Bold.org Scholarships Blog

Scholarships for Minorities - A Comprehensive List

As the student loan crisis in America grows, racial disparities in student debt have become increasingly apparent. Black students take out a disproportionate amount of student loans, with the average Black graduate owing over $25,000 more in student debt than the average white graduate.

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Why are scholarships for minority students so important?

Black students are also most likely to take out loans, with 84.3% of Black Bachelor’s Degree students taking out loans for the 2015-2016 year, followed by 83.0% of Alaska Native and American Indian/Native American students and 72.2% of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students.

There are also discrepancies between rates of default by race, with half of the Black students who graduated in 2003 defaulting on their student loan payments at some point by 2015 and 36.1% of Latino students defaulting. Comparatively, only 21.5% of white 2003 graduates defaulted within the same time frame.

Student loan disparities are made even worse due to the racial wage gap that disadvantages Black and Latinx workers. Part of the reason for this discrepancy is the underemployment of Black workers. Nearly 40% of Black degree holders work a job that doesn’t require a college degree, as compared to only 31% of white graduates.

Furthermore, there is a significant divide between the employment rates of Black and white workers. Since 1972, the Black unemployment rate has been more than twice the rate of white unemployment, except during the Great Recession. Among college-educated workers, the gap is smaller, though Black unemployment is still higher than white unemployment, at 3.5% as compared to 2.2%.

Three students laughing on their phones outside

The significant wage and employment gaps between Black and white employees make it even more difficult for Black borrowers to repay debt, 48% of Black students owing 12.5% more than they originally borrowed, four years after graduating. In comparison, after the same amount of time, 83% of white students have reduced their debt by 12%.

Due to the significant barriers that BIPOC students face and the disproportionate burden that student loans place on students of color compared to white students, we’ve compiled this list of 24 scholarships for underrepresented minority students, available exclusively on Bold.org, to encourage minority students to pursue opportunities in higher education.

