22 African American Scholarships over $5k

Written by Matt Cates
Published on August 20, 2023 · Updated on January 23, 2024

22 African American Scholarships over $5k

Written by Matt Cates
Published on August 20, 2023 · Updated on January 23, 2024

Many barriers to access exist for students striving to get ahead through higher education. One of the biggest obstacles is the cost of attendance, which can be especially prohibitive for persons from underrepresented groups. While many schools are doing their part to make college more affordable, several private organizations have been leading the charge by offering scholarships to minority students. Scholarships for Black students are numerous but not always easy to find. Here, we’ve put together a list of 22 scholarships for African Americans worth over $5,000 to help cut down on your search time! 

Scholarship Tips For College Students

It’s important to remember that finding a scholarship opportunity is just the beginning. After all, other students are apt to find and apply to these same scholarships! Simply applying is no guarantee of winning some free cash. You’ll want to first read up on some tips to give you a strategic advantage!

Apply early and often

Don’t procrastinate! Start sending in those scholarship applications as soon as you know what you want to major in. For some scholarships, you don’t even have to know where you’ll go to college yet to apply. The earlier you get started, the more opportunities you’ll be eligible for.

Skip ahead and screen for eligibility 

Every scholarship comes with its own unique eligibility requirements. Some want you to major in a particular subject; others demand a minimum GPA. To save time, scan these requirements to see if you’re eligible or not. Now that doesn’t mean rush through it. Just focus your efforts on the ones you’re most likely to win. 

Keep your eye on deadlines

Some scholarship opportunities have a continuous application window, but most feature a hard deadline to turn in applications. Prioritize your list based on when submissions are due.  

Use your powers of persuasion

You never know who else is applying, so take nothing for granted. Read the sponsor’s description of what they’re looking for, and check out who they are and what their purpose is for giving away money. Keep this intel in mind as you write your application, especially if there’s an essay involved. 

Write in hot blood, edit in cold

When writing an essay, let your enthusiasm shine through as you type away at record speed. Writers call that writing in “hot blood.” But — after you’ve drafted your masterpiece, let it sit awhile. Then come back and carefully edit “in cold blood.” Be analytical and objective as you edit your work for grammar, flow, clarity, and mistakes. 

Remember, scholarships can impact other financial aid

Financial aid is given to students who need assistance to pay for college. Just remember, any scholarship money you get changes your financial needs equation. That could impact your eligibility for other forms of aid, so talk to your school’s financial aid office to discuss how funding sources might affect each other. 

22 Scholarships for the Black Students over $5k

1. AAA Minority Dissertation Fellowship

The American Anthropological Association offers $10,000 fellowships to minority doctoral students to increase diversity in the field. Applicants should have a financial need during the time of their dissertation write-up, as well as strong academics. They must also join or be a member of the association. The application is closed for the 2023-2024 academic year, but will reopen early 2024. 

2. AMS Minority Scholarships

The American Meteorological Society’s Minority Scholarship awards $6,000 ($3,000 per year) to minority students underrepresented in the sciences. Applicants must be starting their freshman year by Fall 2022 and plan on a career in “atmospheric or related oceanic and hydrologic sciences.” This application is closed, but will reopen early 2024. 

3. Architects Foundation Diversity Advancement Scholarship

The Architects Foundation Diversity Advancement Scholarship offers multiyear awards of up to $20,000 to minority students studying for architecture careers. Applicants must be US citizens, have a 3.0 minimum GPA, and be enrolled or planning to enroll in an accredited architecture program. The application window is closed as of this writing, but check the sponsor’s website to sign up for notifications. 

4. Corris Boyd Scholarship

The Association of University Programs in Health Administration oversees the HCA Corris Boyd Scholars Program, which awards $40,000 to students enrolled in an AUPHA full-member graduate school program. Applicants must be minority full-time students with a 3.0 GPA or higher. Applications are now closed for 2023. The 2024 application will be available in early 2024. 

5. Denver Alumnae Chapter Scholarships

The Denver Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. sponsors scholarships ranging from one-time $1,000 to renewable $6,000 awards. Applicants must be Black/African American female residents of the Denver metro area. GPA requirements vary depending on the exact scholarship being applied to. Applications will reopen in December. 

6. Dwight Mosley Scholarship Award

USTA Foundation’s Dwight A. Mosley Scholarship is available to “USTA-ranked high school seniors of ethnically diverse heritage who have excelled academically and participated extensively in an organized community tennis program.” The $10,000 award is spread across the four years of the winners’ college program, with funds paid directly to the school. 

7. Ethnic Minority and Women’s Enhancement Graduate Scholarship

The NCAA’s Ethnic Minority and Women’s Enhancement Graduate Scholarship provides $10,000 to qualified minority and female intercollegiate athletics students who plan to work in the field. Applicants must be active NCAA members, with at least a 3.2 GPA. Submissions are due in February. Please check the sponsor’s website for news about the upcoming application cycle which opens in September. 

