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Scholarships are a way to close the gap between the cost of attendance at a college and a family’s own resources. Among the many scholarships that students can apply for are those that are established to support students based upon the ways they define themselves. There is no comprehensive list of identity-based scholarships; professional associations, companies, non-profit entities, religious organizations, political groups, and colleges and universities are among the many sponsors of scholarships that may be awarded in part based upon a student’s race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or presence of a disability. Bright Horizons College Coach wants to help ensure that students from all backgrounds have access to the resources they need to achieve their educational goals and has therefore launched this monthly scholarship series to help students pinpoint funding opportunities based upon their unique identities. Check out the below resources, along with the other posts in the series, and you may discover funding sources that will make covering that college bill a little (or a lot!) easier.

This month, we look at scholarship resources for Black students. Note that the below list is not exhaustive, but is intended to provide a starting place for Black students to launch their scholarship searches. Your high school’s counseling office, general scholarship search sites like www.scholarships.com, and college websites can also provide useful scholarship information.

  • The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) provides support to students at numerous colleges across the country in the form of grants, scholarships, and corporate internship opportunities.
  • Little Africa provides resources, including a listing of scholarships, to students in order to economically empower the Black community.
  • The Ron Brown Scholar Program provides scholarships to Black high school seniors showing exceptional leadership through participation in community service, extracurricular, or other activities. Applicants must meet academic requirements and demonstrate financial need.
  • The National Society of Black Engineers supports Black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community.” Membership options are quite affordable; students in 6-12 grade can join for only $5. Collegiate membership ($15) is available to students enrolled in a STEM-related program.
  • 100 Black Men of America, Inc. is the leading Black-led mentoring organization in the U.S. Each of the 100 chapters looks to meet the unique needs of their specific community. Program mentors help all students realize their full educational potential.
  • The Thurgood Marshall College Fund helps students find internships and future careers and partners with member colleges to provide scholarship opportunities for students enrolled at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and predominantly Black institutions. Students are encouraged to create a profile so they can be notified about scholarship opportunities.

Remember, students are expected to report outside scholarships they receive to their college, and receipt of scholarships may impact other parts of a student’s financial aid award. It is best practice to reach out to the Financial Aid Office at your college for clarification of awarding policies.

Best of luck, and please see the awarding organization’s website for full scholarship details and program opportunities.

Determine the Best Way to Pay for College

Written by Robyn Stewart
Robyn Stewart is a member of College Coach’s team of college finance experts. Prior to joining College Coach, she worked as a former financial aid officer at College of the Holy Cross. Visit our website to learn more about Robyn Stewart.