Last updated: January 11, 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

NAAPIMHA

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.

NAAAP

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

1

Scholarships

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

 
2

Grants

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.

 
3

Fellowships

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

 
4

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.

 
5

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.

A.T. Anderson Memorial Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: Varies

Candidates for this award are full-time undergraduate and/or graduate students who are pursuing a degree in medicine, engineering, physical science, natural resources, math or science (STEM).

AAAS Minority Science Writers Internship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: February 1, 2018

Minority undergraduate students with an interest in science writing is eligible to apply for this award. Preference is given to students enrolled in a journalism degree program. Accepted students will also be accepted into a 10-week internship at Science Magazine is over the summer months.

ABA Diversity Scholarship

Amount: $2,500

Deadline: Varies

To help broaden traditionally underrepresented groups in the operation and management of travel, transportation and tourism field, this scholarship is awarded to those who have a major or career path associated with these fields of interests. Current undergraduate students are eligible to apply and must have a GPA of at least 3.0 or higher to qualify.

ACHE Albert W. Dent Graduate Student Scholarship

Amount: $5,000

Deadline: March 31, 2018

Students identifying as a minority or underrepresented group are eligible for this needs-based scholarship. Must be a U.S. citizen to qualify. Financial aid will be considered.

Actuarial Diversity Scholarship

Amount: $4,000

Deadline: May 2, 2018

Eligible candidates are full-time undergraduate students attending an accredited U.S. institution full-time with the intent on pursuing a career in the actuarial industry.

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.

Against The Grain Groundbreaker Leadership Scholarship

Amount: $1,500

Deadline: May 31, 2018

This scholarship are given to Asian-American college seniors and graduate students who exhibit excellence in leadership, passion and vision within the Asian-American community.

Alaska Chinese Association Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: 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.

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.

APIASF General Scholarship Program

Amount: $15,000

Deadline: January 11, 2018

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.

APIASF/AT&T Scholarship

Amount: $2,500

Deadline: January 11, 2018

Applicants must be citizens of the U.S. and identify as Pacific Islander and/or Asian. Students must have a minimum 2.7 GPA and qualify for financial aid to be considered.

APIASF/Target Scholarship

Amount: $2,500

Deadline: January 11, 2018

Applicants must be citizens of the U.S. and identify as Pacific Islander and/or Asian. Students must have a minimum 2.7 GPA and qualify for financial aid to be considered.

APIASF/Wells Fargo Scholarship

Amount: $2,500

Deadline: January 11, 2018

Applicants must be citizens of the U.S. and identify as Pacific Islander and/or Asian. Students must have a minimum 2.7 GPA and qualify for financial aid to be considered.

Asian and Pacific Islander Queer Sisters Scholarship

Amount: up to $12,000

Deadline: January 12, 2018

This non-renewable scholarship is awarded to students of Pacific Islander and/or Asian descent who also identify as LGBTQ+. This scholarship varies annually and is non-renewable.

Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL) Scholarship Program

Amount: Varies

Deadline: Varies

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

Asian Women In Business Scholarship

Amount: $2,500

Deadline: October 25, 2017

Scholarships are granted to women of Asian descent who are enrolled full-time at an accredited four-year U.S. university or college. GPA of 3.0 or higher is required to apply.

Burger King Scholars Program

Amount: up to $50,000

Deadline: December 15, 2018

International students planning on attending an undergraduate program at an accredited university or vocational/technical institution are eligible for this award. Must have a 2.5 GPA, and demonstrate affiliation with a Burger King employee to be considered.

CAIA Scholarships

Amount: Varies

Deadline: January 10, 2018

Applicants must be of Chinese descent pursuing an undergraduate degree in the areas of Insurance Studies, Risk Management, Actuarial Science, or related business majors, such as Business Administration, Finance and Economics.

Chips Quinn Scholars Program

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: October 1, 2017

The award is open to college juniors, seniors, graduate students and recent graduates who major in journalism. Scholarship winners also receive training by professionals in their field.

Comcast Leaders and Achievers Program

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: November 30, 2018

Full-time high school seniors with a GPA of 2.8 or higher are eligible for this program. Students must demonstrate leadership ability, community service, and plans to attend an accredited university or vocational/technical school in the United States.

DEED Educational Scholarships

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: Varies

The DEED Educational Scholarships are awarded to students working towards technical careers in high demand by electric utilities. Must have a DEED sponsor to be eligible.

