asian female graduate hugging parents

Scholarships are a way to close the gap between the cost of attendance at a college and a family’s own resources. Among the many scholarships that students can apply for are those that are established to support students based upon the ways they define themselves. There is no comprehensive list of identity-based scholarships; professional associations, companies, non-profit entities, religious organizations, political groups, and colleges and universities are among the many sponsors of scholarships that may be awarded in part based upon a student’s race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or presence of a disability. Bright Horizons College Coach wants to help ensure that students from all backgrounds have access to the resources they need to achieve their educational goals and has therefore launched this monthly scholarship series to help students pinpoint funding opportunities based upon their unique identities. Check out the below resources, along with the other posts in the series, and you may discover funding sources that will make covering that college bill a little (or a lot!) easier.

This month, we look at scholarship resources for Asian American students. Note that the below list is not exhaustive, but is intended to provide a starting place for Asian American students to launch their scholarship searches. Your high school’s counseling office, general scholarship search sites like, and college websites can also provide useful scholarship information.

  • The S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce partners with corporations and other organizations to provide college funding assistance to Asian American students. Historically, 15-20 scholarships have been awarded each year to high school seniors.
  • The Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund provides a range of resources to support eligible students heading off to college. Students must complete the FAFSA as proof of finances. Check out this link for more details about the application process.
  • Researching professional associations in a specific field of study is another ways to structure your scholarship search. For example, the Asian American Librarians Association offers scholarships to students who have been accepted to study library or information science at the graduate level.
  • Korean American students with at least one Asian grandparent may be eligible for the Korean Ancestry Grant offered by the William Orr Dingwell Foundation. The Foundation offers scholarships for students at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
  • Students who live in the Bay Area should look at the scholarships awarded by the Asian American Women’s Alliance. Applicants are considered based on a variety of factors, including academic achievements, community service, and the strength of their application essay.

Remember, students are expected to report outside scholarships they receive to their college, and receipt of scholarships may impact other parts of a student’s financial aid award. It is best practice to reach out to the Financial Aid Office at your college for clarification of awarding policies. Best of luck, and please see the awarding organization’s website for full scholarship details and program opportunities.

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Written by Robyn Stewart
Robyn Stewart is a member of College Coach’s team of college finance experts. Prior to joining College Coach, she worked as a former financial aid officer at College of the Holy Cross. Visit our website to learn more about Robyn Stewart.