29 Scholarships for African American or Black Students: 2020 – 2021 edition

In 2016, 14% of all undergraduate students were African American, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That means over 2 million black students each year need to pay college tuition. Luckily, there are many scholarships specifically designed to help African American students– and we’ve got 27 of them listed right here.

(Also, side note: While you may prefer to zoom in on one aspect of yourself like your race, remember that you may qualify for scholarships for all sorts of reasons! The best way to see all the scholarships you’re eligible for is to sign up with Going Merry. You’ll answer a few questions, and then we’ll match you to suitable scholarships based on your answers.) 

African American Scholarships

1. Breath of Life Scholarship

Amount: $6,000

Provider: The Ritter Family

Requirements: (a) Black or African American, (b) Intending to major and work in nursing, (c) Photo, (d) 2 Recommendation Letters, (e) Transcript.

Amid the pandemic of COVID-19 and the continued discrimination of African Americans, this scholarship has been created to help assist African American students pursuing a nursing degree.

2. Endure in Faith Scholarship

Amount: $500 (for 2 recipients)

Provider: LaMonda Sykes

Requirements: (a) GPA ≥ 2.0, (b) Ethnic minority (Black, Latino, American Indian, Alaskan Native, or Pacific Islander)

This scholarship is in honor of the providers’ grandparents, who supported her in her educational endeavors. One recipient will be awarded each semester, with the money going directly towards the winners’s college.

3. National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc. Scholarship

Amount: Varies per recipient

Provider: NANBPWC, Inc.

Requirements: (a) Black or African American, (b) GPA ≥ 3.00, (c) college acceptance letter, (d) recommendation letter, (e) transcript.

The National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc. founded in 1935, emerged as a national non-profit organization in light of the need to promote and protect the interests of women business owners and professionals.

4. Baitey Columbia Aptitude Testing Scholarship

Amount: Up to $100 per recipient

Provider: C. Ushery

Requirements: (a) Black/African-American, (b) Applicant should have an interest in pursuing a degree in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Medicine or Business Administration.

The Baitey Columbia Aptitude Testing Fellowship was created in honor of a high school friend who, as he neared graduation, faced a financial hardship that prevented him from having the funds to put towards his SAT. Upon sharing his story friends pitched in to help provide the funds for his exam, which led to him submitting college applications, getting accepted and graduating a few short years later.

5. Minority Teacher Education Scholarship

Award: Varies

Provider: Florida Fund for Minority Teachers

Requirements: (a) Florida residency, (b) African American/Black, Asian American/Pacific Islander, Native American/Alaska Native, or Hispanic/Latino ethnicity (c) Admission into teaching program at an FFMT participating university, (d) College Junior, (e) At least 60 credits or AA degree, (f) No more than 18 hours of upper division education courses, (g) Minimum GPA of 2.5. Please visit the scholarship website for more information.

The Florida Fund for Minority Teachers grants scholarships to African American/Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, Hispanic/Latino, or Asian American/Pacific Islander students who have been accepted into a qualifying teacher education program in the state of Florida. After graduation, recipients are required to teach one year in a Florida public school for each year they received the scholarship.


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6. ACS Scholars Program

Amount: Up to $5,000 per academic year

Provider: American Chemical Society

Requirements: Must be a U.S. Citizen, African-American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, or American Indian, intend to major or already major in chemistry, biochemistry, chemical engineering, chemical technology, or another chemistry-related science AND plan to pursue a career in a chemistry-related science as well. Please visit the scholarship website for more information.

The ACS Scholarship Program provides financial aid to underrepresented minority students who are majoring in chemistry-related disciplines. About 350 students receive scholarship awards up to $5,000 per academic year. More than 3,000 students to date have received college funding from the program.

7. William A. Crawford Minority Teacher Scholarship

Amount: $4,000

Provider: Indiana Commission for Higher Education

Requirements: (a) Commitment to teaching in Indiana for at least three years upon graduation, (b) Full-time students status at university in Indiana, (c) Major in a relevant field, (d) Minimum GPA of 2.0, (e) Residency in Indiana. Please visit the scholarship website for more information.

