Most immigrants are eligible for the same grants and scholarships that U.S. citizens are. However, many federal and state grants require proof of eligibility.


To be eligible for federal grant money, you must be a U.S. citizen or national, a refugee, an asylee, a Cuban-Haitian entrant, an indefinite or humanitarian parolee, a conditional entrant (pre-1980) or a lawful permanent resident.

Federal Pell Grant

Pell grants are offered to low-income undergraduate students to help supplement their “expected family contribution.” Immigrants who meet federal eligibility requirements are eligible to apply.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant Program

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program offers additional funding to those who are in exceptional need and wish to attend college or university. Immigrants can apply if they meet federal eligibility requirements.

General Scholarships and Grants

Most colleges and universities have their own grants and scholarships that are offered to students. Check with the school's financial aid department for a listing to see which ones you are eligible for.

Illegal Immigrants

Some states have passed laws to allow illegal immigrants to register at public colleges and universities as residents in order to be eligible for in-state tuition and grants/scholarships. Check with the school you’re interested in to find out whether your state is included.

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About the Author

Katherine Sanger has been writing articles for 15 years for various online and print publications. She holds degrees in information technology, liberal arts, English literature, creative writing and higher education and taught college-level English for more than 10 years.