Scholarship funds for South Asian students seek to empower young people of the South Asian diaspora to pursue higher education by helping to ease the financial burden of paying for college. Not only do these scholarships make college education more accessible, but they also provide opportunities for networking and mentorship among the South Asian American community.
South Asian American students can apply for scholarships for Asian American students, South Asian students, and minority students. In this Bold blog post, we've highlighted some of the best scholarship opportunities for South Asian students. Applying for scholarships can help South Asian students avoid student loan debt and save money while pursuing a bachelor's or graduate degree.
Many of these scholarships award students of South Asian descent who have significantly impacted their community or demonstrated leadership skills. Some scholarship funds are also intended for South Asian first-generation college students and/or have demonstrated financial need.
Check out more blog posts on our Bold.org scholarship blog to learn why college scholarships are important.
These scholarship funds are offered by South Asian American organizations and individuals dedicated to supporting South Asian American students in higher education.
Some of the college funding these scholarships provide financial aid to college students with financial need, while others award scholarships for students pursuing a particular major.
The South Asian American Association, Inc. (SAAAI) is a group of professional engineers based in New York City.
Each year, SAAAI raises a Scholarship Fund to help students pursuing Architecture and Engineering. The scholarship is open to candidates pursuing a BS or higher degree in engineering, architecture, land surveying, or technology who are enrolled at a college or university in the New York Metropolitan Area.
Each scholarship awards $5,000. Applicants must also have an annual household income of less than or equal to $100,000. The 2023 South Asian American Association scholarship has not yet started accepting applications. Check the application website to apply once the scholarship application cycle resumes.
The South Asian Journalists Association (SAJA) provides scholarships for South Asian American students pursuing journalism.
In 2023, up to $20,000 will be distributed up to 10 students, each receiving a maximum award of $2,000.
The eligibility criteria for a SAJA scholarship include being an undergraduate student or graduate student who is continuing their studies in the fall at a university in the US or Canada and being of South Asian descent or demonstrating an interest in covering South Asia and/or of the diaspora.
The scholarship is evaluated based on financial need, written communication skills, interest and enthusiasm in joining the SAJA community, and serious reflection on what the applicant hopes to accomplish as a journalist. The scholarship committee will also assess applications based on their interest in journalism, as demonstrated by their related coursework, internships, extracurricular activities, and part-time work.
Recipients are expected to support SAJA by volunteering at the annual convention or another event during the year and gain access to the extensive community of South Asian journalists that are part of the organization.
Application materials include a resume, a 350-word essay explaining why the applicant is interested in pursuing journalism, how they intend to pursue that interest in school, and proof of enrollment.
The Banyan College Scholarship for South Asian Americans is available to students from low-income families in their senior year of high school in New York City.
Recipients are selected based on financial eligibility and their academic achievement and excellence, as well as a commitment to community involvement and making a difference in the lives of those around them.
The scholarship is awarded annually to up to five students, who will receive between $2,000-$10,000. The Banyan College Scholarship is renewable for up to four years based on good academic standing.
The eligibility criteria include being of South Asian descent, being a senior in high school in New York City, being a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S., having a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher, and having an annual family household income of below $90,000.
Applicants should submit two recommendation letters and intend to matriculate to a full-time undergraduate degree program in the United States the next fall.
The Endowment for South Asian Students of Indian Descent Scholarship is available each year for South Asian students of Indian descent who are enrolled full-time in their second, third, or fourth year at an accredited Pennsylvania medical school.
The scholarship is established by Dr. Jityendra M. Desai and Dr. Saryu J. Desai and awards $5,000 to the recipients. The application period is from July 1 to September 30th, and applicants must be Pennsylvania or New Jersey residents.
This scholarship is an excellent opportunity for South Asian students pursuing medical studies in Pennsylvania. It provides financial assistance to students who may be struggling with the high costs of medical school. In addition to the financial assistance, this scholarship recognizes and supports the achievements of South Asian students pursuing medical studies.
If you are a South Asian student of Indian descent enrolled in a medical school in Pennsylvania and meet the eligibility criteria, consider applying for this scholarship. It could help alleviate some of the financial burdens of medical school and allow you to focus on your studies.
The AANAPISI Scholarship, or Asian American and Native American Pacific-Islander-Serving Institution Scholarship, is a collaboration between AANAPISIs and the communities they serve to provide scholarships to Asian American students and Native American Pacific Islander students.
