10 Great Scholarships for Low-Income College Students

While some scholarships are designed to help students with unique talents or accomplishments, others are designed to help financially disadvantaged kids. Some, but not all, of these scholarships for low-income college students have merit or academic component. They will, however, always require students to show financial need.

Merit aid is another excellent option for students trying to save their college costs. This is a fantastic way to fund your college education! Students frequently direct their scholarship efforts toward outside groups, but institutions have many more grants available, and students should focus their efforts there.

You may be eligible for one of these generous scholarships for low-income college students if you are a low-income or middle-income student with significant financial need. Continue reading to learn more about the specific scholarships, as well as the eligibility conditions and deadlines.

Scholarships for Low-Income College Students
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1. Ron Brown Scholarship

The first program on our list of scholarships for low-income college students is a tribute to Ronald H. Brown. The Ron Brown Scholarship is designed to help community-minded and academically bright African Americans pursue higher education.

Each year, a total of $40,000 in scholarships are offered to the most brilliant and financially challenged high school seniors who show a strong interest in:

  • Public service.
  • Community engagement.
  • Business entrepreneurship.
  • Global citizenship.

These are the four pillars of the late Ronald H. Brown’s purpose to improve the lives of people of all races, cultures, and nationalities, particularly underprivileged youth.

To be considered for an award, you must be Black or African American, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and a current high school senior at the time of application. More than 45 students have been named Ron Brown Scholars since the program started in 1996.

2. Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarships

Other scholarships for low-income college students are scholarship programs by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. These scholarships are intended to encourage exceptional and diligent students who need financial assistance. Jack Kent Cooke Scholarships, in particular, help undergraduate students with financial aid and academic support.

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Up to $55,000 per year to attend a four-year accredited undergraduate school in any field of study is available through this highly competitive grant. Cooke Scholars get full educational advising, significant cohort-based programming, and graduate school financing in addition to the monetary prize.

Applicants must expect to graduate from a U.S. high school in the spring, enroll in an eligible four-year college beginning in the fall semester, and demonstrate an unmet financial need to be considered for these scholarships. Also, they must have a cumulative unweighted GPA of at least 3.5.

3. Horatio Alger National Scholarships

The Horatio Alger National Scholarship Program, one of the nation’s most significant scholarships for low-income college students, aids high school students who have experienced and overcome significant challenges in their young lives.

Horatio Alger Members provide scholarships to students who have overcome obstacles to become the great business and civic leaders. Students from all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico are eligible.

The Horatio Alger Scholars will each get a scholarship worth $25,000 each. Applicants must demonstrate urgent financial need and have a minimum GPA of 2.0 to be considered for the Horatio Alger National Scholarship.

4. Hagan Scholarship

The Hagan Scholarship is a need-based merit scholarship to help rural students graduate debt-free from college. It provides up to $48,000 in college scholarships and other advantages over four years. To be eligible, recipients must have graduated from one of over 6,300 public high schools.

Each beneficiary must work 240 hours in the 12 months previous to the start of each academic year of college and produce proof of employment to contribute to the expense of their education. Applicants will be chosen on a non-discriminatory and objective basis, regardless of race, creed, color, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or sex.

A Hagan Scholarship is meant for a high-achieving student with clear aspirations who require financial aid to attend college. You should apply for a scholarship if you meet the eligibility requirements.

5. Tzu Chi Scholarship Program

The Tzu Chi Scholarship is a Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation-funded scholarship program. It honors and assists excellent college-bound high school graduates and continuing undergraduate students who were previous recipients in certain parts of the United States.

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Tzu Chi Scholars are chosen based on their financial need, academic achievement, and commitment to the community. Applicants must demonstrate the economic need for college tuition and related fees to consider the award. They must have a GPA of at least 3.0.

Applicants will enroll full-time in an accredited U.S. college. Scholarships of up to $1,500 are given, depending on their states and regions.

6. Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund

The Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund is one of the few scholarships for low-income college students involved in social and economic justice organizations. Students who can conduct academic work at the college or university level or are enrolled in a trade or technical school who are active in the progressive movement are eligible for this need-based grant.

Applicants must have participated in activities in the United States, with a particular priority to those who want to work in the nation. The Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund offers a maximum payout of $15,000 per year (from July 1 through June 30). Grants are distributed for each semester, quarter, or term that the applicant is enrolled in school.

Grants cannot be delayed or carried over and must be used in the awarded year. Each year, recipients must reapply for assistance.

7. Bezos Scholars Program

The Bezos Family Foundation invites 17 outstanding high school juniors and a supportive instructor from their school to participate in the Bezos Scholars Program. The program’s costs are covered in full, including transportation, housing, meals, and Aspen Ideas Festival passes.

All Bezos Scholars will be awarded an all-expenses-paid trip to the prestigious Aspen Ideas Festival. Student and Educator Scholars will be able to take advantage of everything the festival has to offer, including the chance to apply for $1,000 seed funds to help them design and implement their ideas.

Applicants must be enrolled as juniors this academic year and seniors the following year to be considered. They also need to show leadership in their school and community.

8. Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship

The Jeannette Rankin Foundation offers unlimited scholarships for low-income college students who identify as women or non-binary, are 35 years old or older, and have financial needs. The Jeannette Rankin Foundation was founded in honor of Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to the United States Congress.

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Each year, the Jeannette Rankin Foundation gives scholar grants to people pursuing an undergraduate degree or a trade skill certification at a U.S. college or university. The subsidies are renewable for up to five years and are directly given to the recipients. Applicants must be enrolled in or admitted to a regionally accredited, not-for-profit college.

The financial eligibility for the scholarship is determined by the student’s projected household income for the coming year.

9. Hubertus W.V. Willems Scholarship for Male Students

The Hubertus W.V. Willems Scholarship for Male Students is awarded annually to a male, U.S. citizen who attends an accredited institution in the U.S. and is majoring in one of the following fields:

  • Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Mathematical Sciences

POISE Foundation has provided scholarship management for the National NAACP Scholarship Program for many years. Each year, the NAACP grants scholarships to deserving students thanks to the generosity of their donors.

There are relatively few scholarships available, especially for males; therefore, if you are interested in pursuing a career in STEM, do not miss out on this fantastic chance. To be considered for the award, applicants must be members of the NAACP and demonstrate financial needs based on federal poverty requirements.

10. QuestBridge National College Match

For low-income high school graduates who have excelled academically but believe that the nation’s best institutions are financially out of reach, the QuestBridge National College Match can be a gateway to a top college. Students can apply for free to the most excellent universities in the country using this college and scholarship application process.

Students can use the extra space on the QuestBridge National College Match application to convey their unique narrative as a student who has achieved academically despite the financial difficulty. Early admission to one of QuestBridge’s college partners will be provided, along with a full four-year scholarship valued at over $200,000.

Applicants must graduate from high school during or before the summer and plan to attend as a freshman in college in the autumn to be eligible for the award. All U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and students presently enrolled in high school in the United States are eligible for the scholarship.

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