5 of the Most Prestigious Scholarships for African Americans

Highly Sought Minority Scholarships

• Xerox Minority Scholarship

• Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship

• Ron Brown Scholars

• UNFC/Koch Scholarship

• Gates Millennium Scholars

In the realm of higher education, equality of opportunity often takes on a financial component, which necessitates scholarships for African Americans and other communities of color. Many minorities are excluded from attaining degrees in many fields solely based on the fact that they cannot afford college. However, any advanced culture understands that this is an inexcusable limitation, which disadvantages the culture as a whole. As a remedial measure, many privately funded scholarship and grant programs offer assistance to minority students, often with a stipulation that they pursue degrees in specific fields to which minority scholars have traditionally been denied access. The five programs listed below are among the most prestigious awards of this variety, which reward scholarly excellence, vision, and perseverance.

1. Xerox Minority Scholarship

This program offers minority applicants pursuing a degree in one of the STEM fields between $1,000 and 10,000 dollars. Prospective recipients must apply through Xerox and meet the standard of a 3.0 GPA while exhibiting financial need. Because the award is intended to cover gaps not filled by other grants and scholarships, the amount remains flexible. However, the intent to support first-generation and minority college students pursuing technical science and engineering degrees makes this an exemplary and highly sought scholarship.

Recommended reading: The 50 Best Value Historically Black Graduate Schools in the U.S.

2. Jackie Robinson Foundation Award

This award is highly beneficial in several ways. Because it emphasizes leadership and community service, applicants who demonstrate financial need may also appeal based on their commitment to community involvement and stewardship. If selected, recipients are eligible for up to $30,000 over four years. In addition to financial support of their goals, they’ll also receive mentorship during their education and assistance in finding a career path once they’ve graduated. Attaining an advanced degree isn’t merely about personal success. It also provides individuals with the tools to help others rise to the challenge and improve their communities as a whole.

3. The Ron Brown Scholarship

While this program doesn’t limit the fields prospective recipients may explore, it does seek to provide financial succor to those from disadvantaged or underprivileged communities. In common with many private grant programs, it holds community spirit and an attitude of service to be integral to a healthy culture and is geared toward the African American scholar. Therefore, the most successful applicants will exhibit stewardship and play a significant role in their community, even as high school students. Awards of up to $10,000 per year are renewable for four years, but first-time applicants must be graduating high school seniors when they submit their applications.

4. The UNFC/Koch Award

Designated explicitly for rising African American scholars, this award program offers up to $5,000 per year to applicants who show initiative and drive towards attaining a higher degree. While this particular application encourages entrepreneurial spirit or investigation of political science and other social sciences, its requirements are relatively broad. Individuals interested in applying must either be high school seniors admitted to an eligible four-year university or college or already attend such an institution. The ultimate goal of the program is to foster a sense of inclusion, community enrichment through the social sciences and entrepreneurial spirit, and to offer access to previously restricted fields for the African American scholar.

5. Gates Millennium Scholars

Founded in 1999 by Bill and Melinda Gates, the program has a multifaceted goal to increase representation of minorities in fields of health science, engineering, computer science, library science and other disciplines. The targeted majors are overwhelmingly Anglo American, which shapes policy and hampers growth or innovation. While the award amount is flexible, the scholarship covers gaps in financial provision via other sources. Additionally, it is renewable for scholars in both bachelor and graduate programs.

The African American community has continuously shown itself to be a wellspring of ingenuity, intellectual daring, and socially beneficial vision when its leadership is nurtured. Education and community stewardship are cornerstone values that have proven to sustain both individual neighborhoods and a much broader cultural identity in both times of crisis or plenty. Each of the scholarships for African Americans discussed above is geared towards helping students advance the intellectual and social wealth and wellbeing of the African American culture.