The Ultimate List of Scholarships for Undocumented Students
When you’re a Dreamer, getting funding for college can be particularly difficult. You cannot get federal funding by filling out the FAFSA, and many scholarships and grants require US citizenship or permanent residency.
Don’t give up on going to school yet, though. Your education is important, and there are plenty of organizations out there who want to support you in your academic endeavors. You’re just going to have to look a little harder for them.
First, look over this guide for Dreamers from the US Department of Education. If you’ve successfully applied for DACA and have been granted a Social Security number, you can fill out the FAFSA. However, you should only do so with the help of your high school counselor. Doing so, though, allows you to apply for any state or institutional aid which may be offered to non-citizens. Each state and college will have different financial aid requirements, but the majority of them will require that you fill out the FAFSA.
After you have exhausted this route with your guidance counselor’s support, you can begin looking for scholarships without citizenship or residency requirements. We’ve got some ideas and suggestions that may help. To give you a leg up, we’ve put together a list of scholarships without these requirements in each of The Princeton Review’s top 10 college majors.
(ISC)² Women’s Cybersecurity Scholarships
All ten of these scholarships, ranging from $1,000 to $6,000, are presented by the Center for Cyber Safety and Education. Awarded with the aim of changing gender representation dynamics in the field of cybersecurity, the eligibility requirements for this women’s scholarship explicitly states that US citizenship is not necessary.
(ISC)² Information Security Undergraduate Scholarships
Twenty of these scholarships are awarded by the Center for Cyber Safety and Education each year, and those of any gender can apply. Awards range from $1,000 to $5,000 to students planning on studying cybersecurity or information assurance. Again, the Center for Cyber Safety and Education explicitly states that US citizenship is not an eligibility requirement.
Hispanic Scholarship Fund
Every year, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund provides scholarships of $500 to $5,000 to Hispanic students pursuing a college education. The amount will vary depending on your financial need. To qualify for this scholarship, you must be a DACA recipient or an eligible non-citizen per FAFSA. Unfortunately, this means that not all Dreamers are eligible for this particular scholarship. However, if you were able to fill out the FAFSA as a DACA recipient, it’s an opportunity worth pursuing. While all majors can apply, there is a preference given to STEM majors.
Western Digital Scholarship Program
Launched in 2018, the Western Digital Scholarship awards up to $5,000 to 500 recipients per year. These recipients should be majoring in computer science, engineering, mathematics or specific science fields. Children of Western Digital can apply, too, regardless of their desired major. The listed eligibility requirements do not distinguish which country you must be a citizen of. Rather, they dictate the country in which your school must be located. The United States is an eligible country.
Women in Technology Scholarship
Issued by Buildium, this $2,500 scholarship is awarded twice per year. An application involves submitting an essay about a woman in tech who inspires them. You must be female, be currently attending college in the US or Canada and be majoring in a STEM field. No citizenship or residency requirements are listed.
NAHJ Hortencia Zavala Scholarship
This $5,000 scholarship is awarded by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) as a way to encourage students to follow their dreams of being a journalist. In order to qualify for this scholarship, you must attend a four-year or community college in the US or Puerto Rico. Your education must be in pursuit of broadcast, print, digital or photojournalism in either English or Spanish. No residency or citizenship requirements are listed, and the NAHJ offers several other scholarships ranging from $1,500 to $10,000.
NATAS Northwest Foundation Scholarship Program
Through its foundation, the Northwest chapter of the National Association for Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) issues three $2,500 scholarships every year to aspiring TV professionals. While you do have to live in or attend school in Idaho, Alaska, Montana, Oregon or Washington State, you will not be asked about your citizenship.
Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation
This scholarship of $1,000 to $5,000 is awarded annually to students who are pursuing careers in printing management, print technology, publishing or graphic communications. You don’t have to be attending a four-year school in order to qualify; technical school students can apply, as well. This scholarship will actually renew your award each year, meaning you could get $1,000 to $5,000 for each year of college you attend. You do have to be attending school in the US, but the application does not ask about your citizenship status.
Presented by The Internet and Television Association and Alliance for Women in Media, this scholarship awards $5,000 to female students annually. It also includes a ticket to its Women in Media conference. Attendance at a US institution of higher learning is required, but no citizenship criteria are listed.
