Last updated: March 19, 2018
Opportunities in education have been progressively moving forward since the 1800s, especially regarding people of color. Prior to the establishment of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), African Americans were generally denied admission to traditionally white colleges and universities. Consequently, HBCUs became the sole provider of higher education for African Americans.
Since then, millions of dollars are donated annually to privately funded institutions, scholarships, grants and awards targeted specifically towards students of color, many of which move on to become some of the most important thinkers, creators, innovators, entrepreneurs and scholars of our time. A new report found that the number of African American female entrepreneurs has grown 322% since 1997, making black females the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S.
What does a better future look like to you? With higher education and the support to help get you there, the possibility for you to create the future of your dreams is possible.
“Through UNCF alone, more than $100 million in scholarships is awarded annually to students of color.
— UNCF Annual Report
Scholarships cater specifically to underrepresented students in hopes of offering increased opportunities for programs in predominantly white degree programs and institutions, while also increasing diversity on university campuses nationwide. While federal funding is a great way to receive need-based support, private scholarship funds offer a more targeted opportunity to pursue any degree, or career, that will help set students up on the path towards success.
The nation’s largest minority education organization provides scholarship opportunities by raising money to support students of color to attend, thrive and graduate from college to become better leaders of their communities.
The HBCU Network was established in the 1800s to provide higher education opportunities for underrepresented minorities. The initiative is a professional and social community to network and to offer substantial scholarship opportunities for African-American students in the community.
Apply for need-based national grant opportunities suited for any academic course of study.
The Office of the U.S. Department of Education provide over $120 billion in federal grants, loans and work-study funds each year to sponsor millions of students pursuing their academic dreams.
The NSBE provide pre-college, collegiate and technical professional programs, scholarships, internships and support to students of color pursuing careers in the engineering industry.
The NSBJ offers specialized scholarships, awards, events, fellowships and internships for African-American students pursuing a career in journalism.
Awards four-year scholarships to students of color demonstrating academic excellence and promise, and financial need.
The NAACP is a national education program that works to eliminate education-related disparities in public schools through policy development, guidance, and collaborative networks.
There are hundreds of scholarships for African Americans, which are awarded by local organizations, private companies, societies and more.
Grants don’t need to be paid back and are based on your financial circumstances. They are usually funded by the federal government, your state or college.
While scholarships usually fund tuition, fellowships typically cover graduate study, research projects and abroad experiences without needing to be paid back.
You can borrow money from the government or a bank, but it needs to be paid back with interest. The federal government offers many loan options—fill out the free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if you qualify for financial aid. If you need help, use our interactive guide to learn how to answer every question.
Provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to pay education expenses.
If you’re just beginning the process of finding suitable scholarships, make sure you’re prepared for the application process by starting a folder with the assets below.
Instructions: Click through the dropdowns below to sort by your field of study, award amount and if you qualify for need-based aid. Click the box for a larger view.
Deadline: July 1, 2018
Any U.S. resident that has been accepted to an accredited university can apply. Applicants are asked to answer questions on immigration for a chance to win.
Deadline: August 25, 2018
Students who are between the ages of 18 and 25 enrolled in an accredited university are eligible to apply. Winners will be selected based on a 500-word essay about the importance of education.
Deadline: November 1, 2018
African American students in their senior year of high school are eligible for this scholarship program. Students interested in pursuing a degree in education are preferred.
Deadline: December 1, 2018
African American students enrolled full time at an accredited four-year college or university are encouraged to apply for this award. Students must have a 3.0 GPA and have completed 60 undergraduate credit hours before applying for consideration. This award is open to U.S. and international students.
Graduating high school males of African American descent are encouraged to apply for this scholarship. Must maintain a 3.0 GPA and participate in extracurriculars for consideration for this award.
The Gerber Scholarship in Pediatrics Program awards underrepresented minority students interested in pediatrics and emphasis on nutrition with financial support. Must be a U.S. citizen to apply. Leadership and community service will be considered in application process.