Scholarships for African Americans

Historically, African Americans have been one of the most disadvantaged minorities in the country.

According to the statistics, much of black poverty is experienced by single-mother families but the poverty status varies with educational attainment.

For many, education is the only valid passport out of poverty but lack of fund is often the primary reason why black students ain’t making it into college.

In 2012, only 24% of black females ages 25-29 had a bachelor’s degree. That compares with 43% of whites and 17% of Hispanics.1

This is one of the reasons numerous Scholarships for African American Women are available from a variety of institutions, agencies, and foundations to assist them in their pursuit of higher educations. 2

1 The United Negro College Fund

The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) is one of the oldest and well-known organizations that provide grants and scholarships to black women. These grants and scholarships which available through UNCF are geared toward African-American students for which black single parents may apply.

2 The Gates Millennium Scholars Program

The Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program, funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was established in 1999 to provide scholarships and fellowships for outstanding low-income African-American, Native American, Hispanic American, and Asian American students with an opportunity to complete an undergraduate college education.

Applicants must demonstrate eligibility for the federal Pell grant as part of their financial aid package by sending a copy of their Student Aid Report (SAR) to GMS.

3 15,000 Degrees (15K) Scholarship Fund

As the name implies, 15,000 Degrees (15K) Scholarship Fund — a new initiative by The Community Foundation of Louisville — seeks to add 15,000 post-secondary degrees to Louisville’s African-American community by 2020.

Scholarships of up to $1,500 will be awarded to students of African-American descent through a competitive application process. Application deadline is March 15th.

4 Dr. Wynetta A. Frazier Sister-to-Sister Scholarship

Administered by the National Hook-Up of Black Women, Inc. (NHBW), this scholarship program offers financial assistance to mature African American Women in their pursuit of post-secondary education.

Two (2) $500 awards are to be presented annually, through essay competition to deserving women especially single mothers who don’t have support of family or spouse.

5 Kansas Ethnic Minority Scholarship

The Kansas Ethnic Minority Scholarship is a state-sponsored scholarship program designed to help financially needy, academically competitive students belonging to students from minority communities — African American, American Indian or Alaskan Native; Asian or Pacific Islander; or Hispanic.

Scholarship recipients may receive up to $1,850 annually based on financial need as measured using data submitted on the FAFSA and the availability of state funds. Deadline is May 1 each year.

6 Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund

TMCF provides merit-based scholarships to students seeking financial assistance to complete their education at TMCF-member schools. One award is given annually and disbursed $600 per quarter.

Applicants must attend one of 38 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) as a full-time student, and must demonstrate financial need.

7 The Ethel Lee Hoover Ellis Scholarship

This scholarships to open to to African American women in their sophomore or junior year of college. Applicants must be a resident of the Southeast District — Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, or West Virginia.

To qualify for this scholarship, applicants are required to submit an essay on the topic “Business and Community United”.

8 Dr. Julianne Malveaux Scholarship

Dr. Julianne Malveaux Scholarship is a funding program for African American women enrolled in an accredited college or university. This scholarship is geared towards women studying within specific fields — journalism, economics or related field (public policy, creative writing, etc.).

9 Three Sisters Scholarship Foundation

The Three Sisters Scholarship Foundation awards up to $1,000 ($500 in the first year) to two select students who plan to enroll in an undergraduate program at a four-year college or university. African American women students are given a priority.

If you’re interested in any of these scholarships, you should first familiarize yourself with the prerequisites & requirements. In most cases, you’re required to write an essay on a given topic which can either make or break your chances of winning a scholarship.

Keep in mind that scholarships for single mothers are gifted on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. With many applicants vying for the same, be sure to apply early way before the datelines.

  1. CollegeBoard, Education Pays 2013: The Benefits of Higher Education for Individuals and Society
  2. The above list of scholarships is not meant to be exhaustive. We’ll make every possible effort to maintain & update it.