To be eligible for the AANAPISI Scholarship, you must be able to describe your ethnicity, heritage, or ancestry in relation to the countries, territories, or lands in Asia or the Pacific Islands.
You must also be a citizen, national, or legal permanent resident of the United States or eligible U.S. territories. In addition, you must be enrolled as a full-time student in an undergraduate degree program at one of the APIA Scholars AANAPISI Partner Institutions the next fall.
The APIA Scholarship is the flagship scholarship of APIA Scholars, an organization dedicated to uplifting Asian American students and Native American Pacific Islander students in higher education.
This scholarship is open to Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander undergraduate students attending any U.S. accredited university or college. The scholarship awards range from $2,500 one-year awards to $20,000 multi-year awards.
Applicants must be able to describe their ethnicity, heritage, or ancestry in relation to the countries, territories, or lands in Asia or the Pacific Islands to be eligible for the APIA scholarship. They must also be a citizen, national, or legal permanent resident of the United States, with citizens of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau to apply.
In addition, applicants must enroll or continue as a degree-seeking undergraduate student in a U.S. accredited college or university in Fall 2023, have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale (unweighted) or equivalent, or have earned a GED. They must apply for federal financial aid for the 2023-2024 academic year using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by early April 2023.
The Rev. and Mrs. EB Dunbar Scholarship is offered exclusively by Bold.org. The scholarship is a $1,000 scholarship that is awarded annually to one winner. This year, the deadline to apply for this scholarship is October 15, 2023.
The Rev. and Mrs. EB Dunbar scholarship is open to BIPOC high school seniors and undergraduate students who have faced obstacles in their lives. Preference is given to single parents, although this is not a requirement.
To apply for this scholarship, you must write about the obstacles you have faced and how you plan to use your education to give back to your community.
Humanize LLC Gives in Honor of Shirley Kelley is a scholarship opportunity that provides financial assistance to underrepresented minority students who have been raised by grandparents or other guardians. This scholarship is offered exclusively by Bold.org and awards $600. The deadline to apply is July 15th, 2023.
To apply for the scholarship, applicants must write about themselves, how upbringing by a guardian or grandparent affected their lives, and how this experience impacted their future goals.
The Humanize LLC Gives In Honor of Shirley Kelley Scholarship provides an excellent opportunity for underrepresented minority students who have been raised by grandparents or other guardians. It can help alleviate some of the financial burdens of pursuing higher education and allow students to focus on their studies and their future goals.
The Kim Moon Bae Underrepresented Students Scholarship is another scholarship program for Asian American students and other BIPOC students. This Bold.org exclusive scholarship is available to underrepresented students who have been accepted to or are currently enrolled in an accredited U.S. college or university.
The scholarship award is $1350, and the application deadline is Sept. 1, 2023.
To be eligible for the Kim Moon Bae Underrepresented Students Scholarship, applicants should write about how their identity as a member of a minority group has impacted them so far and how it will continue to affect them in the future.
The Christian "Myles" Pratt Foundation in Fine Arts Scholarship is a scholarship opportunity for minority students who aspire to pursue a career in the fine arts. This scholarship is awarded to one student from a minority background who has big aspirations for an artistic career.
The scholarship is open to all minority students interested in or already enrolled in courses toward a degree in an art-related field. The scholarship is worth $1,500, and the application deadline is August 12, 2023.
The scholarship is intended to honor the life of Christian 'Myles' Pratt and to support minority fine arts students in their creative ambitions. To apply for the scholarship, applicants must write about who has had the biggest influence on their life, how they plan to use their artistic skills after graduating, and what makes their skills different. Applicants must also submit a few photos or visualizations of their artwork.
College students, graduate students, and high school seniors of South Asian descent can apply for scholarships for South Asian American students. Countries of family origin include India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and neighboring regions.
Scholarships for Asian American students often assess applicants based on their academic excellence, community service and leadership skills, and financial need. Students can stand out on scholarship applications by writing a stellar scholarship essay that fully addresses the prompt and tells a compelling story about their identity and heritage.
Are there scholarships specifically for undocumented South Asian American students?
Yes, there are scholarships available specifically for undocumented South Asian American students. Organizations such as the South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) may provide resources and information on scholarships for undocumented students.