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12 Scholarships for African-American High School Seniors

The cost of college can be intimidating for anyone, especially with tuition rates soaring. It’s no secret that financial aid is a significant hurdle that most prospective students need to overcome when considering where to continue their education. Fortunately, there are several ways that students can fund their education and reduce the burden of these costs. Scholarships for African-Americans can help ease some of the financial burdens while also allowing you to stand out among other applicants. Several programs are available specifically for those who identify as African-American, whether you identify with your heritage or have known roots that fall in this category. Listed below are a few tips to help find scholarships for African-American students:


Know When and Where to Look for Scholarships

You should start looking for scholarships as early as your freshman year of high school. For many scholarship applications, all you need is your name, so you may as well start looking as soon as possible. Most scholarship organizations begin accepting applications in each year’s fall and spring semesters.  Some organizations, however, start accepting applications as early as January each year. Furthermore, organizations such as the National Scholarship Society offer great opportunities and have great benefits. Gold, platinum, and silver members of the National Scholarship Society will have access to an online scholarship calendar, which outlines essential dates and deadlines when new scholarships will be added to the site. Knowing when to look for scholarships is important because you’ll have more opportunities to win if you apply for as many scholarships as possible.


Be A Student of Excellence 

African-American students often face a misconception concerning education and their willingness to do the “sweat equity” or the “sweat work.”  Negative stereotypes can make it difficult for African American students to find scholarships, especially since many scholarship applications have a specific requirement. Some scholarship committees may have a certain expectation of what a successful student should look like or do. So, it is crucial to complete each application with excellence and meet every criterion that the scholarship requires. 


Show That You Are Unique or Have A Unique Talent 

Many scholarship applications require students to submit their creative work. You can submit your work if you can paint, draw, or otherwise create artwork. If you are a musician, you can submit a recording of your song. If you are gifted in another way, you can use your talent to win scholarships. If you are an African-American student, you may have difficulty finding scholarship opportunities that allow you to submit your creative work. However, African American students can overcome these challenges by showing that their artwork or other creative work is truly unique.


Leverage The Events in Your Life. Tell Your Story and The Many Challenges You Had to Overcome

Many African American students have had to overcome difficult situations, such as poverty, discrimination, the death of a loved one, abandonment from a parent, or illness. Being vulnerable and leveraging these experiences can help you win scholarships, especially if you have found a way to use them to your advantage. Many scholarship organizations and universities are specifically looking for students who have had difficult experiences and found a way to use them positively. If you have had a difficult situation in your life that you’ve been able to overcome, leverage it and spread hope while at the same time using it to help you win scholarships.

iStock photo by Pro-Stock Photo

These tips will help you find scholarships specifically for African Americans and increase your chances of winning one. If you follow these tips, you’ll be better prepared to find scholarships and get the funding you need for college.


12 Scholarships for African – American Students with deadlines between January and May 2023:

  1. Jackie Robinson: https://jackierobinson.org/scholarship/ 
  2. The Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Scholarship Program: https://scholarships.uncf.org/Program/Details/54bfcb88-bfa5-4d7e-910a-93329aaa5bd9?_ga=2.66953454.1722073592.1643384661-96086065.1643384661
  3. Ron Brown Scholarship: https://ronbrown.org/apply/ron-brown-scholarship/
  4. The Phyllis G Meekins Scholarship: https://apply-lpga.smapply.io/prog/the_phyllis_g_meekins_scholarship/
  5. Fontana Transport Inc Scholarship: https://www.fontanatransportincscholarsprogram.com/
  6. Generational Google Scholarship: https://buildyourfuture.withgoogle.com/scholarships/generation-google-scholarship
  7. Black at Microsoft Scholarships: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/diversity/programs/bam-scholarship.aspx 
  8. Jack and Jill Scholarship: https://jackandjillfoundation.org/scholarships/
  9. Development Fund for Black Students in Science and Technology: https://www.dfbsstscholarship.org/dfb_sch.html
  10. AMS Scholarship for Underserved Communities: https://www.ametsoc.org/index.cfm/ams/information-for/students/ams-scholarships-and-fellowships/ams-scholarship-for-underserved-communities-formerly-minority-scholarship/
  11. Edward A. Bouchet Award: https://www.aps.org/programs/honors/prizes/bouchet.cfm
  12. Congressional Black Caucus Foundations: https://cbcfinc.academicworks.com

Do you know of more scholarships for African-American high schoolers? Leave them in the comments below.

For more inspirational and informative news by Leticia Starks-Underwood, click here.


Article Written by: Leticia Starks-Underwood| Leticia Starks-Underwood is an educator, mentor, student, and author.  She holds a B.A. in Biblical Literature from Taylor University Upland, a Master’s and Doctorate in Christian Education from Cornerstone Bible College, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She currently is an educator at Cornerstone Christian College Prep Day and High School International in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She is the Founder, and CEO of You Can Make It Books, LLC. She has published several books, including The You Can Make Series and The J & J Royal Kids Collections. She also serves as an international contributing writer for BlackNews.UK. You can follow her on Instagram @therealleticiastarksunderwood.


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