Why Minority Grants?

Minority grants have become available as a means to help those in the minority when it comes to race overcome some of the hardships they have faced due to their minority classification.  These hardships include attending poor school districts, poverty, alcoholism and other diseases, absent parents, single parents, and much more.  While everyone suffers from these, it is a fact that minorities are more likely to have had to deal with one or more of these and other issues.

It is a vicious cycle that feeds on itself and only grows stronger unless broken.  Education has be discovered to be the key to breaking it.  Getting into college, qualifying for an education, is not the problem.  The problem is that many minorities cannot pay for college out of their own resources.  Due to this simply fact, too many do not even trying and the cycle continues.

Grants for minorities were created to give the hope of an education to minorities in hopes of encouraging them to aim for college as a goal.  If there is a means to pay, they are more likely to strive for the prize.

Who is Eligible?

There are two types of minority grants.  There are grants designed for minorities in general, and there are those designated for specific minority groups.  Within each of these groups there are those further designated for specific fields of study.  For example, there are minority nursing grants, and there are African American nursing grants.

Grants are available to African Americans, but also Asians, Hispanics, Native Americans, and basically anyone else that is not considered Caucasian.  When looking for minority grants, be certain to search general minority grants, specific applicable minority grants, and grants specific to the applicable field of study under each category.  Many will be government grants, but private organizations and foundations offer grants as well.

Grant Sources

The United Negro College Fund is one of the most well-known and largest sources of grants for African Americans.  They also fund scholarship and internships.  Funds are distributed through local colleges, universities, and other programs based on the qualifications for each program.  The all-encompassing eligibility requirement for each, however, is to be an African American.  To pursue UNCF grants, visit uncf.org for more information.

Though there has historically been much less available to Hispanic Americans in the way of minority grants, the government has recently taken notice and contributed $15 million to kick start the process.  The Hispanic Scholarship Fund Institute is working hard to put these funds to good use.  They claim that the 19% college graduation rate among Hispanics needs to jump to 60% in the next twelve years to allow the United States to keep up with the demand for college graduates.  To learn more about how these funds are used visit www.hsf.net.

Asian Americans are one of the fastest growing minority groups in the country today, and as such there are several Asian minority grant programs available.  The Association for Asian Studies, Inc. offers several programs, and information on each is available at www.asian-studies.org.

Native American minority grants are among the hardest to qualify for, mostly because in order to be considered you must present proof of your heritage in the form of a Certificate of Indian Blood.  In addition, you must also belong to a tribe that is well-recognized.  Due to the fact that many tribes instituted a name change and did not keep records of it, many do not have this type of proof.  Those who do however, are generally eligible for minority grants for Native Americans.

Specific Examples of Minority Grants

There are hundreds of minority grants available.  These include but are not limited to:

  • Mordecai Wyatt Johnson Program (African American)
  • Frederick Douglass Scholars Program (African American)
  • Jose Marti Challenge Grant (Hispanic American)
  • Luisa Mallari Fellowship (Asian American)
  • Tribal Colleges Education Equity Grants (Native American)

These are of course the tip of the iceberg as far as what is available.  The fact is, minorities face hardships, and grants for minorities are designed to help mitigate these hardships and level the playing field.  Minority students can take full advantage and use the stepping stones the grants create to reach their full potential.

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