Minority groups have been historically underrepresented in almost every facet of western culture, education especially so. And while there is a rise in the numbers of minority groups entering into college, these numbers need to rise even further. There are many scholarships available for minorities, which helps this number rise.
In fact, many people ask why there are so many scholarships available for minorities?
The reason for the seemingly high amount of scholarships for minorities is the simple fact that these groups have many social and financial barriers etched in history. These barriers have been causing a lack of education and a poverty cycle that needs to break. Of course, other factors limit the educational success of a minority group. However, historical underrepresentation and financial burden seem to be the ball and chain that holds most people back.
The best way to unshackle yourself from financial strain is by getting a proper education and breaking the cycle.
Scholarships are the key!
There are more scholarship options out there than you might think. Many organizations exist to free minority students from the historical burden and propel them into the future. Let’s delve into a bit of background first.
What is a minority group?
A minority is any social group that’s experienced relative disadvantage compared to a dominant social group.
The different types of minority groups:
If you fall under these categories, you need to know two things:
- Where to find great scholarships (Hint: they’re in this article!)
- How to effectively apply for them.
Application Tips for Minority Scholarships:
Here are some great hacks for acing your scholarship applications.
Find applicable scholarships
- Try to find scholarships that suit as many of your criteria as possible, e.g., a scholarship for Hispanic women in STEM
- Note all the deadlines for these and create an application schedule
Gather all relevant information
1. Having your FAFSA and reference letters ready early will save a heap of stress later on.
2. Research previous award winners as a way to prepare yourself for what the scholarship is looking for.
3. Make a list of:
- Your academic, social, and community achievements
- Any obstacles you have overcome
- Any barriers that are holding you back
- Your culture, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and identity
- Responsibilities you have that cause financial or social strain
- Your FAFSA rating
- Your future goals
- Prepare your essay and your interview answers
4. Have a strong essay that you can adjust for each application.
5. Reflect on yourself and brainstorm answers to commonly asked questions in scholarship interviews.
Very Important Tip: Submit applications early and make copies of each application.
Are you looking for more tips?
Read the article: Scholarships and grants for non-traditional students for the low-down on FAFSA, essay writing, and interview techniques.
Social Minority Scholarships for Women:
Social minorities are those people who, while they may belong to a majority ethnic group, belong to some subset of society that shackles them to prejudice and historical persecution. We’ve gathered some of the best out there, but first, which groups qualify as female minorities? Below is the list we cover but remember that it is not at all comprehensive.
- Single moms’ scholarships
- LGBTQ+ persons’ scholarships
- Ethnic minority scholarships
Scholarships for Single moms:
Set up by the Ford family foundation, this scholarship offers financial support, academic guidance, leadership development, professional support, and access to the Ford family alumni network.
The program will cover 90% of your tuition needs, given the following criteria are met:
- Single parent with custody of a minor
- High school graduate or continuing college student
- GPA 3.0
- No previous bachelor’s degree, with the goal to achieve one
- A resident of Oregon or Siskiyou County, CA, who will attend a non-profit college in the state.
- FAFSA and EFC cannot be more than $10 000 annually
Rosefield Injury Lawyers offer two scholarships a year, exclusively to single mothers. Each scholarship is for $1 000, one explicitly given for a Law degree, the other open to a general undergraduate position.
To apply, you need to write a 500-word essay (which will be easy to do once you’ve read our other articles!) explaining the advantages of going back to school while caring for children.
Think time-management skills, active listening, dedication, and more – all the aspects of motherhood that make you a good scholarship candidate. You’ve given up a great deal to be a good mother, now is the time for those sacrifices to serve you.
WISP (Women’s independence scholarship program) works specifically with survivors of intimate partner abuse, who very often take custody of the children borne out of the relationship.
They offer between $500 and $2 000 per semester and $ 1 000 per semester for Masters students. These grants are paid first and foremost to your chosen school for books and fees.
Very important to this program is that you have been part of a sponsoring agency for at least 6 months.
Other eligibility criteria are:
- Shows critical financial need
- Has been separated from their partner for at least a year, but no longer than 7 years
- US citizen or permanent resident
You can find more scholarships specifically for women in our article, scholarships for single mothers.
Scholarships for LGBTQ+ persons:
The League Foundation offers 5 annual scholarships to openly LGBTQ+ high school graduates with a GPA of 3.0 or above who show strong community involvement and willingness to achieve.
- USA citizen or legal immigrant
- Two essays will need to be written
- Two non-family letters of recommendation
Out to Innovate, formerly known as the National Organisation of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals (NOGLSTP), hopes to empower the LGBTQ+ community towards a future in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)
Alongside the financial scholarships, Out to Innovate offers educational support, advocacy, personal and professional development, networking, and peer support for those LGBTQ+ persons. To apply, you must already have two years in a STEM-related study field, hold a minimum 2.75 GPA, and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community.
Scholarships for Ethnic Minorities:
There are many generalized scholarships out there focused on the educational improvement of any minority group. UNCF F5 Women in STEM Scholarship 2021 is an example of a scholarship open to all ethnic minorities, so long as they are interested in a future in STEM.
However, beginning your search with specialized scholarships will streamline your efforts and help you be seen amongst the many applications that come through.
Below is a pick of scholarships working with specific ethnic minorities.
Scholarships for African Americans:
Ron Brown Scholar program is a public charity that works specifically with African American high school seniors about to start college.
The program offers $ 10 000 a year for 4 years, based on solid merits and real financial need. They prioritize students that show strong community involvement and leadership skills, who are strong academically.
Full Circle Scholarship
The American Indian College Fund created the Full Circle Scholarship to go full circle (see what I did there?) within the Native American communities.
The scholarship works with native American youth attending Tribal Colleges and Universities, hoping to also build academic excellence into the communities and break the chains of colonialism.
Students should have a GPA of 2.0, be US citizens, and a members of a federally recognized tribe.
Scholarships for Asian Americans:
APIA Scholars is a non-profit offering scholarship to Asian American and Pacific Islanders, creating the AANAPISI (Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution) Scholarship.
This scholarship serves students that will be attending AANAPISIs exclusively and is awarded based on the following eligibility criteria:
- Must demonstrate a genuine financial need (They will use your FAFSA and EFC to figure this out, so get it filled in correctly!)
- They will be the first in their family to attend college
- Shows a solid connection to their community and community engagement
- They will be studying for their first degree
- They will be studying full time
These awards range from one-time $ 2 500 awards to multi-year $ 5 000 awards.
They base their awards on the following categories:
- Business and finance
- Healthcare and Science
- Media and Entertainment
- Public service
- Social Justice
Once accepted, you will become part of a network of awardees, attending online ceremonies for you and your peers, and become part of the LOFT (Latinos on Fast Track) program.
Students should be US citizens, permanent residents, or qualify under DACA and have a GPA of 3.0.
One final thought:
There is a chance that you will encounter, more than once in your life, those closed-minded people who would have you fail. Your difference, your perfect otherness, will intimidate their world views. They will sit in their homes and offices and seethe at any success you may have.
Let them. Transform their hate into your power.
Push hard, study well and achieve your goals. Apply for as many scholarships and grants as possible and keep applying even after receiving successful responses. Therefore, keep applying even if you receive a few rejections!
In conclusion, the time of prejudice and hate is over, and with every success, you move us all to a better and more inclusive future.