Scholarships for Black & African American StudentsNovember 1, 2021
For high school students, the high price tag of college can be scary to face – and for good reason. During the 2019-2020 school year, the average cost of college, including tuition and room and board, was $21,950 for public universities and $49,870 for private universities. That’s pretty steep.
Fortunately, there are many scholarships for African American students that can minimize the out-of-pocket costs of college. Knowing how to get a scholarship can also help you take out fewer student loans, allowing you to graduate with less debt.
To make it easier, we compiled a list of some of the best scholarships for Black students:
20 Best Scholarships for Black & African American Students
Many of these scholarships for black students are designed for those studying a specific major or degree, but others are for all disciplines.
1. Enterprise Holdings Road Forward Scholarship 2021
This award is given to a high school senior who is the first person in their family to attend college. There are 72 awards distributed with a value of up to $12,222.22. The recipient must attend a college that is part of the United Negro College Fund list of institutions, which includes most Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU).
To be eligible for this scholarship, students must have a 2.75 GPA, have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and have demonstrated financial need. The deadline is November 4, 2021.
2. Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship
The Jackie Robinson Foundation gives out 60 scholarships to minority high school seniors who are scheduled to attend an accredited, four-year institution.
Students must have demonstrated financial need, proof of community service and an excellent academic history. Winners will receive up to $30,000 distributed over four years. Applications are due by January 12, 2022.
3. Social Change Fund United Scholarship
The Social Change Fund United Scholarship picks two winners to receive $5,362 each. To be eligible, you must be a Black student currently studying or planning to study mental health care, including social work, counseling or psychology.
Students must submit a brief essay about mental health care in the Black community. Applications are due November 21, 2021.
4. Mark A. Jefferson Teaching Scholarship
This scholarship is given to a Black male student who wants to become a teacher. There will be two winners, who will each receive $1,106. The application deadline is January 1, 2022.
Applicants must have a 2.8 GPA and answer an essay question about how they will create a positive impact as a teacher.
5. Generation Google Scholarship
Minority students interested in computer science can apply for the Generation Google Scholarship. Students studying in the U.S. will receive $10,000, while students attending a Canadian institution will receive $5,000.
Students must have demonstrated financial need, an excellent academic record and be currently enrolled or planning to attend a four-year institution full-time. The application deadline will be in early December 2021.
6. The Gates Scholarship
The Gates Scholarship is given to 300 minority students who come from low-income backgrounds. The maximum value of the scholarship is the total cost of attendance, minus all other types of financial aid. That makes it one of the most valuable scholarships for Black college students on this list.
To qualify you must be a high school senior, have a 3.3 GPA and be a U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident.
7. Markforged Distinguished Black Engineers Grant
Black students interested in engineering can apply for the Markforged Distinguished Black Engineers Grant, which gives out one $2,500 award.
To be eligible, you must be a Black student studying engineering at the undergraduate or graduate level. The application deadline is November 19, 2021.
8. Blacks at Microsoft Scholarship
Students interested in the Blacks at Microsoft Scholarship program must have a 3.3 GPA, demonstrated financial need and an interest in studying computer science, computer information systems or a business major like finance, business administration or marketing.
Microsoft selects 27 winners for this scholarship program. Four applicants will receive $20,000 each, eight will receive $10,000 each and 15 will receive $1,000 each. This is one the most generous scholarships for Black college students.
9. Ron Brown Scholarship
The Ron Brown Scholarship provides between 45 and 50 scholarships for Black college students worth a total of $40,000. The scholarship gives out $10,000 annually for four years. Students can major in any field, but must show an interest in public service, community engagement, business entrepreneurship or global citizenship to qualify.
To qualify, you must be a high school senior and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The deadline is January 9, 2022.
10. AICPA Scholarship for Minority Accounting Students
Minority students interested in accounting can apply for this scholarship, which provides a $3,000 or $5,000 scholarship to an undergraduate or graduate student majoring in accounting.
Applicants must have a 3.0 GPA, demonstrated financial need and at least six credit hours completed in accounting.
