Grants for Black Women
College grants for black women are available from a variety of institutions, agencies, programs, and foundations to assist black women in their pursuit of higher educations.
These grants are designed to assist and encourage black women to obtain degrees in programs where they are often underrepresented or in fields that are non-traditional for women and especially black women.
This article highlights many of the college grants that are available for black women.
Foundation and Organization Grants – These are grants and scholarships provided by foundations for black women to attend college that have requirements that range from general criteria to attend any college and any program to specific criteria that may specify a particular course of study or institution of higher learning.
The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) is one of the oldest and well-known organizations that provide grants and scholarships available to black women.
The UNCF offers general scholarships that can be applied for on the fund’s website. There are other grants and scholarships available through UNCF that are geared toward African-American students for which black women may apply.
They are administered through UNCF and are available on the website at www.uncf.org. These organizations include Liberty Mutual, Gap, Marriott, Google, Toyota, Intel, Citibank, and many other corporate entities and groups.
The National Black Nurses Associations (NBNA) awards grants, scholarships, and fellowships to black women interested in the field of nursing. The association has numerous scholarships available. Black women currently enrolled in a four-year nursing program can apply for the annual scholarships at the association’s website at: www.nbna.org.
The National Physical Science Consortium provides scholarships available to black women who are interested in pursuing a doctoral degree in the physical sciences. The physical sciences have traditionally been a field that is underrepresented by black women and these scholarships are designed to help encourage women and minorities to pursue doctoral degrees. Applicants can apply for the scholarships on the consortium’s website at: www.npsc.org.
The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is an organization that provides scholarships to students interested in pursuing a career in journalism. While the scholarships are open to anyone, black women can apply for the scholarships that range up to $25,000. Interested applicants can apply on NABJ’s website at www.nabj.org.
The Julianne Malveaux Scholarship is geared specifically towards black women who are college sophomores or juniors majoring in journalism, economics, public policy, or other related fields at an accredited college or university. More information can be found at: www.nanbpwc.org.
The Ethel Lee Hoover Ellis Scholarship is targeted towards black women from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, or West Virginia. The applicant must also pursue a business program of study at an accredited college or university. More information can be found at: www.nanbpwc.org.
The National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs (NANBPWC) offers their National Scholarship to an African American graduating high school senior with a 3.0 GPA (out of 4.0). The applicant must complete an essay. More information is available at: www.nanbpwc.org.
Black Women in Sisterhood for Action (BISA) is a group organized to provide educational assistance and support to young black women. It provides scholarships for black women residing in the inner city based on economic disadvantages and disenfranchisement. Information and the scholarship application can be found online via their website.
The National Press Club is another organization that offers journalism scholarships available to black women through its Ellen Masin Persina Scholarship for Minorities in Journalism. The scholarship is designed to help educate future minority journalists who will help add diversity to newsrooms. Interested black women should apply for the scholarships online.
National Science Foundation (NSF) offers scholarships for black women through its Women in Engineering and Computer and Information Science Awards program. Designed to encourage women to pursue degrees in engineering, computers, and information science programs of study, the scholarships can be applied for at: www.nsf.gov.
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) provides scholarship opportunities for black women through its Scholarship for Minority Accounting Students. Awardees can receive annual scholarships ranging from $1500 to $3000. Black women should apply for the scholarship at: www.aicpa.org.
The National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) supports black women aspiring to become accountants through its National Scholarship Program. Black women can apply for the scholarship at: www.nabainc.org.
Thurgood Marshall College Fund provides scholarships to students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). Black women can apply for these merit-based scholarships at the fund’s website at: www.thurgoodmarshallfund.net.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is one of the foremost organizations promoting justice and civil rights for blacks. They also offer a number of grants and scholarships available to black women. Among their grants and scholarships are the Department of Energy Scholarship, Earl Graves Scholarship, Roy Wilkins Scholarship, and others. These scholarships address applicants based on need, merit, and program of study. Applicants can apply online at: www.naacp.org.
