Scholarships for immigrants and refugees

Scholarships for Refugee Students
Photo by Chandler Christian, CC.

How can I find scholarships for immigrants and scholarships for  refugees?

There are many scholarships for refugees and scholarships for immigrants.

What are scholarships?

Scholarships are awards you can receive that help you pay for college.

In the United States, it is common for students to apply for scholarships for financial support to help them pay for college. The scholarships on this page are exclusively for refugee and immigrant students. This means, you will have a higher chance of winning one of these scholarships.

(Students can also apply for grants, which are different. The office of Federal Student Aid provides grants, loans, and work-study funds for college or career school. You can apply for the Federal Application for Free Student Aid (FAFSA).)

National scholarships for immigrants and refugees

CharterUp National Scholarship For Immigrants And Refugees
Deadline:July 25th, 2018
One scholarship of $10,000 is awarded each year. This scholarship is non-renewable and can be applied to one academic year.  Applicants must be born outside of the U.S and currently enrolled (or accepted) as a full-time undergraduate student at an accredited U.S college or university. High school seniors intending to enroll are also eligible. Recent transcript must show a weighted GPA of 3.4 or greater.

Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans
A full scholarship for immigrant and refugee students who are under the age of 31.
Phone: (212) 547-6926

TheDream.US Scholarship
Scholarship for Dreamers (DACA and TPS) that are first time college students and community college graduates.
Phone: (855) 670-4787

The Gates Millennium Scholars Program
Scholarships for outstanding African American, American Indian/Alaska Native*, Asian Pacific Islander American, and Hispanic American students with significant financial need in the United States.

Scholarmatch makes college possible, all the way from application to graduation. They focus on what students need most: hands-on help applying to college, financial assistance, and a support system through college.
Phone: 415 652-2766

State specific scholarships

Refugees and immigrants qualify for many scholarships in your state.


Educators for Fair Consideration New American Scholars Program
For individuals who were born outside of the United States, graduating from high school in the San Francisco Bay area.

Foroutan Foundation
Scholarships for immigrant students who live in California.
Phone: (877) 968-6328


James Angelo Social Justice Scholarship
For a student with African heritage graduating from high school in Portland, Maine.
Phone: (207) 741-5957


Grand Rapids Community Foundation
Apply for over 50 scholarships with one application for students graduating from a Kent County, Michigan (Grand Rapids area) high school.


D.H. Gustafson Family Paradigm Foundation Scholarship
For refugees and immigrants with financial needs who live in or go to school in Eagan, Minnesota.
Phone:(651) 243-1198

North Carolina

Achievement Scholarship for Refugees and Immigrants
A scholarship for immigrants and refugees who live in Wake County that attended at least one semester of high school in North Carolina.
Phone: (919) 474-8370


The Refugee Connect Student Scholarship
The Refugee Connect Student Scholarship in Honor of Dean Razzak provides financial awards for refugees to pursue higher education in Greater Cincinnati. An applicant must be a refugee residing in the Greater Cincinnati tri-state area who is planning to pursue a two- or four-year degree at an accredited public, private, or technical college or university in the United States. There are no age restrictions. You can apply here, or reach the application form from the web page.


Douvas Memorial First Generation American Scholarship
Deadline: April 30th
For refugees and immigrants in Wyoming.
Phone: (307) 777-7690

SAT test fee and college application fee waiver

SAT test and college application fee waiver (up to 4 colleges) for students who demonstrate financial need.
Waivers are available to low-income 11th and 12th grade students in the U.S. or U.S. territories. U.S. citizens living outside the U.S. may be able to have test fees waived. SAT Subject Test fee waivers are available for students in grades nine through 12.

Scholarships for specific fields of learning

English for Heritage Language Speakers (EHLS) Program
8-month intensive training in professional communication, English language, and career skills essential for working in the government for people who want a career that utilizes their native language skills.

The Ariane de Rothschild (AdR) Fellowship: Social Entrepreneurship & Cross Cultural Network
Two-week fellowship for entrepreneurs and social leaders with a demonstrated interest in change and cross-cultural dialogue, especially between Jewish and Muslim communities.

The Catholic Relief Services International Development Fellows Program
10-month international relief and development fellowship with a Christian faith-based organization. Bilingual in English and Spanish/Arabic/French/Portuguese.

scholarships for refugees and immigrants in the US. Thanks to the Portland Adult Education Program for use of their photos. Photo by Molly Haley.
There are many scholarships available for refugees and immigrants in the US. Thanks to the Portland Adult Education Program for use of their photos. Photo by Molly Haley.

Scholarships for specific groups and nationalities

Certain ethnic-specific foundations, organizations and professional associations reserve funds to award ethnic-specific scholarships. Here you’ll find some of them:

African descent

Maine-African Partnership for Social Justice’s James Angelo Memorial Social Justice Scholarship
Scholarship for African immigrants graduating from Portland High School in Portland, Maine

Asian, South East Asian and Pacific Islander

Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund
Scholarships for Asian and/or Pacific Islanders with a focus on students with strong financial need and/or are first in their families to go to college who are attending specific universities (see website for list).
Contact: Outreach and Community Relations at
Phone: 1-877-808-7032.

GAPA Foundation
Scholarship for students who express activism in the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) and/or lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) communities studying at a school in the US.

