African American Scholarships for Black Students

Historically, access higher education has not always been equal. Many groups, including African American and Black students, have been left out of educational opportunities.

Because of this, many colleges and scholarships aim to support African American students as they pay for college. These scholarships include specific scholarships for African American women, full ride scholarships, and scholarships generally for students from minority backgrounds.

Top African American scholarships for 2022:

Verto Opportunity Grant for College Abroad

  • Eligibility: Open to high school seniors with demonstrated financial need who want to travel for their first semester of college
  • Amount: Up to $12,000 toward a Verto semester
  • Deadline: May 1, 2022

$5,000 Black Students in STEM Scholarship

  • Eligibility: African-American undergraduate or graduate students at an HBCU with a 3.5 GPA or higher. Low-income applicants are preferred
  • Amount: $1,500 (four scholarships are awarded!)
  • Deadline: March 28, 2022

$1,500 Carey Jackson Future Leaders Scholarship

  • Eligibility:High school, undergraduate, and graduate Black students majoring or planning to major in STEM
  • Amount: $1,500 (four scholarships are awarded!)
  • Deadline: March 4, 2022

$1,000 Andrew Perez Mental Illness/Suicidal Awareness Education Scholarship

  • Eligibility:BIPOC high school or undergraduate students who struggle with mental health
  • Amount: $1,000
  • Deadline: April 14, 2022

$922 Giving Back to the Future Scholarship

  • Eligibility: Undergraduate African American students with volunteering experience planning to give back to their community
  • Amount: $922 (two scholarships are awarded!)
  • Deadline: March 3, 2022

$900 Straive “Remembering Marva Collins” Scholarship

  • Eligibility: Black undergraduate students who are pursuing a career in education
  • Amount: $900 (five scholarships are awarded!)
  • Deadline: March 14, 2022

$500 Chang Heaton Scholarship for Music Excellence

  • Eligibility: First-generation, BIPOC undergraduate or graduate students  pursuing theater or music degrees
  • Amount: $500 (five $500 scholarships are awarded!)
  • Deadline: June 25, 2022

Blacks at Microsoft Scholarships

  • Eligibility: High school seniors who identify as African American
  • Amount: $20,000
  • Deadline: March 15, 2022

KnowBe4 Scholarship for Black Americans in Cybersecurity

  • Eligibility: African American or Black students who will be an undergraduate or graduate student pursuing a degree in cybersecurity or a related field.
  • Amount: Up to $10,000
  • Deadline: April 18, 2022

National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club Scholarships

  • Eligibility:  There are a variety of scholarships available for college bound high school seniors, women over age 35, and single women
  • Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: April 20, 2022

Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Scholarship Program

  • Eligibility: Rising seniors with documented financial need who attend an accredited HBCU with a minimum GPA of 3.5
  • Amount: $10,000 (2 scholarships are awarded!)
  • Deadline: November 18, 2022

Thurgood Marshall College Fund Scholarships

  • Eligibility: Incoming/full-time college students at one of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s (TMCF) 47 publicly-supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities
  • Amount: Up to $10,000
  • Deadline: Varies from January – February / Spring Scholarships: August – October

NAACP Scholarships

  • Eligibility: African American/person of color high school senior, undergraduate, or graduate students with a 3.0 or above GPA. Must be a member of the NAACP
  • Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: Varies

Tips for African American students applying for scholarships

  • Consider Historically Black Colleges and Universities (also known as HBCUs) in your colleges search! HBCUs include top schools like Howard, Spelman, and Morehouse have historically served African American students and have many merit scholarships for black women and men.
  • In addition to merit scholarships, you should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (or FAFSA) to qualify for need-based financial aid.
  • Check out our scholarship search tool to stay up-to-date on current scholarship opportunities custom-matched to your demographics, interests, and major.
  • Make sure to put a lot of work into your scholarship essays. This includes working on writing about yourself, and learning to write for word limits. Some common word limits for scholarship essays are 250 and 500 words.
  • Talk to the guidance counselor at your high school to see if there are any local scholarships you can apply for.

What you should know about HBCUs

HBCUs have historically been extremely important in the education of Black students. For many years, they were the only universities that admitted Black students. Fortunately, this is no longer true. However, they continue to provide unique benefits for Black students across the country. Here is a list of some of the highest-rated HBCUs:

School Location Enrollment Tuition Acceptance Rate
Spelman College Atlanta, GA 2,120 $29,972 43.4%
Howard University Washington, DC 6,526 $28,440 36.1%
Xavier University of Louisiana New Orleans, LA 2,530 $25,947 60%
Tuskegee University Tuskegee, AL 2,394 $22,679 51.7%
Hampton University Hampton, VA 3,714 $29,287 36%
Morehouse College Atlanta, GA 2,238 $28,847 99.8%

There are many scholarship opportunities specifically for Black students attending an HBCU. These include the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame General Scholarship. We also have a full list of HBCU scholarships to check out.

Frequently asked questions about scholarships for Black students

Are there scholarships specifically for Black women?

The National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs offers several scholarships specifically for Black women. If you are looking for other scholarships for women, we’ve got you covered with our top scholarships for women list that’s updated each month!

Do I qualify for scholarships for Black students if I am multiracial?

Yes, you do! Though they may exist, we have never seen a scholarship that requires 100% Black heritage. And you can apply to scholarship opportunities meant for any race or heritage you identify with. So, if you are Black and Hispanic, you can apply to scholarships targeted towards either community.

What are the advantages of HBCUs?

Though every student’s needs are different, HBCUs can be a great option for some Black students. Studies have shown higher levels of engagement and higher graduation rates among Black students at HBCUs. Additionally, they often have more institutional aid set aside for Black students.

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