national center for homeless education | nche

Scholarships for Higher Education

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Having access to higher education is a key opportunity for young people experiencing homelessness to move towards financial stability for themselves as adults. The links below are intended to provide young people experiencing homelessness with ready access to scholarship information. In addition to the links below, NCHE recommends the following approaches to seeking funding for higher education:
  • Do not provide personal information to any agency except the agency sponsoring the scholarship; include the requested information in the scholarship application and then submit the application directly to the sponsoring agency.
  • Do not pay fees to receive information about scholarships or to apply for scholarships.
  • Check with the higher education institution(s) where you are applying for information about scholarships they make available to their student body.
  • Speak with your high school guidance counselor to request a list of scholarships sponsored by local or regional agencies in your state.


Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship Program
The Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship program has awarded more than $19 million in scholarships to support students who are the first in their immediate families to go to college. The program has reached more than 1,000 students at approximately 400 U.S. campuses. Interested students should contact the school they are planning to attend to ask whether a Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship is in place, and if so, how to apply.
Visit the Coca-Cola First Generation Scholarship Program webpage.

College Board: Advising Undocumented Students
This webpage from the College Board provides information about access to higher education for undocumented students, including details on state laws and a listing of scholarships available to students regardless of their immigration status.
Visit the College Board: Advising Undocumented Students webpage.

College Board: Scholarship Search
This webpage from the College Board provides a searchable database of scholarships, other financial aid, and internships from more than 2,200 programs nationwide.
Visit the College Board: Scholarship Search webpage.

Fastweb! is an excellent online resource for paying and preparing for college. Fastweb provides students with the resources to realize their educational pursuits, from the time they begin their college search in high school to the day they land their first job after graduation. Fastweb members are matched to relevant scholarship opportunities completely free of charge. With roughly 1.5 million scholarships worth over $3.4 billion, there are scholarships for every student's educational goals, activities, and interests.
Visit the Fastweb! website. Financial Aid and Scholarships for Undocumented Students
This webpage contains information about financial aid and scholarships for undocumented students. It provides a neutral, objective, and comprehensive summary of this topic and links to scholarships made available specifically to undocumented students.
Visit the Financial Aid and Scholarships for Undocumented Students webpage. The SmartStudent™ Guide to Financial Aid is the most comprehensive source of student financial aid information, advice, and tools, both on and off the web. Access to FinAid is free for all users and there is no charge to link to the site. The site includes a webpage dedicated specifically to the scholarship search process.
Visit the website.

Foster Care to Success (FC2S): Scholarships and Grants
This FC2s webpage provides links to various sources for higher education scholarships for current and former foster youth.
Visit the Foster Care to Success (FC2S): Scholarships and Grants webpage.

Gates Millennium Scholars Program
The Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, selects 1,000 talented students each year to receive a good-through-graduation scholarship to use at any college or university of their choice.
Visit the Gates Millennium Scholars Program website.

Hispanic Scholarship Fund
The Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) empowers families with the knowledge and resources to successfully complete a higher education, while providing scholarships and support services to as many exceptional students as possible. As the nation's largest not-for-profit organization supporting Hispanic American higher education, HSF has awarded over $500 million in scholarships and provides a range of impactful programs for students, HSF scholars, alumni, and parents.
Visit the Hispanic Scholarship Fund website.

Horatio Alger Association National and State Scholarship Programs
The Horatio Alger Association, in partnership with the Give Us Your Poor organization, offers college scholarships to homeless and at-risk students. The Horatio Alger Association provides approximately 1,000 scholarships each year to eligible students who have overcome adversity in their lives.
Visit the Horatio Alger Association National and State Scholarship webpage.

Que Llueva Café Scholarship
This scholarship, sponsored by Chicano Organizing and Research in Education (CORE), provides financial assistance to college-bound, undocumented, Latino students. CORE seeks to support undocumented students that have met the rigorous academic requirements necessary to enter a secondary education program by providing financial support enabling the students to enter college.
Visit the Que Llueva Café Scholarship webpage.

Resource Guide: Supporting Undocumented Students
This U.S. Department of Education guide seeks to help educators support the academic success of undocumented youth, debunk misconceptions by clarifying the legal rights of undocumented students, share helpful information about financial aid options open to undocumented students, and support youth in applying for DACA consideration or renewal. It includes an overview of the rights of undocumented students, tips for educators on how to support undocumented youth in high school and college. key information on non-citizen access to federal financial aid, a list of private scholarships for which undocumented youth might be eligible, information on federally-funded adult education programs at the local level, and guidance for migrant students in accessing their education records for DACA (Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals).
Download Resource Guide: Supporting Undocumented Students.
Download Financial Aid and Undocumented Students.

Resources for Undocumented Students
This webpage from the Minnesota Department of Higher Education provides information about various sources of financial aid and scholarships for undocumented students and includes links to scholarships made available specifically to undocumented students.
Visit the Resources for Undocumented Students webpage.

SchoolHouse Connection Youth Leadership and Scholarship Program
This program, administered by SchoolHouse Connection, provides scholarships and support to formerly or currently homeless youth to ensure their completion of a post-secondary education program. Additionally, the program helps scholarship recipients build a stable peer and adult network to support them during their college years and transition into the workforce.
Visit the SchoolHouse Connection Youth Leadership and Scholarship Program webpage.

State Financial Aid Programs
This webpage from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) provides information on state financial aid programs. Almost every state has at least one grant or scholarship available to residents; and many have a long list of student aid programs. Eligibility often is restricted to state residents attending a college in-state, although that is not always the case.
Visit the NASFAA State Financial Aid Programs webpage.

U.S. Department of Education: Finding and Applying for Scholarhips
This webpage from Federal Student Aid is a one-stop shop for gathering scholarship search tips and searching for different types of aid for higher education.
Visit the U.S. Department of Education: Finding and Applying for Scholarhips webpage.

Western Michigan University Foundation Scholarship
The WMU Foundation Scholarship is a new scholarship for high achieving, high financial-need students who are first-time, full-time college freshmen. To be eligible, applicants must have a high school GPA of 3.7 or higher; must be admissible to Western Michigan University; and must meet one of the established need criteria, including homeless, foster care, or undocumented status. NOTE: Given the difference in out-of-state tuition, this scholarship is likely to be of most benefit to Michigan state residents.
Visit the Foundation Scholarship webpage.

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The National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) is the U.S. Department of Education's technical assistance center for the federal Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) Program. NCHE is housed at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

This website was produced with funding from the U.S. Department of Education, on contract no. ED-01-CO-0092/0001. The content of this website does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Education or the University of North Carolina at Greensboro; nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

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