African Americans are often underrepresented in scholarship competitions, meaning there are more opportunities than you think! With thousands of scholarships available, it can be challenging to figure out which ones to apply to and whether or not they are worth your time. To help you through the process, we’ve compiled a list of 10 of the best scholarships for African American students in the USA. These include specific scholarships geared towards African American students and general scholarships that welcome applications from all races and ethnicities.
1) Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey is one of the most influential people in the world. Born into poverty and raised by a single mother, Oprah overcame adversity to become a successful media mogul. As the host of The Oprah Winfrey Show, she inspired millions of people with her positive attitude and personal story. Today, Oprah is worth an estimated $3 billion and continues to use her platform to empower others. Through her work with The Oprah Winfrey Foundation and other philanthropic initiatives. In 2015, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. In 2013, she became the first black woman to own a billion-dollar company when she acquired Weight Watchers International Inc. She has given over $400 million to charity in her lifetime and will continue to change lives until the day she dies. If you are looking for scholarships that give back, this list has plenty!
2) United Negro College Fund
If you’re an African American student looking for scholarships to help pay for college, look no further than the United Negro College Fund. The UNCF is the nation’s largest provider of scholarships and financial aid to black students, with more than $100 million in scholarships each year. Their great scholarship opportunities are available to all high school seniors and current undergraduate and graduate students at a four-year accredited institution. For example, students can apply for a Need-Based Scholarship which can cover up to 75% of the cost of tuition. In addition, several endowed scholarships don’t require an application or submission process.
3) National Society of Black Engineers
Founded in 1975, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) is one of the largest student-run organizations in the country. NSBE’s mission is to increase the number of culturally responsible Black Engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community. The organization offers programs and services to help African American students succeed in engineering, including scholarships.
Here are 10 NSBE scholarships for African American students studying engineering in the United States: Mildred E. Shaw Scholarship – Established by an anonymous donor, this scholarship provides financial assistance to African American female undergraduates in civil engineering or related disciplines at an accredited four-year college or university.
Ronald McNair Scholarship: Sponsored by General Motors Foundation and Chevron Corporation, this scholarship is awarded annually to promising African American undergraduate students pursuing degrees in STEM fields such as science, technology, engineering, or math.
4) Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund
The Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund provides financial assistance to promising African-American students enrolled in an accredited law school in the United States. This scholarship is renewable for up to three years, and recipients can receive up to $5,000 annually. To be eligible, applicants must have a minimum 2.5 GPA and demonstrate financial need. The Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund is a great way to finance your education and achieve your dreams of becoming a lawyer. Recipients of this award will not only get their first-year tuition paid for but also receive money to help with their other expenses. Furthermore, if you are a single parent or one of many children in your family, then you qualify for this scholarship! You also allow if you’re from a low-income family and come from an area designated as underdeveloped by the United States government or you are on active duty in any branch of the military or honorably discharged from service.
5) U.S. Department of Agriculture Graduate Student Scholarship Program
This program awards African American students planning to pursue a graduate degree in agricultural or food-related sciences. Awards are based on financial need, academic achievement, and career goals. The program also provides mentoring and professional development opportunities. Awardees must agree to work in USDA service for one year following completion of studies.
Applications can be submitted online; there is no application fee.
Named after Dr. Clarence Avant, founder of Operation Avanti, which supports black males with college aspirations by providing scholarships and internships, this scholarship is open to undergraduate Black males pursuing an engineering degree at any accredited university in the United States.
6) Teach For America Fellowship Program
Teach For America is a diverse network of leaders confronting educational inequity in every sector, including business, law, medicine, and more. The Fellowship Program provides an opportunity for college graduates to commit two years to teach in high-need classrooms and become lifelong leaders in the movement to end educational inequity. Fellows receive a competitive salary and benefits package, as well as intensive training and support throughout their two-year commitment. Learn more and apply today! Applications are due January 5th.
7) United States Government Service
The United States Government offers a variety of scholarships and financial aid programs to help students pay for college. In addition to federal programs, many state and private programs are available. There are both need-based and merit-based scholarships and assistance for low-income families.
Students can apply for grants, loans, work-study positions, or other funds.
You may be eligible for assistance regardless of whether you attend full-time or part-time school. If you want to know more about your eligibility, contact your high school guidance counselor or talk with your potential colleges. For more information on what kinds of aid is available, visit FAFSA on the Web at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
8) National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program
If you’re looking for scholarships to help pay for medical school, look no further than the National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program. Through this program, you can receive up to $120,000 to cover tuition, fees, and other expenses. And once you complete your schooling, you’ll be required to serve at least two years at an approved site in an underserved community. You can also do three years or more if you can commit that much time. The scholarship is renewable each year if you’re still engaged. The only requirement is that you save to provide services to medically under-served communities in one of 29 states across the country.
If you want to go into medicine, public health, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, psychology, or optometry—you name it—you could qualify for these scholarships.
9) Gates Millennium Scholars Program
The Gates Millennium Scholars Program awards outstanding African American students total funding to pursue any degree at any accredited U.S. college or university. Gates Millennium Scholars are selected based on their academic achievement, leadership potential, and commitment to community service. These individuals receive $25,000 yearly to maintain satisfactory progress and stay enrolled as full-time students. Recipients of this scholarship must agree to work in one of 16 areas of need identified by the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) upon graduation. One such area is science and technology; therefore, recipients majoring in STEM will be expected to return to an underprivileged school district for two years after graduation to teach science, math, engineering, or computer science.