Our Exclusive List of Minority Scholarships

  1. Bubba Wallace Live to Be Different Scholarship
  • Amount: $10,000
  • Eligibility: High school and undergraduate students committed to inclusivity
  • Next Deadline: May 31st, 2021
  • Winners Announced: June 15th, 2021
  • Description: Founded by NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace’s Live To Be Different Foundation, this minority scholarship encourages students to be more inclusive and to stand up for social justice. To apply, write a short essay about a time you faced adversity and how you overcame it.
  1. Jacques Borges Memorial Scholarship
  • Amount: $10,000
  • Eligibility: Any high school senior or undergraduate student of Haitian descent pursuing civil engineering
  • Next Deadline: October 15th, 2021
  • Winners Announced: November 15th, 2021
  • Description: In memory of Jacques Borges, this minority scholarship will be awarded to a student of Haitian descent who has big dreams and is pursuing a civil engineering degree. To apply, submit an essay about your passion for civil engineering, problems you want to solve through community service, and how you hope to address them.
  1. Brandon Zylstra Road Less Traveled Scholarship
  • Amount: $10,570
  • Eligibility: Any Black high school student
  • Next Deadline: August 1st, 2021
  • Winners Announced: August 31st, 2021
  • Description: To address inequality of opportunity and support students who lack the finances to pursue their dreams, this scholarship will award two Black students $5,285 each. You can apply by writing an essay about what you’re passionate about, how you plan to pursue a career related to this passion, and how you have overcome adversity.
  1. Spring “Future of STEM” Scholarship
  • Amount: $5,000
  • Eligibility: Any undergraduate minority student pursuing STEM
  • Next Deadline: June 2nd, 2021
  • Winners Announced: July 1st, 2021
  • Description: This scholarship aims to increase racial diversity in STEM by supporting minority students attending college to pursue a STEM degree. To apply, write a short essay about a commodity, design, or piece of technology you would like to create or pursue, a problem you want to address with it, and how you hope to achieve your goal.
  1. Black Entrepreneurs of Philadelphia Scholarship
  • Amount: $2,800
  • Eligibility: Any Black student who is an aspiring engineer in the Philadelphia area
  • Next Deadline: May 31st, 2021
  • Winners Announced: June 30th, 2021
  • Description: Due to the dismal amount of Black-founded start-ups that receive venture funding, this scholarship will be awarded to a current or future Black entrepreneur from any field of study. The winner will also receive a 1-year mentorship with Jordan Dipietro, the scholarship founder. You can apply by writing about your motivation for entrepreneurship, your goals, and the challenges you’re facing.
  1. Impact Scholarship for Black Students
  • Amount: $2,550
  • Eligibility: Any African American student
  • Next Deadline: May 11th, 2021
  • Winners Announced: June 11th, 2021
  • Description: Part of the Mechanism Ventures Impact Grants Series, this scholarship addresses the lack of equal opportunity for Black students. To apply, submit an essay about yourself, your goals for your life, and how you’re working towards achieving your dreams.
  1. Soo Joo Park Scholarship for Asian American Women
  • Amount: $2,000
  • Eligibility: Asian American women 16 years of age or older with immigrant backgrounds
  • Next Deadline: September 1st, 2021
  • Winners Announced: September 30th, 2021
  • Description: To raise awareness for discrimination towards Asian American immigrants, especially women, this scholarship will support an Asian American woman who has faced challenges in her life. You can apply by submitting a statement about your experience being an Asian American woman, the effects on your life, and what you have learned about yourself.
  1. Abran Arreola Latinx Scholarship
  • Amount: $2,000
  • Eligibility: Any Latinx high school or undergraduate student applying for or enrolled in a 2-4 year degree program
  • Next Deadline: June 30th, 2021
  • Winners Announced: July 31st, 2021
  • Description: Recognizing the lack of Latinx mentors in many fields, this scholarship will support two Latinx students pursuing higher education who are passionate about community. To apply, write about an important experience and how it has impacted your understanding of the world, your community, and yourself.
  1. Writing With a Purpose Scholarship
  • Amount: $1,605
  • Eligibility: All high school seniors or African American undergraduates pursuing journalism
  • Next Deadline: July 1st, 2021
  • Winners Announced: August 2nd, 2021
  • Description: To encourage Black students to break into the journalism field, one student will receive $1,000 and a runner-up will receive $500. You will have a better chance of winning if you’re first-generation, a journalism major, have a creative writing portfolio, or volunteer experience. You can apply by writing a short essay about a defining moment in your life.
  1. Homer L. Graham Memorial Scholarship
  • Amount: $1,500
  • Eligibility: Any Black male student planning to attend college at an HBCU in the fall 2021 semester
  • Next Deadline: July 15th, 2021
  • Winners Announced: August 15th, 2021
  • Description: In memory of Homer L. Graham, this scholarship will reward a Black male student who is hard-working and planning to attend an HBCU. To apply, write about your life story and hard work, or about a time when a lack of opportunity negatively affected you.
  1. Black Design Leaders Grant
  • Amount: $1,050
  • Eligibility: Any African American undergraduate or graduate school students
  • Next Deadline: May 11th, 2021
  • Winners Announced: June 11th, 2021
  • Description: To support diversity in start-ups, this grant will support current college students in the Black community who are pursuing a design career at a start-up. You can apply by writing about yourself, your career goals, and how you’re working towards achieving them.
  1. Black Marketing Leaders Grant
  • Amount: $1,000
  • Eligibility: All African American undergraduate or graduate students
  • Next Deadline: May 11th, 2021
  • Winners Announced: June 11th, 2021
  • Description: Part of the Mechanism Ventures grant series, this scholarship will support Black college students who are pursuing a marketing career at a start-up. You can apply by submitting a short essay about yourself and your career goals.
