Top 35 Scholarships for First-year College Students in the US, UK, Canada, Australia

I feel that first-year students are one of the people who are most excited when they are admitted to college, especially if it’s the University they have been dreaming of. But, one of the things that usually reduces this excitement is the financial implication, especially for international students.

Not only the cost of tuition will be taken into account but also textbooks, accommodation, and living expenses. This can quickly make families restless over what is supposed to be a joyous moment, and I’m speaking from experience.

Fortunately, similar to some government and law scholarships, there are lots of scholarships for first-year college students that can go as far as funding your entire tuition and even add extra stipends to help you care for other expenses.

Moreover, if you’re Athletically competent, especially among the head-count sports, then you can even take advantage of some fully funded sports scholarships.

One thing you should bear in mind is that you need to have very good grades to be eligible for these scholarships, especially the fully funded ones.

It’s worth noting that we listed different scholarships based on four countries which are the United States, UK, Canada, and Australia. It doesn’t mean that other countries don’t provide scholarships for freshmen, it’s just that these countries are the most popular places students always want to further their education.

Let’s get started.

scholarships for first-year college students

Table of Contents

Scholarships for First-year College Students in the U.S.

1. Boston University – Merit Scholarships for First-Year Students

Boston University offers several scholarships for first-year students some of them even cover the full tuition of recipients. Some of these scholarships include the Trustee Scholarship; Presidential Scholarship; National Merit Scholarship, and many more.

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2. Clark Merit Scholarships

Clark University provides scholarships for U.S. high school seniors who intend to study at their University. You don’t need to write a separate application to be considered for their merit scholarships for first-year college students, it will be awarded automatically along with your admission.

Most importantly approximately 80% of their undergraduate students receive merit scholarships.

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3. University of Kentucky – Scholarships for International Freshmen

These scholarships are exclusively for international freshmen college students applying to study at the University of Kentucky. Their requirements vary and award up to $16,000.

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4. Miami University – International Student Scholarships

Just like other scholarships for undergraduate first-year college students on our list, you should expect this to also be very competitive. You’re also automatically considered for international scholarships when you’re admitted to the school. 

Their scholarships get as high as covering half of the recipients’ tuition fees.

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5. MIT Scholarships

MIT, which you and I will agree is one of the most profound colleges, offers Scholarships based completely on financial need. The best part is that 58% of their undergraduates receive MIT Scholarships and the average MIT Scholarship is $53,997.

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6. The University of Iowa – International Students Scholarships

For the purpose of attracting some of the brightest students across the globe, UIowa provides different scholarships to help freshmen reduce their educational expenses. Besides the fact that recipients can receive up to $15,000 worth of scholarships, there are still other scholarships provided by different departments to which these students can apply.

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7. University of Miami – First-Year Merit Scholarships

Similar to other merit scholarships for first-year university students on our list, you will be automatically considered for all eligible scholarships when you’re admitted to the school. International students are also considered.

Their scholarships can go as far as covering the full tuition of recipients plus additional privileges like insurance, laptop allowance, textbooks, $12,000 annual allowance, etc.

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8. University of New Haven – Scholarships for International Undergraduate Students

In this scholarship for first-year college students, you’re also automatically considered for the awards and you don’t need to submit a separate application. Their scholarships range from $1,000 to $26,000. 

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9. Illinois Tech – First-Year Student Scholarships

We know that Illinois Tech automatically considers their first-year students for merit-based scholarships, one of the unique things they do is to provide an additional $34,412 each in need-based tuition aid over four years. 

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10. Marian University – First-Year Scholarships

Marian University provides several scholarships to freshmen which range from $10,000 to full-tuition. Of course, you should expect them to be very competitive, and you need at least a GPA of 3.9 to qualify for the full-tuition scholarships.

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11. The University of Kansas International Scholarships

The University of Kansas provides different kinds of merit scholarships to international students intending to study in the school. Their scholarships range from $3,000 to $16,000 annually or $12,000 to $64,000 over four years.

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12. TLU – First-Year Affordability Scholarships

Texas Lutheran University provides several scholarships for first-year college students ranging from $20,000 to $25,000 per year or $80,000 to $100,000 over four years. To be eligible for the least Scholarship you need to have a minimum GPA of 3.69.

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13. Florida State University Admission Scholarships

If you’re admitted to FSU, you’ll be automatically considered for all eligible merit scholarships worth up to full tuition plus stipends. It’s important you apply for admission by December 1 so as to be considered for scholarships on time, because they are limited.

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14. The University of Akron – Scholarships for Undergraduates

UA does its best to make the educational expenses of its students less burdensome, and this has made it provide more than $260 million in financial assistance annually. Their merit scholarships are also awarded automatically, and you can apply for other forms of financial assistance including need-based scholarships.

