Minority Scholarships for 2020

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.

Educational Milestones for Minorities


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.


How to Pay for College



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.


Student Loans

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.


Federal Work-Study Program

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.

Scholarship Application Preparation

Not all scholarships are based off of your GPA, but most need to verify your high school education to qualify. Try to get certified copies of your transcript early, so you have plenty of time to meet the deadline.
Although there are scholarship opportunities that aren’t merit-based, it’s valuable to take the SAT or ACT standardized tests in case it’s a scholarship qualification.
Your scholarship essay is what will bring attention to your application out of the pool of applicants. That’s why it’s important to craft a stand out piece that attests to your experience, adheres to the scholarship guidelines and most importantly, highlights your true personality.
Letters of recommendation are a true judgement of your character—something that can’t be revealed through your test scores or transcript. Reach out to former teachers, counselors or bosses, so that they can speak to your qualifications. You may also want to provide them with a resume that outlines your achievements and goals as well.

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.

Scholarship Opportunities for Minorities

Instructions: Click through the dropdowns below to sort by your ethnicity, field of study and award amount. Click the box for a larger view.

California Medical Scholarships

Amount: Varies

Deadline: November 15, 2021

Scholarships are awarded to underrepresented students pursuing a medical profession in the state of California.

HACU IES Study Abroad Scholarship

Amount: $5,000

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).

IES Abroad David Porter Need-Based Diversity Scholarship

Amount: $5,000

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.

NSCA Minority Scholarship

Amount: $2,000

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.

Chickasaw Nation Scholarship Program

Amount: Varies

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.

Catching The Dream Program

Amount: Varies

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.

LimNexus Scholarship

Amount: $2,500

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.

EPP/MSI Undergraduate Scholarship Program

Amount: $45,000

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.

Denny's Hungry for Education Scholarship

Amount: Varies

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.

Florida Minority Teacher Education Scholarship Program

Amount: $4,000

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.

MORTAR Scholarship

Amount: $10,000

Deadline: August 15, 2021

This award is given to a first-generation or immigrant high school senior living in the NYC Tri-state area.

Bright Futures Scholarship

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.

New Jersey Governer's Industry Vocations Scholarship

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: December 1, 2021

Applicants must identify as a woman or a minority to be eligible for this scholarship, and they must attend one of the eligible institutions in New Jersey.