155 Minority Scholarships for 2018

Last updated: March 16, 2018

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

evolution-of-education-for-minorities.jpg
 

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

1

Scholarships

There are hundreds of scholarships for minorities, which are awarded by local organizations, private companies, societies and more.

 
2

Grants

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.

 
3

Fellowships

While scholarships usually fund tuition, fellowships typically cover graduate study, research projects and abroad experiences without needing to be paid back.

 
4

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.

 
5

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.

Gay Asian Pacific Alliance (GAPA) Foundation Scholarship

Amount: $5,000

Deadline: June 30, 2018

This award supports high school, undergraduate, professional, trade, vocational or graduate students who demonstrate activism. Preference is given to students who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer or transgender.

Korean American Scholarship Foundation - Western Regional Chapter

Amount: Varies

Deadline: June 30, 2018

Scholarship is designated to students of Korean heritage who are studying in the U.S. at a full-time status. The college or university must be in the Southwestern region states (Arizona, Colorado, Alaska, California, Idaho, Hawaii, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Oregon, Washington or Wyoming).

Migrant Farmworker Baccalaureate Scholarship

Amount: $20,000

Deadline: July 1, 2018

Children of migrant workers who demonstrate pursuit of a career in agriculture are eligible to apply for this scholarship. Students must have completed one year of college to qualify.

Immigration Scholarship Essay Contest

Amount: $500

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.

Hit the Books Scholarship

Amount: $500

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.

Lim, Ruger & Kim Scholarship

Amount: $2,500

Deadline: September 1, 2018

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.

Xerox Technical Minority Scholarship

Amount: $10,000

Deadline: September 30, 2018

Minority students who are full-time enrolled in a four-year institution are eligible to apply. Students must be on a track to a bachelor's, master's or PhD in an engineering discipline or technical science.

Ron Brown Scholars Program

Amount: $40,000

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.

NBCUniversal LNESC Scholarship

Amount: $5,000

Deadline: November 6, 2018

Latino students pursuing a career in the entertainment or media industry are eligible for this award.

University of California Presidential Fellowship for UCLA Undocumented AB540 Graduate Students

Amount: Varies

Deadline: December 15, 2018

Awards are available for UCLA graduate students with undocumented AB540 status.Proof of financial need via copy of DREAM Act Application (for California AB540 students).

Denny's Hungry for Education Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: December 31, 2018

All applicants must be enrolled in an accredited educational institution (K-12, high school and college) in the United States or Puerto Rico

ASA Minority Fellowship Program

Amount: $18,000

Deadline: January 31, 2019

Applicants can be new or continuing graduate students, but preference will be given to students entering doctoral programs or students enrolled in strong mental health programs. Fellows will be selected on their commitment to research in mental health.

Vincint and Catherine Sansalone Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: February 1, 2019

Students must be enrolled in a math or science program at an accredited U.S. university. Must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher for consideration. Preference for students of Italian descent.

Gerber Scholarship in Pediatrics Program

Amount: $5,000

Deadline:

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.

Alaska Chinese Association Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline:

The Alaska Chinese Association awards scholarships each year to students who demonstrate community and cultural involvement. Students who demonstrate academic excellence will be strongly considered.

TMCF Scholarships

Amount: $6,200

Deadline:

First-generation college students are eligible to apply to this award. Preference is given to students who will be attending a HBCU.

Ascend Educational Fund

Amount: Varies

Deadline:

Scholarships are awarded to children of immigrants or immigrant students who are graduating from an NYC high school. Eligible candidates are those who plan to attend a two or four year college institution.

JACL National Scholarship Program

Amount: Varies

Deadline:

Applicants must be members of the Japanese American Citizens League. Eligibility and award amount varies by year. See current website for listings.

Pauahi Foundation Public Scholarships

Amount: Varies

Deadline:

Candidates must be attending a trade, vocational or undergraduate institution. Preference is given to students of Hawaiian ancestry.

The Native Hawaiian Health Scholarship Program

Amount: Varies

Deadline:

Applicants must be of Native Hawaiian ancestry who are pursuing a degree in the health or medical field. A service obligation post-degree is required.

Hawai'i Community Foundation Scholarships

Amount: Varies

Deadline:

Students of Hawaiian descent and residents of the state of Hawaii are eligible to apply for scholarships. A range of scholarship opportunities are available each year. Current listings and eligibility are listed on the website.

TELACU College Success Program Scholarship

Amount: $5,000

Deadline:

Applicants for the TELACU College Success Program must be first-generation college students from a low to moderate household income. A GPA of 2.5 or higher is required.

Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL) Scholarship Program

Amount: Varies

Deadline:

Students of Asian Pacific descent who are also legal American citizens are eligible to apply for public service internships in Washington, DC.

HACUS-IES Study Abroad Scholarship

Amount: $5,000

Deadline:

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).

Smithsonian Institution James E. Webb Internship

Amount: $6,000

Deadline:

Scholarships support the increase of underrepresented minority groups in management of cultural and scientific organizations. Students must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program in the field of business or public administration.

GE fund and GM Fund LULAC Scholarship Program

Amount: Varies

Deadline:

Minority students with an engineering or business major are eligible for this award. Students must be pursuing a bachelor's degree at a full-time status in order to be considered.

UMC Journey Toward Ordained Ministry

Amount: $5,000

Deadline:

Undergraduate or graduate level students of a minority group can apply. Students must be pursuing ordained ministry with at a minimum of a two year membership with United Methodist Church (UMC).

CIRI Foundation Fellowships

Amount: $250

Deadline:

Qualified candidates are CIRI original enrollees or direct lineal descendants. Students must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher with a desire to perform and transmit the literary, visual and performing arts of Alaska Natives.

Cherokee Nation College Resource Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline:

Candidates must demonstrate tribal citizenship in the Cherokee Nation. The scholarship is awarded to those who plan to attend or are attending an accredited U.S. institution.

Catching The Dream Program

Amount: Varies

Deadline:

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.

Chickasaw Nation Scholarship Program

Amount: Varies

Deadline:

Chickasaw citizens who are pursuing higher education are eligible for numerous awards. Details for current scholarships and eligibility are listed on the website.

Smithsonian Native American Awards Program

Amount: $6,000

Deadline:

Applicants must be formally or informally affiliated with a Native American tribe or community. Students must be enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student with an interest in learning more about career opportunities related to Native American resources.

Zuni Tribal Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline:

Students of the Zuni Tribe are eligible for this award. Applicants must be accepted to or enrolled in a college institution.

American Indian Nurse Scholarship Awards

Amount: $1,500

Deadline:

Candidates must be at least 1/4 American Indian and enrolled in a tribe, or able to prove direct tribal ancestry. Candidates must be enrolled an undergraduate or graduate nursing program are eligible.

Native American Seminary

Amount: Varies

Deadline:

Native American students seeking a degree at a University Senate approved seminary are eligible to apply. Candidates must have a minimum of a 3 year membership in the UMC (United Methodist Church).

Wah-Tiah-Kah Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline:

Scholarships are granted through the Osage Minerals Council for the study of petroleum related subjects. Students must be of Osage Indian blood.

A.T. Anderson Memorial Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline:

Candidates for this award are full-time undergraduate or graduate students who are pursuing a degree in medicine, engineering, physical science, natural resources, math or science.

A.W. Bodine-Sunkist Memorial Scholarship

Amount: $2,000

Deadline:

This scholarship was established in memory of distinguished director of Sunkist Growers and agricultural leader, to provide funds for undergraduate students from Arizona or California agricultural backgrounds who are in need of financial assistance. GPA and extracurriculars must demonstrate potential for success.