Fontana Transport Inc Scholars Program

Amount: $5,000

Deadline: March 15, 2018

Students pursuing a full-time undergraduate degree in math, science, transportation, engineering, environmental design, architecture, pre-med, psychology or Spanish language or literature are eligible. The award supports students who are underrepresented, low-income and first-generation college attendees.

Freedom From Religion Foundation Catherine Fahringer Memorial Award

Amount: $2,500

Deadline: June 17, 2018

This award is given to high school seniors who identify as agnostic, atheist, secular or humanist. Candidates must be accepted to a two or four year college to apply. Preference is given to minority candidates and underrepresented groups.

Gates Millennium Scholars

Amount: Varies

Deadline: Varies

The Gates Millennium Scholarships are awarded to minority students with a GPA of at least a 3.30 on a 4.0 scale. Financial need, involvement in community service and extracurricular activities will be considered.

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.

Girls Who Illustrate Awesomeness Scholarship

Amount: $750

Deadline: December 1, 2017

Currently enrolled or prospectively enrolled young women of color are eligible for this scholarship. A GPA of 3.0 or higher is required.

Hyatt Hotels Fund for Minority Lodging Management Students

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: May 1, 2018

Minority students who are attending an undergraduate institution in the next academic year are eligible for this scholarship. Students must be majoring in hospitality management to apply.

Indian-American Foundation Upakar Scholarship

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: April 30, 2018

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

Interpublic Group Scholarship and Internship

Amount: $5,000

Deadline: January 27, 2018

Scholarship candidates are ethnically diverse students who are current juniors in an undergraduate program, with a career interest in advertising or public relations. Permanent residents and U.S. citizens who live in NJ, NY, CT and PA are eligible.

JACL National Scholarship Program

Amount: Varies

Deadline: 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.

JRF Scholarship Award

Amount: Varies

Deadline: Varies

The Jackie Robinson Foundation awards scholarships to minority high school seniors who are U.S. citizens. Students must be accepted to a college or university to apply.

Korean American Scholarship Foundation - Western Regional Chapter

Amount: Varies

Deadline: June 30, 2018

Students of Korean heritage studying in the U.S. at a full-time college or university are eligible for this award. Students must be located in the Southwestern region states (Arizona, Colorado, Alaska, California, Idaho, Hawaii, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Oregon, Washington or Wyoming).

Korean American Scholarship Foundation-Eastern Regional Chapter

Amount: Varies

Deadline: June 30, 2018

Students of Korean heritage studying in the U.S. full-time are eligible for this award. Must attend school in the following Eastern region states (District of Columbia, Delaware Indiana, Maryland, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia or West Virginia).

Korean American Scholarship Foundation-Midwestern Regional Chapter

Amount: Varies

Deadline: June 30, 2018

Students of Korean heritage studying in the U.S. full-time are eligible for this award. The college or university must be in the Midwestern region states (Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota or Wisconsin.

Leonard M. Perryman Communications Scholarship for Racial Ethnic Minority Students

Amount: $2,500

Deadline: March 15, 2018

This award is given to undergraduate students studying mass communications or religion journalism. Students must be a United Methodist ethnic minority.

Lim, Ruger, and Kim Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: Varies

Scholarships are awarded to law degree candidates attending an American Bar Association (ABA) or Association of American Law Schools (AALS) accredited university. Students must demonstrate dedication and commitment to the Asian Pacific American community.

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.

Minorities in Government Finance Scholarship

Amount: $8,000

Deadline: February 19, 2018

Both undergraduate and graduate minority students are eligible for this award. Applicants must be part-time or full-time pursuing a career in local and state government finance. See website for list of current eligible majors and additional information.

Moss Adams Foundation

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: June

Minority students in their junior year of an undergraduate degree program are eligible for this scholarship. Students must be pursuing a degree in accounting to apply.

NACME STEM Minority Scholarships

Amount: Varies

Deadline: Varies

Minority high school seniors accepted to a college or university's engineering program are eligible to apply for this award. For detailed eligibility requirements to consider, check the scholarship website.

National Press Club Scholarship for Journalism Diversity

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: March 1, 2018

With the hopes of bringing diversity to the field of journalism, this scholarship is available to high school seniors in pursuit of a career in journalism. Scholarships also include a book stipend.

Pacific Islander Health Partnership Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: June 30, 2018

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders students with a desire to advocate for the Pacific Islander community and plan to attend a vocational school or two year or four year college. Eligible majors are science, technology, engineering or math (STEM).

Phyllis G. Meekins Scholarship

Amount: $1,250

Deadline: Varies

High school seniors from an underrepresented minority background planning to enroll in full-time coursework and play women's collegiate golf at an accredited university or college in the U.S. are eligible for this scholarship.