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15. Ball State University – First-Year Student Scholarships and Awards

Ball State provides several scholarships to freshmen with different requirements and varying prices. They also provide scholarships exclusively for transfer and international students.

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Scholarships for First-year College Students in the UK

16. University of Portsmouth – International Scholarships

The University of Portsmouth provides several Scholarships to EU and international students from several countries. Their scholarships vary depending on the course of study you’re enrolling in.

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17. Keele University – Bursaries and Scholarships for International Students

Some of the scholarships for freshmen provided by Keele University are awarded automatically while some require separate applications to be considered. Their scholarships range from £1,000 to the full fee.

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18. Nottingham Trent University International Scholarships

Even though international scholarships provided by Nottingham Trent University are very competitive, scholars will receive awards worth up to 50%.

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19. Lancaster Global Scholarship

£5,000 worth of scholarship is awarded as a tuition fee waiver for Undergraduate Programmes and is awarded automatically when applicants meet eligibility requirements.

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20. Birmingham City University – International Scholarships

Annually BCU provides international scholarships for first-year college students worth up to £2,000 which will be discounted from their first year’s tuition fees. It’s worth noting that there are few courses exempted from this scholarship.

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21. University of Liverpool First Class Scholarship

This £1,000 scholarship is available to (non-EU) international students in full-time non-clinical undergraduate degree programs who achieve and maintain a first-class average of 70% and above. Just like BCU, there are few Programmes exempted from receiving this scholarship.

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22. The Brian Cooper Scholarship Fund

This £13,000 scholarship is provided by the family of Brian Cooper to a local Student in County Durham in need of financial assistance. Candidates need to have a household income level below £42,875 as assessed by Student Finance England.

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23. Andrew Rudd Scholarship

Philanthropic Rudd Family Foundation is proud to provide this £5,000 worth of scholarship to support first-year students at the University of Sussex. It’s necessary that applicants are below 25 when starting their course.

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24. UCB – High Achievers Scholarship

If you’re a full-time international student who has attained high academic excellence, then this scholarship might be perfect for you. The scholarship ranges from £3,000 to a full waiver of your first-year tuition fee.

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25. University of Glasgow – Undergraduate Excellence Scholarship 

The University of Glasgow provides various international scholarships for first-year university students which is awarded as a tuition fee discount of £7,000 per year of study and is subject to satisfactory progress for consecutive years of study.

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Scholarships for First-year College Students in Canada

26. University of Alberta – Undergraduate Scholarships

I just love how UAlberta categorized their scholarships. The first group is Admission-Based Scholarships which are awarded automatically, the second is Application-Based Scholarships which require a single scholarship application.

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27. Mount Allison University – Scholarships and Awards for First-year Students

Mount Allison provides different scholarships ranging from $4,000 up to $56,000 to outstanding students regardless of background. You only need a single application to apply for all available Mount Allison scholarships.

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28. Carleton University – Scholarships 

Carleton University is very generous in providing several scholarships to its undergraduate students. Last year, they awarded more than 15,000 scholarships and bursaries totaling over $31.9 million to undergraduate students.

Their scholarships are worth up to full tuition, but you need very good grades to qualify.

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29. The University of Winnipeg Entrance Awards

You don’t need to submit a separate application to receive their Entrance Awards but for other awards, you will need to submit an application. Their scholarships vary and are worth up to $48,000.

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30. UBC – Scholarships and Awards for International Students

To celebrate and invite outstanding students from all over the world, the University of British Columbia provides several scholarships worth more than $30 million annually. When you’re admitted to the school you’ll be considered for all merit scholarships you’re eligible for.

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Scholarships For First-year College Students in Australia

31. Victoria University – First Year Booster Scholarship

This scholarship is designed to financially support high school graduates who intend to study at Victoria University with $5,000. Candidates need to be Australian citizens, Australian Permanent residents, NZ citizens, or holders of a Permanent Humanitarian Visa.

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32. Melbourne International Undergraduate Scholarship

This is another merit-based scholarship that doesn’t require an extra application. There are approximately 1,000 of these scholarships available, and recipients will be remitted up to 100% fee for the three-year duration of an undergraduate degree.

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33. Queen’s College Entrance Scholarships

To make their Programmes accessible to outstanding students they award entrance scholarships to students entering the College for the first time, in the first year level of an undergraduate degree. The scholarship ranges from a 10% fee reduction to more than 50% fee reduction.

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34. The University of Newcastle Australia Scholarships

This University provides 75 different scholarships for first-year university students which vary in price up to full tuition.

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35. University of Tasmania Domestic Scholarships

The University of Tasmania provides several scholarships in all their areas of study, and students are allowed to apply for multiple scholarships with just one easy application.

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You can see that there are lots of scholarships for first-year college students, in fact, almost every reputable university in different countries offers scholarships to their freshmen. These scholarships can be in the form of partnerships with other organizations.

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