african americanDespite much progress during recent decades, African Americans still maintain an educational deficit that remains resistant to even the most exhaustive remedial efforts. Nevertheless, there is hope for motivated students who seek to further their education.

African Americans with higher educational aspirations will be relieved to learn that tables have turned on former formidable obstacles. There are many college scholarship funds that offer great rewards to prospective minority pupils willing to exert minimal effort.

1. Actuarial Diversity Scholarship

DEADLINE: End of May in most cases

This fund began in 1977 as collaborative project of the Society of Actuaries and the Casualty Actuarial Society. Thanks to their combined contributions, the dream of becoming an actuary has come true for hundreds of minority scholars. To enhance economic viability and ensure continuity, the Actuarial Foundation assumed complete administration of this Scholarship fund in 2008.

Successful applicants intending to pursue an actuarial career receive annual awards of $1,000 to $5,000. Threshold eligibility criteria include a grade point average (“GPA”) of 3.0 or higher on all actuarial or mathematics coursework and a minimum ACT math score of 28 or SAT math score of 600.


Actuarial Diversity Scholarship
475 North Martingale Road, Suite 600
Schaumburg, IL 60173-2226
Phone: (847)706.3535
Website URL –

2. Bay Area Minority Law Student Scholarship


Established in 1998 by the San Francisco Bar Association, this scholarship fund is the California legal community’s collective response to University of California Board of Regent’s passage of infamous Proposition 1. That administrative decision dismantled pre-existing race-based affirmative action in admissions. The fund provides $10,000 annual awards renewable for up to three years of study at eligible California law schools.


Bay Area Minority Law Student Scholarship Program
The Bar Association of San Francisco
301 Battery Street, Third Floor
San Francisco, California 94111
Phone: (415) 982-1600

3. Beautiful Minds Scholarship

DEADLINE: March 31

Online apartment search provider sponsors a scholarship program that makes a non-renewable annual award of $1,000 to one fortunate recipient. Applicants must be currently enrolled college students or high school seniors planning to enroll at an accredited U.S. post-secondary educational institution and have a minimum 3.0 GPA.


Beautiful Minds Scholarship Scholars
14173 Northwest Freeway #190
Houston, TX 77040
Website URL –

4. Black Girls Rock! Imagine a Future Scholarship


Black Girls Rock! (“BGR”) is a non-profit organization with a primary mission of youth empowerment. Providing positive role models to mentor young women of color between ages 12 and 17 is the main means that BGR employs to meet that end. BGR formed a collaborative partnership with the United Negro College Fund (“UNCF”) to facilitate higher academic attainment by that same clientele base via annual awards of up to $5,000. Applicants must be freshman, sophomores, or juniors at a UNCF-affiliated historically Black college or university (“HBCU”) with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.


Imagine a Future Scholarship
48 Lexington Avenue. Suite 2
Brooklyn NY 11238
Phone: (718)789-ROCK! (7625)

5. Carole Simpson Scholarship AETNA/NCEMA Scholars Program Alphonso Deal Scholarship


Radio and Television News Directors Foundation sponsors this scholarship that pays recipients a $2,000 annual stipend to offset tuition costs of an undergraduate Journalism degree. Applicants must be in good academic standing and submit a Goals Statement, recommendation letter, and an audio or video production of a minimum 15-minute duration that demonstrates existing and potential journalistic skills.


Carole Simpson Scholarship AETNA/NCEMA Scholars Program Alphonso Deal Scholarship
Radio and Television News Directors Foundation, Inc.
1000 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 615
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (770) 622.7011 or (770) 823-1760

6. Chips Quinn Scholars Program

DEADLINE: October 15

Upper class undergraduate and graduate Journalism majors can apply directly or seek nomination by on-campus media advisers, journalism faculty, newspaper editors, and/or major minority journalist associations.

All applications must be accompanied by a resume, academic transcript, color headshot, two recommendation letters, and an essay statement of reasons why Journalism is the applicant’s career pursuit. Successful candidates must also maintain a valid driver’s license and automobile insurance policy throughout their entire tenure as Chips Quinn Scholars.


