Grants for English Language Learners

Instructor: Bill Sands
Students learning the English language have a number of grants and scholarships available to help them during their studies. Keep reading for a list of just a few examples of these programs for ELL students.

The J.C. Casagrande Peace Scholarship

Offered through the University of Florida's English Language Institute (ELI), this scholarship strives to encourage local communities and international peace. Recipients for this program must be full-time ELI students with a superb academic record (4.0 GPA) and demonstrated improvement in their English language skills. Recipients must also demonstrate a commitment to community involvement through participation in Cultural Immersion activities or other local events. For this scholarship, recipients will have to be nominated by a professor at the institute.

Opportunity Scholarship

For students living in 'locked-out' states (areas where access to college is either impossible or severely limited, or students aren't admitted because of their immigration statuses), The Dream.US offers financial aid through a number of partner universities. Candidates who receive this scholarship will receive an annual award that covers tuition, fees, and room and board, and meals provided that they remain eligible throughout their time at school.

Applicants must be high school seniors or high school graduates who aren't already attending a 4-year university. Applicants must also have a GPA of at least 2.8 and demonstrate a need for financial support. Applicants must live in one of the following states: Alaska, West Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Idaho, South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Missouri, Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Georgia.

Once they have received the scholarship, students must remain eligible by maintaining full-time status each semester and earning a GPA of at least 3.0.

English for Heritage Language Speakers

Awarded by the National Security Education Program (NSEP), the EHLS scholarship is for ELL students whose native tongue is classified as a 'heritage language,' meaning one or more of the following: Uzbek, Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, Kurdish, Azerbaijani, Balochi, Bambara, Dari, Hausa, Hindi, Turkish, Urdu, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Pashto, Persian Farsi, Punjabi, Russian, Somali, Tajik, or Tamashek. Candidates will need to score Level 3 or higher on the Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) scale for their native language, and a minimum of a 2 in English in order to be considered for this award.

Applicants must also be United States citizens willing to commit to a 6-month course of study at Georgetown University and 2 months of online school work. Awardees will have all program tuition and fees paid for by the program and will receive a $3,600 living stipend each month for the first six months, and then $1,200 for the remaining two months.

Virginia ESL Supervisors' Association (VESA)

ESL students looking to continue their education at a postsecondary institution should consider the VESA scholarship. Awards are given to students in Virginia public schools who have been enrolled in an ESL program for at least one year during the 6th-12th grade years. Candidates must be in 12th grade when applying and will need to have financial need and a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0

English Language Acquisition State Grants

This program approaches the concept of ELL support by providing assistance at the state level. Based on the number of immigrant and limited-English proficient (LEP) students living within a state's borders, funds are distributed with the purpose of providing educational opportunities for these students. States must provide annual goals for the purpose of monitoring LEP students' progress. ELA grants may be implemented for an entire district, or individual accommodations may be made for certain schools.

ELL Resources has a number of online courses designed for ELL students and their teachers. This Grammar Resources for ELL Students course is an excellent tool for brushing up on essential grammatical concepts and includes written transcripts for students who may have difficulty understanding lesson content.

For students who are already enrolled in an ELL program and would like a means of improving their skills, these Grammar Flashcards are a great way to test your knowledge and confirm your progress.

If you're a teacher with ESL students and need some help in the classroom, this Resources for Teaching English Language Learners course contains plenty of helpful ideas to help you maximize your classroom experience.