With the dream of diversifying leadership in Indiana classrooms, the William A. Crawford Minority Teacher Scholarship provides $4,000 to African American or Hispanic students interested in majoring or minoring in elementary, secondary, or special education.

8. Actuarial Diversity Scholarship

Amount: Up to $4,000

Provider: The Actuarial Foundation

Requirements: Must have at least one birth parent who is Black/African American, Hispanic, Native North American, or Pacific Islander, minimum GPA of 3.0, pursuing a career in the actuarial profession. Please visit the scholarship website for more information.

The Actuarial Foundation provides scholarship awards from $1,000-$4,000 for students from at least one of the following minority groups: Black/African American, Hispanic, Native North American, and Pacific Islander. The scholarship recognizes achievements of undergraduate students who are pursuing a degree in the actuarial profession, an industry related to asset management and liability management.

9. Kansas Ethnic Minority Scholarship

Amount: Up to $1,850

Provider: Kansas Board of Regents

Requirements: (a) Academic achievement, (b) Full-time student status, (c) Enrollment in a Kansas community college or four-year university. Please visit the scholarship website for more information.

In an effort to promote diversity and education, the Kansas Board of Regents grants up to $1,850 per year to African American, Alaskan Native, American Indian, Asian, Pacific Islander, or Hispanic students. Candidates should express financial need and demonstrate academic achievement.

10. Spectrum Scholarship Program

Amount: $5,000

Provider: American Library Association (ALA)

Requirements: U.S. or Canada citizen, identify as American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Middle Eastern/North African, and/or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander, full-time or part-time student enrolled in an accredited program, attend an ALA-accredited graduate program in library and information studies. Please visit the scholarship website for more information.

The Spectrum Scholarship Program awards minority students to assist them with obtaining a graduate degree, as well as leadership positions within ALA. They encourage students who are pursuing a graduate degree in library and information studies, and may receive additional benefits, such as a complimentary, one-year student ALA membership.


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11. Minority Teachers of Illinois (MTI) Scholarship Program

Amount: $5,000

Provider: Illinois Student Assistance Commission

Requirements: U.S. Citizen, reside of Illinois, minority student of African American/Black, Hispanic American, Asian American or Native American origin, be a high school graduate or hold a General Educational Development (GED) certificate, GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. Please visit the scholarship website for more information.

The MTI Scholarship Program awards Illinois students who plan to teach within the state. Students must plan to teach at a nonprofit Illinois public, private or parochial preschool, elementary school, or secondary school in which the enrolled students include no less than 30 percent of African American/Black, Hispanic American, Asian American or Native American origin.

12. AICPA Scholarship Award for Minority Accounting Students

Amount: Up to $5,000

Provider: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

Requirements: (a) An ethnic minority in the accounting profession (including but not limited to: Black or African American; Hispanic or Latino; Native American; Pacific Islander; or Asian American), (b) Pursuing an undergraduate or graduate-level degree in an accounting or accounting-related major. (Accounting-related shall be as determined by Sponsors in Sponsors’ sole discretion.), Planning to pursue the CPA licensure but not presently be a CPA, (d) Attending a public or private, not-for-profit (501(c)) four-year college or university in the U.S. or territories for the full 2020-21 academic year, (e) Completed at least 30 semester hours (or equivalent) of college coursework, including at least 6 semester hours (or equivalent) in accounting, by end of spring 2020, (f) Maintaining an overall and major GPA of at least 3.0. Please visit the scholarship website for more information.

13. The Gates Scholarship

Amount: Full cost of attendance

Provider: The Gates Scholarship

Requirements: (a) High school senior, (b) From at least one of the following ethnicities: African-American, American Indian/Alaska Native*, Asian & Pacific Islander American, and/or Hispanic American, (c) Pell-eligible, (d) U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident In good academic standing with a minimum cumulative weighted GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent), (e) Must plan to enroll full-time, in a four-year degree program, at a US accredited, not-for-profit, private or public college or university. Please visit the scholarship website for more information.

