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First Generation College Students

An online community celebrating first-generation college students:  I’m First

The Coca Cola First Generation Scholarship

The Coca Cola First Generation Scholarship is a fund fueled by one of the largest corporations in the world. The First Generation Scholarship is reserved for students who are the first members of their families to go to college. But unlike other first generation scholarships, the Coca Cola First Generation Scholarship is available to graduate and undergraduate applicants. The award decision is based on need and academic record. About 400 awards are given each year and each recipient is given up to $5,000 to go towards tuition.


  • To be eligible for the Coca Cola First Generation Scholarship, you must be the first member of your immediate family to go to college.
  • You must be accepted as a full-time student to the school of your choice.
  • You must have a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 grade scale.

To apply, contact the financial aid office at your school to find out if they are one of the many schools with a relationship with the Coca Cola First Generations Scholarship. In addition to your application you must also demonstrate financial need and a commitment to community service.


The Buick Achievers Scholarship

The Buick Achievers Scholarship is a highly competitive scholarship award given by Buick each year. The scholarship is reserved for first generation college students who have an interest in the automotive industry or in a related field like business, finance, accounting, math, technology, science or engineering. Although the scholarship is open to all first generation students, priority is given to those pursuing careers in the above fields, especially those who are studying engineering.

In addition to field of interest, the Buick Acheivers Scholarship board also looks for students who can demonstrate their financial need for a scholarship. Competitive applicants will be able to demonstrate leadership roles in volunteer work and community service.

In total, the Buick Achievers Scholarship Is awarded to 1100 students eacy year. One hundred of the most qualified students will receive $25,000 per year. The scholarship is renewable for up to four years of full-time school. For students pursuing an engineering degree on a 5-year track will receive a 5th year of funding. The other thousand accepted applicants will receive $2,000 per year.


  • To be eligible for the Buick Achievers Scholarship you must be a high school senior, high school graduate or current college student.
  • You must be a United States citizen or permanent resident.
  • You must have applied to, been accepted or enrolled in a degree program at an accredited 4-year college or university in the United States. Online or distance universities are ineligible.
  • You must plan to major in a field related to engineering, technology, design, business or some other automotive related field.
  • You must express interest in pursuing a career in the automotive industry or some other related industry.
  • Children and relatives of employees of Scholarship Management Services, Scholarship America and the GM Foundation are ineligible. However, relatives and children of General Motors employees are eligible.

To apply, fill out the Buick Achievers Scholarship form online.


The McKelvey Foundation

The McKelvey Foundation is dedicated to helping first generation college students get their college degree with minimal financial burden. The McKelvey Foundation was established by Andy McKelvey. Andy McKelvey was an entrepreneur who built his fortune from the ground up. He started by selling eggs by the dozen for a profit. A few years later, he turned his initial investment into a booming business that would become

In 2000, Andy McKelvey decided to use some of his fortune to give other young people the opportunity to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Since the scholarship fund was established in 2000, the McKelvey Foundation has provided scholarships to hundreds of deserving young people. Today, over 600 students benefit from funds provided by the McKelvey Foundation.

Each year, the McKelvey Foundation awards 125 scholarships to qualified applicants. The awards are given to high school seniors who are dedicated to their school work and involved in volunteer activities. Each award gives up to $12,000 to high school seniors who will be first generation college students. They may attend any college they wish, but the college must be located in their home state.

To apply, fill out the McKelvey Foundation’s online application.


The Center for Student Opportunity Opportunity Scholarship

The Center for Student Opportunity (CSO) Opportunity Scholarship is a scholarship designed to help first generation college students.

The CSO Opportunity Scholarship is open to all first generation students who are attending one of the CSO’s College Partner schools. Minority students and students with low incomes are especially encouraged to apply. Successful applicants are chosen based on need and merit. There are no minimum academic standards for students to meet. Each chosen awardee receives $2,000 for that school year. The award is renewable each year for up to four years.

Chosen students have the opportunity to become student bloggers on the Center for Student Opportunity’s blog. Through periodic posts, they can share their college journey with readers. They are also encouraged to field questions from younger students and give them tips, support and advice on how to succeed in college.


  • To be eligible for the CSO Opportunity Scholarship, you must be a graduating high school senior. You must be graduating from a high school in the United States. Home school students are welcome to apply.
  • You must be accepted to a 4-year college or university that is part of the CSO ‘s College Partner Schools.
  • You must be a first generation college student. For CSO, this means a student whose parents have not obtained a degree from a 4-year college or university.

To Apply:
Online applications are available here. The application deadline is May of each year. In addition to a filled out application, you must also submit a letter of recommendation from your teacher, counselor, guidance counselor or mentor.