Chips Quinn Scholars Program
Karen Catone, Director
Freedom Forum
555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 292-6271

7. Edward S. Roth Manufacturing Engineering Scholarship

DEADLINE: February 1

SME Education Foundation sponsors this scholarship fund that issues varying amounts of annual awards to full-time undergraduate and graduate Manufacturing Engineering majors. Besides a resume, candidates must submit recommendation letter(s) and a written essay that addresses personal character, seriousness of purpose, and academic achievement.


Edward S. Roth Manufacturing Engineering Scholarship
SME Education Foundation
One SME Drive, P.O. Box 930
Dearborn, MI 48121
Phone: (313) 425-3300

8. ESA Foundation Computer and Video Game Scholarship


The Entertainment Software Association sponsors this scholarship fund that issues 30 annual awards of $3,000 to graduating high school seniors and full-time students at accredited post-secondary U.S. institutions. Current college students must be pursuing a degree in a video gaming art or a related computer major, while high school seniors must document acceptance for future enrollment in such a program. All applicants must be U.S. citizens with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75.


ESA Computer and Video Game Scholarship
International Scholarship and Tuition Services, Inc., Fund Administrator
Corporate Headquarters:
1321 Murfreesboro Road, Suite 800
Nashville, TN 37217
Phone: (855) 670-ISTS

9. Eunice Walker Johnson Scholarship

DEADLINE: September 27

This UNCF-sponsored scholarship fund makes annual awards of $2,000 to $5,000 to full-time undergraduate and graduate students at UNCF-affiliated post-secondary educational institutions. High school seniors expecting to attend a UNCF-affiliated educational institution may also apply. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is the primary threshold eligibility criterion.


Eunice Walker Johnson Scholarship
1805 7th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (800) 331-2244
Website URL –

10. Fall Access Scholarship

DEADLINE: November 30

Coca-Cola, Inc. and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (“TMCF”) are joint sponsors of this scholarship fund that makes annual awards of up to $3,100 to full-time students at the nation’s 47 TMCF-affiliated HBCUs. Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, be U.S. citizens, and demonstrate financial need and a history of consistent leadership within diverse contexts.


Fall Access Scholarship
Thurgood Marshall College Fund
901 F Street NW, Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20004
Phone: (202) 507-4851

11. Gates Millennium Scholars Program

DEADLINE: January 15

This UNCF-sponsored scholarship program disburses annual monetary awards to 1,000 of the nation’s most promising up-and-coming scholars to defray attendance costs at their desired college or university. Besides economic educational assistance, Gates Millennium Scholars get an opportunity to participate in a comprehensive leadership program and access to an extensive academic support system. Specific award amounts vary based upon recipients’ individual financial need and current level of available economic assistance.


Gates Millennium Scholars Program
1805 7th Street, NW,
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (877) 690-4677
Website URL –

12. IIE UPS Scholarship for Minority Students

DEADLINE: November 15 – for faculty nomination

Established by the Institute of Industrial Engineers (“IIE”), this scholarship fund exists to recognize minority undergraduate Industrial Engineering majors with a history of exceptional scholastic achievement and extracurricular leadership. Chosen recipients receive annual awards of up to $4,000 and must maintain active membership in their campus Student IIE Chapter and a minimum GPA of 3.4. As IIE does not accept direct applications, faculty nomination is the sole candidate selection method.


IIE UPS Scholarship for Minority Students
Institute of Industrial Engineers
3577 Parkway Lane, Suite 200
Norcross, GA 30092
Phone: (800) 494-0460
Website URL –

13. Lake Lytal Jr. African-American Student Scholarship

DEADLINE: March 15

The University of Florida sponsors this institutional scholarship that makes annual awards in an average amount of $3,000 to African American graduate students with demonstrated academic achievement and substantial financial need. Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or greater and exhibit exceptional and positive contributory potential to graduate education diversity.


