One of the largest minorities in the United States is the African American community. Having migrated from various countries across Africa like Kenya, South Africa, Egypt, to name a few, this community has contributed to the United States in more ways than one can imagine. African Americans have played a major role in the evolution of the American culture through their literature, food, art, music etc. The fact remains, however, that a lot of students from this community are unable to pursue higher studies owing to financial constraints. This is where scholarships meant for specifically helping this community in further studies come into play.
There are a number of scholarships that are available for African Americans. Some of the more prominent ones are listed below:
1. United Negro College Fund: One of the oldest and largest scholarship organizations, the United Negro College Fund has helped thousands of African American students avail scholarship. To qualify for a scholarship with this institution, students are required to enroll in an affiliated college. One would need to apply for the scholarship using the specific forms available through the United Negro College Fund. Once a student applies, the organization processes the application and helps the applicant choose the best available scholarship program, based on the course applied and the quantum of financial aid required.
2. Thurgood Marshall College Fund: This Fund offers scholarships to meritorious students with a genuine need for financing their higher studies. The Fund specifies that students utilize the scholarship only for purchasing study material, hostel boarding fees and tuition and/or other educational fees.
3. Vivien Thomas Scholarship: Sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, the Vivien Thomas Scholarship is offered to African American students who are pursuing degree courses in science or medicine. The scholarship was created to commemorate the life of an African American named Vivien Thomas who withstood the challenges of racism and similar hostilities and went on to become an established surgeon.
4. Ron Brown Scholar Program: The Ron Brown Scholar Program has a history of successfully helping African American students avail scholarships worth $40,000. All the students chosen for this scholarship, in addition to being financially deprived, distinguished themselves in academic achievement, leadership, and instances of community service. The major feature of this scholarship program as opposed to other programs is that it does not restrict applicants from studying only in a chosen few colleges. The scholarship program from Ron Brown offers up to $10,000 annually for a four-year degree, and covers tuition fees, health insurance, study materials, and even computers.
In addition to these scholarships, there are programs reserved for women students seeking financial aid. The “Miss Teen Africa” competition does not limit itself to choosing women for their good looks. Winners of the competition are also offered the option of a scholarship for higher studies.
While deciding which scholarship program to choose, students would do well to first analyze their own financial needs, the course they are interested in studying and the place where the scholarship may be availed. One should also take adequate care to choose only such scholarship organizations that have an established credibility and have a history of offering scholarships to genuine students.