Scholarship Opportunities for Minority Students!

In recent years, a nationwide emphasis on the importance of diversity (particularly on college campuses) has generated many scholarships and grants for students who belong to underrepresented minority groups. This comprehensive scholarship list includes financial aid opportunities exclusively reserved for African-Americans and women, as well as more generalized awards that are made available to applicants belonging to any underrepresented demographic.

Gates Millenium Scholars

Who’s Eligible

The GMS is open to U.S. citizens or legal residents who have earned a 3.3 cumulative GPA in high school, are planning to enroll at an accredited higher learning institution as first-time college students, and belong to the following minority groups:

  • African American
  • American Indian/Alaska Native (documented proof of descent from a federally recognized tribe will be required)
  • Asian American/Pacific Islander
  • Hispanic American

What It Covers

The GMS is designed to help support students with costs related to “unmet need and self-help aid.” Scholarship awards vary by monetary amount; between 2001 and 2012, the average recipient has been awarded $12,227 per academic year.

Online programs are eligible.

How to Apply

Applicants must submit the following three items no later than Jan. 14, 2014:

  • One application that has been completed by the student.
  • One ‘Nominator Form’ that has been completed by an education professional (principal, teacher, guidance counselor, or academic advisor)
  • One ‘Recommender Form’ that has been submitted by an adult who can verify the student is active with local community service and leadership activities is familiar with the student’s community service and leadership activities
  • If the person who serves as a Nominator is also familiar with the extra-curricular, community-level involvement, then he or she may also serve as the Recommender

Microsoft Technical Scholarships for Minorities and Women

Who’s Eligible

Anyone who is enrolled full-time in a four-year Bachelor of Arts program at an accredited university in the U.S., Canada, or Mexico may apply for these scholarships; however, preference will be given to applicants who are female, belong to a minority group, or have a disability. Additionally, scholarship recipients must:

  • Actively pursue a degree in computer science, computer engineering, electrical engineering, math, physics, or other STEM-related field
  • Demonstrate an interest in computer science
  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA throughout the academic year
  • Apply for and (if selected) complete a 12-week, salaried internship at Microsoft headquarters in Washington state

What It Covers

Recipients will be awarded either full or partial tuition for the entire academic year; full tuition amounts are determined by the financial aid office at the recipient’s higher learning institution. Funds are not transferable to other colleges or universities, and must be exclusively used for tuition payments.

Online programs are eligible.

How to Apply

Applicants must submit an application containing the following items no later than Feb. 1, 2014:

  • Resume
  • One copy of the student’s official academic transcript
  • Answers (no more than one page total) for the following application detail questions:
    • What is your estimated tuition cost for the 2013-2014 academic year (base cost; not including room and board or books)?
    • Is your tuition in state, out of state, private, or international?
    • Would receiving a Microsoft scholarship adversely impact any other financial aid you will receive for the 2013-2014 academic year?
    • Answers to the following essay questions:
      • Describe how you demonstrate your passion for technology outside the classroom
      • Describe the toughest technical problem you’ve worked on, how you addressed the problem, your role in reaching the outcome if it was team-based, and the final outcome
      • Describe a situation that demonstrates initiative and your willingness to go above and beyond
      • Describe how you are currently funding your college education
    • Letter of referral from a professor, faculty member, or academic advisor
    • Confirmation page from online application to the Microsoft Internship Program

McDonald’s, Ronald McDonald House Charities

Who’s Eligible

RMHC offers three different scholarships that are exclusively reserved for students belonging to certain minority groups

  • RMHC/Asia: Candidates must have at least one parent of Asian-Pacific descent.
  • RMHC/African-American Future Achievers: Candidates must have at least one parent of African-American or Black Caribbean descent.
  • RMHC/Hispanic American: Candidates must have at least one parent of Hispanic/Latino descent.

Please note that high school seniors may only apply to one of the four available scholarships. Additionally, applicants must provide proof of enrollment at an accredited, post-secondary institution for the upcoming academic year and meet the following criteria:

  • Be a high school senior (21 or younger) with a minimum 2.7 cumulative GPA
  • Be eligible to attend a two- or four-year college, university or technical school with a full course of study
  • Be a U.S. resident or legal resident
  • Live in a participating RMHC Chapter’s geographic area
  • Submit a complete application and all required documentation by the deadline on the application

What It Covers

The amount of each scholarship will depend on the local chapter that awards it (most award at least $1,000 to recipients). The monies may be spent on tuition, books, administrative fees, supplies, and equipment. Scholarship money may not be spent on room and board; otherwise the award will be subject to taxation. Funds are transferable to any accredited two- or four-year university or vocational school if the recipients decides to enroll in a different institution.

