African American students have been severely disadvantaged in past years. Unfortunately, statistics had shown that they had the least amount of chances to get to college and out the other side with a degree. Now, there are ample opportunities for them to realize their dreams, as proactive people in federal and state governments moved and shook in order to get there.
In recent years, the amount of scholarships and grants available for those of African American decent have quadrupled, and this is a conservative estimate. The key is to tap into a list whereby all the opportunities can be exhausted before student loans must be taken out. If you are in a situation where you have little to no ability to pay for college and you are an African American, then you might want to grab a pen and piece of paper… or just hit the “print” button.
How To Acquire Without Getting Scammed
Are you a little wary about finding grants? There might be a good reason, as there are many “companies” out there that pose as liaisons for government agencies, departments, and organizations. These companies will end up taking your information, your money, and your time in return for a whole bunch of frustration.
There really are no companies out there that are liaisons for these agencies. Why? Because these agencies deal freely with the general public on their own, and they do it for free. So, if these companies were in fact legitimate and did not make claims that they cannot fulfill, then they would be out of business. You can’t charge something for a service that others will do for free.
Whatever you do, make sure that you always do your research first, and get some background information. By the way, just because it has a “.org” behind the name of the website, doesn’t mean that they are in fact a non-profit organization that is here to help.
List In General
Below is a short bullet list of places where you can start your African American grant search. If you are completely and totally unsure as to where to go from here, then this will offer a direction.
You can expect to first run into the obvious choices like national, charitable funds and trusts. Also, there will be low-income opportunities to consider as well. Just make sure that whatever organizations you try, too good to be true is usually a factual statement.
The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) is the oldest organization in the United States that has solely devoted its energies to the educational advancement of African Americans. The UNCF was founded in 1944 and in 1972 was teamed up with its very familiar and effective motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Over the years the list of donors has grown, allowing the organization to become one of the most impressive supporters of the educational goals of all African Americans. Not only does the UNCF directly administer a host of grants, scholarships and fellowships to black students at all college levels, but it generously provides funding to the over three dozen historically black colleges and universities that make a college degree economically possible for nearly any African American student.
Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Strong support for the education and social advancement of African American students has come from the thirty-nine historically black colleges in the United States. Such familiar institutions as Spelman, Morehouse and Howard University populate the list:
- Howard University in Washington, D.C. provides a handful of freshman scholarships and grants awarded for academic merit. Other grants through the university include the Frederick Douglass Scholars Program and the Mordecai Wyatt Johnson Program, both of which are awarded based on academic excellence. The university maintains a list of updated donor grants and scholarships that have something to offer nearly everyone.
- Morehouse College in Atlanta offers grants to African American students based on academic excellence, athletic excellence, or program major. Students with a passion for music or who have mastery of a musical instrument should apply for the music department’s grant.
Public and Private Organizations Offer Specialized Grant Funds
Grant, scholarship and internship programs from all types of sources are available to African American students pursuing general college degrees as well as those with more specific goals, such as athletics or career specialty:
- The National Black Nurses Association supports the professional and educational interests of African American nurses. The organization offers nearly a dozen grants, scholarships and fellowships for nurses enrolled in four-year nursing programs. Average grant awards are between $500 and $2,000.
- The March of Dimes Nursing Scholarships funds graduate level nursing students and most importantly minority students. The goal of these generous awards is to prepare increasingly necessary corps of nurses trained and willing to serve in administration, faculty and core leadership roles.