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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Eligibility: Open to high school seniors and undergraduate students in the US.
Amount: Varies, but usually $1,000 - $2,500
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!
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.
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.
Deadline: January 30
Eligibility: Open to students in high school, college, and graduate school. Must be a US citizen/resident to apply.
Deadline: February 26
Eligibility: Open to women of international backgrounds who will be entering their first year at an American college or university.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!