ABA Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund is a scholarship fund that provides scholarships and grants available to black women to attend law school. Sponsored by the American Bar Association, applicants can apply on the association’s website at: www.abanet.org.
The Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) is a national organization founded in the memory of the Jackie Robinson. It provides scholarships and support services that are available to black women. Applicants are personally interviewed and funds are awarded based on academics, leadership potential, and financial need. Black women can apply at the foundations website at: www.jackierobinson.org.
Raise the Nation is a foundation devoted to providing educational support to women who are single parents. Black women who meet the parent criteria can receive grants directly from the college or university that they choose to attend. To apply for the grants, they can go the foundation’s website at: www.raisethenation.org.
The Women’s Independence Scholarship Program (WISP) is an organization designed to provide education scholarships for women who have left abusive domestic violence situations. These scholarships are meant to help women achieve economic independence for themselves and their children through furthering their education. Applicants who meet the criteria outlined on the website can apply at: www.wispinc.org.
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) provides grants, scholarships, and fellowships for women pursuing higher education. The AAUW also has grants which are directed specifically towards black women and are in fields which black women are typically underrepresented such as Law, Medicine, and Business Administration. Black women interested in these grants can apply at the organization’s website at: www.aauw.org.
The National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) provides grants, scholarships, and fellowships to minority students pursuing degrees in engineering. Some of the grants and scholarships that NACME award are based on merit, need, community involvement, and leadership skills. Interested black women can apply at: www.nacme.org.
The National Society of Black Engineers is a student-managed organization that seeks to increase the number of blacks in the engineering profession. The group offers scholarships for which black women are eligible to apply. The application and criteria can be found on the website at: www.nsbe.org.
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) is another organization that provides scholarships that are geared toward woman pursuing engineering degrees at accredited colleges and universities. Black women are eligible to apply for these scholarships at the website at: www.swe.org.
The American Architectural Foundation has scholarships available to black women through their Minority/Disadvantaged Scholarships program. The scholarships are for high school seniors and college freshmen pursuing an architecture degree in an accredited architecture program. Applicants can apply at: www.archfoundation.org.
The Congressional Black Caucus Spouses have several scholarship funds that were established by the spouses of the Congressional Black Caucus members to award scholarships to talented students pursuing full-time undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral degrees. Many of these scholarships are geared to particular programs of study such as performing arts, visual arts, engineering, medicine, and other specific areas. Black women interested in applying should contact the local office of their Congressional Black Caucus member according to information on the group’s website.
National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts offers awards and scholarships to students pursuing the creative arts through their Young Arts Program.
Information regarding these various scholarships and awards can be found on their website at: www.youngarts.org.
The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), an agency of the Department of Energy, offers a fellowship program available to black women called the HBCU STEM Fellowship Program.
It is provides fellowships and stipends to graduates of historically black colleges and universities wishing to pursue Master’s level programs in science, technology, mathematics and engineering. Information on how to apply for the program can be obtained via their website..
Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund offers scholarships for women, 35 years and older, who are pursuing a vocational, technical, associate, or bachelor’s degree. These scholarships, for which black women can apply, require the applicant to come from a low-income situation and enroll in an ACICS accredited school. Information and income guidelines can be found on the fund’s website at: www.rankinfoundation.org/students.
The HP Scholars program administered by the Hewlett Packard Company provides scholarships for minority students interested in computer science, computer engineering, or electrical engineering. These scholarships are for those interesting in attending the HP Scholar partnership university which includes UCLA, San Jose State, Morgan State, University of Washington, or North Carolina A & T. The application can be found at: Hp.Com.
The American Chemical Society’s ACS Scholars Program is geared toward providing scholarships to underrepresented minority students who want to pursue the fields of chemistry or chemistry-related fields. Scholarships are granted based on academic standing, financial need, community and school involvement, and leadership potential. Black women can apply for these scholarships by visiting the website at: www.acs.org.
Gates Millennium Scholars provides scholarships for minority students based on academic merits, leadership, and community involvement. Black women who wish to apply for a scholarship through the Gates Millennium Scholars program can do so by accessing the website at: www.gmsp.org.