Bob East Scholarship
Students of photojournalism will want to check out this opportunity administered by the National Press Photographers Foundation (NPPF). To be eligible for this $2,000 award – or several other NPPF scholarships – you must be studying at a four-year institution in the US or Canada. No citizenship requirements are listed.
Government & Political Science
Many political science scholarships from outside organizations do require US citizenship or permanent residency status. However, there are also many scholarship opportunities directly from schools for this particular major. Many of them only require that you are a student at their school in order to qualify. Ask your financial aid office about your options, or research scholarship opportunities at the schools you want to apply to.
Business & Economics
IMA Memorial Education Fund
The Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) presents this scholarship, which ranges in value from $1,000 to $2,500, annually. You will have to join the IMA as a student member in order to qualify, but there are no citizenship or residency requirements.
Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship
Presented by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), this scholarship awards one award each of $1,000, $2,5000, $5,000 and $10,000 every year. In order to qualify, you must be majoring or minoring in accounting, finance, business administration or criminal justice. Your goal should be working in some type of anti-fraud profession. There are no questions about citizenship on the application.
AACE International Scholarship
Every year the AACE—formerly known as the American Association of Cost Engineers—issues a scholarship to undergraduate students worth a max of $2,500. The award can be more if your local AACE International chapter offers matching funds. There are no citizenship requirements; but you will need to be majoring in one of these areas: building construction, construction management, business administration, engineering or quantity surveying.
Phi Chi Theta Scholarship
Phi Chi Theta is a coed fraternity focused on business and economics. Its scholarship is reserved for members of its ranks who have completed at least one semester and are pursuing a major or minor in business and/or economics. There are no residency or citizenship requirements, but you will have to join the fraternity.
Jane M Klausman Women in Business Scholarship
Awarded by the Zonta International Foundation, this scholarship is worth either $2,000 or $8,000 depending on which chapter you apply through. To qualify, you must be a woman pursuing some type of business major. You must also live within the boundaries of one of Zonta International’s chapters, but there are no questions about citizenship status.
English Language & Literature
The Horror Writers Association Scholarship
If you enjoy writing in the horror genre, this $2,500 scholarship is for you. You must be majoring in a degree that is writing-intensive, as the award money is applied to coursework that would further your writing career. No citizenship requirements are listed.
Richard G. Zimmerman Scholarship
This $5,000 scholarship is presented by the National Press Club to students who are pursuing careers in journalism. There are no questions about citizenship or permanent residency status on the application.
Signet Essay Contest
Whether you went to a public school or were homeschooled, if you attended high school in the US you can apply for this $1,000 scholarship regardless of citizenship status. To apply, you will need to read the current year’s featured classic book and answer an essay prompt. While you don’t necessarily have to be an English major, if you are then this scholarship will be right up your alley.
L Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest
For those interested in entering the field of sci-fi writing, you will want to consider entering this contest—even though it is not technically a scholarship. With quarterly prizes of $1,000, $750 and $500, unpublished authors can submit works of prose up to 17,000 words long. The winner from each quarter will be entered to win a $5,000 annual prize, as well. There are no citizenship requirements listed.
Scholastic Art & Writing Awards
The best part of this scholarship opportunity for high school students is that you get to pick which topic you write about. The contest extends across many different genres, and does not provide an essay prompt. Prizes awarded range from $1,000 to $10,000. Attend a high school in the US or Canada, and there are no citizenship requirements.
The Society for the Psychology of Aesthetic, Creativity and the Arts (Division 10 of the APA) gives out three scholarships every year. The one best suited for college students is the Berlyne Award, which recognizes research contributions of “junior scholars.” You will need to find someone to nominate you for this award, and there are no citizenship requirements listed.
AMTA Student Scholarship
If you are interested in pursuing music therapy, you’ll want to check out this scholarship from the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA). You must be a student member of AMTA in order to qualify, and you must be nominated by an AMTA member.
Clinton E. Phillips Scholarship
This $4,000 scholarship is awarded by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT). If marriage and family counseling interests you, you can apply to this scholarship that emphasizes a dedication to the field and community service. While you are not required to join CAMFT, it is heavily implied that membership will help your chances. There is a Prelicensed/Student Membership rate. No citizenship questions are listed on the application.