Online programs are eligible.

How to Apply

All applicants must submit an application containing the following items no later than Jan. 21, 2014:

  • One official high school transcript that includes grades and other information for all four years; students may request this document through their high school’s main office
  • The first one or two pages of the last Federal Tax Form 1040 filed by your parent(s) or guardian(s); the ‘Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)’ must be clearly visible. Students should not submit a W2 form; applicants who do so may be rejected.
  • One letter of recommendation from a teacher or member of the community who can confirm your extra-curricular involvement in the local community

Lagrant Foundation Scholarships

Who’s Eligible

This scholarship is open to any U.S. citizen or legal resident who meets the following criteria:

  • Is a member of one of the following ethnic groups: African American/Black, Asian American/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, or Native American/American Indian.
  • Is enrolled full-time at a four-year, accredited institution, and earns at least 12 credits per semester/quarter.
  • Has a minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA.
  • Is majoring in one of the following fields of study:
    • Art
    • Anthropology
    • Communications
    • English
    • Graphic design
    • Marketing/advertising
    • Sociology
    • Any other field that emphasizes public relations, marketing, or advertising
    • Is at least one year away from graduating with a degree when the scholarship is awarded

Applicants selected for the scholarship must attend TLF’s career development workshop, as well as the annual awards reception (where scholarships are officially handed out). The applicant must also make a one-year commitment to “maintain contact with TLF to receive professional guidance and academic support.”

What It Covers

The scholarship is valued at $2,500; 21 undergraduates were awarded scholarships for the 2012-13 academic year.

Online programs are eligible.

How to Apply

Applicants must submit an application containing the following items no later than Feb. 28th, 2014:

  • One essay (two-page maximum) that includes career goals and the student’s plan of action to increase “ethnic representation” in the fields of advertising, marketing and public relations
    • In addition, the applicant must formally define the role of an advertising, marketing or public relations practitioner (depending on your emphasis)
    • He or she should list accomplishments related to promoting diversity within their local community
    • One brief paragraph (on a separate page) describing all of the extra-curricular campus clubs and/or community organizations the student is involved in
    • One brief paragraph (on a separate page) listing all of the honors, awards, and formal recognition the student has received
    • Optional: One essay explaining why the student’s GPA does not accurately reflect the student’s aptitude and career potential (if 2.6 or lower)
    • One letter of reference from a professor, faculty member, or internship advisor
    • One copy of the student’s current resume.
    • Copies of the student’s unofficial transcript; official copies will be required if he or she is selected as a finalist
      • College or university acceptance letters may be used in lieu of transcripts for outgoing high school seniors

The Generation Google Scholarship

Who’s Eligible

This scholarship is open to high school seniors and enrolled college students. High school seniors must:

  • Plan to enroll as full-time students at an accredited university in the U.S. or Canada during the 2014-15 academic year.
  • Intend to earn a degree and pursue a career in computer science, computer engineering, or another related field.
  • Belong to at least one of the following minority groups:

Enrolled college students who wish to be considered for this award must:

  • Be enrolled full-time in an undergraduate or graduate program at an accredited university for the 2013­-14 academic year and plan to be enrolled in or accepted as a full-time student at a university in the U.S. or Canada during the 2014-15 school year.
  • Earn a degree in computer science, computer engineering, or a related field.
  • Demonstrate a strong academic record.
  • Belong to one of the following minority groups:
    • African-American
    • Hispanic
    • American Indian/Alaska Native
    • Female

What It Covers

Selected students enrolled at U.S. schools will receive $10,000 for the 2014-2015 school year; those enrolled at schools in Canada will receive 5,000 Canadian dollars.

Online programs are eligible.

