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Free College Funding: Grants for Black Students

Minority Grant Sources

Going to college is an expensive proposition. If you're an African American student looking to pursue a college education you may be eligible for one of the many annual grants designed to encourage and assist African American students in their goal of attending university. Every year organizations across the country award millions of dollars in grant money to deserving students, helping them to realize their dreams of a better education and a successful future.

The United Negro College Fund Grant Programs

The United Negro College Fund has been providing scholarships and grants to deserving African American students for more than 60 years. The UNCF awards more than 10,000 scholarships, fellowships and grants each year to low and moderate income African American students. With a donor base comprised of Fortune 500 companies, celebrities,universities and everyday individuals they are able to accommodate as much as 94% of their yearly applicants. Working in tandem with their 38 member colleges the UNCF continues to live up to their their guiding principle and motto that " A mind is a terrible thing to waste".

negro scholarships

African American Grants from Colleges and Universities

Excellent sources for grant money are colleges and university coffers. In many cases colleges prefer to diversify their student bodies and they do this by offering scholarships and grants. In the last few years many of the nation's top universities have dropped their institutional loan programs and replaced them with grants. This means that hundreds of students that might not have had the financial structure to afford an Ivy-League education can now join their peers and exercise their academic strength through institutional grant programs.

College Grants from the Historically Black Colleges and Universities

The 105 Historically Black Colleges and Universities, or HBCU, are rich sources of college grants and scholarships. The list is comprised of both 4 year and 2 year institutions. Many of these institutions were originally founded to provide opportunities for African Americans in a time when higher education was exclusionary elsewhere. Today these colleges and universities rank among the best in the nation and appeal to a wide range of students. Most of these institutions are very proactive and offer scholarships and grants to eligible students of color.

Tuskegee University, Morehouse College, Spelman College and Harris-Stowe State College are a just a few of the 105 HBCU's that provide financial aid to African American students wishing to further their higher education.

Sources for African American College Grants

Beyond the United Negro College Fund and many of the HBCU's, you'll also find grants available from many state governments. Public and private organizations as well businesses fund and support scholarships and grants for African American students.Your search for grant money should begin with these sources:

  • Federal government college grants
  • State education grants
  • Black student grants from colleges and universities
  • Grants funded by non-profit organizations
  • Private business and industry grants

State Grant Programs for African American Students

Your state government is usually a source for quite a number of college grants and scholarships, one or two of which are usually designed to assist minority students. Examples:

  • The State of Wisconsin provides a handful of very good educational grants including the Minority Undergraduate Retention Grant. This program is open to financially disadvantaged and at-risk minority students wishing to pursue an undergraduate college program in Wisconsin.
  • North Carolina Community College Grant is open to Pell Grant recipients that continue to prove financial disadvantage. To qualify, students must be enrolled in one of the state's 2-year community college programs.

Applying for Grants

In most cases your eligibility for any type of grant will be based on your ability to pay for college along with your short-term and long-term goals. Complete the FAFSA. You will be expected to apply for any available Federal loans, but don't miss out on the Federal grant programs, a couple for which you'll automatically be considered for— the Pell Grant, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant or FSEOG, Academic Competitiveness Grant, the National SMART Grant and the TEACH Grant program.

Examples: Popular African American Student Grant Programs

The Sachs Foundation is a not-for-profit organization based in Colorado. Founded in 1931 its main goal is to provide African American students from Colorado with the necessary financial aid to make college a possibility. Sachs gives away much of its money in the form of undergraduate scholarships, but a number of graduate level educational grants are extended annually.

The African American Success Foundation, Inc. provides educational grants to eligible African American students whose goal is to conduct research into the history of African American success in education and business.

The American Geological Institute offers Minority Participation Program Geoscience Student Scholarships to African American and other minority students engaged in an undergraduate geoscience studies program.