Scholarships for Asian Americans

Last updated: April 23, 2019

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.

EMPOWER Scholarships

Amount: $1,500

Deadline: April 15, 2020

The EMPOWER Scholarship, supports minority students who are pursuing a career in a medical or rehabilitation field.

Indian-American Foundation Upakar Scholarship

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: April 30, 2020

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.

Moss Adams Foundation

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: April 30, 2020

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.

LiveLikeLyly Memorial Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: May 6, 2020

Scholarship applicants must be of at least 25% Asian and/or Pacific Islander ethnicity, be pursuing a major in fashion or graphic design, have demonstrated involvement in community service, extracurricular, or other activities, and have a minimum GPA of at least 3.0.

Gay Asian Pacific Alliance (GAPA) Foundation Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: June 7, 2020

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.

Migrant Farmworker Baccalaureate Scholarship

Amount: $20,000

Deadline: July 1, 2020

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.

Immigration Scholarship Essay Contest

Amount: $500

Deadline: July 1, 2020

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.

Asian Heritage High School Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: August 1, 2020

This scholarship is offered annually for high school seniors of Asian heritage living in Boston. The $1,000 scholarship will be awarded every fall semester and is intended to encourage more Asian Americans to choose a degree that will help them give back to the Asian community.

HBCU Connect Minority Student Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: August 31, 2020

This scholarship is open to minority students currently enrolled, or planning to enroll, into any Historically Black College or University within 6 months of the submission deadline. Students must show proof of enrollment. All Graduating High School Seniors or Transfer students, and Current HBCU students must show proof of enrollment.

LimNexus Scholarship

Amount: $2,500

Deadline: September 7, 2020

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.

NLF Asian Pacific American Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: September 7, 2020

The Foundation awards scholarships on a nationwide basis to law students who demonstrate a commitment to serve or contribute to the Asian Pacific American community as future leaders.

Asian American Women's Alliance (AAWA) Scholarship

Amount: $500

Deadline: September 11, 2020

AAWA is proud to offer four (4) AAWA Scholarship Awards of $500 each to Asian American and Pacific Islander students.

Surety & Fidelity Industry Intern-Scholarship Program

Amount: $5,000

Deadline: November 1, 2020

Undergraduate minority students who have declared insurance or risk management, accounting, finance or business as a major are eligible to apply. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required.

Girls Who Illustrate Awesomeness Scholarship

Amount: $750

Deadline: December 31, 2020

This is a scholarship opportunity for young women of color who wish to make the world a better place. Students must be enrolled in an accredited university and have a 3.0 GPA for consideration. 500-word essays and/or 5 minute video submissions will be selected for this award.

APIASF General Scholarship Program

Amount: Varies

Deadline: January 15, 2021

Candidates must graduating high school students of Asian and/or Pacific Islander descent. Eligibility includes U.S. citizens, national or legal permanent residents, along with citizens of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Federated States of Micronesia, Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau.

Alaska Chinese Association Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: January 15, 2021

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.

Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program

Amount: $42,000

Deadline: January 31, 2021

Candidates must be U.S. citizens accepted to or enrolled in an undergraduate program related to NOAA mission-related sciences of oceanography, marine biology and maritime archaeology, including all science, engineering and resource management of ocean and coastal areas.. Women and minority candidates are encouraged to apply.

Hyatt Hotels Fund for Minority Lodging Management Students

Amount: $500 - $7500

Deadline: February 28, 2021

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.