Last updated: December 30, 2019
Colleges campuses across America are becoming more diverse every year. Underrepresented minority students are not only enrolling in college, but are making educational and professional impacts in all fields—from science to education to civil service—at an unstoppable rate.
College costs, however, are climbing. According to U.S. News & World Report, from 1995 to 2015, in-state tuition and fees at public universities rose a staggering 296 percent. Average costs continue to rise every year, well beyond the rate of inflation. With tuition bills and extra expenses like housing, meal plans, parking permits, books and fees, any financial assistance can make a sizeable difference.
To help offset college costs, you can obtain minority scholarships, grants and fellowships that are available to men and women of African American, Alaska Native, Asian American, Hispanic and Latino, Native American and Pacific Islander descent. Use this guide, including our interactive scholarship tool, to locate and apply for unique opportunities to help pay for college. After all, you can be the student who brings new ideas and perspectives to your own college campus.
Talented and diverse young leaders have further opportunity to make an impact through a college education and scholarship opportunities. The first U.S. Congressional woman of color and first Asian American woman elected to the House of Representatives expresses the power of making contributions as a minority:
“We have to build things that we want to see accomplished, in life and in our country, based on our own personal experiences...to make sure that others...do not have to suffer the same discrimination.”
- Patsy Matsu Takemoto Mink
To start building your future, consider the many college scholarships available to minorities through corporations, charitable organizations, advocacy groups and professional associations.
There are hundreds of scholarships for minorities, 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.
No matter your background, where you’re from or if your family members attended college, you can find ways to pay for college through scholarships and fellowships. Check out the scholarships below to see the opportunities available.
Instructions: Click through the dropdowns below to sort by your ethnicity, field of study and award amount. Click the box for a larger view.
Deadline: November 15, 2021
Scholarships are awarded to underrepresented students pursuing a medical profession in the state of California.
Deadline: November 1, 2021
Candidates are U.S. permanent residents or citizens who have been accepted to or enrolled in a semester, summer or academic year IES abroad program. Scholarships are awarded to those attending Hispanic-Serving Institutions that belong to the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU).
Deadline: November 1, 2021
This scholarship is intended to help students who have been underrepresented in study abroad programs. Applicants must be attending a private college or university that is a Member or Associate Member of the IES Abroad Consortium. Home university must transfer a minimum of 75% of its institutional aid for study abroad.
Deadline: October 15, 2021
This scholarship is designed to encourage minorities, ages 17 and older, to enter into the field of strength and conditioning. Applicants must be members of the NSCA. Also, they must demonstrate that they have been accepted into an accredited institution working toward an undergraduate or graduate degree in the strength and conditioning field.
Deadline: September 15, 2021
Chickasaw citizens who are pursuing higher education are eligible for numerous awards. Details for current scholarships and eligibility are listed on the website.
Deadline: September 15, 2021
The scholarship assists Native American high school students with their college academic pursuits. All tribes and regions are welcome to apply. Preference is given to those who plan to study engineering, math, science, business, computers and education.
Deadline: September 7, 2021
One student will be awarded with this scholarship based on their schools accreditation by the American Bar Association (ABA) or AALS. Applicants will be reviewed based on their interest in pro bono, public interest and/or public legal service work, financial need, leadership potential, and affiliation with the Asian Pacific American community.
Deadline: September 1, 2021
Applicants must be studying a discipline related to NOAA's programs and mission at an accredited minority serving institution within the United States, and maintain a GPA of at least 3.2.
Deadline: August 18, 2021
All applicants must be enrolled in an accredited educational institution (K-12, high school and college) in the United States or Puerto Rico.
Deadline: August 8, 2021
This award is available to Florida resident undergraduate students who are enrolled in a state-approved teacher education program at an eligible Florida institution, and plan to teach in a Florida public school upon graduation. Applicants must submit and essay to be considered.
Deadline: August 15, 2021
This award is given to a first-generation or immigrant high school senior living in the NYC Tri-state area.
Amount: up to $10,000
Deadline: August 16, 2021
This scholarship offers financial assistants to students of color and/or immigrants, giving special preferences to students who live in the Bay Area. Applicants must submit their demonstrated financial need and responses to essay questions with their application.