The cost of a four-year degree through a college or university increases each year, making paying for college a challenge for most students even if you are thinking about enrolling in college online. Between college tuition, books, fees and housing, it is more expensive now, than ever before to graduate from college. However, there is significant financial assistance available and grants for African Americans.
In order to improve your chances of benefiting from financial aid programs, you should start by researching and finding what grants you are personally eligible for. You can do so by narrowing down your choices to whatever grants are available for your specific gender type or ethnicity. In this case, for African Americans, their are many foundations and non-profit organizations established solely for the purpose of helping the African American minority group. You should consider some of the options listed below if you are an African American planning to go to college.
However, before you begin applying for grants, it is encouraged that you read our article on how to apply for financial aid first, in order to avoid scams and other pitfalls.
The United Negro College Fund
The United Negro College Fund is solely focused on advancing educational opportunities for African Americans. Through their efforts, they provide grants, scholarships and fellowships for students at all college and university levels. Additionally, the United Negro College Fund directly and generously supports nearly 40 black colleges and universities throughout the United States. With their help, more students are pursuing four-year college and university degrees than ever before.
The Gates Millennium Scholars Program
Established in 1999 and funded by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Gates Millennium Scholars Program offers scholarships to 1,000 students every year all stemming from different minority groups, one of them being African Americans. The scholarship is available for use at any college or university that the student wishes to enroll at.
The grant was initially funded a grant amount of 1 billion at its start up, but now that number has grown as they continue to fund aspiring students each year. The program claims to reduce financial barriers for African American students who demonstrate excelling academic achievement and leadership skills and whom are in serious need of financial aid.
Grant Funding Opportunities
Since it is common for people to overlook colleges as a source of financial aid, it is a good idea to expand your options outside of non-profits by also researching for colleges that provide grant funding opportunities. Therefore, it is suggested that you take advantage of some of the college-held grant programs listed below.
830 Westview Dr SW
Atlanta, GA 30314
In Atlanta, Georgia, Morehouse College, a historically all male African American college, offers grants to students based on excellence in athleticism, excellence in academics or excellence in music. Morehouse College’s motto is “Preparing Young Men to Change the World”; is upheld by students and faculty alike. Nearly 75% of the student body volunteers in the community while receiving a great education.
830 Westview Dr SW
Washington, DC 20001
Howard University in Washington DC provides scholarships and grants to entering freshman based on their academic merit. Howard University offers a wide variety of majors for undergraduate and graduate students. Departments include Arts & Sciences, Business, the College of Nursing, Dentistry, Law, a state-of-the-art Medical Center, and more. Howard’s athletic program is one of the most diverse and successful in the nation.
3800 Victory Pkwy
Cincinnati, OH 45207
Other historically African American universities and colleges include Xavier University and Spelman College. Both of these institutions offer fellowships, grants and scholarships for incoming students; award is based on a combination of excellence in athletics or academics and financial need. In finding a grant, scholarship or fellowship, often times the best place to start is with the students’ top college and university choices. Many private and public institutions offer financial assistance. Students should apply to the schools for academic entry in partnership with applications for their grants and scholarships.
There are niche grants available for students pursuing specific career paths. For students who want to get a nursing degree, the National Black Nurses Association provides grants, scholarships and fellowships for African American nurses currently enrolled in a four-year nursing program. Students with a desire for a degree in finance or accounting should apply through the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants; their scholarships and grants are based on academic excellence and financial need. Other options include government grants, such as the Pell Grant and the well known Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG). To learn more about niche grants and other options you can contact a counselor at a local high school or college campus.
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