11. NOAA Office of Education Scholarship
The NOAA Office of Education Scholarship is open to Black students interested in a science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) field. Students must have a 3.2 GPA, be in their second or third year of college and be enrolled in a minority-serving institution like an HBCU.
Winners will also receive the opportunity for two paid internships at an NOAA facility. The application deadline is January 31, 2022.
12. CBC Spouses Performing Arts Scholarship
Black students interested in the performing arts, including drama, music, dance, opera, marching band and more, can apply for this $3,000 scholarship. There will be two winners. Applicants must be in their final year of high school or already enrolled in college.
Applicants must have a 2.5 GPA and enroll full-time in an undergraduate degree at an accredited university.
13. Congressional Black Caucus Foundation HBCU NREI Scholarship
This scholarship provides a one-time $10,000 award to a Black student who is attending an HBCU and studying one of the following disciplines:
- Criminal justice
- Civil rights
- Community/economic development
Undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students can all apply. The application will be open in January 2022.
14. ACS Scholars Program
Minority students interested in chemistry can apply for this scholarship, which provides up to $5,000 per academic year. To qualify, you must be a high school senior or currently enrolled in an accredited institution.
You must also be majoring in a chemistry-related major such as biochemistry, chemical engineering, chemical technology or a similar field. The deadline is March 1, 2022.
15. AMS Minority Scholarship
Minority students pursuing a science-related major can apply for this scholarship. Students must be incoming college freshmen and have a 3.0 GPA.
Winners will receive $3,000 for their freshman year and $3,000 for their sophomore year. The application deadline is February 4, 2022.
16. Charles Shelton Foundation Scholarship
The Charles Shelton Foundation gives out $2,000 each to two students enrolled in veterinary school. Applicants must be African-American, have a 3.0 GPA, and be legal U.S. residents. The deadline is April 15, 2022.
Students will have to write an essay discussing the ethics of using lab animals for scientific experiments.
17. Jillian Ellis Pathway Scholarship
African-American students who are either adult learners or first-generation students are eligible for this $1,105 scholarship.
Applicants must write a 400-600 word essay about what makes them resilient and how they plan to use their education to better their communities.
18. Renee Scholarship
This $525 scholarship is given to two students studying at an HBCU. It is open to students of all majors. The application deadline is March 30, 2022.
Students must submit a 1 to 2-minute video describing themselves and what they want to do professionally.
19. American Bus Association Diversity Scholarship
Students who are interested in working in the transportation, travel, or tourism industries can apply for this $5,000 scholarship. Applicants must be already enrolled in a four-year accredited college.
This scholarship is only open to those who belong to a minority group. Applicants are judged on their grades, financial need, leadership skills and more.
20. Goldman Sachs MBA Scholarship
First-year MBA students who are part of a minority group can apply for this $35,000 scholarship, which also includes a paid summer internship. If you complete the internship and are offered a full-time job after graduation, you’ll receive a $40,000 bonus as well.
Resources to Find Scholarships for Black & African American Students
There are many scholarships for African American students, though they may seem hard to find.
If you’re trying to find more scholarships, ask the financial aid department at your college how to maximize your aid. Also, ask your professors, supervisors or other adults if they know of any additional awards or opportunities.
There are many scholarship websites that list scholarships for Black students from private companies and organizations. Sign up so you can be notified of potential scholarships. Here are the most popular sites:
- College Board
- Going Merry
Fill Any Funding Gaps With Private Student Loans
If you’ve applied for scholarships for African American students, maxed out federal student loans and still need more money for college, consider taking out private student loans. A private student loan can fill in the gaps after you’ve taken advantage of other types of financial aid.
You will likely need a cosigner to qualify for a private student loan, who will be financially responsible for the student loans if you default. The cosigner is most often a parent or other relative, but can be anyone you know with a good credit score and stable income.
ELFI offers private student loans with terms ranging from five to 10 years.* There are no application fees or prepayment penalties. When you apply with ELFI, you’ll be assigned a personal student loan advisor to help guide you through the entire loan application process.