These are grants provided by specific colleges that offer grants and scholarships for black women to attend that particular college. These are the women’s colleges that have scholarships targeted to black women. Many other coeducational colleges and universities may also have specific scholarships designated for black women. The applicant should contact the college of interest to determine what scholarships for which they may meet the eligibility requirements.
Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia offers scholarships and grants that are based on merit, need, or program of study. This women’s college is a historically black college that has traditional served the needs of African-American women. Interested black women can apply directly to the college via its website at www.spelman.edu for grants and scholarships that are available for their program of study or need.
Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts is a women’s college that offers grants and scholarships that are available to black women. Most of its grants are offered based on need and to ensure that women have opportunity to pursue degrees in non-traditional fields. Its Davis Degree Program specifically focuses on the non-traditional female student that comes from diverse backgrounds and for adult students beyond the traditional college age. Students can apply to the college for the Davis grant and others available at the institution via its website at: Wellesley.Edu
Bennett College is a women’s college located in Greensboro, North Carolina. With a long tradition of educating black women, this historically black college offers scholarships to black women who wish to attend Bennett College. Interested black women can apply online at the college’s website, www.bennett.edu.
These are grants and scholarships that are available through the federal, state, and local government entities that black women can apply for to use for a college education. Below are several federal grants that are available. Applicants should contact the specific state or local government’s website that they live in or wish to attend school in to determine what grants or scholarships may be available from those entities.
Federal Pell Grants
Federal Pell Grants are available from the federal government for black women who come from low-income households. Grants can be applied for by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form and applicants will automatically considered for the grant based on financial need.
Supplemental Educational Opportunity
Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants are additional funds also available to those who qualify for Pell Grants.
The Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) is geared toward recipients who qualify for Pell Grants and have completed a rigorous secondary school program of study such as the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program. Black women can apply for these grants at: www.studentaid.ed.gov.
Teacher Education Assistance
Another federal grant is the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program. The TEACH Grant Program is focused on those who intend to teach in schools that serve students from low-income families. These grants which are available to black women can range up to $4,000 per year. Information to apply for the grants can be found at: www.studentaid.ed.gov.
The different branches of the armed forces offers ROTC scholarships that black women may want to consider. These scholarships vary in the amount of tuition and other items they may cover and the commitment to serve in the military. Interested applicants should consult their local ROTC agency representative or visit the following websites depending on the branch of interest: www.goarmy.com/rotc, www.afrotc.com, www.nrotc.navy.mil, or www.military.com for more detailed information and how to apply.
Sorority Grants and Scholarships
Many of the African-American sororities offer scholarships and grants to black women who are enrolling and attending college. The amount of the grants and scholarships and the criteria for obtaining them will vary by sorority and often by the local chapter. Interested black women can contact the local chapter in their area to determine how to obtain these scholarships. A list of the national organizations is shown below to provide contact information for the local chapters.
The Alpha Kappa Alpha Educational Advancement Foundation (EAF) provides scholarships, fellowships, and community assistance awards designed to help supplement educational funding. Black women can apply for the grants and scholarships at: www.akaeaf.org.
The Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority National Education Fund provides scholarships to assist needy students who are pursuing a college education. Black women can apply for the scholarships at the sorority’s website at: www.sgrho1922.org
The Zeta Phi Beta Sorority National Educational Foundation, Inc. offers scholarships and fellowship grants to black women pursuing degrees in higher education. These scholarships and grants are based on need and merit and can be applied for at the fund’s website at: www.zpbnef1975.org.
Following is a list of the websites for the sorority’s national organizations and the listing for the local chapters can be found within the websites.
- Alpha Kappa Alpha – www.aka1908.com
- Delta Sigma Theta – www.deltasigmatheta.org
- Sigma Gamma Rho – www.sgrho1922.org
- Zeta Phi Beta – www.zphib1920.org
- Iota Phi Lambda – www.iota1929.org