How to Apply

Applicants must complete an online application that includes the following items no later than Dec. 2, 2013:

  • General background (contact information, as well as information about all schools the student plans to attend during the 2014-15 academic year)
  • A copy of his or her current resume
  • Academic transcripts from current and (if a degree was earned) former universities
  • Two letters of reference from a professor, instructor, academic advisor, or employer/supervisor
  • Responses to four essay questions

Xerox Minority Scholarship

Who’s Eligible

This scholarship is open to all U.S. citizens or legal residents who belong to at least one of the following minority groups:

  • African-American
  • Hispanic
  • Asian/Pacific Islander
  • American Indian/Alaska Native

Additionally, each recipient must be enrolled full-time in an accredited undergraduate or graduate program, earn a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA (for outgoing high school seniors, high school GPA will be considered in lieu of a college GPA), and be actively pursuing a degree in one of the following major fields of study:

  • Chemistry
  • Information Management
  • Computing & Software Systems
  • Material Science
  • Printing Management Science
  • Laser Optics
  • Physics
  • Material Science
  • Engineering (Chemical, Computer, Electrical, Imaging, Manufacturing, Mechanical, Optical, or Software)

What It Covers

The scholarship will award between $1,000 and $10,000 per student for each academic year.

Online programs are eligible.

How to Apply

Applicants must submit an electronic application no later than Sept. 30 if they wish to be considered for the following academic year. This application will ask each student to provide the following:

  • An electronic copy of his or her current resume
  • Background and contact information
  • Statement of intent regarding graduation and career goals

SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS

Ron Brown Scholar Program

Who’s Eligible

This award is open to any male or female African-American high school senior with an exemplary academic record and a background in community leadership.

What It Covers

Selected applicants will receive an annual scholarship award of $10,000 for up to four years for a total of $40,000. The monies may be spent to cover tuition, fees, books, room and board, computers, health insurance, and other academic expenses.

Online programs are eligible.

How to Apply

Applicants must submit an application (in a single packet) containing the following items no later than Nov. 1, 2013:

  • A list of the student’s extracurricular activities, community projects, employment, and other activities
    • Each entry should include dates of participation, number of hours per week spent on each activity, and all positions held
    • All awards, honors, and other types of formal recognition earned during high school (academic and extracurricular achievements should be included)
    • Written responses to two essays included in the application packet. Each essay should not exceed 500 words
    • Two letters of recommendation, one of which is written by a teacher, principal, or school advisor
    • One official transcript that includes the current course load, as well as a profile of the student’s school (location, enrollment type, courses offered, et al)

The Jackie Robinson Foundation Grant

Who’s Eligible

This award is open to any male or female African-American high school senior who is a U.S. citizen or legal resident, and meets the following criteria:

  • Is planning to attend an accredited four-year institution in the United States
  • Demonstrates leadership potential and a commitment to community service
  • Has a financial need
  • Has earned a minimum SAT score of 1,000 combined for math and critical reading, or a composite ACT score of 21
  • Has not earned a degree from a two- or four-year college at the time of application

What It Covers

Selected applicants will receive an annual $7,500 award for all four years of undergraduate study. The monies may be used to cover tuition, books, supplies, administrative fees, room and board, and other college-related expenses.

Online programs are eligible.

How to Apply

Applicants must submit an online application, as well as the following items, no later than Feb. 14, 2014:

  • One letter of recommendation (online only)
  • SAT and/or ACT scores sent directly from the testing agencies (the JRF’s college codes are: SAT: 4248, ACT: 6570)

Applicants who are invited to interview for the scholarship will be required to bring the following items:

  • Official high school transcript
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship
  • Student Aid Report

NABJ Scholarship

Who’s Eligible

This award is open to any male or female African-American undergraduate or graduate student who is currently pursuing a degree in journalism, communications, or a closely related major. In addition candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA
  • Background in community service and leadership
  • Demonstrated financial need

What It Covers

This annual award of $2,500 must be used to cover tuition, books and supplies, room and board, administrative fees, or other college-related expenses

Online programs are eligible.

How to Apply

Applicants must submit an application containing the following items no later than March 21, 2014, in order to receive financial aid for the 2014-15 academic year (all materials must be submitted as either PDF files or MS Word docs):

  • Current resume
  • Cover letter
  • One official college transcript
  • Five work samples
  • Three letters of reference
  • A 1,000-2,000-word response to the following essay question: “How do you see yourself, as a journalist, influencing how news will be gathered and disseminated? What would you improve about the media business?”

Development Fund for Black Students in Science and Technology

Who’s Eligible

This award is open to any African-American U.S. citizen or legal resident who is currently enrolled at an accredited undergraduate institution and earning a degree in a technical field (such as engineering, math, or science). The student must be attending one of the predominantly black colleges or universities listed on the scholarship’s website.