8. AICPA Fellowship for Minority Doctoral Students

AICPA sponsors many scholarships, including the Fellowship for Minority Doctoral Students. This $12,000 award is designed to boost minority CPA students. Applicants must have 3+ years working in the accounting profession and must plan to obtain licensure. Please check the AICPA site for details about the next award cycle. 

9. Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowships

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Ford Foundation sponsors a $28,000 Dissertation Fellowship to high academic achievers committed to college-level teaching and research careers after graduation. Applicants must be enrolled in a research-based PhD or ScD program. Applications are closed for the 2023-2024 school year, but be sure to check back late 2023 for the application to open.

10. Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship

The Ford Foundation also offers a Postdoc Fellowship aimed at increasing university faculty diversity. Awards of $50,000 go to students in research-based PhD or ScD. programs. Applicants must intend to perform college-level teaching and research work after graduation. The application should open in September. 

11. Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowships

The Ford Foundation also sponsors Predoctoral Fellowships paying $27,000 a year for up to three years to students who are members of racial or ethnic groups that have been underrepresented in the American professoriate. Applicants must be enrolled or plan to enroll in a research-based PhD or ScD. program. Mark your calendars because the application window is from September to December!

12. Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship

The American Musicological Society’s Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship supports graduate students from historically underrepresented groups who have completed a year of full-time graduate work and are pursuing a PhD in Musicology. Stipends are currently $23,000. Applications are due in January and should include a personal statement, resume/CV, work samples, and faculty support letters. 

13. Knoll Diversity Advancement Design Scholarships for Black Students 

Administered by Scholarship America, the Knoll Diversity Advancement Design Scholarships for Black Students helps undergraduates studying design-related fields like Architecture, Graphic Design, Industrial Design, and more. The award is for $10,000, renewable for up to three years. Selections are based on financial need, a goals essay, leadership in activities, and work experience. The window to apply opens in November. 

14. Spirit of Youth Scholarship for Junior Members

Spirit of Youth Scholarship for Junior Members is a $5,000 award for candidates who have been Junior members of the American Legion Auxiliary, have held membership in the American Legion Auxiliary for the past three consecutive years, and must be a paid member for the current membership year. Applicant must continue their membership in the American Legion Auxiliary during the scholarship period. This is a scholarship to attend an accredited institution of higher education. Applicants must be of good character and have grades that meet entrance requirements at the institution of their choice. Two letters of recommendation are required. Applications are due by March 1, 2024. 

15. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Scholarship

In conjunction with the California Teachers Association, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Scholarship provides $6,000 to students of color pursuing careers as educators or school nurses, counselors, or therapists. Please check the CTA’s website for updates on the scholarship application window (note, the prior application deadline was in February). 

16. McKnight Doctoral Fellowship Program

The McKnight Doctoral Fellowship gives out 50 fellowships a year to minority Ph.D. students attending participating Florida institutions. Awards include $5,000 for tuition plus an annual stipend of $12,000. Several majors are eligible, but programs must lead to a PhD in the Arts and Sciences, Mathematics, Business, or Engineering. Submissions are due January 15. 

17. NASP-ERT Minority Scholarship Program

The National Association of School Psychologists’ Minority Scholarship Program offers $5,000 to support the “graduate training of minority students pursuing careers in school psychology.” Applicants must be enrolled in a NASP-approved institution and have a 3.0 or higher GPA. Submissions are due by October 29. 

18. Alwin B. Newton Scholarship

The $5,000, one-year Newton Scholarship requires applicants to possess a 3.0 or higher or be in the top 30% of their class. Applications must include three letters of recommendation and documents that demonstrate the student’s financial need. Applications are due on December 1 for awards granted the following fall semester. 

19. Ron Brown Scholarship

The Ron Brown Scholarship awards up to 50 $40,000 scholarships (paid in $10,000 annual installments) to Black/African American US citizens or permanent residents with demonstrated financial need. Applicants should be high school seniors interested in “public service, community engagement, business entrepreneurship, and global citizenship.” The application window is from September to January 2024. 

20. Sachs Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship

The Sachs Foundation’s motto is “Assisting Black Coloradans Since 1931.” To that purpose, it provides lucrative scholarships up to $50,000 to Black/African American residents of Colorado. Applicants must be eligible based on academic qualifications and financial need. The window to apply is open from ​January 1 – March 15 every year. 

21. Vermont Space Grant Undergraduate Scholarship Competition

VTSGC Awards are funded by NASA's National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program. The recipients are recognized for outstanding achievements as scholars. The purpose of this program is to establish a national network of universities with interests in aeronautics, space, and related fields; to encourage cooperation among universities, aerospace industry, and government; to encourage interdisciplinary training, research, and public service programs related to aerospace; to recruit and train professionals for careers in aerospace science; and to promote a strong science, mathematics, engineering, and technology educational base from elementary through university levels. The award is up to $5,000 and the application will reopen early 2024. 

22. Thurgood Marshall College Fund

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund currently offers three scholarship opportunities: the Gap Completion Scholarship, for students who need an immediate financial boost; the Access Scholarship, which covers general tuition, fees, and room and board expenses. The Programmatic Scholarship, which is similar, provides additional professional development support. Award amounts and submission deadlines vary.

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