Scholarships for Minorities
Scholarships for minorities are very easy to find. Although it may take some effort to find the specific scholarships which are a good fit for you personally, with a little research is is entirely possible for a minority student to fund their education without going into debt. This is especially true if that student has special talents, interests or qualifications, or if he or she has shown high academic achievement or leadership skills in the local community or school. Even so, minority students do not necessarily need to be “superstar” students or leaders in order to receive the scholarship funding that could pay for part or all of an undergraduate or graduate degree.
Common Minority Scholarship Questions
The first questions any student needs to ask when they begin to look for funding are the kinds of things they need to seek out in the scholarship prospects. What kind of institution will they be attending? Do they already have connections with community groups or businesses that could be useful in finding funding and support? Are they willing to write essays or fill out long applications, or will they look specifically for alternative opportunities? Do they have demonstrated financial need, perhaps qualifying for a Federal Pell Grant? Do they have any strange or unique talents or accomplishments? There are also specific questions that can be vital to finding the right minority scholarships to apply for. Usually these fall into two categories: financial need (mentioned above) and specifics about heritage. There are many scholarships that only apply to very limited ethnic or cultural categories. Try tailoring a search on google or a scholarship search engine (such as Fastweb.com) for options based on your ethnicity or background. In your search, correlate these aspects with your personal interests, skills and ambition. For example, you may find a search for “Latina science scholarships” or “theater scholarships for black students” more helpful than a general search for “minority scholarships”.
Examples of Scholarships for Minorities
These kinds of very limited scholarships often offer qualified students a distinct advantage, but are a waste of time for students who do not fit the criteria. Always pay attention to the stated scholarship requirements. One example is the Adventures in Education Cuban student scholarship contest, which has a deadline on April 15th. Up to twelve scholarships are awarded per year, but according to the website, only thirty students applied for these grants.
Another specialized scholarship for a specific minority group is awarded by the Asian American Journalists Association. Students who enter must be pursuing a journalism career of some type, but there are several scholarships awarded, so this site is worth checking out for those students who fit both criteria. One of the scholarships (specifically for a high school senior) has a February 3rd, 2012 deadline, and the other two, also for student journalists who are already in college, have already passed the deadlines for this year.
Other students of color who are interested in journalism may want to take a look at the Radio Television Digital News Associaton’s Ed Bradley scholarship, which supports minority college students interested in a career in electronic journalism with a one time $10,000 scholarship to fund their studies. Information and application forms can be found on the RTDNA’s website.
Scientifically inclined students may want to take a look at scholarship opportunities offered through the National Society of Black Engineers. This professional association gives out national and regional scholarships, and even partners with certain corporations in order to encourage minority students in engineering with financial awards. Entrants will need to join the NSBE. Award amounts range from $75 to $10,000, and all application information is available in the NSBE’S “Scholarship Vault”. Many of the scholarships have varying deadlines and requirements.
Major programs such as the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and the Gates Millenium Foundation help out minority students who have records of high achievement but are also in a disadvantaged financial position. These types of scholarships are targeted at students who qualify for the Federal Pell Grant, a need-based form of grant aid. They help fill in the gaps which government grants do not cover for these types of students, training them to be future leaders in society, science and government. Information for the Gates Millenium scholarship, which many different minorities are eligible for, is available on their site. The deadline is in January, and one thousand scholarships are given out every year. The Hispanic Scholarship Fund, which gives out many scholarships to Hispanic Students (including supplementary money to those who have already been awarded the Gates Millenium scholarship) has a website with scholarship information. In addition to qualifying financially and through their cultural heritage, Hispanic students who wish to apply to this scholarship are required to have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and qualify for Federal Pell Grant Funding.
Hopefully this article has communicated some useful opportunities, and inspired you to seek out more scholarships that reward you for both your background and achievement. Many businesses, organizations and individuals strive to award deserving students opportunities that they might not otherwise be able to access. Make sure you share in that generosity this year, and hopefully make your academic dreams come true. Scholarships for minorities can help those dreams become a reality.