  1. Black Nurse Magic Scholarship
  • Amount: $1,000
  • Eligibility: All African American graduate students or undergraduate students pursuing nursing at Prairie View A&M University or an HBCU with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA
  • Next Deadline: May 29th, 2021
  • Winners Announced: June 5th, 2021
  • Description: In memory of Melinda Edwards-Jackson, this scholarship will support African American college students pursuing a nursing degree. You can apply by writing about a time when you made a significant achievement despite hardship, and what skills you used to overcome the obstacles.
Two female students studying outside on the lawn
  1. Black Engineering Leaders Grant
  • Amount: $1,000
  • Eligibility: Any African American undergraduate or graduate students
  • Next Deadline: May 11th, 2021
  • Winners Announced: June 11th, 2021
  • Description: This scholarship aims to increase diversity in start-up funding and will support Black college students pursuing an engineering career at a start-up. To apply, submit an essay about yourself and what you want to achieve throughout your career.
  1. African-American Journalism Scholarship
  • Amount: $1,000
  • Eligibility: Any Black student pursuing journalism
  • Next Deadline: May 11th, 2021
  • Winners Announced: June 11th, 2021
  • Description: Part of the Mechanism Ventures Impact Grants Series, this scholarship strives to create more diversity in the press and to support Black students pursuing a career in journalism. You can apply for this scholarship by writing an essay about what you want to achieve in journalism and how you’re working to reach these goals.
  1. Elevate Black Entrepreneurs Scholarship
  • Amount: $1,000
  • Eligibility: All Black undergraduate and graduate students who are working towards creating a new business
  • Next Deadline: July 1st, 2021
  • Winners Announced: July 31st, 2021
  • Description: To fight the underrepresentation of Black entrepreneurs who receive start-up funding, this scholarship will be awarded to a Black student who is currently starting a business or planning to start one in the future. To apply, submit an essay about your business idea and goals, as well as why you’re passionate about entrepreneurship and your business idea.
  1. Black Students in St. Louis Scholarship
  • Amount: $1,000
  • Eligibility: Any African American student in St. Louis
  • Next Deadline: June 11th, 2021
  • Winners Announced: July 11th, 2021
  • Description: Due to unequal access to education, this scholarship aims to reward a student with big dreams. You can apply to this scholarship by writing a short essay about yourself and your career goals.
  1. WayUp $1,000 Diversity & Inclusion Scholarship
  • Amount: $1,000
  • Eligibility: Any student committed to diversity and inclusion
  • Next Deadline: June 1st, 2021
  • Winners Announced: June 27th, 2021
  • Description: This scholarship aims to support students who are passionate about diversity and inclusion. You will have a better chance of winning if you show community service and engagement on your Bold.org profile.
  1. Philadelphia Black Entrepreneurs Grant
  • Amount: $1,000
  • Eligibility: Any African American entrepreneur from Philadelphia
  • Next Deadline: June 11th, 2021
  • Winners Announced: July 11th, 2021
  • Description: To support Black entrepreneurs, this scholarship will be awarded to a Black student from Philadelphia who plans to create a new business. You can apply by writing a short essay about yourself, what you want to achieve with your business, and how you’re pursuing your goals.
  1. Undiscovered Brilliance Scholarship for African-Americans
  • Amount: $1,000
  • Eligibility: Any Black student
  • Next Deadline: May 16th, 2021
  • Winners Announced: June 16th, 2021
  • Description: Due to the unequal distribution of opportunity that disadvantages Black people, this scholarship aims to support Black students with big dreams. To apply, submit a short essay about your story, your dreams, and what you’re doing to better your life and the lives of those around you.
  1. Asian American / Pacific Islander Scholarship
  • Amount: $750
  • Eligibility: All AAPI graduating high school seniors or undergraduates
  • Next Deadline: August 1st, 2021
  • Winners Announced: August 31st, 2021
  • Description: Despite recent increases in the number of AAPI students attending universities, many AAPI students are still underserved. To increase diversity in education, this scholarship is open to Asian American/Pacific Islander students to help fund their tuition.
  1. Hispanic Empowerment No-Essay Scholarship
  • Amount: $750
  • Eligibility: Any Hispanic high school senior or undergraduate student
  • Next Deadline: August 2nd, 2021
  • Winners Announced: August 31st, 2021
  • Description: Due to the financial disadvantages that many Latinx students face, this scholarship aims to increase diversity in academia and reduce the stress of tuition on Hispanic students so that all students have equal access to education.
  1. Minority Students and Criminal Justice Reform Scholarship
  • Amount: $730
  • Eligibility: Any Black high school senior or undergraduate student pursuing Criminal Justice or a related field with a 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Next Deadline: June 30th, 2021
  • Winners Announced: July 31st, 2021
  • Description: In honor of Musa Conteh and in recognition of the discrimination that African-Americans face, this minority scholarship will be awarded to a student working towards improving the lives of people of color by changing oppressive systems. You can apply by writing about how you think criminal justice reform should be addressed in the United States.
  1. Coding for Minorities Scholarship
  • Amount: $500
  • Eligibility: Any minority high school or undergraduate student pursuing coding or computer science
  • Next Deadline: July 1st, 2021
  • Winners Announced: July 31st, 2021
  • Description: This scholarship aims to provide minority students with the financial resources necessary to pursue their dreams of coding. You can increase your chances of winning by demonstrating your goals for your coding career on your Bold.org profile.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why should students apply for minority scholarships?