What It Covers

Annual scholarship awards of up to $2,000 will be provided to the recipient for up to four years of undergraduate study, provided he or she continues to study a STEM-related discipline and remains in good academic standing.

Online programs are not eligible.

How to Apply

Candidates must submit a completed application no later than April 15th. All applications must be obtained through one of the scholarship’s partner schools listed on the website. Recipients will be determined based on the strength of their application materials in the following order:

  • Academic achievement (grades and SAT scores, especially science/math)
  • Strength of a personal essay describing career goals, current and past relevant extracurricular activities, etc.
  • Letters of recommendation from teachers, academic advisors, guidance counselors, and other education professionals
  • Financial need

National Achievement Scholarship Program

Who’s Eligible

High school students of any level who plan to attend college in the fall immediately after graduating are eligible for this scholarship, although preference is typically given to juniors and seniors. All applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal residents who identify themselves as ‘Black American.’ Additionally, candidates must enter either the National Merit Program or the National Achievement Program; these organizations require students to take both the Preliminary SAT and National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test in order to be considered.

What It Covers

From an annual pool of roughly 160,000 applicants, roughly 800 finalists will receive scholarship aid. Seven hundred students will be given a $2,500 National Merit Scholarship as a lump sum when they begin college; the remaining 100 will receive Corporate-sponsored Achievement Scholarships, which may either be paid in a lump sum or renewed over the course of four years. The money must cover tuition, room and board, and other expenses related to undergraduate education.

Online programs are not eligible.

How to Apply

There is no application required for students who wish to be considered for this scholarship; dual scores from the PSAT and National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test will solely determine which students are most deserving of the award.

Coca-Cola 2013 Fall Access Scholarship

Who’s Eligible

This award is open to any U.S. citizen or legal resident who is currently enrolled at one of the 47 historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) within the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) network. Additional requirements include:

  • A minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • A background of leadership and community service
  • Demonstrated financial need

What It Covers

Most recipients will be given a $3,100 fall semester merit scholarship, although this amount will depend on the student’s account balance. The money may be used to cover:

  • Tuition
  • On-campus room and board
  • Textbooks and supplies
  • Administrative fees

Online programs are not eligible.

How to Apply

Applicants who wish to be considered must submit a completed application with the following materials (MS Word or PDF only) no later than Nov. 30, 2013:

  • Current resume that includes leadership experience, community service, and any past employment or internship positions.
  • A receipt noting the student’s current account balance
  • A letter of recommendation from a professor or faculty member (this must include a school letterhead and author’s signature)
  • One copy of his or her 2013-14 FAFSA student aid report
  • One official, sealed copy of the student’s college transcript
  • A 500-word essay in response to the following question: “What are your post-graduation plans? How will the ACCESS scholarship help you to achieve your goals?”

UNCF-Merck Undergraduate Science Research Scholarship Award

Who’s Eligible

This scholarship is open to any African-American U.S. citizen or legal resident who is enrolled full-time as a junior at a four-year undergraduate university. Additionally, the student must:

  • Be on track to graduate by June 2015.
  • Be pursuing a degree in life sciences, physical sciences, or engineering; first professional majors (medicine, pharmacology, dentistry, etc.) are ineligible.
  • Provide a transcript showing a minimum 3.3 cumulative GPA.

What It Covers

At least 15 scholarships of $30,000 will be awarded in 2014. The money is not transferable to other institutions; up to $25,000 may be spent on the following items:

  • Tuition
  • Books and supplies
  • Room and board
  • Administrative Fees

Online programs are eligible.

How to Apply

All applicants must submit a completed online application no later than Dec. 5, 2013. The application must include the following electronic attachments:

  • Statement of career goals (1-2 pages)
  • Current resume/C.V.
  • Copy of the student’s birth certificate, U.S. passport, Resident Alien Card, or other proof of citizenship (no driver’s licenses or Social Security cards)
  • Official college transcript

SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS FOR WOMEN

Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund (MMMF)

Who’s Eligible

This scholarship is open to female students who are currently attending college in the U.S. or Canada, and plans to be enrolled during the 2014-15 academic year. Additionally, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Applicant has “a record of service to women and children and a commitment to improve the lives of women and children in developing countries.”
  • Candidates must be nationals of a low or middle income nation (as recognized by the MMMF Country Eligibility List) that currently resides in the U.S.; legal citizens, residents, and immigrants are not eligible.
  • The applicant must plan to return to her home country within two years of receiving and exhausting the grant to perform at least two years of service.
  • Candidates must be at least 25 years old.

