The Best Way To Secure Scholarships for Legal Immigrants in the U.S.
For a country known as the Land of Opportunity, the United States sure likes to make it hard for people to get their educational chance. Tuition fees can reach up to $35,000 a year, and many students can’t keep up with the financial demands. The good news is, there are plenty of scholarships and grants on offer to help them out.
In this article, we’ll focus on scholarships for legal immigrants in the U.S. and show you:
- What the requirements for scholarships for refugees are
- What types of financial aid there are
- Where to find them
- How to apply
Around 14% of the U.S. population are immigrants—that’s 44 million people. A lot of immigrants fail to get a college degree because their families can’t support them financially. That’s why there are hundreds of scholarships dedicated to legal immigrants and refugees, and the majority of scholarship providers are private companies.
To be eligible for a scholarship for refugees in the USA, you need to have one of the following statuses:
- Legal immigrant with residency documents
- First-generation American
Another condition that regards only certain programs, depending on the institution behind it, is that you belong to a specific minority. These ethnic groups can be:
All other requirements are scholarship-specific.
To get a scholarship in the United States, you either need to show academic excellence or prove you’re in financial need. Generally, there are three main types of financial aid, as shown below:
|Federal and state merit-based scholarships||Federal and state institutions (including schools and universities) offer scholarships to students with high GPAs and ACT/SAT scores and extracurricular activities|
|Need-based grants and loans||Grants (nonrepayable) and loans (interest-based aid) go to students who can prove their financial need by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form|
|Private scholarships||Offered by companies and private funds, these scholarships can be both merit- and need-based. They focus on students who align with an organization’s goals and field of work|
Individual programs differ from each other based on three principles:
- Level of study
- Field of study
- Student profile
Some programs can offer aid to students of various levels of study, but others are available only for a specific level, including:
- Primary school
- High school
When it comes to students’ profiles, programs sometimes offer exclusive opportunities to members of a specific group, namely:
- Police officers
- Students of faith, such as:
- International students
Finding a financial aid program for which you can apply can be a daunting task in general—it’s even more difficult for scholarships for legal immigrants as there are fewer of those around. Most students spend weeks and months scouring the Internet for programs and information.
If you don’t know where to begin, here are a few ideas:
- Your school’s financial aid office—Most schools have financial aid officers to help students learn about scholarship options and what they need to prepare before they can apply
- Universities’ websites—If you’re a college student or have an idea at which university you’d like to study, you can visit its website to find the scholarships tied to that particular school
- DoNotPay—With our app, you can get a custom list of all scholarships you’re eligible for based on the information you provide—this option is the most efficient one as it takes less than five minutes
Each scholarship has its unique application process, and you need to do your research to make sure you fulfill all requirements. Most programs will ask of you to provide some (or all) of the following documents:
- The FAFSA form
- Proof of your immigration status
- Letter of recommendation
- Cover letter
Securing a scholarship can take ages because you need to research them properly, find one that you’re eligible for, and go through application forms. DoNotPay can help you speed up the whole process. Here’s what you need to do:
- Use your browser to sign up for DoNotPay
- Choose the Apply for Scholarships feature
- Answer a few questions about yourself, including:
- Level of study
- Academic achievements
- Student profile
- Career goals
DoNotPay will provide you with a list of all scholarships that are designed for a student that matches your profile. If there are programs on the list that don’t require essays upon application, you can let us apply on your behalf automatically.
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- Reaching out to embassies and consulates
- Appealing a low or rejected financial aid offer
- Sending refund, late delivery, and FOIA requests
- Contacting incarcerated loved ones
- Appealing property tax assessments
- Gathering paperwork for tourist visas
- Setting up DMV appointments without breaking a sweat
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