Yes, there are available college grants for African American students in the United States. African American students who apply to study in colleges are usually confronted with challenges that relate to funds. As a matter of fact, the enrollment rates for postsecondary education experienced a significant drop between 2010 to 2015.

The report also showed that by 2015, enrollment for full-time studies in colleges all across the United States dropped by 6 percent.

This drastic decrease in the enrollment of students was a result of many factors and top on the list is the lack of funds. Normally, African-American students make up 14 percent of all enrolled college students, and some of them are able to achieve this through grants, especially grants that are specifically for African Americans.

Data released by the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education during the 2007-2008 academic year, shows that undergraduate students received over $60 billion in merit-based and need-based financial aid. Having said that, here are some of the available college grants for African American students.

Examples of grants available through universities and colleges are the Mordecai Wyatt Johnson Program and the Frederick Douglass Scholars Program. The Mordecai Wyatt Johnson Program is a scholarship grant presented by Howard University, popularly known as the “Black Man’s Harvard.” 

Named after the first African American president of the university. This scholarship grant provides full-time students upon recommendation by the office of the dean. Recipients of this grant must keep up a GPA of 3.5 above.

Sourcing for Scholarships for African American Students

To apply, recommended candidates must write a personal statement that includes their goals and aspirations in their university career, as well as after graduation.  Meanwhile, the Frederick Douglass Scholars Program is given to freshmen that have a GPA of at least 3.5.

These candidates should have the desire to finish doctoral studies at the same university and should pursue a career in teaching.  An annual stipend allowance of $15,000 is given to the Douglass Scholar, plus full tuition remission and a yearly $1,000 allowance for research.

Scholarship Eligibility and Coverage

Organizations with specific causes offer grants and scholarships for African American students pursuing specific majors that match their organizations’ thrusts. 

For example, organizations such as the March of Dimes and the National Black Nurses Association provide grants amounting from $500 to $2,000 for African American students who want to pursue a career in nursing and are enrolled in a four-year nursing course.

On the other hand, African American students who want to have a career in accounting can apply for grants given by AICPA or the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.  Both the financial capacity and academic potential of the applicant are considered.

African American students may also avail of a grant from the American Psychological Association if they plan to pursue a post-graduate degree in Psychology.

We have selected fully funded Scholarships for African Americans to be able to help with funding their education. The eligibility for each program is outlined in each of the scholarship listings that we have selected.

There are 2 Types of Scholarships and Grants

Need-based financial aid

Need-based financial aid is awarded strictly based on your financial need. An essential step in the application process for need-based aid is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Merit scholarships

Merit scholarships are typically awarded to students based on their academic, athletic or artistic ability. Merit scholarships are also awarded to students who are connected with a particular group or organization such as a church or civic group.

How to Apply

Please note that because many merit scholarships also require those applying for this grant to complete FAFSA, the organization recommend all applicants begin their application process by completing the important first step of filing a FAFSA.

Available College Grants for African American Students

  1. The AICPA Fellowship for Minority Doctoral Students

The AICPA Fellowship for Minority Doctoral Students is one of the leading grants issuing institutions for African American students that you should consider especially if you are looking to enroll for your doctoral studies.

The goal of this fellowship is to increase the number of minority CPAs who will serve as mentors and role models to young people in the academic environment. The AICPA Foundation awards annual fellowships of $12,000 to full-time minority accounting scholars who demonstrate the noteworthy potential to teach accounting.

Requirements
  • Earned a Master’s degree or completed at least 3 years of full-time experience in the accounting profession
  • Minority students of Black or African American; Hispanic or Latino; Native American or Alaska Native; Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander ethnicity
  • Attend school on a full-time basis and plan to remain enrolled full-time until attainment of a Ph.D. degree
  • Agree not to work full-time in a paid position or accept responsibility for teaching more than one course per semester as a teaching assistant, or dedicate more than one-quarter of your time as a research assistant
  • CPA or plan to pursue CPA licensure
  • S. citizen or permanent resident (green card holder)
How to Apply

The Doctoral Fellowship online application will be available on ThisWayToCPA.com on March 1st. Documents required to apply for this grant;

  • A completed online application
  • An official academic transcript from each institution from which you have received a degree
  • Confidential references from two students

Please note that May 30th is usually the deadline for this program. Applicants that have applied for the program will be notified of the selection committee’s determination by the end of July. For more application requirements, you can visit ThisWayToCPA.com

  1. The Ford Foundation

Another college grant that is available for African American students is from The Ford Foundation. These fellowships provide three years of support to students who are involved in graduate study leading to a Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) degree or a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).

Predoctoral fellowships are awarded in a national competition that is administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on behalf of the Ford Foundation.

This grant is awarded to students who, in the judgment of the review panels, have demonstrated superior academic achievement, are committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level in the United States, show promise of future achievement as scholars and teachers, and are well prepared to use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students.