Awarded to 300 of the top student leaders, the Gates Scholarship recognizes students with great leadership abilities, personal success skills, and an exceptional high school academic record. The scholarship funds the full cost of attendance, including tuition, room, board, books, transportation, and may include personal costs to attend college.

14. Martin Luther King Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Provider: Rhode Island Foundation

Requirements: Rhode Island resident, must be African-American/Black, must demonstrate academic and leadership success, accepted or enrolled in an accredited post-secondary college or technical school within the U.S., demonstrate financial need.

15. Black Philanthropy Bannister Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Provider: Rhode Island Foundation

Requirements: African American/Black high school graduate or adult student applicant, Rhode Island resident, pursuing or advancing a career in healthcare at a post-secondary institution (college or technical school), financial need.

This scholarship may be renewable for up to four years.


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16. Larry W. Carter Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Provider: The Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines

Requirements: (a) Residency in Iowa, (b) African American, (c) Enrollment in a full-time or part-time college program. For more information, please visit the scholarship website.

These scholarships in Iowa were created in memory of Larry W. Carter, an activist and prominent community leader. Any African-American Iowa resident is eligible to apply. Applicants can be pursuing full-time or part-time studies at the undergraduate or graduate level.

17. Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) All Around Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Provider: TMCF

Requirements: Enrolled as a Freshman, Sophomore, Junior or Senior at a TMCF 47 member-schools, current cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, must demonstrate financial need, demonstrate leadership ability through a variety of measures, U.S. Citizen or legal permanent resident with valid permanent resident card or passport stamped I-551, resume, transcript, letter of reference, and essay.


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18. TMCF and Wells Fargo Scholarship

Amount: $5,000

Provider: TMCF and Wells Fargo

Requirements: Sophomore, junior or senior at a TMCF member-school, current cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, demonstrate leadership abilities, demonstrate financial need, U.S. Citizen or legal permanent resident with valid permanent resident card or passport stamped I-551, letter of reference, transcript, essay.

19. TMCF and National Black McDonald’s Operators Association and Dr Pepper Scholarship

Amount: $5,000

Provider: TMCF, NBMOA, and Dr Pepper

Requirements: Provide proof of enrollment as a full-time student as a sophomore, junior or senior at a TMCF member-school, current cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, demonstrate leadership abilities, U.S. Citizen or legal permanent resident with valid permanent resident card or passport stamped I-551, letter of reference, transcript, essay.

20. TMCF and Coca-Cola Foundation First-Generation HBCU Scholarships

Amount: $2,500 per semester

Provider: TMCF and the Coca-Cola Foundation

Requirements: Must be a first-generation college student, graduating high school senior, accepted and enrolled as a full-time incoming-freshman student at one of TMCF’s 47 member-schools, have a high school grade point average of 2.5 or higher, recommendation letter from a high school counselor, demonstrate outstanding financial need, demonstrated leadership ability through a variety of measures, U.S. Citizen or legal permanent resident with a valid permanent resident card, high school transcript, Student Aid Report, essay.


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21. ETS Presidential Scholarship for HBCU Students

Amount: Full tuition-only need/merit scholarship

Provider: TMCF and ETS

Requirements: Enrolled full-time as a junior or senior, current grade point average of 3.5 or higher, demonstrate leadership abilities, demonstrate a financial need, U.S. Citizen or legal permanent resident with valid permanent resident card or passport stamped I-551, letter of recommendation, transcript, essay, and video essay.

ETS, a team of education experts, researchers and assessment developers, provides financial assistance to outstanding African-American students pursuing a college degree.

22. Ford Blue Oval Scholarship

Amount: Up to $6,200 ($3,100 per semester)

Provider: TMCF and Ford Motor Company

Requirements: African American male, graduating high school senior, enrolled full-time as a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior at a TMCF member-school, cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, demonstrates leadership abilities, U.S. Citizen or legal permanent resident with valid permanent resident card or passport stamped I-551, letter of reference, transcript, essay.

