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.