Scholarships for Russian Immigrants

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Russian immigrants may find scholarships for study in the United States or abroad.
Russian immigrants may find scholarships for study in the United States or abroad. (Image: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Russian immigrants, Russian-American students and children of Russian-immigrant families can find financial aid for college through a variety of scholarship programs. Each scholarship publishes its own criteria for applications, including being of Russian heritage or having emigrated from Russia. In addition, some opportunities are specifically designed to support students of both Russian descent and Jewish heritage. Scholarship recipients may use funding sources to pay for traditional college studies or non-degree endeavors.

Nationwide Scholarship Programs

Some scholarships and grants specifically support students whose families emigrated from Russia. Funds may be used at any chosen institution rather than a particular college or university. For example, most high-school and college scholarships given annually by the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS) go to students who are the children of Russian immigrants or are themselves Russian immigrants.

Russian-Jewish Scholarships

Students of Russian-Jewish heritage may benefit specifically from some scholarship opportunities. For example, the Jewish Foundation for Education of Women partners with New York City institutions to provide college aid to Russian immigrants studying a variety of professional fields. Some scholarships require college and residency requirements. For example, Florida families living in Palm Beach or Martin County may apply for financial aid through the Dave Yanis Scholarship Fund. The fund prefers to support students of Jewish heritage as well as students who are themselves Russian immigrants or the children and grandchildren of Russian immigrants.

School-Specific Scholarships

Some scholarships are limited to students attending specific colleges or universities. For example, the Russian-Eurasian Scholarship limits its support to such students in the Department of Economics, Finance, and Urban Studies at East Tennessee State University. Similarly, the Irina & Olga Pikovskaya Scholarship prefers applications from single mothers of Eastern European descent who attend Long Island University in New York. Each family should look for community resources to identify school-specific programs that administer scholarships for students of Russian heritage.

Major-Specific Scholarships

Other scholarships support Russian or Russian-American students studying a particular subject or entering a specified professional field. For example, at Pittsburgh State University, the Undergraduate Russian Chemistry Scholarship Fund provides financial aid to Russians majoring in chemistry. The Constance E. Lieber Scholarship at Brooklyn College-CUNY New York supports students with Russian-Jewish backgrounds in the study of neuroscience or pre-medical studies. Recipients may use the funding toward undergraduate or graduate degrees.Opportunities for Russian-American applicants should be researched via the academic department where the student plans to study.

Russian Language Study Programs

A number of programs specifically encourage study of the Russian language, such as those offered by National Security Language Initiative for Youth through the Russian American Foundation. The Kathryn Davis Fellowship for Peace grants are available through the Middlebury College language programs.

Leadership and Training Programs

Some programs give scholarships to Russians who are not U.S. citizens but who'd like to study in the United States and enhance their professional credentials. For example, the Russian Young Leadership Fellows for Public Service Program provides one-year opportunities for Russians involved with civic affairs or government studies in non-degree programs. Other programs, such as The Ivan V. Koulaieff Educational Fund, support Russian immigrant students around the world.

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