The Ford Blue Oval Scholarship encourages outstanding male students to pursue their college education at one of TMCF’s 47 publicly-supported Historically Black College and Universities or a Predominantly Black Institution. 

23. Hallie Q. Brown Scholarship

Amount: Up to $2,000

Provider: National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs (NACWC)

Requirements: Must be a member of the NACWC. Please check the scholarship website and contact the NACWC Headquarters for more information.

24. Ron Brown Scholarship Program

Amount: $40,000 ($10,000 each year)

Provider: Ron Brown Scholar Program

Requirements: Please see the scholarship website for more information.

25. AIPLEF Sidney B. Williams Scholarship

Amount: Up to $30,000

Provider: TMCF and American Intellectual Property Law Education Foundation (AIPLEF)

Requirements: Be enrolled as an entering law school (1L) student, proven academic performance at the undergraduate, graduate, and law school levels (if applicable), demonstrate a financial need, record of leadership, community activities, and/or special accomplishments, demonstrate intent to engage in the full-time practice of patent law, currently enrolled in or have been accepted to an ABA-accredited law school.

26. ALCOA Fund Scholarship

Amount: Various; previously up to $5,000

Provider: The Cleveland Foundation

Requirements: (a) African-American or Hispanic, (b) Graduate of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District or a Catholic school in Greater Cleveland, (c) GPA ≥ 3.0, (d) Enrolled or currently attending a two- or four-year accredited educational institution within the state of Ohio for a minimum of 6 credit hours/term -or- a vocational training program within the state of Ohio to prepare students for gainful employment in a recognized profession. Please visit the scholarship website for more information.

The ALCOA Fund Scholarship aims to offer scholarship opportunities for underserved and underrepresented populations. These students must be graduates of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District or a Catholic school in Greater Cleveland (preferably Cuyahoga County). As long as the funds are available and the student continues to meet the scholarship requirements, this is a scholarship award that can be renewed annually for up to 4 years.

27. Cornerstone Scholarship Charitable Trust

Amount: Varies

Provider: Cornerstone Scholarship Charitable Trust

Requirements: (a) Black/African-American, (b) Roots in the state of Arkansas, (c) U.S. Citizen, U.S. National, or Permanent Resident, (d) 17-25 years old. For more information, please visit the scholarship website.

African-American students in Arkansas are eligible to apply for this scholarship.  Applicants must be between 17 and 25 years old, have a high school degree at the time of the application, and come from an economically disadvantaged background.

28. The Pursuit of Happiness Scholarship for African-American Scholars

Amount: $200

Provider: Brandon Kyle Canty

Requirements: (a) Black/African-American, (b) 22+ years old, (c) Left university or dropped classes due to hardship sometime in last 5 years

 The goal of this scholarship will be to provide one student with a small lifeline during a difficult semester when things are bad and you can’t work any more hours.

29. Be The Change Minority Nursing Scholarship

Amount: $1000

Provider: Brandon Kyle Canty

Requirements: (a) African American, American Indian, or Hispanic, (b) GPA 3.0+, (c) Studying nursing, (d) School located in North Carolina

This scholarship is for current nursing students or those who have been admitted to a nursing program at an accredited institution in North Carolina offering an associate or baccalaureate degree in nursing. Scholarships will be awarded based on financial need, GPA, honors/scholarships/awards, extracurricular activities, and answers to the questions on the application.

African American Scholarships

You’ve got this extensive list of African American scholarships. Now what?

You have a few options:

  • Start applying, immediately! Click one (or all) of the scholarship links above to start applying for these scholarships for black students.
  • Sign up for Going Merry for free to apply for some of these scholarships and get matched with thousands of other scholarship opportunities based on your profile.
  • Create a spreadsheet of scholarship opportunities you’re interested in (with essay prompts and deadlines), and then make a plan or schedule for when you’ll work on applying for these African American scholarships.

Whichever route you go, you’ve got this! 👍

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