10 Minority Scholarships

It’s not easy being a minority. When you live in a country like the USA, whose culture, beliefs, values, and even language, differ from your own, you can often feel like an outsider no matter how many designer outfits you buy or how well you assimilate into the community. For far too many ethnic minorities, being different means being excluded or overlooked.

Instead of celebrating cultural differences in the melting pot of the land of the free, minority groups often face a wealth of complications and disadvantages when it comes to professional and social advancement. Let’s take a quick look at the facts; being part of a minority often means:

  • You have to work harder – Princeton University carried out a study revealing that in college admissions, Asians need higher SAT scores than their Caucasian peers to be considered for entry.
  • You suffer from an economic disadvantage – 63% of African Americans don’t graduate due to the rising cost of tuition fees and lack of family support.
  • You have to fight against prejudice – Young Hispanics are less likely to go to college than any other group. Those who do are more likely to go to community colleges with shorter programs and lower tuition fees.

Too many youths from minority groups give up on the idea of going to college completely, despite the fact that they have good grades and the necessary talent to be accepted to some of the country’s most prestigious schools.

Why? While their reasons may sometimes be cultural (going to school is not what women do, no one in the family ever went to college, or they have to help out in the family business); 9 times out of 10 it’s because they can’t afford to.

Many students don’t realize that they don’t need to be a first generation immigrant to qualify for a minority scholarship. And with financial aid for minority students on the rise again, if you think you don’t meet the requirements for scholarship support, think again.

With hundreds of different programs available depending on your chosen area of study and ethnicity, with a little bit of research and a lot of hard work on your GPA, you just might qualify for minority funding. Check out the top ten minority scholarships available to students today:

Technical / Engineering

1. Xerox Minority Scholarships

Technology giant, Xerox, provides funding to students from all minority groups with permanent US residency, who are enrollled in technical science or engineering disciplines. So if you want to get a head start on your career in an innovative multinational, check out how you can apply. Award amounts range from $1,000 – $10,000, depending on your circumstances.

2. Brown and Caldwell Minority Scholarships

Brown and Caldwell is one of the largest privately held environmental companies in the US, designing cutting-edge solutions for government and public agencies. With more than 45 offices nationwide, there’s a location nearby for all talented techies. Any US citizen or resident belonging to a minority group is eligible to apply, as long as they’re studying engineering or environmental sciences fulltime. Award amount: $5,000.

3. Blacks at Microsoft Scholarships

Want to work in one of the world’s most important computing companies? As the name suggests, this minority scholarship is available for African American high school seniors who plan to pursue a career in engineering, computer science, or related business programs. Successful applicants must show active involvement in their school or community (so start joining the debate team or local soccer club now) and have a GPA of 3.3 or higher. Award Amount: $5,000.

Law

4. MCCA Lloyd M. Johnson, Jr. Scholarship Program

The coveted MCCA JMJ minority law scholarship is open to all minority groups who are enrollled in an ABA accredited law school. You must be studying on a fulltime basis and have a minimum GPA of 3.2. MCCA proclaims to be particularly interested in individuals who have overcome obstacles, are exceptional or promising scholars, and have an interest in corporate law. Award Amount: $10,000

5. The Herbert Lehman Education Fund Scholarship

Open to African Americans only, the founding mission of the Herbert Lehman Fund is to promote racial equality by supporting talented undergraduate students who need financial support to earn a bachelor’s degree. Over the years, the NAACP’s Herbert Lehman program has provided over $19 million in financial support for undergraduates and greatly increased the number of African Americans in the legal profession. Award amount: $2,000 per year.

Finance / Accounting

6. American Institute of CPAs Scholarship for Minority Accounting Students

If you’re into numbers and thinking about a career in accounting, this could be the scholarship for you. Open to all minority students with a keen interest in math, applicants must submit two completed essays along with an acceptance letter from a four year college or university. Award amount: $5,000 per year.

7. Thurgood Marshall College Fund Altria Scholarship

This is an extremely generous program for budding science, math, business, accounting, finance or economics students. Check out the Thurgood page for further details, as you must apply to one of the schools identified by the scholarship program. All applicants must be US citizens and have a GPA of 3.5 or higher, along with an award recommendation from your scholarship coordinator (so start making friends with yours today). Award Amount: $3,100 per semester.

General

8. Asian Pacific Fund

The Asian Pacific Fund awards 12 scholarship programs each year for Pacific Islanders and Asian Americans. Most require at least a 3.0 GPA and some will ask for your area of preferred study before you apply. For more details hop on over to their site. The award amounts are pretty generous at $1,000 – $20,000, and distributed depending on assessment of your personal financial situation.

9. Ron Brown Scholar Program

The RBSP program is for gifted African Americans, and is one of the most generous scholarships out there for students looking to develop a career in public service, business entrepreneurship, global citizenship, or community engagement. These four areas represent the pillars of late Ronald Brown’s mission to uplift young people from all race and ethnicity. Successful candidates should be able to demonstrate leadership skills and will be able to show strong participation in community activities. Award amount is $10,000 each year for four years.

10. Gates Millennium Scholarship Program

Gates minority scholarships apply to all African-American, Hispanic, American Indian/Alaska Native or Asian Pacific Islander American economically disadvantaged students. All students must be legal residents in the US and have a GPA of 3.3 or higher. You’ll also need to meet federal Pell Grant eligibility criteria and enroll in a fulltime degree. Award amounts vary, but average out at $11,000 in total.

As you can see, minority scholarships vary in their criteria, so you’ll need to check with each different program to make sure you meet their requirements. If you’re a multi-ethnic student, you should qualify for at least one of the scholarships here, so make sure you find out.

Minority scholarship programs are out there to help you get an equal footing in life and have access to the education you deserve, so be sure to take advantage. It’s frustrating to lose more intelligent, capable, brilliant, and promising young students to the black hole of social injustice.

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