Last updated: March 19, 2018

We are living among a socioeconomic wave of change for the present and future distribution of resources, jobs, careers, communities, leaders, and students. Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders account for more than 6% of the U.S. workforce, a number that continues to grow at exponential rates. With this influx of diverse and eager minds, this change will provide the one resource that our communities seek the most: innovation. While macro-innovation is a real growth trend among our population, it all starts with one individual, who is prepared and ready to make a difference.

If you’re an Asian-American looking for ways to help fund your college education, use our resources and scholarship guide below to find funding opportunities catered towards Asian-American students regardless of their field of study or socio-economic status.

Educational Milestones for Asian Americans

Educational Milestones for Asian American Students

Grace Xiao, the founder of Kynplex, is a 21 year-old entrepreneur choosing the less traveled path of the start-up, rather than working for tech giants such as Microsoft or Google. And she is not the only one thinking this way.

“There’s a changing perception of Asian Americans at the helm. It’s exciting to be on the front lines.”
— Grace Xiao

Regardless of the statistics being stacked against her—with Asians accounting for only 6 percent of the overall workforce, and of all Asian-American women working in tech—only 1 in 285 is an executive (compared to 1 in 87 for white men). Xiao doesn’t let the odds stop her from pursuing her dream, “what startups value is your ability to create value, not where you come from.” With this culture of social consciousness growing in Silicon Valley, it seems we are seeing only the beginning of a great wave of change.

Resources for Asian Americans


The National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association has resources to increase access and knowledge of total mental health and well-being.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health

This resource is a one-stop source for minority health literature, research, community organizations, funding search capabilities, as well as training and conference opportunities.


The largest and fastest growing association of Asian American professionals offering advisory, financial, and logistics that help students become valuable employees.

Asian & Pacific Islander America Scholarship Fund (APIASF)

Provides Asian American and Pacific Islanders with scholarship resources, mentorship, guidance, research, and other tools to increase access to higher education.

I’m First

This is an online community celebrating first-generation college students with inspiring stories, as well as interactive conversation and guidance through this community portal.

Asian Life

This community of Asian American professionals provides resources to improve their career, find jobs and friendships, and find research and articles to learn more about their community.


How to Pay for College



There are hundreds of scholarships for Asian-American students, which are awarded by local organizations, private companies, societies and more.



Grants don’t need to be paid back and are based on your financial circumstances. They are usually funded by the federal government, your state or college.



While scholarships usually fund tuition, fellowships typically cover graduate study, research projects and abroad experiences without needing to be paid back.


Student Loans

You can borrow money from the government or a bank, but it needs to be paid back with interest. The federal government offers many loan options—fill out the free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if you qualify for financial aid. If you need help, use our interactive guide to learn how to answer every question.


Federal Work-Study Program

Provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to pay education expenses.


If you’re just beginning the process of finding suitable scholarships, make sure you’re prepared for the application process by starting a folder with the assets below.

Scholarship Application Preparation

Not all scholarships are based off of your GPA, but most need to verify your high school education to qualify. Try to get certified copies of your transcript early, so you have plenty of time to meet the deadline.
Although there are scholarship opportunities that aren’t merit-based, it’s valuable to take the SAT or ACT standardized tests in case it’s a scholarship qualification.
Your scholarship essay is what will bring attention to your application out of the pool of applicants. That’s why it’s important to craft a stand out piece that attests to your experience, adheres to the scholarship guidelines and most importantly, highlights your true personality.
Letters of recommendation are a true judgement of your character—something that can’t be revealed through your test scores or transcript. Reach out to former teachers, counselors or bosses, so that they can speak to your qualifications. You may also want to provide them with a resume that outlines your achievements and goals as well.

Scholarships for Asian Americans

Instructions: Click through the dropdowns below to by your field of study, award amount and if you qualify for need-based aid.

Gerber Scholarship in Pediatrics Program

Amount: $5,000


The Gerber Scholarship in Pediatrics Program awards underrepresented minority students interested in pediatrics and emphasis on nutrition with financial support. Must be a U.S. citizen to apply. Leadership and community service will be considered in application process.

USPAACC Asian American College Scholarship

Amount: up to $5,000

Deadline: April 19, 2018

Each year, this scholarship offers awards to students who demonstrate academic excellence, community service and financial need. Accepted applicants will attend the USPAACC conference and will be required to give an acceptance speech.

Anheuser-Busch NAPABA Law Foundation Presidential Scholarships

Amount: $7,500

Deadline: September 1, 2018

Law students who demonstrate outstanding leadership potential to serve the Asian Pacific American community are eligible for this award. Students must be a law student at least half-time at an accredited university to apply.

JACL National Scholarship Program

Amount: Varies


Applicants must be members of the Japanese-American Citizens League. Eligibility and award amount varies by year. See current website for more information and specific eligibility requirements.

Against the Grain Artistic Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: May 7, 2018

This scholarship provides financial assistance and promotion of Asian American college students pursuing a major in the performing, visual arts, journalism and/or mass communications. Must be at least 50% Pacific Islander and/or Asian ethnicity, and enrolled full-time at an accredited U.S. institution. A GPA of 3.0 or higher is preferred.

Alaska Chinese Association Scholarship

Amount: Varies


The Alaska Chinese Association awards scholarships each year to students who demonstrate community and cultural involvement. Students who demonstrate academic excellence will be strongly considered.

Migrant Farmworker Baccalaureate Scholarship

Amount: $20,000

Deadline: July 1, 2018

Children of migrant workers who demonstrate pursuit of a career in agriculture are eligible to apply for this scholarship. Students must have completed one year of college to qualify.