Lake Lytal, Jr. African American Student Scholarship
University of Florida
PO Box 114000
Gainesville, FL 32611-4000
Phone: (904) 392-3261

14. Minority Teachers of Illinois Scholarship Program (“MIT”)

DEADLINE: March 1 for priority consideration

MIT makes annual awards of up to $5,000 to full-time minority students pursuing degrees at accredited Iowa post-secondary educational institutions that culminate in teaching licensure. Awards are renewable for up to four academic years, provided the recipient has maintained a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.4. Recipients must also accept a contractual obligation to teach an Iowa school for a minimum number of years after subsequent licensure and certification. Failure to satisfy this condition converts all previously awarded scholarship proceeds into an interest-bearing loan.


Minority Teachers of Illinois Scholarship Program
Illinois Student Assistance Commission
Student Services
1755 Lake Cook Road
Deerfield, IL 60015-5209
Phone: (800) 899.ISAC (4722)

15. MSU Moorhead James & Yvonne Condell Endowed Scholarship

DEADLINE: Verify with sponsor

Minnesota State University (“MSU”) sponsors this scholarship fund that issues annual awards of $2,000 renewable for up to four academic years, contingent on funds availability and recipient maintenance of a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher by the close of each spring semester. African American freshmen or first-year transfer students at MSU are eligible to apply.


MSU James & Yvonne Condell Endowed Scholarship
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Foundation
30 7th St. E., Suite 350
St. Paul, MN 55101-7804
Phone: (651) 297-5519 or (888) 667-2848

16. NASCAR/Wendell Scott, Sr. Scholarship


The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (“NASCAR”) recently established this memorial fund to honor the first official African-American NASCAR Sprint Cup Race winner Wendell Scott, Sr. Successful applicants will receive a non-renewable annual award of $4,500. Threshold eligibility requirements include: 1) current enrollment as an undergraduate upperclassman or graduate student; 2) at a participating post-secondary HBCU; 3) a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0; and, 3) a current academic major in Communications, Informational Technology, Engineering, Business, or Computer Science.


NASCAR/Wendell Scott, Sr. Scholarship
United Negro College Fund
1805 7th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (800) 331-2244
Website URL –

17. NBNA Scholarships

DEADLINE: Varies by specific program

National Black Nurses Association (“NBNA”) offers a complete consortium of 12 different scholarship funds through its Scholarship Program that make annual awards of $1,000 to $2,500. Eligibility criteria, application deadlines, and other such details vary widely.


NBNA Scholarships
National Black Nurses Association, Inc.
8630 Fenton Street, Suite 330
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910-3803
Phone: (301) 589-3200 or (800) 575-6298

18. Ronald McDonald House Charities African American Future Achievers (“RMHC”)

DEADLINE: October 1

Since its initial inception in 1985, RMHC has made an aggregate volume of awards in excess of $52,000,000 via its multi-fund scholarship program. RMHC’s scholarship program is administered via a nationwide network of United States Chapters that work in tandem with the RMHC global headquarters to provide economic assistance to scholars with a demonstrated need and a history of outstanding scholastic accomplishment, community service, and leadership.

Basic eligibility criteria include being less than 21 years of age; a high school senior in good academic standing; eligible for full-time enrollment at a U.S. accredited two or four-year post-secondary educational institution; a U.S. citizen; and a resident of a participating RMHC Chapter geographical region. Awards are renewable, conditioned upon the recipient’s continued enrollment at a qualifying higher educational institution.


Ronald McDonald House Charities African American Future Achievers
International Scholarship and Tuition Services, Inc. (ISTS)
Phone: (855) 670-4787
Email: – Subject Line: “RMHC”

19. The Agnes Jones Jackson Scholarship


The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (“NAACP”) established this memorial scholarship in honor of its late long-time San Francisco branch member by the same name. NAACP makes 20 to 40 annual awards of $2,000 via this educational assistance fund. To satisfy primary threshold eligibility requirements, applicants must be: 1) U.S. citizens; 2) younger than 25 years of age; 3) NAACP members in good standing; 4) demonstrate financial need based upon federal poverty guidelines; 5) currently or accepted for future enrollment in an accredited U.S. post-secondary educational institution. Graduate students must also have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher at time of application.


