There are a variety of scholarship opportunities that can help African Americans pay for school. These programs were primarily created to encourage these students to attend and stay in school, especially because African Americans are underrepresented at most institutions of higher learning, according to the University of Phoenix. If you are an African American student in need of financial assistance to pay for school, consider the following five programs.
Gates Millennium Scholar Program
Established in 1999, the Gates Millennium Scholar Program gives money to minority students every year. It was created through a grant from Bill and Melinda Gates and funds all unmet needs of selected candidates. This can include full tuition scholarships for those with no means to pay for their higher education. To qualify, applicants must be American citizens or legal permanent residents and a 3.3 grade point average (GPA) or higher. They must also demonstrate financial need, a history of community service and have leadership experience. Scholarships are automatically renewed for recipients each new academic year of college.
Louis Stokes Health Scholars
The Louis Stokes Health Scholars program was created to encourage more African Americans to enter the health sector so as to increase the number of health service providers to currently under-served communities. To that end, 10 students receive $8,000 to study a health or science-related subject. The scholarship is administered by the Congressional Black Congress Foundation and is available to those in financial need with at least a 3.0 GPA. Applicants must also have U.S. citizenship.
Robert Toigo Foundation MBA Fellowship
Administered by the Robert Toigo Foundation, the MBA Fellowship was created in 1992 to increase the number of minorities working in the business and finance sector. The program is available to African American business school students and those pursuing a joint law and business degree. It is also open to students pursuing a master’s degree in Finance or a Masters in Real Estate. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and must submit the following with their application: a resume, a transcript, a letter of recommendation and GMAT scores. Applicants must also be enrolled at one of 25 business schools, including Columbia Business School, Kellogg School of Management, Harvard Business School and Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Selected recipients will get full tuition scholarships .
Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship
African American students can take advantage of the Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship, which gives up to $7,500 to high school graduates to pay for college. Applicants must demonstrate academic excellence, financial leadership, and leadership experience and have combined scores of at least 1,000 on the SAT and 21 on the ACT exams. They must also be American citizens who plan to attend a four-year college within the United States. In addition to a completed application, candidates must also submit a 500-word essay and a recommendation letter.
National GEM Consortium
In an effort to encourage more minority students to enter the sciences, the National GEM Consortium offers scholarship money to selected candidates. They receive between $10,000 and $14,000 to apply toward tuition costs. The program is open to African Americans pursuing a science-related degree in graduate school, specifically a Masters in Engineering and Ph.D. degrees in Engineering or Science. Only those attending a GEM-member school qualify. These schools include Clemson University, Howard University, Ohio State University and Rice University.