Taiwanese American Scholarship Fund

Amount: $2,500

Deadline: March 28, 2018

This scholarship supports Taiwanese American students who are high school or first-year undergraduate students. A minimum of a 3.0 GPA is required along with proof of financial need.

USPAACC Hallmark Scholarships

Amount: Varies

Deadline: March 30, 2018

Students of Asian descent are eligible for scholarships through the USPAACC and Celebrasian. Award amounts and eligibility requirements vary from year to year. Visit the website for current listings.

The Herbert Lehman Education Fund Scholarship

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: April 1, 2018

The Herbert Lehman Fund supports racial equality by offering scholarships to undergraduate students who need financial assistance to stay in school. High school students and current undergraduate students are eligible to apply.

Mary Moy Quan Ing Memorial Scholarship

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: April 15, 2018

Candidates of Pacific Islander and Asian American descent can apply for this award. Students must be high school seniors pursuing a career in journalism to qualify.

The Korean Ancestry Grant

Amount: $10,000

Deadline: April 15, 2018

Eligible candidates are those of Asian ancestry, meaning at least one Asian grandparent or parent. Students must have a minimum of a 3.5 GPA (on a 4.0 scale) to apply.

SEED Foundation Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: April 16, 2018

To be eligible, students must be of Asian-Indian heritage with at least one parent of Indian ancestry. Students must be graduating high school seniors with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale.

Indian-American Foundation Upakar Scholarship

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: April 30, 2018

Eligible candidates are those either born in or have a parent born in the Republic of India. High school seniors should apply and be pursuing enrollment in a two or four year degree program.

Against The Grain Groundbreaker Leadership Scholarship

Amount: $1,500

Deadline: May 7, 2018

Awards are given to Asian-American college seniors and graduate students who exhibit exemplary leadership, passion and vision within the Asian-American community.

Gay Asian Pacific Alliance (GAPA) Foundation Scholarship

Amount: $5,000

Deadline: June 30, 2018

This award supports high school, undergraduate, professional, trade, vocational or graduate students who demonstrate activism. Preference is given to students who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer or transgender.

Korean American Scholarship Foundation - Western Regional Chapter

Amount: Varies

Deadline: June 30, 2018

Scholarship is designated to students of Korean heritage who are studying in the U.S. at a full-time status. The college or university must be in the Southwestern region states (Arizona, Colorado, Alaska, California, Idaho, Hawaii, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Oregon, Washington or Wyoming).

TELACU College Success Program Scholarship

Amount: $5,000


Applicants for the TELACU College Success Program must be first-generation college students from a low to moderate household income. A GPA of 2.5 or higher is required.

Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL) Scholarship Program

Amount: Varies


Students of Asian Pacific descent who are also legal American citizens are eligible to apply for public service internships in Washington, DC.

Presbyterian Student Opportunity Scholarship

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: May 15, 2018

The Presbyterian Church provides this yearly need-based opportunity for sophomores, juniors and seniors who are full time, first degree students attending accredited institutions in the U.S. Preference extends to racial ethnic students. Must be a member of the Presbyterian Church, and have completed their first year of study. Must have a 2.5 GPA or higher, and demonstrate financial need for consideration.

Lim, Ruger & Kim Scholarship

Amount: $2,500

Deadline: September 1, 2018

One student will be awarded with this scholarship based on their schools accreditation by the American Bar Association (ABA) or AALS. Applicants will be reviewed based on their interest in pro bono, public interest and/or public legal service work, financial need, leadership potential, and affiliation with the Asian Pacific American community.

Freedom from Religion Foundation Catherine Fahringer Memorial Award

Amount: $2,500

Deadline: June 17, 2018

This award is available to high school students who identify as atheist, agnostic, humanist and/or secular and are the first in their families to attend an accredited two or four-year colleges or university. Preference will be given to students of color, and students who have been in foster care, homeless, undocumented or LGBTQ. Applicants will be chosen based on the strength of their essay.

Jesse Jackson Fellows - Toyota Scholarship

Amount: $25,000

Deadline: May 1, 2018

Toyota Scholarship is a renewable scholarship that awards up to $25,000 dollars annually to deserving college students who will be sophomores as of August 1, 2018.

ABA Diversity Scholarship

Amount: $2,500

Deadline: April 6, 2018

Applicants must maintain a 3.0 GPA to be eligible for this scholarship. 500-word essays will be reviewed and two winners will be chosen based on academic achievement, character, leadership, financial need and a commitment to advancing the transportation industry.

Hyatt Hotels Fund for Minority Lodging Management Students

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: May 1, 2018

The scholarship is open to minority students who are attending an undergraduate institution in the next academic year. Students must be majoring in hospitality management.

Smithsonian Institution James E. Webb Internship

Amount: $6,000


Scholarships support the increase of underrepresented minority groups in management of cultural and scientific organizations. Students must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program in the field of business or public administration.

Immigration Scholarship Essay Contest

Amount: $500

Deadline: July 1, 2018

Any U.S. resident that has been accepted to an accredited university can apply. Applicants are asked to answer questions on immigration for a chance to win.

Red Thread Foundation Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: April 15, 2018

Qualified candidates are women with an international background. First-generation Americans, immigrants and foreign students are eligible to apply.

Hit the Books Scholarship

Amount: $500

Deadline: August 25, 2018

Students who are between the ages of 18 and 25 enrolled in an accredited university are eligible to apply. Winners will be selected based on a 500-word essay about the importance of education.

Moss Adams Foundation

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: April 30, 2018

The Moss Adams Foundation is available to minority women, or women returning to school to earn a bachelor's degree in accounting. Must demonstrate clear evidence persistence towards personal and professional goals.