. There is no age or specific major requirement.

  • Amount: $1,000

    Deadline: December 31

    Eligibility: Must be a first-generation college student (aka, the first in your family to attend a four-year college or university). Minimum 3.0 GPA.

Additional reading and resources for college freshmen

There you have it! There are so many scholarships for college freshmen to apply for, so I hope you've found at least a few on this list that you can apply for.

Also, since applying for scholarships is only one of the many things you'll likely be doing as a college freshman, be sure to check out these two articles to help you navigate your first year!

Everything I Wish I Knew When I Started College (by me!)

College Info Geek's 42 Things I Learned Freshman Year


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