Ronald D. Lunceford Scholarship
Another $4,000 scholarship issued by CAMFT, the Ronald D. Lunceford Scholarship takes it a step encourages racial or ethnic minorities to apply. Your chances also go up if you’re financially disadvantaged.
Future Counselors of America Scholarship
For those considering taking their psychology degree and applying it to the realm of relationship counseling, you’ll want to take a look at this $1,000 scholarship issued by DatingAdvice.com. You’ll be required to write a 500-900 word essay about the psychology behind online dating, and there are no citizenship requirements listed.
AORN Academic Scholarship
The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses issues need-based grants on an annual basis. The amount of the award can vary depending on your economic status and educational financing needs. US citizenship is not required.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and Hurst Review Services award two $2,500 scholarships twice per year to eligible nursing students. There are no citizenship questions on the application.
R&D Systems Scholarship
When you major in nursing, you’re majoring in a science field. R&D Systems rewards that pursuit by offering a $1,500 scholarship available to student across the world—regardless of country of citizenship.
Gallagher Student Health Careers Scholarship
If you’re already in college, you can apply for this $7,500 scholarship. Citizenship is not required to qualify for this scholarship, though you must be attending a college or university in the United States.
The National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) issues three scholarships each year valued at $1,000, $4,000 and $5,000 respectively. While individual chapters may offer scholarships citing citizenship as an eligibility requirement, the national organization does not explicitly ban Dreamers from applying. You will be asked about your country of birth and time spent in the United States on your application, though.
ACS Scholars Program
Through its Scholars Program, the American Chemical Society issues scholarships worth up to $5,000 depending on demonstrated financial need. There are no citizenship requirements listed.
Dr. David R. Jones IV Scholarship
Have any interest in applying your Chemical Engineering degree to the field of asphalt paving technology? You can apply to this $2,000 scholarship offered by the Association of Modified Asphalt Producers. Chemical engineering is explicitly listed as one of the accepted majors, and no citizenship requirements are listed.
If you’re open to surface finishing, you’ll want to apply for one of the $1,500 awards granted by the National Association of Surface Finishing (NASF). Not only is citizenship not a required criterion, but the NASF highly encourages international students to apply for this scholarship.
The Universities Space Research Association (USRA) offers four different $4,000 scholarships annually. Among eligible recipients are chemistry students with an interest in space research and aeronautics. You need to be a full-time undergraduate student to apply, but there are no citizenship requirements listed.
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) awards scholarships in amounts ranging from $1,000 to $15,000 to women pursuing engineering degrees. SWE explicitly states that you do not have to be a US citizen in order to qualify for one of its awards.
Providian Medical Scholarship
Biology is often used as an undergrad major for pre-med students. If you’re using biology to springboard your career in medicine, you can qualify for assistance through this $500 scholarship provided by Providian Medical—a medical equipment company. While you do not necessarily have to plan on a career in medicine, your odds of winning increase with future career plans in this field. No citizenship requirements are listed. Instead, you must be attending an accredited high school or college/university in order to be eligible.
Don Reynolds Memorial Scholarship
This $1,000 memorial scholarship is issued by Beneath the Sea—a group concerned with diving and related education. If you’re a full-time student whose career would be helped by scuba diving certification, you can apply for this scholarship. No citizenship requirements are listed.
Sea of Tomorrow Scholarship
Also administered by Beneath the Sea, you can qualify for this $1,000 scholarship if you are a full-time student majoring in marine environmental conservation, biology, or ecology. No citizenship requirements are listed.
Applying for a HENAAC Scholarship enters you for one of many STEM-based awards. These scholarships range from $500 to $10,000, and is only awarded to those in or who have made a difference in the Hispanic community. No citizenship requirements are listed, though you do have to be attending an accredited school in the US.
ACCT’s John Kitt Memorial Scholarship
A biology major can take your career in so many different directions—including one that lands you in the candy industry. The American Association of Candy Technologies (AACT) issues its $5,000 John Kitt Memorial scholarship every year to a student in a food science, biology or like major. The catch is this: you have to actually demonstrate that you’re into the tech behind the scenes of the candy industry. Experience, research or specific goals demonstrating your dedication to a career in confectionery technology is a must. US citizenship is not a listed eligibility requirement.