Regeneration Center Scholarship
Scholarship for motivated Undergraduate and Graduate science, medical or biology students of Southeast Asian heritage.

Arab descent

American Mideast Leadership Network
Scholarship awarded on a competitive basis to students of Arab heritage enrolling in community college, four-year college, and graduate school in New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut.
Phone: (347) 924-9674
Phone: (917) 591-2177

Arab American Institute
Awards for Arab and Arab-American high school and college students who are devoted to community service.

Jack G. Shaheen Mass Communication Scholarship
For students of an Arab descent who are juniors, seniors or attending graduate school in the field of media or journalism.
Phone: (202) 244-2990

Network of Arab American Professionals
Scholarship for Arab-American students.

The Arab American Association of Engineers and Architects
Scholarship to promote engineering, architecture, and computer science/information technology professions in the Arab American Community.
Contact: Mr. Eissa Haj-hamad at

The Arab American Women’s Business Council (AAWBC)
Scholarship for Arab American women attending school in Michigan.
Contact: Elvana Hammoud

The National Arab American Medical Association Foundation
Scholarship grants of $1,000 each to qualified students of Arabic extraction enrolled in a U.S. or Canadian medical, osteopathic or dental school.


Foroutan Foundation
Scholarships for students from Iran who live in California.
Phone: (877) 968-6328

The Iranian Scholarship Foundation
Multiple scholarships for students of Iranian descent based on financial need, community involvement, or academic achievement.

Momeni Foundation
Scholarships available to students of Iranian descent.
Phone: 727-433-2133
Email –


Hispanic Scholarship Fund
Multiple scholarships available for Hispanic students seeking 4-year or advanced degrees.

The MALDEF Scholarship Resource Guide
Scholarships for law students who seek to advance the civil rights of the Latino community in the United States.

Salvadorian American Leadership and Educational Fund (SALEF) Health Career Scholarship
Scholarships for students from the Los Angeles area with Central American or other Latino ethnicty of any immigration/citizenship status pursuing a career in healthcare.


Foundation Hoffman and the Frankel Family Foundation


American Federation of Ramallah Palestine
Scholarships for Palestinian and Palestinian American students.


Emergency refugee assistance scholarship fund
Scholarship for refugees or asylum seekers, especially Syrians because of  the current refugee crisis.

The Syria Consortium
Scholarships for Syrian students.

Other scholarships

Immigrants and migrant workers

Gloria Mattera National Migrant Scholarship Fund
Scholarship for youth who are migrant workers or the children of migrant workers.
Contact: Chris Norton, Director
Phone: 800-245-5681

The Western Union Foundation Family Scholarship Program
Scholarship for two adults from the same family for tuition for college/university, language classes, technical/skill training, and/or GED classes.
Tel: (202)686-8652


Fredrikson & Byron’s Minority Scholarship
Scholarship for minority law students interested in practicing law in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Des Moines, Iowa, or Bismarck or Fargo, North Dakot.a
Contact: Curt Okerson
Email :

New Americans or first generation citizens

The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans program
Grant for New Americans who are 30 or younger who are pursuing a graduate degree full-time in the United States
30 & younger, born in the USA to immigrant parents naturalized citizens, DACA, Green Card, or adopted from outside the US.

Achievement Scholarship for Refugees and Immigrants of Wake County
Scholarship for first generation citizens, refugees, or immigrants (no documentation required) who attended school in Wake County, North Carolina.
Contact: Sarah Battersby, Scholarships & Donor Services Officer
Phone 919.474.8370 ext:4015

Douvas Scholarship
Scholarship for first generation citizens (parents born outside the US) attending high school and community college or university in Wyoming.

The Eagan Foundation

Scholarship for first-generation or immigrant students graduating from high school in Eagan, Minnesota.

No documentation required

Achievement Scholarship for Refugees and Immigrants of Wake County
Scholarship for immigrants, first-generation citizens, or refugees (no documentation required) who attended school in Wake County, North Carolina.
Contact: Sarah Battersby,Scholarships & Donor Services Officer
Phone 919.474.8370 ext:4015

CPS Dream Fund Scholarship
Talent and need-based scholarship for academically talented undocumented students attending Chicago Public Schools.

Educators for fair consideration (E4FC)
Scholarships for low-income undocumented college and graduate students who live or attend school in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Golden Door Scholars
Four-year college scholarships for high-performing undocumented high school grads with professional development and internship support.

Refugees or asylum seekers

Champlain College New American Student Scholarship
Need-based scholarship for Vermont’s refugee and asylum students.
Phone: (802) 860-2777

Emergency refugee assistance scholarship fund
Scholarship for refugees or asylum seekers, especially Syrians due to the current refugee crisis.

Small Giants Refugee scholarship
Scholarship for refugees or asylum seekers to University of the People.

The IIE Scholar Rescue Fund
Year-long fellowships for professors, researchers, and public intellectuals who face threats to their lives and careers in their home countries.


The Arab American Women’s Business Council (AAWBC)
Scholarship for Arab American women attending school in Michigan.
Contact: Elvana Hammoud

The Hegg Hoffet Fund 
Refresher courses for women to re-enter their professional field, language courses for integration into their new country, or courses necessary to pass required national exams.

There are many scholarship opportunities for refugees and immigrants. If you have more to add, please email: We will verify the scholarships and add them to our list.

Refugees shaking hands

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