Are You of Polish Descent?

College Student Scholarships Based on Your Nationality

You’ve probably heard the old adage: “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.” Well, sometimes it isn’t a matter of whom you are or what you know, but who YOU are! There are different scholarship opportunities for thousands of students simply based on their heritage- a few of these being for those of Polish descent.

All over America, there are Polish clubs and heritage societies dedicated to furthering their history and culture. One way in which they promote their ideals is through scholarships- some locally and some nationally. Here are a few we’ve gathered for you!

Polish Heritage SocietyPOlish student scholarships

The Polish Heritage Society located in  Grand Rapids, Michigan is one such organization that provides local scholarships to young Poles. If you are planning on attending Grand Valley State University, you may be able to receive $300 for your Fall semester. Maybe you are looking at enrolling at Aquinas College. You, too, are eligible for a $300 scholarship for your fall semester. Lastly, they provide a $250 scholarship to Poles going to Grand Rapids Community College. These awards are meant to provide financial assistance to students who are of Polish decent residing in West Michigan. To be eligible, students must maintain a 2.75 GPA and be of Polish descent.

Polish American Arts Association of Washington D.C.

Another Polish Society, located in Washington D.C., is the Polish American Arts Association (PAAA). PAAA engages in numerous activities to gather awareness of how rich Polish culture is. They are dedicated to strengthening cooperation and understanding of art, culture and education between Poland and the United States. PAAA provides a Scholarship Grant Program, whereby students of Polish decent living in DC, Maryland or Virginia are eligible for an up to $3,000 scholarship to help with college expenses. Not everyone gets this award, so to put yourself at the top of list, consider getting actively involved in your community and Polish-American culture.

Polanki, The Polish Women’s Cultural Club of Milwaukee

The Polish Women’s Cultural Club of Milwaukee (PWCCM) strives to help an even smaller group: Polish women. Each year, they offer College Achievement Awards to the best Polish students attending a Wisconsin college or university. The amount of each honor varies from $750 to $1,500. Here are just a few that the Polish Women’s Club offers:

  • Stanley F. and Helen Balcerzak Award- this scholarship goes to an outstanding student in any major.
  • Janet Dzladulewlcz Branden Memorial Award- more specific than the one previously mentioned, this memorial scholarship goes to a student who has excelled in Polish Studies.

There are many other scholarships that PWCCM offers. To see them all, visit their awards page.

The Polish National Alliance

Members of the Polish National Alliance (PNA) have a unique opportunity for scholarships. PNA members who are currently enrolled as full-time students and apply for this scholarship can receive funding for their tuition if selected. To be eligible, students must be sophomores, juniors or seniors (no incoming freshman accepted), and have a GPA of at least 3.0.

The American Council for Polish Culture

The American Council for Polish Culture (ACPC) is another nation-wide Polish organization furthering Polish culture and heritage. They offer many scholarships to the best and brightest Polish students.

  • ACPC Summer Study Scholarship- an American student of Polish decent is eligible to participate in a Summer Study program at any participating university in Poland. Recipients are awarded $2,000 to go toward transportation and tuition expenses.
  • Pulaski Scholarship- this $5,000 scholarship is for graduate students of Polish decent who are enrolled at an accredited university in the U.S. and have completed at least one year of studies at the graduate level. Scholars studying to earn their Master’s, Doctoral, or other Advanced degree are eligible.

Be sure to check out their website for a complete list of scholarships they offer.

The Kosciuszko Foundation

Headquartered in New York City, the Kosciuszko Foundation commits themselves to promoting cultural and educational exchanges between Poland and the U.S. and to increase American understanding of the Polish history and culture. Not only do they offer scholarships and grants to students of Polish decent, but they also offer multiple exchange programs to both students in America and students in Poland.

  • Tuition Scholarship Program- this scholarship is for full-time graduate students in any field. The Tuition Program provides from $1,000 to $7,000 in funding.
  • Graduate Study and Research in Poland Scholarship- the Polish Ministry of Education teams up with the Kosciuszko Foundation to provide graduate students the opportunity to conduct research at a university in Poland. Grad students are given a stipend of 1,350 zloty (roughly $430US) per month for housing and living expenses. Another $300 for approved research is available by the Kosciuszko Foundation.
  • Year Abroad Program- this program sends American students to Poland for either semester or year-long Polish language studies. Students will attend the Center of Polish Language and Culture at Jagiellonian University in Cracow. This scholarship provides the same 1,350 zloty per month for housing and living expenses; but, students are eligible for an additional $900 per semester provided by the Kosciuszko Foundation.


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