NCES reports that 31 percent of Black and 26 percent of Hispanic children under the age of 18 lived in poverty in 2016. Among Asian subgroups, poverty affected by 6 to 37 percent of children. Disproportionately affected by poverty, should the young people from low-income families really forget their education-related dreams altogether? No, they shouldn’t!
Many organizations and institutions offer scholarships and financial aid programs to minority students. So, the financial background is no longer an obstacle to one’s education-related pursuits. Here is a compilation of options that representatives of minority groups can use for their own benefit. In addition to the wealth of scholarships, grants, and other useful resources, you can find easy tips on how to increase your chances of winning in a financial aid program.
Scholarships Benefiting Minority Students
All scholarships are gifts that students don’t need to repay. They can be awarded for various reasons. No matter what the exact purpose of each program is, they help cover the high cost of education, so consider applying to as many scholarships as possible. Here are some relevant options:
Scholarships for Minority Students in Need
Award: $2,500 per semester
Requirements: Students of Armenian descent enrolled in four-year U.S. colleges or universities, who are active in the community and show financial need, can apply.
Deadline: November 1
Requirements: Applicants, who are minority high school students demonstrating financial need and showing leadership potential, should submit online applications, which include four essay questions, a letter of recommendation, professional hi-resolution digital photo, and SAT (minimum 1,000) or ACT (combined score of 21) scores.
Award: $2,000, $5,000
Requirements: Women or minority students enrolled in an approved Planning Accreditation Board planning program and demonstrating genuine financial need can apply.
Deadline: February 28
Requirements: Applicants submit a 1-2-page-long typewritten essay outlining their career goals and what steps they will take to increase the ethnic representation in the fields of advertising, marketing, and public relations.
Deadline: January 18
Requirements: Winners are chosen based on financial need, community involvement, essay content, and academic achievements and records.
Deadline: March 9
Requirements: Students from low-income families who are interested in law and live in the Omaha metro area can apply.
Award: varies, from $500 to $5,000
Requirements: Eligible applicants must demonstrate financial need and have a minimum 3.3 GPA.
Award: $1,000, $2,000, $5,000
Deadline: April 1
Requirements: Although selected based on academic standing and financial need, applicants have to submit completed application forms, a statement of aspiration related to the legal profession, and two letters of recommendation.
Scholarships Increasing Diversity in a Particular Field by Supporting Minorities
Deadline: November 1
Requirements: Applicants should submit an essay, three letters of recommendation, an official copy of the most recent transcript, a letter of acceptance directly from the respective graduate program, and financial information.
Deadline: December 17
Requirements: Eligible applicants will submit a personal statement (not exceeding 5pages), a summary statement (not exceeding 250 words), their CV, samples of applicants’ work (not exceeding 30 pages), and letters of support from three faculty members.
Deadline: November 20
Requirements: Applicants who have a minimum cumulative college GPA of 2.5 will submit their personal statement, financial need documentation, two letters of recommendation, and official transcripts of grades.
Deadline: April 30
Requirements: Minority women (reentry students pursuing a degree in accounting) can apply.
Deadline: December 1
Requirements: Applicants submit an application form, two letters of reference, an official transcript, and a copy of the library school’s catalog or web page, along with a current photo.
Deadline: February 10
Requirements: Successful candidates have a plan to pursue a career in state and local government finance, provide a completed application form including a plan of graduate study, undergraduate and graduate transcripts of grades, resume, letters of recommendation by an academic advisor, department chair or dean, as well as other letters of recommendation.
Deadline: February 2
Requirements: Candidates provide an application form along with signed financial statements, a signed letter of recommendation from the office of the dean, signed a letter of recommendation from a faculty member, and a medical school transcript.
Deadline: February 9
Requirements: African American undergraduate students studying urban planning can apply by completing the fellowship application and providing a personal statement, proof of enrollment in graduate planning program (or letter of acceptance to such a program), and recommendation letter.
Scholarships That Reward Outstanding Minority Students
Requirements: Scholarships are awarded based on leadership in the community, interest in the automotive industry, school achievement, and financial need.
Deadline: April 12
Requirements: Applicants should submit the current official transcript issued by the school Registrar’s Office with a current overall GPA of 3.5 or higher, unofficial undergraduate transcript, resume, and a minimum of two letters of recommendation from faculty in the major of study.
Requirements: Minority students who pursue careers in computer and video game arts and have a GPA of 2.75 or above can apply.
Requirements: Based on the committee’s criteria, winners are chosen among female or minority students who are currently master’s degree students anticipating completion of requirements for a master’s degree in engineering.
Award: $10,000, $40,000
Deadline: November 1, January 9
Requirements: Black/African American senior high school students who excel academically, participate in community service, and have financial need can apply. They should provide transcripts, SAT/ ACT scores, and letters of recommendation.
Deadline: December 1
Requirements: Winners are chosen based on the potential to contribute to the profession of physical therapy and scholastic achievement among other factors. The application form includes a copy of the official transcript, a personal essay on professional foals and minority services along with a response to the three questions listed on the application, CV, and reference forms completed by the physical therapy academic program representative, a physical therapist clinician, and a resource verifying contributions to the minority community.