Requirements:
  • Students with evidence of superior academic achievement (such as grade point average, class rank, honors, or other designations);
  • Students committed to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level in the U.S.;
  • Students enrolled in or planning to enroll in an eligible research-based (dissertation-required), program leading to a Ph.D. or Sc.D. degree at a non-proprietary (not for profit) U.S. institution of higher education no later than Fall 2023;
  • Students who as of the 2023 fall semester require a minimum of three years of their program to complete their Ph.D. or Sc.D. degree; and
  • Students who have not earned a doctoral degree at any time, in any field.
How to Apply
  • Fill out the online application form
  • Submit the required documents as listed on their website

Please note that applications for this program will be evaluated by panels of distinguished scholars selected by the National Academies.

The panels will use academic records, essays, letters of recommendation, the application itself, and other appropriate materials as the basis for determining the extent to which candidates meet the eligibility requirements and the positive factors for selection.

Review panels may also look at additional factors such as the suitability of the proposed institution for the applicant’s plan of graduate study and the likelihood that they will require a minimum of three years to complete their Ph.D. or Sc.D. as of the 2023 fall semester.

  1. APSA Diversity Fellowship Program (DFP)

The APSA Diversity Fellowship Program (formerly known as the APSA Minority Fellowship Program or MFP) is a fellowship competition for students from underrepresented backgrounds applying to or in the early stages of doctoral programs in political science.

The DFP was founded in 1969 as the Black Graduate Student Fellowship with the main aim of increasing the number of African American graduate students in political science. Right from inception, the APSA DFP has given out more than 600 fellows and also contributed to the successful completion of doctoral political science programs for over 100 students.

Every fall, the DFP awards between 12-14 funded fellowships in the amount of $5,000 over two years to students applying to doctoral programs in political science. Every spring, the DFP offers fellowships to graduate students in the pre-dissertation stage of their doctoral program. The Spring DFP is a one-time award of up to $2000, and this will depend on the availability of funding.

Requirements
  • You must be from underrepresented backgrounds (i.e., African American)
  • Pursuing a doctorate degree
  • Any other requirements as stated when the application for the next academic calendar is open.
How to Apply
  • Fill out the online application form
  • Submit the required documents as listed on their website
  1. The AIChE Minority Scholarship Award

The AIChE Minority Scholarship Award is presented to selected AIChE undergraduate students every year. Applicants shall be required to be undergraduates in chemical engineering during the current academic year and be members of a minority group that is under-represented in chemical engineering, i.e., African-American, Hispanic, Native American, Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander.

It is important to read and understand the Rules, Criteria, and Submission Requirements for the scholarship before submitting your application.

How to Apply
  • Fill out the online application form
  • Submit the required documents as listed on their website

Please note that it is also recommended that you review the application questions and required supporting documents in advance of submitting the application (prepare your answers on a separate sheet and have your supporting documents ready for upload).

Answers and supporting documents cannot be saved within the online application before submission. Unqualified applications or Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

  1. The Development Fund for Black Students in Science and Technology (DFBSST)

The Development Fund for Black Students in Science and Technology (DFBSST) is an endowment fund that offers scholarships to African-American undergraduate students who enroll in technical fields or scientific fields of study at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

DFBSST finds students through the assistance of professors, the Engineering and Science Department, and deans at pre-selected, predominantly Black colleges and universities. DFBSST requests the deans and faculty members to identify a specified number of students that they would like to be considered for scholarships and to pass on DFBSST scholarship application forms to these students.

The amount of scholarships awarded to each student is determined by the DFBSST Scholarship Committee. Scholarships are based on financial need and merit.

Scholarship awards are up to $3,000 per year. Support is renewed every year, for a maximum of four (4) years, as long as the students remain in good academic standing at the same institution, maintain at least a 3.0 in their major, enrolled in a full-time, undergraduate science or engineering curriculum, and submit a renewal application.

Requirements:

To be eligible for scholarships offered by DFBSST, all applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • African-American, an undergraduate student majoring (or intending to major) in a technical field of study (i.e., engineering, math, science, etc.),
  • Be enrolled (or identify his or her intention to enroll) at one of the predominantly Black colleges or universities, and
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
How to Apply:

You can obtain the application form can by contacting the science or engineering department at one of the schools listed on their website. DFBSST Scholarship does not distribute applications directly to students. All applications must be obtained through and pre-screened by the schools. There can be no exceptions.

  1. AALL Scholarship Program

AALL Scholarship Program is committed to providing opportunities for professional growth for African American and other minority students. Each year, the Association awards scholarships to assist students in meeting their educational goals in the field of legal information.

Scholarships are available to assist students studying to become law librarians as either library or law school students or to library school graduates seeking an advanced degree in a related field.

Candidates should apply for more than one scholarship when appropriate. Preference is given to AALL members, but scholarships are not restricted to members. Applicants with law library experience are also given preference, but it is not required. Evidence of financial need must be submitted.