Agnes Jones Jackson Scholarship
Education Department
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
4805 Mount Hope Drive
Baltimore, MD 21215-3297 United States
Phone: (410) 580-5760

20. The Blanche Elizabeth Ford Endowed Memorial Scholarship Fund

DEADLINE: December 1

This memorial scholarship fund makes need-based annual awards in varying amounts that may be as high as $10,000 to full-time undergraduate students at a UNCF-affiliated higher educational institution. A minimum 2.5 GPA is the only other basic eligibility requirement. Two recommendation letters, an academic transcript, and an essay outlining personal history of community service involvement must accompany each online application.


Agnes Jones Jackson Scholarship
1805 7th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (800) 331-2244

21. The Hubertus W.V. Willems Scholarship for Male Students


This NAACP-sponsored scholarship fund makes 20 to 40 annual awards of $3,000 to full-time male undergraduate and full or part-time male graduate students at accredited U.S. post-secondary institutions. Undergraduate applicants must have a minimum 2.5 GPA, while graduate-level applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. All applicants must demonstrate financial need per pre-established program parameters.


The Hubertus W.V. Willems Scholarship for Male Students
NAACP National Headquarters
4805 Mt. Hope Drive
Baltimore MD 21215
Phone: (410) 580-5760

22. The Hyatt Hotels Fund For Minority Lodging Management Students


Hyatt established this educational assistance program in 1988 as a source of financial support for minority scholars majoring in Hotel Management. During the intervening quarter-century, nearly 300 recipients have obtained more than half a million dollars via this program. Other basic eligibility criteria include current or acceptance for future full-time enrollment and U.S. citizenship or permanent legal residency.


Hyatt Hotels Fund for Minority Lodging Management Students
American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation
1201 New York Avenue, NW, #600
Washington, DC 20005-3931
Phone: (202) 289-3100

23. The Jean Evelyn Freshman Scholarship

DEADLINE: Contact sponsoring organizataion

This scholarship fund disburses awards in the amount of $500 per semester to offset costs of books and other required study materials for full-time female African American students at Prairie View University in Prairie View, Texas. A minimum GPA of 3.0 is another threshold eligibility requirement.


Prairie View A&M University
Office of Student Financial Aid & Scholarships
Post Office Box 519; MS 1005
Prairie View, Texas 77446
Phone: (936) 261-1000

24. The Negro Spiritual Scholarship

DEADLINE: Contact sponsoring organization

In accordance its mission to help youth successfully transition from high school to college campuses, the Negro Spiritual Scholarship Foundation (“NSSF”) sponsors an annual Grady-Rayam Prize competition wherein college-bound students compete for tuition assistance grants.


Negro Spiritual Scholarship
1806 33rd. St.
Orlando, Florida 32839
Phone: (407) 841-6773

25. U.S. Bank Minority Scholarship


This scholarship fund makes five annual awards of $2,000 to undergraduate Business, Economics, or Finance majors at a qualifying post-secondary educational institution. High school seniors must be accepted and intend to enroll at an eligible two or four-year post-secondary educational institution no later than September of the same calendar year of initial application. Interested candidates must apply online and recipients selected randomly from among the total applicant pool.


U.S. Bank Minority Scholarship
U.S. Bank Scholarship Program
Website URL –

Observations and conclusions

Famous African American poet Langston Hughes once opened his popular prose entitled “Raisin in the Sun” with the quote, “What happens to a dream deferred?” For today’s prospective pupils of color, that question is completely moot – thanks to African American college scholarships. Thus, you have no valid excuse or rational reason to let your dreams remain on the back burner any longer. Stop entertaining destructive patterns of perpetual hesitation and endless procrastination. Instead, take affirmative action right now by turning stumbling blocks into stepping stones to higher education via free flowing scholarship funds.