December 12, 2019

First Generation

There are many of us who are first generation college goers.  In many instances, this can prove to be a very large disadvantage for the simple fact that those who were not raised in a college educated family may not have access to the tips and tricks in order to get through the Financial Aid department, the loan process, and even paying for college in the future.  This lack of knowledge and experience make the entire process seem a bit scary, so that is why there are quite a few foundations out there that exist to help out first generation college students.


Ethnicity Based

Hispanics and the African American community have shown to be at a major disadvantage for having access to college educations.  So, that is why there are lots of scholarships out there in order to help them out.

Many of these foundations are social government programs, which will be able to provide rather large sums of money to commit to lots of qualified students.

Of course, these funds will not just be given to all students under this status, and they may require interviews, high GPAs, and excellence at Standardized testing.  In addition to that, these funds may only be given to certain ethnic groups.  This is where African Americans and Hispanics have the advantage over Caucasian Americans for the simple fact that these funds are far more accessible.


Religious Based

There are also many religious based scholarship opportunities for first generation students.  Catholic organizations and especially Protestant ones will give thousands in scholarships to qualified students, especially if they are in a certain Presbytery or denomination of churches.

Also, there are a few opportunities for Islamic first generation students, as there will also be funded by government organizations.


Access To the Cash

The best way to gain access to these government funds is to go directly to the Sallie Mae government scholarship department.  You might have to fill out a whole bunch of paperwork talking about your background and that of your family, but after that, it is relatively smooth sailing.  It is rather easy for First Generation students to gain access to scholarship money through Sallie Mae, as this is a near bottomless pit of free money.  Since 2008, despite their financial woes, they’ve actually been upping their funding to ethnically based scholarship opportunities.  This allows students of just about every race and creed the access to fulfill their dreams, and make it to that degree.


The Sallie Mae Fund in combination with the Hispanic College Fund, offers the Sallie Mae First in Family Scholarship. This program is suited best to Hispanic students, one of the more scholastically disadvantaged minority groups in America. Applicants must have high academic scores and be pursuing a four-year undergraduate program. Awards are up to $5,000.

The J. Craig and Page T. Smith Scholarship Foundation is a philanthropic organization in Alabama founded by a wealthy textile family. The organization’s main objective is to make it possible to send more of Alabama’s disadvantaged kids to college. While the scholarship is not exclusive to first gen college kids, it does give preference to those that are. The Foundation has been quite vocal about the exclusivity of many scholarship programs when it comes to kids who may not be top scholars simply because their duties at home are just as overwhelming. Eligible applicants must be enrolling in a college in the state. Recipients may qualify for the full cost of tuition.

While college is supposed to be one of the most rewarding times in your life, you don’t want to be faced with a monthly payment post-graduation that takes over a high percentage of your salary, or worse yet, one you’d be forced to default on, hurting your credit score. Find money for college by educating yourself on the options available and taking advantage of the millions of dollars being awarded to college-bound high school students each year. And if you’re faced with a bigger tuition bill than you thought, consider your options to keep your college costs low.