Top 25 Scholarships for Minority Students
The United States is a melting pot of diverse backgrounds, and our nation was built upon the strengths of individuals who represent a wide variety of races and heritages. Regardless of race or ethnicity, it is the dream of many American students to earn a college degree that can help them pursue employment and create a better life for themselves and their families. Unfortunately, the high cost of higher education can be a limiting factor for students across the country.
While there are thousands of scholarships and grants available to students of all races and ethnicities, certain organizations also offer minority-specific awards to assist these students with achieving their dreams. By applying for scholarships and grants that are specifically geared to minority populations, students can reduce the burden of high tuition costs and focus on completing their education.
In the sections below, we will go over 25 of the top scholarships available to minority students, as well as some of the most commonly asked questions we receive regarding financial aid awards.
Top 25 Minority Scholarships
Scholarships are available from a variety of sources – from private organizations and memorial scholarships to awards given by individual universities. The table below covers a few of the top scholarships that can be considered for those who are of African-American, Asian, Pacific Islander, or American Indian descent:
|Scholarship||Value||Scholarship at a Glance|
|JRF Scholars – Jackie Robinson Foundation||
Up to $28,000 over four years
|Open to eligible minority students who plan to earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college.|
|Gates Millennium Scholars Program||
Up to $20,000
|Scholarship based on financial need that covers undergraduate costs for minority students who are eligible for the Pell Grant.|
|United Methodist GBHEM Ethnic Minority Scholarships||
Up to $10,000
|Numerous scholarship opportunities available to minority students of the Methodist faith who are pursuing an undergraduate degree at an accredited college.|
|HENAAC Scholars Program||
Up to $10,000
|Open to applicants of Hispanic heritage who demonstrate community empowerment and are working to enhance the professional technical workforce.|
|AMS Minority Scholarships||
|Offered by the American Meteorological Society, this scholarship is open to minority students entering into the fields of atmospheric, oceanic, and hydraulic science.|
|Brown and Caldwell Minority Scholarship Program||
|Scholarship opportunity for minority students with a major in civil, chemical, or environmental engineering or environmental sciences.|
|ACS Scholars Program||
|Renewable scholarships offered to underrepresented minority students who are pursuing a degree in the chemical sciences or chemical technology.|
|American Library Association Spectrum Scholarship||
|Available to minority students who want to obtain a graduate degree and leadership position within the profession of library science.|
|Coca-Cola Pay It Forward Scholarship Program||
|Scholarship that focuses on African American mothers and their youth who are looking to pave the way for their futures.|
|UNCF/Dell Corporate Scholars||
Up to $4,500
|Need-based scholarship and internship program open to minority students with a major in Engineering, Supply Chain Management, Computer Science, or Information Technology.|
|Herman J. Neal Scholarship||
|Supports African-American students who are pursuing a degree in accounting and a CPA designation.|
|APSA Minority Fellowship Program||
|Fellowship competition that is open to minority scholars who are applying to doctoral programs in political science.|
|Gay Asian Pacific Alliance Foundation Scholarship||
|Provides scholarship awards to students of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage as well as those in the LGBTQ communities.|
|Asian Women in Business Scholarship||
|Award that is open to Asian female undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional leadership, community service, and/or entrepreneurship.|
|Dr. Gussie M. Ware Memorial Scholarship||
Up to $2,500
|Open to African-American females who have been accepted into a two or four-year college degree program.|
|Era L. and Frances L. Walker Scholarship||
Up to $2,500
|Scholarship to pursue education for African-American males who have graduated from a Rockford, IL public high school.|
|Leon Bradley Scholarship||
|Assistance available to minority students who are entering into the fields of teaching and school leadership to help them achieve teaching certification or administrative credentials.|
|AAIA Undergrad Scholarship||
|Variety of scholarships sponsored by the Association on American Indian Affairs that are open to eligible Native American students enrolled in a two or four year college.|
|Adelante! U.S. Education Leadership Fund||
|Scholarship opportunity for Hispanic students who graduated from a San Antonio area high school and are pursuing a STEM-related degree.|
|American Indian Nurse Scholarship Award Program||
|Open to students of American Indian heritage who wish to pursue a degree in nursing, health care, or health education.|
|Against the Gran Groundbreaker Leadership Scholarship||
|Open to college seniors and graduate students of Asian-American descent who exhibit leadership, vision, and passion in their field.|
|RMHC/Asia Scholarship Program||
|Ronald McDonald House scholarship program open to students who have at least one parents of Asian-Pacific heritage.|
|RMHC/African-American Future Achievers||
|Ronald McDonald House scholarship program that is available to students who have at least one parent of African American or Black Caribbean heritage.|
|Ronald McDonald House Scholarship that is open to applicants who have at least one parent of Hispanic/Latino heritage.|
|Frank Kazmierczak Memorial Migrant Scholarship||
|Annual award available to migrant workers or children of a migrant worker who wish to pursue a career in teaching.|
As you can see from the sampling of minority scholarships above, the awards can range from small amounts to full-college tuition. With any scholarship, it is essential that you read the fine print of the application to fully understand eligibility requirements. Certain foundations have restrictions beyond minority status, including geographic, degree major, or specific university requirements.
General Scholarship Information
When do I apply to scholarships?
The answer to this question varies based on the specific requirements of each scholarship, but the general rule of thumb is that the earlier you apply the better! If you are a high school student who is about to graduate, it is wise to start applying to scholarships early in your senior year of high school. Additionally, some foundations may require that you have a certain number of college credits under your belt before applying – so be sure to read the fine print!
All award programs have specific application deadlines every year, and making a list of the scholarships you are interested in can help you keep track of when you need to send in each application.
Do I have to have a high GPA to apply?
If you have struggled with poor grades in high school or through your early years of college, you may still have the opportunity to earn substantial scholarship awards. Merit-based scholarships are based upon GPA, but many scholarship opportunities take financial need into account when determining their recipients.
Grades are not the only factor considered in your scholarship application, and foundations are looking for recipients that demonstrate activism, leadership, and passion in their field. If your GPA is not up to high standards, focus your application on volunteer work, essays, and other qualifications that demonstrate how you are an asset to your community.
What about online degree programs?
High tuition costs can limit the ability of minority students to pursue education, but demands of family and work obligations may also play a factor. Luckily, many of the nation’s top accredited universities now offer online degree programs that give students the flexibility they need to complete their education at their own pace.
If you are applying for scholarships to fund your education, you can still count on these awards to cover costs associated with online degree programs in addition to traditional education. As long as you meet the eligibility and enrollment requirements of the scholarship, feel free to apply for financial aid awards even if you plan on attending school from the comfort of your own home!
What’s my next step?
Completing a degree program and finding employment in a field you are passionate about is the epitome of the American dream for many students – regardless of their ethnic backgrounds. While the journey towards completing your education is not always easy, particularly as a minority student, there are countless resources available to help you reach your goals!
When you are ready to start applying for financial aid, your first step is to fill out the FASFA as early in the year as possible. This federal form will determine your eligibility for a number of financial aid awards, including the Pell Grant, which can help to fund your education. After completion of the FASFA, we recommend that you meet with your school’s academic advisor to go over the options for receiving additional aid in the form of scholarships and grants. They will be able to direct you to a variety of opportunities that may be available as a member of a minority population.
The dream of earning a degree should be available to all students, regardless of their race, gender, ethnicity, and background. By pursuing scholarships that have been founded with the goal of helping minority populations, the door to opportunity can be opened for those who may not otherwise be able to complete their higher education journey.