Scholarships for Black Students

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What Scholarships for Black Students Can You Apply for?

Scholarships for black students are for black woman and men who need help paying for their college education. These awards encourage diversity but could be quite highly competitive. You may find scholarships if you attend Historically Black Colleges and Universities. There may be other awards at an accredited college of your choice. In order to be eligible, you must have a minimum GPA and show some financial need. Many scholarship awards tend to be for U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Eligible applicants may also need to pursue a college degree with full time enrollment. 

Merit scholarships are for black students who show academic excellence. You are likely to need a very good grade point average. However, academic achievement is not a one size fits all and standards may vary. Minority scholarships do offer awards for black students. They may be for minority students of all ethnicities. They could also be restricted to Black students only.

Within these basic guides, you may find financial support set aside for:

  • High school seniors or incoming undergraduate students
  • By degree: bachelor’s degree, or graduate students pursuing a master’s or PhD
  • Students majoring in a specific field (E.g. computer science, healthcare, law)
  • Members of a specific group (high school students, Church, professional organization)
  • Residency in a particular state or city

Keep in mind that there may be extra perks from scholarships for black students. Some offer the chance to learn from mentors, internships, and networking. For example, Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship provides up to $30,000 over four years at any American college. JRF scholars also enroll in the “42 Strategies for Success Curriculum”. It is an opportunity to network and grow your leadership skills.

10 Scholarships for Black Students

Check out this curated list of scholarship opportunities that black students may apply for. Each award has a different deadline, so keep that in mind and apply early.

  1. AICPA Fellowship for Minority Doctoral Students
  2. Ron Brown Scholar Program
  3. Microsoft Scholarship Program
  4. UNCF STEM Scholarship
  5. NABA National Scholarship Program 
  6. UNCF/Koch Undergraduate Scholars Program
  7. National Black Nurses Association Scholarship Program
  8. Thurgood Marshall Scholarship
  9. National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives Scholarship
  10. Lowe’s Scholarship  

Where Can Black Students Find College Scholarships?

You may find scholarships for black students from the state, colleges, nonprofits and private companies. According to a Sallie Mae study, 63% of black families used some type of scholarship. State government offer $11,178 on average. Colleges provide $13,574 while nonprofits/companies offer less at $3,191 on average.

Also, your local church, high school and community center may offer scholarships to its members. While you are working on your college admissions application, you should also apply to as many scholarships that you qualify for. 

Many national black organizations also set scholarship funds aside to support post secondary education. Here are 10 organizations in the United States that offer scholarships for black students.

  • Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF)
  • United Negro College Fund (UNCF)
  • National Association of Black Accountants, Inc. (NABA)
  • Congressional Black Caucus (CBC)
  • National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME)
  • Association of Black Psychologists 
  • National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ)
  • American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE)
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
  • National Black Nurses Association (NBNA)

Do HBCUs Give Scholarships?

If you plan to attend one of the 107 Historically Black Colleges and Universities, many of them offer scholarships. For example, Howard University which is Kamala Harris’ alma mater provides scholarships for black students. Howard offers five different awards for incoming freshman. For need based awards, they check your FAFSA information. For merit based awards, they look at your SAT/ACT score and high school grade point average.

Today, many HBCUs are more affordable compared to other public universities according to the U.S. Department of Education. Aside from the lower fees and tuition, many HBCUs offer need based and merit scholarships to black students. These generous awards typically cover room and board, books, supplies, and other expenses.

What Challenges do Black College Students Face?

The cost of college may impact black students to pursue a college degree. According to the NCES, about 19.7 million students enrolled in college in Fall 2020. Of these students, 2.6 million were Black. NCES also reports that tuition costs are on the rise. Undergraduate tuition, fees, room, and board were estimated to be $17,797 at public colleges.


Lower income students may find it hard to attend college full time. This may explain why graduation rates for Black American students at four year colleges is 40%. It’s 20% at two year colleges according to the NCES. A Sallie Mae report also found that 6 in 10 students worry about COVID. It could impact the affordability of their college education. These concerns are more acute for first generation and low income families.

Solutions and Opportunities 

A recent Sallie Mae report found that 57% of families agree college is worth the cost even if classes are online only. However, both parents and students may feel the transition to online college could be difficult. If online learning could prove to be both affordable and easier to navigate, it may provide a solution to challenges that black students face. It could motivate students to complete their degrees and programs on time.  

HBCU Scholarships

Enrolling in a Historically Black College or University can be a liberating college experience. There are plenty of HBCU scholarships that can help students fund their education. Browse and apply today!

AWARDS: 2,240

Scholarships for Black Men

Many providers want black men to thrive and set college scholarships aside. Scholarships for Black men may come from HBCUs, national Black organizations like UNCF, and other nonprofits. Search hundreds of awards and apply today!

AWARDS: 2,640

Scholarships for Black Women

Many companies and nonprofits offer scholarships for black women to help pay for college. United Negro College Fund, Thurgood Marshall College Fund and others have annual awards. Find and take advantage of hundreds of scholarships worth thousands of dollars!

AWARDS: 2,488