When it comes to getting a college education, one of the biggest hurdles is cost. Scholarships and grants from nonprofits, professional associations, schools, and other sources play a critical role in making higher education more accessible and ensuring all students have the opportunity to achieve their higher education and career goals. This guide provides a list of scholarship award programs for the Black community, gives tips on how to make your scholarship application shine, and offers additional resources that provide support to African-American students from enrollment through graduation and beyond.
Scholarships for African-American Students
Any financial aid you can get for college is great, but scholarships and grants are the most highly prized since you won’t have to pay them back. You might be surprised how many scholarships you’re eligible for. The following list of scholarships for African-American students (including a handful dedicated to those looking to get into the healthcare field) is a smart place to begin researching all of your college funding opportunities.
Medical and Health Scholarships
5 Keys to Landing Your Scholarship
When it comes to scholarships, the key word to remember is “competition.” Everybody wants that money, and each scholarship offer will wind up with a big stack of applications. That’s why it’s so important to make sure yours stands out. One very simple way to do that is to simply ensure you’ve filled out every blank and included every bit of information the committee needs. Since there are so many applicants, many scholarship committees won’t bother with one who hasn’t filled out the application. So, make sure you’ve covered all the bases! Also, consider the following tips to make your application shine.
- Key #1: Take advantage of volunteer opportunities.
Beef up that application with a long list of volunteer experience. This shows that you are a go-getter who is willing to work toward your goals, even if you aren’t getting paid while doing so. Volunteering also shows that you really want to help others.
- Key #2: Get good letters of recommendation.
What others have to say about you holds great weight. It details your character, abilities, talents, and essential points of what makes you who you are. Look to mentors, teachers, and community leaders who know you well to pen these all-important letters.
- Key #3: Use your essay to impress.
Most applications are rather dry – they are filled with contact information, test scores, transcripts, and the like. The essay is where you can really explain who you are and the unique talents you can bring to the world of healthcare.
- Key #4: Always get it in well before the deadline.
Never wait until the last minute. Make sure all application materials are in before the deadline. The earlier the better; some scholarship committees will look at applicants on a first-come, first-serve basis.
- Key #5: Apply locally.
Though the big national scholarships award a great deal of money, smaller scholarships add up fast. Look to scholarships from local organizations that want to help those who are in their immediate area.
College Resources for African-American Students
Before, during, and after college, students should take advantage of every outside resource possible. The resources listed below can help African-American students connect with others in their field, find mentors, work with individuals who can help them climb the ladder, and prepare them for the rigorous education that awaits.