While paying for college can be an unsettling thought, looking for avenues to help pay for it can also be quite overwhelming. The good news is that there are hundreds if not thousands of financial aid opportunities to support students, especially minority students.
Throughout history, many minority groups, including African-American and Black students, have not been afforded equal educational opportunities. However, there are an abundance of scholarship opportunities minority students can tap into with a little discipline and drive. Doing your homework will open the doors to a range of scholarships varying from general small rewards to full-rides for both undergraduate and graduate students. Many rewards target specific programs like nursing and business, and there are always gender-specific funds available as well.
A great place to start is with the Arizona Community Foundation. The foundation allows high school seniors and current college students through Arizona to apply for more than 100 scholarship awards online with one general application. Here are some more to research and consider:
- National Black Nurses Association (various scholarships $500 to $10,000)
- Thurgood Marshall College Fund (average award is $3,100 per student per semester)
- Ron Brown Scholar Program, Ron Brown Scholarship ($40,000 over four years)
- The National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs Inc., National Scholarship Program ($500 to $2,000)
- NAACP, Agnes Jones Jackson Scholarship (maximum of $2,000); Hubertus W.V. Willems Scholarship for Male Students (maximum of $3,000); and James Weldon Johnson Scholarship (maximum of $3,000, recurring)
- UNCF (United Negro College Fund), various scholarships (varies)
Another incredible foundation to check out is the Isac Amaya Foundation -- a great resource for students attending community colleges and universities across the country.
Check Out Additional Resources
- Visit https://scholarships360.org/scholarships/scholarships-for-black-students/ for the Top African-American scholarships for 2021.
- Salliemae.com is an online tool to assist black students with scholarships, as well as other financial aid planning.
- Immigrants Rising is another valuable group helping to empower young people to achieve their education and career goals through personal, institutional, and policy transformation. These scholarships and fellowships don’t require proof of citizenship or legal permanent residency.
- Lastly, the AZ Community Foundation (link above) lists community partners and fundholders who support Black-led organizations.
"There are thousands of programs, groups, and foundations advocating on behalf of our black and minority students,” said Stacy Moreno, PVCC counselor and social worker. “It takes a little bit of work, but uncovering potential scholarships is well worth the time and energy. The best part is how many of these online resources do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. At www.scholarships.com, the database can narrow down students' searches to specific areas.”
For more information on scholarships and other financial assistance, visit PVCC’s Advising Department. You can schedule an appointment with an advisor here. With a little commitment, time, and effort you can access financial rewards to help make your educational dreams a reality.”