Dec 27 2022

5 Minority College Scholarships and How to Apply


Products & Services

A college degree can lead to more job opportunities and a higher income over the course of a lifetime. In order to get a college degree, students must plan for extra expenses like tuition, books, and fees. Scholarships for minority groups can help students pay for the rising costs of a college education.

1. NAACP Scholarships

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) offers several different scholarships for students who identify as African American or People of Color. Applicants must be a high school graduate and a member of the NAACP. Some scholarships, like the Building Beautiful Futures Scholarship, have additional criteria like gender and field of study. Some scholarships may be renewable. For details and application information, visit the NAACP website.

2. Native American and Indigenous People Scholarships

Members of Native American or Indigenous tribes, or students descended from members, may be interested in Native American Scholarships. There are available scholarships for undergraduate, graduate and vocational training. These scholarships are merit-based, so applicants must submit official records like transcripts and test scores. Administrators of these scholarships verify that applicants are enrolled full-time in an educational program. In some cases, applicants must answer in essay question or series of questions.

3. The Gates Scholarship

Offered by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Gates Scholarship provides financial help to low-income students from a minority group, such as African American, American Indian, Alaska Native, Asian and Pacific Islander American, and/or Hispanic American. Applicants must fill out a FAFSA and be eligible for a Pell Grant in order to qualify.

This scholarship bridges the cost of college attendance by covering the remaining Total Cost of Attendance after federal financial aid, grants, and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Applicants must be U.S. Citizens or permanent residents. Students with DACA status do not qualify.

4. LGBTQ+ Scholarships

Students who identify as LGBTQ+ may wish to pursue scholarship opportunities for this group. The SOULE Scholarship helps students who identify as LGBTQ+ and/or members of a minority group pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree. Students must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program to qualify. If selected for the award, students must participate in a foundation gala.

5. Ron Brown Scholarship

African American or Black high school seniors may be interested in this award that offers $10,000 per year for up to four years. Students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. The organization awards 45-50 scholarships per year to students who commit to attending an accredited four-year institution. To apply for this scholarship, students must submit two short essays, two letters of recommendation, and transcripts of high school coursework. Students also should be passionate about serving and improving their communities.

How to Find More Scholarships

All students regardless of income should submit the FAFSA and CSS profile. Many scholarship organizations use one or both of these forms to determine award eligibility. Students also should speak with their high school guidance counselor about local and regional scholarships.

Community organizations like the Elks, Kiwanis, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars often offer scholarships to graduating students in their community. Students also may want to check with their local public library for help finding scholarships in their community.

Online scholarship search engines like Scholarships.com or FastWeb provide information about thousands of scholarships for students from a minority group. These scholarships vary in their requirements. Some scholarships require participation in particular club or sport, while other scholarships may require an essay. Professional organizations like the American Meteorological Society offer scholarships to encourage students from minority groups to pursue careers in a certain field of study.

Students can take steps to maximize their chances of getting a scholarship. High school juniors and seniors should cultivate relationships with teachers, coaches and supervisors to ensure good letters of recommendation. Students also should focus on earning a GPA of at least 3.0. Scholarship committees look for well-rounded applicants. Job and volunteer experience can demonstrate that a student is serious about self improvement.

While scholarship applications differ in their requirements, students can expect to fill out an online application and submit report cards or transcript to prove their GPA. Some scholarship committees ask applicants to respond to essay questions, submit a portfolio, or send letters of recommendation.

Tags: NAACP Scholarships,NAACP,Scholarship,Native American,Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,U.S. Citizens,LGBTQ+, GPA