Scholarships for Minority Students: How to Find Them and Apply
Students of color can tap into a number of valuable scholarship opportunities to help pay the costs of their education. While navigating the scholarship search process can feel a bit overwhelming or confusing at first, it’s a smart investment of students’ time.
Here’s what to know about scholarships for minority students, and how to go about applying for them.
Top Places to Start Your Search
If you’re just starting to think about college scholarships, it’s important to tap into your high school’s resources. Check your school’s website or talk with your guidance counselor for support. Many local organizations offer scholarships to students who are graduating from nearby high schools, so it’s helpful to ask around!
If you’ve already decided on a college, check the school’s website for scholarship opportunities. Peter Lujan, assistant director in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at Azusa Pacific University, suggested reaching out to your college’s admissions office as well. “At APU, our admissions representatives are well equipped to support students, inform them of our internal financial aid opportunities, and direct them to additional outside resources,” Lujan said.
At APU, scholarship opportunities include:
- Academic scholarships ranging from $10,000 to full tuition.
- Scholarships for participating in specific programs.
- The Multi-Ethnic Leadership Scholarship awards $11,000 a year to students with proven leadership skills who demonstrate a passion for promoting multicultural awareness and racial reconciliation.
- Students graduating from the Azusa Unified School District may qualify for a renewable $5,000 scholarship.
- APU also offers a minimum of $10,000 in institutional aid through guaranteed admissions partnerships with a number of Southern California schools and school districts for students who meet a set of academic requirements.
Use the Internet to Broaden Your Search
Explore the following websites to find additional scholarships available specifically for minority students. You can narrow your search to those that match your major, interests, family finances, GPA, or other requirements.
- College Scholarships
- College Greenlight
- Gates Millennium Scholars Program
- Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
- Ron Brown Scholarship Program
Lujan noted that on most of these sites you can browse without registering, but you may need to set up a user profile to find the best scholarship matches. He recommended avoiding sites where you have to pay to access scholarship information. “There are enough free outside scholarship resources available,” he said.
Stay Organized with Scholarship Applications
Once you’ve identified scholarships you might qualify for, it’s important to make note of the deadlines and make a plan for completing any necessary applications. “Many scholarship applications become available at different times and have different deadlines,” Lujan said. He also recommended starting your search early so you have plenty of time to gather your application materials before the deadline. You may need to write an essay or request letters of recommendation as part of your scholarship application, so don’t wait until the last minute.
Applying for scholarships takes time, and you don’t want your application disqualified because you overlooked something. “The last thing anybody wants is for a student to put hours of time and energy into applying for a scholarship, only to learn at a later time that they misunderstood a prompt, didn’t fully complete the application, or missed a deadline,” Lujan said.
If you have any questions about a scholarship application, don’t hesitate to reach out to the institution or organization that’s offering it and ask for clarification.
Are you ready to tap into scholarships for minority students that can help make your education more affordable? Reach out to the Undergraduate Admissions team at Azusa Pacific University or learn more about other scholarship opportunities by contacting the Undergraduate Enrollment Services Center today.
Posted: October 31, 2020