What It Covers

The grant awards $12,000 to each recipient; the money is to be used exclusively for college-related expenses like tuition, books and supplies, and administrative fees.

Online programs are not eligible.

How to Apply

Applicants must submit the following materials no later than Jan. 15, 2014:

  • A completed online application (first-time users must register with MMMF)
  • Two letters of reference; at least one must be written by a professor, academic advisor, or other faculty member
  • Information about the student’s ‘referees’, individuals who will fill out a form that attests to the applicant’s character and service background (the referee form isavailable online)
  • Copy of the applicant’s passport picture and student visa
  • One official, sealed college transcript
  • One passport-sized photograph

Society of Women Engineers Scholarships

Who’s Eligible

This scholarship is available to female U.S. citizens or legal residents who are currently attending accredited undergraduate or graduate programs that are concentrated in engineering, engineering technology, or computer science. Additionally, candidates must:

  • Be re-entering college for the first time after a period of no less than two years
  • Have a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA
  • Be enrolled full-time
  • Not receive funding from other organizations

What It Covers

Scholarship amounts will vary; in 2013, the typical individual award ranges between $1,000 and $10,000. The monies are to be solely used to cover tuition, books and supplies, administrative fees, and other expenses related to the recipient’s education.

Online programs are eligible.

How to Apply

Freshmen must submit application materials no later than Feb. 15 of the year they wish to attend school; the deadline for all other applicants (sophomores through graduate students) is May 15th. Candidates must submit the following items:

  • A completed online scholarship application that includes grade transcripts from high school and any post-secondary institutions, a current resume, and a copy of the student’s college acceptance letter from the school they plan to attend
  • Two letters of recommendation: one written by an education professional who teaches within a STEM field and the other written by someone (no relatives) who has known the applicant for at least two years

P.E.O. STAR Scholarships

Who’s Eligible

This scholarship is open to female U.S. citizens or legal residents who are currently attending high school as seniors and meet the following criteria:

  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • Plans to attend an accredited, four-year university in the U.S. or Canada the following fall
  • Demonstrates “excellence in leadership, academics, extracurricular activities, community service, and potential for future success”

What It Covers

This non-renewable $2,500 award may cover tuition, books and supplies, administrative fees, and other related expenses; however, using the monies to pay for room and board may be reported as taxable income.

Online programs are eligible.

How to Apply

Strong candidates for the scholarship must first pass an interview stage with a representative of their local P.E.O. chapter. Approved applicants must then submit the following materials no later than Nov. 1 of their final year of high school in order to be considered for the scholarship:

  • Completed application with basic biographical information
  • One high school transcript
  • An essay that details the student’s collegiate and career goals
  • Two activity charts that describe the applicant’s experience with extracurricular activities and community/volunteer service
  • Two letters of reference from teachers, principals, counselors, or coaches, or other education professionals and mentors

Zonta International: Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship

Who’s Eligible

This award is open to any female students who are currently enrolled in an accredited business or business-related degree program. U.S. or Canadian citizenship is not required.

What It Covers

Zonta Club awards $1,000 at the district or regional level, as well as a dozen $7,000 scholarships to international students. The money may be used to cover the following expenses at any college or university that offers business classes and programs:

  • Tuition
  • Books and supplies
  • On-campus housing
  • Administrative fees

Online programs are eligible.

How to Apply

Candidates must first contact their local Zonta Club chapter and receive a nomination. Applications from the strongest candidate in each district or region are sent to Zonta Club International; each of these individuals will receive the $1,000 scholarship award. The Zonta International Jane M. Klausman Women in Business Scholarship Committee will then select the 12 international scholarship recipients.

AWG Chrysalis Scholarship Fund

Who’s Eligible

This scholarship is reserved for female geoscience students whose lives have been “significantly interrupted by life circumstances.” Candidates chosen to receive the scholarship are expected to eventually complete their program and earn a degree in a geoscience-related field.

What It Covers

There are few restrictions on how this $2,000 one-time award may be spent. In addition to college-related expenses, the money may be used to cover:

  • Drafting costs
  • Child-care expenses
  • Defense travel
  • Late-stage research and analyses

Online programs are eligible.

How to Apply

Candidates must submit the following two items no later than March 15:

  • A letter of application that includes background experience, academic and career goals, how the student plans to use the scholarship, and the “nature and length of the interruption to their education”
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