In order to close the gap in employment and wages, it is crucial that minority students have access to higher education. However, the significant student debt gap between white students and students of color makes it difficult for minority students to pursue their dreams.

As a result, Scholarships for minority students are critical in supporting students of color throughout their education so that all students have equal opportunity.

Additionally, white students win over 75% of grants and merit-based scholarships from their colleges while minority students are 40% less likely to win private scholarships than white students.

By only being open to minority students, these scholarships will have a lower amount of potential applicants than other scholarships, giving you a better chance of winning to help fund your college education. These small steps toward upward mobility are important for all minority group communities who suffer in the US.

Three people looking at a laptop

What types of scholarships for minorities are available?

There are many different types of college scholarships for minority students available on Bold.org. Some scholarships are open to all racial minorities, while others have stricter eligibility requirements, such as only being open to Black students. Additionally, there are minority scholarships that are offered exclusively to students in a certain field of study, such as the Spring “Future of STEM” Scholarship, which is open to minority students pursuing STEM.

There are also scholarships available for students enrolled in HBCUs, such as the Homer L. Graham Memorial Scholarship, as well as scholarships for students from certain cities. These scholarships are great opportunities for financial assistance since they have additional eligibility requirements which decrease the size of the applicant pool and increase your chances of winning.

Many minority scholarships require you to write a short essay in order to apply. However, there are also no-essay scholarships available, such as the Hispanic Empowerment No-Essay Scholarship, which you can easily apply for!

In addition to scholarships for racial minorities, there are also scholarships created for other underrepresented or disadvantaged groups, such as immigrants, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and women. You can go to Bold.org to find even more scholarship opportunities!

Who qualifies for minority scholarships?

Each scholarship listed above has a specific set of eligibility criteria, including your level of education, GPA, location, race, and fields of interest. The list above includes scholarships specifically for African-American students, Hispanic students, and Asian American/Pacific Islander students. The general eligibility requirements to apply for scholarships on Bold.org are that you must be in high school or a higher level of education, fourteen years or older, and enrolled in a US school.

When should I apply for minority scholarships?

High school is a great time to start scouting and applying for college scholarships and looking for other financial aid opportunities to fund your college education. Many scholarships are available for high school students or exclusively for seniors, but don’t worry if you haven’t started your search yet. There are plenty of scholarship opportunities for students enrolled in institutions of higher education for undergraduates and graduate students.

Don’t hesitate to send any additional questions you have to contact@bold.org!