Deadline: January 18
Requirements: Winners are chosen based on financial need, essay content, academic achievement, and records, as well as community involvement. Applicants must be less than 21 years of age.
Deadline: February 2
Requirements: In addition to a completed application form, candidates should provide an official high school transcript of grades for the past three years, a letter of recommendation from a high school teacher or guidance counselor, and a copy of scores from an SAT or similar national college entrance exam.
List of Grants
Award: $500, $1,000
Deadline: December 15
Requirements: Applicants must provide a cover letter, 5-10-page description of specific aims, project design, and budget, their CV, letter of support from the applicant’s research advisor, completed tax form, and a copy of the IRB approval letter for the project.
Deadline: January 15
Requirements: Applications include Information and Project Summary form, 5-7-page-long narrative statement, a 2-3-page-long selective bibliography, detailed budget and budget narrative, copy of current CV, and one letter of recommendation.
Award: varies, from $100 to $4,000
Deadline: each school sets its own deadlines
Requirements: To be an undergraduate student with exceptional financial need; for more detailed requirements, students should visit their school’s financial aid office.
Award: 4 scholarships that cover attendance of NACA events
Deadline: March 31
Requirements: US citizens, members of the African American, Latino, Native American, Asian American or Pacific Islander ethnic minorities, who are under-represented programmers can apply.
Award: varies, up to $20,000
Deadline: March 1, September 1
Requirements: Residents of Alberta, Canadian citizens or landed immigrants, whose projects promote Aboriginal cultural themes can apply, following strict requirements.
Award: Varies, $500
Requirements: Minority, low-income scholars or graduate students can apply by providing a brief CV, 1-page statement outlining their interest in attending ASEH conference, and a list of sources of already received funding.
Requirements: Eligible applicants need to create an account on the JDRF website and complete the application template.
Award: Varies, $1,000, $3,000
Requirements: eligible applicants (sophomores, juniors, and seniors with a cumulative 2.0-grade point average) must file an application at FAFSA in order to be considered.
Other Opportunities for Minorities
To find more scholarships, you can visit the library’s reference office, consult a high school counselor, or go to the financial aid office at your college. Also, you can research various foundations, ethnicity-based organizations, or institutions related to your field of interest. Finally, you may search for opportunities using specifically designed websites. Here are some of them:
- CareerOneStop – here, students can find scholarships, grants, and fellowships among other sources of financial aid using convenient search engine settings.
- Scholarships.com – this is a rich database of scholarships, where students can find relevant options based on customized characteristics.
- Federal Student Aid – here, students can find out about grants and scholarships offered by the US Department of Education.
- Find Your Niche – apart from providing college rankings, this source allows students to search for scholarships.
Other Sources and Organizations Consulting Minorities Who Want to Study
- US Department of Education – It provides a detailed explanation of options available to students.
- California Student Aid Commission – Undocumented students will find this source particularly useful.
- White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders – Here, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders can find out about educational opportunities available to them.
- National Indian Education Association – this organization works to achieve educational equality and excellence by promoting educational opportunities for American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.
- Native American-Serving Nontribal Institutions Program – low-income Native Americans can get access to grants and other assistance.
- Alliance of Hispanic Serving Institution Educators – Latino students can access programs and initiatives providing educational opportunities.
- White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics – this initiative aims at ameliorating disparities experienced by Hispanic students.
- White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans – this program supports college completion by African American students through the promotion of African American teachers.
- Predominantly Black Institutions Program – aims at improving and expanding services for low and middle-income African American students.
- KnowHow2Go – here, students from low-income families can find information and relevant guidelines on how to get an excellent education and improve their financial status.
- Minority Legal Education Resources – this organization works to promote diversity in the legal field by mentoring minority students.
Increase Your Chances of Getting a Scholarship
Although it may seem that everything is about luck, in reality, winning a scholarship, as well as any other kind of financial aid, is more about research, preparation, and planning. Indeed, all scholarships suggest some competition, but recognition comes to those who prepare well rather than to those who are just lucky. Therefore, here are some professional tips that can boost your competitive advantage:
- Research as many scholarships as you can and keep track of options that fit most.
- Create a schedule, listing programs you plan to apply along with relevant deadlines and requirements.
- Prepare beforehand – don’t leave important application requirements like essay writing or letter of recommendation for the last minute.
- If you need recommendation letters, ask people who are experts in the field.
- Proofread and/or edit your application materials before submitting them.
- Apply before the deadline – why losing an opportunity because of late application delivery?
Everyone Has a Right to Study
Excellent education provided by a reputable institution is often a factor that enables university graduates to secure the best employment options, leaving other candidates with less impressive educational backgrounds behind. Therefore, don’t let financial hardships deprive you of the competitive advantage that can improve your overall quality of life. Scholarships are designed to provide all members of American society to high-quality education. So don’t miss your chance and just apply!