Minority Scholarship Searches
Minority scholarships are some of the best scholarship offers around. There are numerous programs exclusively for minorities, and many regular scholarship programs give special consideration to minority groups. Always state your minority status on scholarship applications, as this may increase your chances of winning an award. Furthermore, many schools give minorities better aid packages in order to encourage enrollment. This can mean getting more grants that do not have to be paid back, rather than loans.
Despite the fact the some states have ordered schools to stop using race as a factor in determining eligibility for scholarships, many colleges have found ways around this, by considering life experiences and giving credit for challenges you may have overcome, instead of strictly relying on grades and test scores. Additionally, private foundations and corporate sponsors of scholarships are under no such restraints.
One of the great advantages to minority scholarships is that the field of applicants is limited to your particular group, and therefore your chances of winning are increased. Certain fields of study in which minorities are under represented, often have many more award opportunities than average. So, think of as many areas of study as possible that relate to your major. For example, if you can connect it to a scientific/technical field, you will greatly increase your eligibility.
Of course, the large scholarship databases will list many of these opportunities. For an excellent place to start your search, try Fastweb.com It is perhaps the most comprehensive listing of scholarships available. You can register for free and use their scholarship search engine as much as you want. However, you cannot rely strictly on the search sites, as many lesser known awards are not listed here. Also, you must supplement your Internet search by contacting local organizations about college aid.
Which minorities qualify for this type of aid? Well, African American scholarships and Hispanic scholarships are very common, but other minority groups will find many opportunities as well. Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Native American groups also have many programs devoted to them. In fact, just about every ethnicity has some sort of scholarship program devoted to it. Just because you are not a member of a group that is under-represented on college campuses, does not mean that you can not take advantage of such a program. Keep in mind that most awards--tribal scholarships in particular--will require verification of your heritage, so don't waste time applying unless you can prove your ethnicity.
Here are a few useful sites for minorities:
http://www.uncf.org One of the oldest and largest scholarship funds for African Americans
http://www.naacp.org/pages/naacp-scholarships This link has application information as well as a mailing list for updates on scholarship opportunities
http://hsf.net The Hispanic Scholarship Fund provides scholarships and support services to Latinos. The HSF has awarded thousands of scholarships since its inception in 1975. This site is a must for Latino students.
http://www.apiasf.org/scholarships.html Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund is a well-funded scholarship resource. It manages it own funds and as well and grants from the Gates Millennium Scholars program.
Please note that this is only a preview of useful sites on the Internet. For a more complete listing of minority scholarships and grants, please consider purchasing our downloadable Scholarship Search Guide. It will save you days of browsing the Web, and is the best way to maximize your scholarship opportunities. To continue using the free preview of our guide, click the link below or return to the home page for the guide index.
Go to Page 4: Scholarship searches by major or career