If you are the oldest child in the family and you meet some other criteria, you may benefit from a couple of scholarship programs: the “Honoring Family Scholarships” and the “First in My Family Scholarship Program.” You may also apply for other scholarship programs based on other qualifications.

Honoring Family Scholarships

The Western Union Foundation provides financial assistance to first-generation immigrant families in the U.S. through its Family Scholarship Program. Two members from each family, including the oldest child in the family, must file an application. Scholarship amounts range from $1,000 to $3,500 per family, which may be used for tuition for college or university education, language classes, technical or skills training and financial literacy classes. To qualify, you and your sibling must be 18 years or older and both of you must be foreign-born citizens who have been residing in the U.S. for seven years or less. You and your sibling must be residents of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C. or Miami. Recipients can only use this scholarship program to pay non-profit accredited institutions of higher education and non-profit educational providers. Western Union directly pays the educational providers that the recipients choose.

First in My Family Scholarship Program

If you are the first in a Hispanic-American family to attend college, the First in My Family Scholarship Program may fund your education. This is a needs-based scholarship program supported by the Sallie Mae Fund. To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student at an approved and accredited college or university, and you must have a grade-point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. This is a one-time, non-renewable scholarship that ranges from $500 to $5,000 per student.

Federal Employee Emergency Assistance Program

If either of your parents is an active civilian federal or postal employee, you may benefit from the Federal Employee Emergency Assistance Program or FEEA. This program awards annual scholarships to active federal or postal employees and their dependents. which includes the oldest child. To qualify, your parents must meet the three-year service record requirement. Since this is also a merit-based program, you must have an unweighted cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher. You must also be in a degree-granting program at an accredited university or college. The FEEA awards this scholarship to 400 recipients every year. The scholarship value ranges from $250 to $2,500 per student per year. Renewal is not automatic and recipients and prospective recipients must file an application every year.

Talent and Merit-Based Scholarships

In Pennsylvania, if you are the oldest child and you have a talent for writing, you may win the Ursinus College Creative Writing Award, also known as the J.D. Salinger Award. The scholarship package includes a renewable annual scholarship of $30,000 for a four-year period and the chance to occupy Mr. Salinger’s old dormitory room at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Penn. Some colleges and universities award scholarships based on merit. For instance, Boston College’s Presidential Scholars Program offers 15 scholarships every year to incoming freshmen. Selection criteria include academic excellence, leadership potential and community participation. The scholarship package consists of full funding for summer programs, immersion study in France and paid internships.

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