Scholarships For Black Students

An Overview

Scholarships for black students, like those that are created for most other minority groups, are not that hard to find. Usually, the scholarships will be for fields traditionally dominated by white males, though the range of degrees covered is extremely diverse. There is difficulty getting into a scholarship program, though the screening process is no more difficult for black students than it is for Hispanic, Asian, or white students.

There are several institutions that are working on helping promising black students find the right scholarships and the right schools for them. Those same institutions are also working on ways to increase the number of black students that graduate high school, as the statistics in this regard has not been as promising as it has recently been for other ethnic groups. Add to that the problem of some black students having the academic potential but not the financial capacity.

Where You Can Get Help

There are numerous places that a black student can go to in searching for help in getting a scholarship. Among the most prominent would be The United Negro College Fund. The organization, established roughly 63 years ago, is one among the many reputable support groups for black students seeking financial aid in their academic pursuits. The group has helped thousands of students in financing their education, and has given more black students aid than any other legitimate non-government institution of this type. The group can also set up internships within Fortune 500 companies for applicants who show promise and talent. Several large organizations have also made donations to support the Fund, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Bank of America.

A student might also check out one of the many black universities and colleges. The schools usually have significantly lower tuition rates, mainly because of the financial support being given by the UNCF. The education is the same as other private educational institutions, though the focus is on educating the black minority group.

Finally, for students who already have a grasp of what degree they are interested in, there is also the choice of going for a corporate sponsorship. The companies will only support scholarship funds that are oriented towards their particular industry. For example, The National Society Of Black Engineers is sponsored by a number of companies and firms that require experts in various engineering fields, such as Delta Airlines, Microsoft, and Eli Lilly. Another example would be The Development Fund For Black Students In Science And Technology, which has companies that provide funds for black students who want to pursue a degree in a scientific field, such as Physics and Chemistry.

The Usual Requirements

Clearly, anyone applying for an academic scholarship, regardless of ethnicity, must meet strict academic standards. Different institutions will likely ask for a different grade point average from potential candidates. Some schools may also prefer to ask for a specific GPA from scholarship applicants. In general, black students are given the same academic standards to meet as students from other races.

Obviously, actually being enrolled in high school full-time is a must, aside from the academic standards. Most organizations will only accept students who can meet the strict academic requirements and are working towards their HS graduation. Applicants must express that they intend to enroll in a college within a specific period after they have completed high school studies.

For athletic scholarships, most funds require that the student in question maintain a certain GPA. In most instances, this GPA is shown to be lower than scholarships obtained through academic merits alone. Athletic performance is, obviously, required when engaged in an athletic scholarship. As such, removal from the sport that is mandated by the terms of the scholarship can be considered cause for the financial aid to be terminated.

What Degrees Can I Get Into

The various degrees that one can get into with a scholarship are extensive. In general, most scholarship programs and funds for black students focus on getting people into degrees traditionally controlled by white male students. These typically range to areas such as architecture, the various branches of engineering, various hard sciences, mathematics, and the medical fields.

The available degrees may vary depending on what institution is providing the student with financial aid. Scholarship funds dedicated to aiding students in pursuing Engineering careers will, clearly, only allow applicants to pursue careers from one among the various branches of Engineering. Institutions that have corporate sponsors also tend to reflect that sponsorship in the range of degrees that an applicant can choose from. However, such institutions also have the ability to allow their scholars to more readily seek employment with their sponsor corporations.

Also check out the BET Next Level Scholarship.