Requirements:
  • Be enrolled in an ALA-accredited library graduate school program, or law school in the U.S.
  • Be a member of a recognized minority group (as defined by current U.S. guidelines).
  • Intend to pursue a career in law librarianship.
  • Complete the Strait Scholarship/Fellowship application, indicating their interest in either the scholarship or the Fellows program, or both.
How to Apply;
  • Fill out an online application
  • Submit all required documents in one pdf by the deadline (including letters of recommendation).
  1. The H.O.P.E. Scholarship

The H.O.P.E. Scholarship is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization designed to empower African American and other minority college students facing financial hardships with scholarships, particularly those attending historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

The organization was founded by two Howard University alumni committed to serving their communities. The H.O.P.E. Scholarship is raising money to reward deserving students with $1,000 scholarships through the assistance of students, alumni of the black college community, frequent fundraisers, and corporate sponsorships.

The mission of this organization is to make quality education affordable to deserving students. No student should be denied access to quality education simply because they lack the necessary funds.

Requirements:
  • Gain admission to study in college
  • Show proof that you cannot afford to pay your college tuition.
How to Apply
  • Fill out an online application
  • Submit every relevant document as stated on their website.
  1. The United Negro College Fund

The United Negro College Fund is yet another grant-issuing organization that African American students can benefit from. The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) has helped more than 500,000 students earn their college degrees since its founding.

The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) is the nation’s largest private scholarship provider to minority group members. Every year, they give out more than $100 million in scholarships to students attending more than 1,100 schools across the country, including their prestigious network of 37 HBCUs.

The United Negro College Fund also manages a variety of scholarship programs, such as the Fund II Foundation UNCF STEM Scholars Program, UNCF/Koch Scholars Program, K-12 Education Fellowship, and the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Scholarship Program.

Requirements

It is important to note that each scholarship or grant program has its own eligibility criteria and application requirements and they are usually released when the application is open to the public.

  1. The Sachs Foundation

The Sachs Foundation annually provides grants to approximately 200 Colorado students (majorly African Americans) in need of financial assistance to attend college. Applications are accepted from January 1 until March 1. The Sachs Foundation Board of Directors personally interviews the final candidate pool and makes official award decisions.

The average undergraduate grant is $4,000.00 per year and is renewable. The Foundation selects approximately 50 new applicants each year and while there is no minimum GPA requirement, all current grantees have at least a 3.4 GPA.

Requirements:
  • A minimum of 3.4 GPA
  • Resides in Colorado
  • Show proof that you cannot afford to pay your college tuition.
How to Apply
  • Fill out an online application
  • Submit every relevant document as stated on their website.
  1. The Gates Millennium Scholars Program

The Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program, funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was established in 1999 to provide outstanding African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American, and Hispanic American students with an opportunity to complete an undergraduate college education in any discipline.

Continuing Gates Millennium Scholars may request funding for a graduate degree program in one of the following discipline areas: computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health, or science. The GMS Program is more than just a scholarship.

GMS offers Gates Millennium Scholars Academic Empowerment (ACE) services to encourage academic excellence; mentoring services for academic and personal development; and an online resource center that provides internship, fellowship, and scholarship information.

Requirements:
  • Gain admission to study in college
  • Show proof of academic excellence
  • Show proof that you cannot afford to pay your college tuition.
How to Apply
  • Fill out an online application
  • Submit every relevant document.

11. Black Men Building Resources Scholarship

This scholarship program was established to provide funding options to African Americans, and also to support African American students from Kent County in their pursuit of higher education and future career choices.

12. AIChE Minority Scholarship Awards for Incoming College Freshmen

The AIChE Minority program helps provide educational assistance for chemical engineering college freshmen. This scholarship program creates opportunities for African Americans and those who are looking to start their college journey.

13. African American Network Scholarship Fund

The African American Network Scholarship Fund provides scholarships for college-bound students from North and South Carolina who are pursuing a major in engineering, math, science, computer science, accounting, finance, or business administration.

14. APSA Minority Fellowship Program

The APSA Minority Fellowship Program caters to African American Students in applying to enter a doctoral program in political science. This program provides some financial incentives for students who are interested in pursuing a career in political science.

15. International Association of Black Actuaries Scholarships

The International Association of Black Actuaries Scholarships was created to provide scholarships among undergraduates or graduate level for qualified black students who are interested in pursuing actuarial careers. This program also has some other supporting programs such as mentorship for those directly and indirectly involved.

Conclusion

Scholarships for African Americans have always come with its many challenges. However, knowing where to go or what or where to get them. The programs listed here can offer you much more. Finding a way around all of the different scholarship established for African Americans should be your first step to making all the required known.

Here’s what you should leave out — not applying! You should apply the very moment you find these scholarships. Learning how to apply for valid concerns and those who may have been able to reach out to others who may be looking forward to finding scholarships to help fund their programs.