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.

APIASF General Scholarship Program

Amount: Varies

Deadline: January 22, 2021

Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 2.7 or more, be of asian or Island Pacific Islander ethnicity, and must fill out a FAFSA to apply. See website for further details.

American Sociological Association Minority Fellowship Program

Amount: $18,000

Deadline: January 31, 2021

This scholarship awards graduate students pursuing a degree in sociology demonstrating strong mental health research and/or interest. Students will be selected based on intent on research and development in mental health, academic achievement and financial need.

American Sociological Association (ASA) Minority Fellowship Program

Amount: $18,000

Deadline: January 31, 2021

Applicants must be enrolled in and have completed one full academic year in a program that grants a PhD in Sociology at the time of application.

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.

Edward S. Roth Manufacturing Engineering Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: February 1, 2021

Minorities of any group are eligible to apply for this award. Candidates are high school seniors and undergraduate or graduate students. Students must be pursuing a degree in manufacturing engineering at an ABET accredited school.

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.

The Lagrant Foundation Graduate Scholarships

Amount: $3,750

Deadline: February 28, 2021

The Lagrant Foundation scholarships aim to increase the number of minorities working in the fields of advertising, marketing, and public relations. Applicants must be a minority student pursuing a masters degree in one of those subjects.

Jack and Jeanette Chu Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: March 1, 2021

Applicants must be of Chinese heritage, demonstrate financial need, have a minimum 3.0 GPA, enrol or transfer into UC Berkeley as a junior, and plan to pursue a career in business.

NAAAP Philadelphia Future Leaders Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: March 15, 2021

This scholarship recognizes and rewards Asian American students in the Philadelphia region who have demonstrated strong leadership potential. Applicant must be a graduating high school seniors and current college students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher and belonging to Greater Philadelphia region details of which are given below. Pennsylvania: Philadelphia, Montgomery, Chester, Delaware, and Bucks Southern New Jersey: Camden and Atlantic County Delaware: New Castle County

Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) Scholarships

Amount: Varies

Deadline: April 1, 2021

All applicants must be active JACL members and may apply under only one scholarship category. Entering freshman applicants must be high school seniors. Creative and performing arts applicants cannot be professional artists. One application may be used to qualify for all awards in the category.

JASC-Nielsen STEM Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: April 30, 2021

Eligible applicants include high school seniors, high school graduates planning or already enrolled in a college or university program within the next, or current college or university students. High school applicants' families must be current JASC members. Preference given to applicants who show participation in JASC or other Japanese American community events, programs and projects.