What is a Grant?
A grant is a financial award given to a student in need of financial aid by the government or an organization. The difference between grants for minorities and a scholarship however, is that grants usually have qualifications and are not rewarded in regards to merit success. Instead, they are aimed towards a certain group of people who share a similar career path, interest, or personal quality.
What is a Minority Grant?
A minority grant is meant for a particular group of people who are considered a minority. There are two categories of minorities, non-ethnic and ethnic. If you are African-American, Native American and/or Hispanic American you are eligible for ethnic minority grants. Where as a non ethnic minority, for example, would be considered someone such as a female or an individual with a physical or learning disability. Minority grants are meant to help minorities who struggle to obtain the education needed for their desired career due to low income. Additionally, minority grants help in providing ethnic diversity amongst different professional fields. Therefore, students are eligible for a minority grant if they fit into one or more of the following categories:
Ethnic Minorities: Ethnic minority grants are meant to help those who are subject to hardship when trying to gain an education because of ethnic background. If you African-American, Hispanic, American-Indian, Asian, or Arabian then you are eligible for such grants.
Non-Ethnic Minorities: Non-ethnic minority grants are targeted towards females, and people who are physically disabled, or have learning disabilities.
Which Minority Grant is Right For You?
Any students who qualify as a minority have a plethora of grant opportunities to pick from, regardless if you are attending an online university or not. The best place to start searching for minority grants is by finding minority based foundations that address your particular ethnic background or non-ethnic group. This can be done by internet research or by contacting a high school or college counselor that can help you find the minority grant that pertains to you. There is a large variety of minority grants available to you from federal, non-profit, and independent foundations, most of which require a completed FAFSA form as a prerequisite to applying. All of these organizations have minority grants that accommodate many different ethnic and non-ethnic groups. Examples include:
African-American Minority Grants:
African Americans have been receiving an increasingly large amount of attention from many organizations all over the U.S. due to hardship in educational funding, particularly in black neighborhoods. As a result of this, scholarship and grant opportunities for African Americans are continuing to grow rapidly, some of which are listed below:
- The United Negro College Fund
- Frederick Douglass Scholars Program
- Mordecai Wyatt Johnson Program
The United Negro College Fund:
There is a wide range of minority foundations to be found, it all depends on the amount of research you put in. When searching for African American grants and scholarships, the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) should be one of the first on your list due to its well known reputation and large selection of scholarships, internships, and institutional grants. The UNCF is known for their world wide known motto “A mind is a terrible thing to waste” that supports their goal of helping students from low income families with paying for college tuition. Because of their large selection of scholarships and grants, every program contains its own eligibility requirements, and all must be applied for on-line at the UNCF website.
The Frederick Douglas Scholars Program:
Established by the American University of Washington (AU), The Frederick Douglas Scholars Program offers complete pay of tuition for four years of enrollment. The program promotes equality amongst educational access to college and universities, as well ethnic diversity within educational institutions. Eligibility criteria expects a 4.0 GPA/4.2 weighted GPA or higher and a completed FAFSA form. Selected students are chosen based on academic achievement, and Expected Family Contribution (EFC).
Hispanic American Minority Grants:
Hispanic minority grants have recently become some of the most funded by the federal government. The government has donated $15 million towards the development of Hispanic universities and colleges and $70 million to already existing Hispanic educational facilities. Therefore as a result these Hispanic universities have taken it upon themselves to promote more financial aid programs like the following:
- The Hispanic Scholarship Fund Institute
- Jose Marti Challenge Grant
- National Association of Hispanic Nurses
- Silicon Valley Scholarship
The Hispanic Scholarship Fund Institute:
The Hispanic Scholarship Fund Institute (HSF) promotes the belief that every American should have a chance in college without financial struggle being an issue. The HSF works hard to try and help rid of the obstacles that prevents many Latinos from attending college and getting an education for the future. The requirements for their scholarship programs states that students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0, be a legal U.S. citizen, a completed FAFSA form and plan to attend college full time at any accredited institution within the U.S. , Guam, Puerto Rico, or Virgin Islands.
The National Association of Hispanic Nurses:
Some minority grants often target a specific career or minorities seeking work within a particular field. The National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) is an example of this, and is targeted towards motivated Hispanic Americans who desire a future in the medical field of nursing. The NAHN minority nursing grant currently offers $40,000 in scholarships to aspiring students. Additional information on scholarships and grants for hispanics can be found by contacting to a college or high school counselor.
Asian Minority Grants:
If you are in need of grants or scholarships for asian americans now is the best time to take advantage, due to the large variety of financial aid programs available. The Asian American section of our population is one of the fastest growing minority groups in the U.S. Because of this rapid growth in the Asian population, many organizations desire to offer scholarships to this minority, some of which are listed below:
- The U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce
- The Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund
- The Association for Asian Studies
- Luisa Mallari Fellowship
The U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce:
The U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce (USPAACC) has donated over a million dollars in scholarships since 1989. Many corporations have put their trust into scholarship programs with USPAACC and is one of the most reliable sources to receive financial aid from, for Asian American minorities. Scholarships range from $4000 – $5,500 each, and approximately 2,000 applicants are addressed a year.
The Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund:
The Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) is the largest non-profit Asian and Pacific Islander financial aiding organization. Their goal is to enable every Asian and Pacific Islander access to college and a professional career by providing the resources required to gain an higher education. Requirements for scholarship applicants states that the student be of Asian and/or Pacific Islander descent, a legal citizen, enrolling in an accredited U.S. college, and have a GPA of 2.7 with a completed FAFSA and letter of recommendation.
Native American Minority Grants:
Native American minority grants and scholarships have one of the largest selections of grants to choose from. The reason for this is because not only are there Native American grants given by federal & state governments and private foundations, but some specific tribes offer grants towards American-Indian minorities as well.
In order to be eligible for most programs you must fill out a FAFSA form and present proof of your Certificate of Indian Blood (CIB) as well as associate with a well-known tribe.
However, most Native Americans do not have this proof due to lost documentation and renaming of their former tribes. The Association on American Indian Affairs offers the Allogan Slagle Scholarship to address this very problem. The Allogan Slagle Scholarship is specifically targeted towards students who are not affiliated with a tribe recognized by the federal government. Luckily, there are many organizations that only request your CIB in order to qualify for financial aid such as the ones listed below:
- The Daughters of The American Revolution Scholarships
- The Association on American Indian Affairs
- Tribal Colleges Education Equity Grants
The Daughters of The American Revolution:
The Daughters of The American Revolution (DAR) is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving American culture, and creating a promising future for America through strengthening the educational system and funding students with the money they need to get an education. The DAR offers two scholarship programs specifically for Native American descendants, The American Indian Scholarship and The Frances Crawford Marvin American Indian Scholarship. The foundation currently awards over $150,000 in financial aid a year to students, with a total annual donation towards education of a million dollars.
1.) The American Indian Scholarship: This scholarship is intended for any Native American of any age, tribe, or state that is eager to acquire an education. Whom the awards are granted to is determined by a judging system of financial status and merit success. It is meant to help any Native American currently attending a college/university as well as technical students at the undergraduate and graduate level. Eligibility for this scholarship requires the applicant to be in financial need and have at least a GPA of 2.75 or more; no exceptions. This scholarship is a one time award, granting $1,000 to selected students.
2.) The Frances Crawford Marvin American Indian Scholarship: Given once a year to ONE student only. Criteria for this scholarship requires that the applicant be currently attending a 2-4 year college or university full time, with a 3.0 GPA or higher. This scholarship can be applied for multiple times as long as the student still possesses and presents proof of American Indian Blood through paper documentation. The amount given by this scholarship varies year to year.
Women Minority Grants & Disadvantaged Group Grants:
Women and disadvantaged citizens have been considered a minority for decades due to inequality amongst many areas in society, especially in the work and educational industries. As a result many hardworking women and men alike have come together in creating foundations and influencing universities to address and help the issue of social disparity amongst women and disadvantaged people alike; some examples are shown below:
- The Jeanette Rankin Foundation
- American Association of University Women
- Harry Truman Scholarship Program
- Hard of Hearing or Deaf Scholarship
The Jeanette Rankin Foundation:
Founded in 1976 in honor of Jeanette Rankin,The Jeanette Rankin Foundation (JRF) works to supply low-income women thirty five years of age and older with the funds they need to complete their education as an undergraduate or in any vocational training program. Eligibility requires that you be a low income women thirty five years of age or older, a U.S. citizen, and seeking to pursue a technical or vocational education, or a college degree. Since 1978, JRF has awarded $1.3 million in scholarships to over 600 women. There are many more scholarships and grants for women out there, the government offers federal grants for women as well, such as the Pell Grant.
The Hard of Hearing or Deaf Scholarship:
The Hard of Hearing or Deaf Scholarship is hosted by Sertoma’s Communicative Disorders Scholarship Program, and is the leading organization for funding deaf and hard of hearing students. The program requires that the student suffer from clinical hearing loss and is an undergraduate pursuing a four year education. The scholarship funding is set at $1,000 per student.
How To Apply For Minority Grants
Once you feel that you have researched all the options available to you, you will need the proper resources before you begin applying for scholarships. You must first fill out the FAFSA form which you can acquire from a local government office. This is crucial, due to the fact that grants are awarded according to qualification of financial needs, and this form is used by most if not all programs in determining whether or not you receive that financial aid.
Upon completing your FAFSA, you can then begin applying to any grant and scholarship programs you see fit. It’s general knowledge that college is expensive, and having access to financial aid is a helpful privilege that anybody going to college should take advantage of. All it takes is some research and planning to receive the financial security you need.