Presbyterian Student Opportunity Scholarship

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: May 15, 2018

Minority student members of the Presbyterian Church are eligible to apply for this award. Candidates must be full-time sophomores, juniors or seniors with a minimum of a 2.5 GPA or higher.

PUSH Excel Scholarship Program

Amount: Varies

Deadline: May 30, 2018

The PUSH Excel Scholarship Program assists students who lack the financial resources to attend college. These national scholarships are awarded based on criteria and current funding. Visit the website for more information on eligibility and requirements for consideration.

Red Thread Foundation Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: April 15, 2018

Female students with an international background are encouraged to apply for this scholarship. First-generation Americans, immigrants and foreign students are also eligible to apply.

Ronald McDonald House Charities Asia Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: January 18, 2018

Candidates for this scholarship are high school seniors who have at least one parent of Asian or Pacific Islander heritage. Applicants must be 21 years of age or older, planning to attend a two or four year college or university to apply.

RTDNF Carole Simpson Scholarship

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: May 31, 2018

Awards are granted to minority students who are current undergraduate students. Candidates must be seeking a career in television, radio or digital journalism.

RTDNF Ed Bradley Scholarship

Amount: $10,000

Deadline: May 31, 2018

Students must have completed at least one year of undergraduate study to be eligible for this scholarship. Applicants must be pursuing a career in digital journalism, radio or television.

SEED Foundation Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: Varies

To be eligible for this scholarship, 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 to qualify.

Seeds of Fortune Inc. Scholarship

Amount: $500

Deadline: December 31, 2017

Minority females who attend public high school in NYC are eligible to apply for this award. Scholarships are granted based on current eligibility criteria. Visit the award website for more information on this opportunity.

Shui Kuen and Allen Chin Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: February 24, 2018

High school seniors and current undergraduate students are eligible to apply for this scholarship. Applicants must be students or parents who have been employed at an Asian cuisine or Asian-owned restaurant.

Smithsonian Institution James E. Webb Internship

Amount: $6,000

Deadline: Varies

Students must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program in the field of business or public administration to apply for this scholarship. Students of underrepresented minority groups in management of cultural and scientific organizations are preferred.

Surety & Fidelity Industry Intern-Scholarship Program

Amount: $5,000

Deadline: October 2, 2017

Undergraduate minority students who have declared insurance or risk management, accounting, finance or business as a major are eligible to apply for this scholarship. Must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 to qualify.

Taiwanese American Scholarship Fund

Amount: $2,500

Deadline: March 31, 2018

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

TELACU College Success Program Scholarship

Amount: $5,000

Deadline: Varies

Students applying 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 to apply.

The Cargill Global Scholars Program

Amount: $5,000

Deadline: March 1, 2018

Students who are permanent residents in the U.S, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, or Russia are eligible to apply for this scholarship. Must be a first or second year university student who demonstrates strong academic performance and leadership potential.

The Herbert Lehman Education Fund Scholarship

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: April 1, 2018

This foundation supports racial equality by offering scholarships to undergraduate students in need of financial assistance. High school students and current undergraduate students are eligible to apply.

The Korean Ancestry Grant

Amount: $10,000

Deadline: March 31, 2018

Eligible candidates are those of Asian ancestry. Students must have a minimum of a 3.5 GPA to apply for this scholarship.

The LAGRANT Foundation Undergraduate Scholarships

Amount: $2,500

Deadline: February 28, 2018

Current minority undergraduate students studying advertising, public relations and marketing are eligible to apply for this career-building fellowship.

The Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program

Amount: Varies

Deadline: Varies

Applicants of Native Hawaiian ancestry who are pursuing a degree in the health or medical field are encouraged to apply for this award. A service obligation post-degree is required.

The Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program

Amount: Varies

Deadline: Varies

Applicants for this award must be of Native Hawaiian ancestry who are pursuing a degree in the health or medical field. A service obligation post-degree is required.

The Walt Disney Company APIASF Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: January 10, 2018

Applicants for this scholarship must be of Pacific Islander or Asian descent. Students must be planning to attend a college institution after completion of high school or a GED. Scholarships are open to citizens of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau.

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.

USPAACC Hallmark Scholarships

Amount: Varies

Deadline: Varies

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 more information and specific eligibility criteria.

Xerox Technical Minority Scholarship

Amount: $10,000

Deadline: September 30, 2018

Students must be on a track to a bachelor's, master's or PhD in an engineering discipline or technical science to apply for this scholarship. Minority students who are full-time enrolled in a four-year institution are preferred.

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