Scholarships for Minorities: Breaking Barriers

Posted - September 23, 2023

Scholarships for Minorities: Breaking Barriers

Imagine a student who dreams of going to college to pursue their educational goals. However, money becomes a huge challenge standing in their way. Fortunately, scholarships come to the rescue, offering a lifeline to deserving students like them. Especially important are scholarships targeted towards minority communities. They help create a more diverse and inclusive educational landscape, ensuring that everyone has an equal chance to succeed.

In this blog, we'll explore the concept of minority scholarships and their significance. We will provide a comprehensive list of 12 real-life scholarships, each with a brief description, dollar amount, eligibility criteria, application deadlines, and links.

What is a Minority Scholarship?

Minority scholarships support students from historically marginalized or underrepresented groups in college or society. These scholarships aim to make college more accessible to those students who might lack the money to do so.

Underrepresented groups for minority scholarships can include racial and ethnic minorities (such as African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans), individuals with disabilities, and women. Women are considered an underrepresented group (although they make up slightly more than 50% of the US population) due to historical disparities in access to leadership roles and equal pay, among other things.  

Why Are Minority Scholarships Important?

1. Promoting Diversity

Minority scholarships encourage students from diverse backgrounds to pursue higher education, enhancing academic institutions' cultural and intellectual diversity.

2. Reducing Financial Barriers

Many minority students face economic challenges that make college or university education seem unattainable. Scholarships alleviate this burden by providing financial assistance.

>>RELATED: Understanding Merit Scholarships - Your Guide to Financial Aid Success

3. Empowering Communities

When individuals from minority communities receive education and training, they often become leaders, advocates, and change-makers who contribute to the betterment of their communities.

4. Addressing Disparities

Minority scholarships acknowledge and address historical disparities in access to college, striving to create a more equitable society.

Now, let's explore 12 real-life minority scholarships, grouped into categories where applicable, to help you access these valuable opportunities.

Scholarships for African American Students

1. United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Scholarships

UNCF offers numerous scholarships for African American students pursuing higher education. These scholarships support students across different academic disciplines and help them pursue their desired career paths.

 Amount: Varies

 Eligibility: African American students

 Deadline: Varies

 For more info:

2. Ron Brown Scholar Program

The Ron Brown Scholar program is a college scholarship and leadership program for talented African American students passionate about community and public service. The program aims to fast-track their journey towards influential leadership positions.

Amount: $40,000

 Eligibility: African American students

 Deadline: Varies

 For more info:

>>RELATED: How to Write & Edit Your Scholarship Essay

Scholarships for Hispanic and Latino Students

3. Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) Scholarships

HSF offers scholarships to Hispanic and Latino students pursuing higher education, with a focus on academic excellence and leadership. HSF Scholars have access to support services like career services, mentorship, leadership training, and specialized Scholar Conferences in STEM, finance, media & entertainment, entrepreneurship, and healthcare.

Amount: Varies

Eligibility: Hispanic and Latino students

Deadline: Varies

For more info:

4. Hispanic Scholarship Consortium – Scholars Program

The Hispanic Scholarship Consortium has a program called HSC Scholars that is looking for motivated student leaders with ambitious goals. This program helps students with scholarships, mentors, and leadership training. It is open to high school seniors, college students, and graduate students.

Amount: Varies (renewable)

Eligibility: Open to Hispanic and Latino high school seniors, undergraduates, and graduate students; GPA of 2.5 or higher

Deadline: Check website

For more info:

Scholarships for Native American Students

5. American Indian College Fund Scholarships

The American Indian College Fund offers scholarships to support American Indians and Alaska Native students in pursuing higher education at tribal colleges and universities.

Amount: Varies

Eligibility: Native American students attending tribal colleges or universities

Deadline: Varies

For more info:

6. American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) Scholarships

AISES provides over 15 different scholarship programs for Native American students pursuing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields. Scholars can gain work experience through internships and programs focused on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Amount: Varies

Eligibility: Native American students interested in STEM

Deadline: April 30

For more info:

Scholarships for Asian American and Pacific Islander Students

7. Asian & Pacific Islander American (APIA) Scholars

The APIA Scholarship is a large program for undergraduate Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander students attending any US accredited university or college. It prioritizes students from low-income backgrounds, first-generation college students, and underrepresented ethnicities, and values community service and leadership.

Amount: $2,500 to $20,000 (multi-year awards)

Eligibility: Asian American and Pacific Islander students

Deadline: Varies

For more info:

8. Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) Scholarships

JACL provides scholarships for Japanese American students committed to education and community involvement. Several scholarship programs are available to college freshmen, undergraduates, graduate students and law students.

Amount: Varies

Eligibility: Japanese American students

Deadline: March 2023

 For more info:

>>RELATED: 5 Great Scholarships for High School Seniors

Scholarships for Women

9. Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation Scholarships

This foundation offers scholarships to support low-income women with children in pursuing higher education or vocational training.

Amount: Up to $5,000

Eligibility: Low-income women with children

Deadline: August 1st

For more info:

10. American Association of University Women (AAUW) Scholarships

AAUW provides scholarships to empower women in various fields of study, helping them break barriers and achieve their educational goals.

Amount: Varies ($2,000 - $50,000)

Eligibility: Women pursuing higher education

Deadline: November 15

For more info:

Scholarships for Disabled Students

11. The 180 Medical Scholarship Program

This program awards scholarships to students with spinal cord injuries, spina bifida, transverse myelitis, or neurogenic bladder.

 Amount: $1,000

Eligibility: Students with eligible medical conditions

Deadline: June 1st

For more info:

12. American Council of the Blind

The American Council of the Blind (ACB) Scholarship Program provides scholarships to incoming freshmen, undergraduate and graduate students, and those attending technical college. These scholarships made possible through a partnership between ACB and various organizations and individuals.

Amount: $2,000 to $7,500

Eligibility: Blind students; 3.0 GPA

Deadline: February (check website)

For more info:


Scholarships for minorities are a means to ease the financial burden of higher education and a powerful tool for promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within colleges and universities. These scholarships recognize the unique challenges that minority students face and aim to level the playing field, ensuring that everyone has an equal opportunity to pursue their educational dreams.

The 12 scholarships in this blog cover various backgrounds, interests, and career aspirations, offering something for almost every minority student. Take the time to explore these opportunities, meet the eligibility criteria, and apply for scholarships that align with your educational goals.

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