Scholarships for Black Women
If you’re looking for information on scholarships for black women, you’ve come to the right place. Many scholarships are available specifically for black women today. In this guide, we will explain some of the historical reasons for these scholarships. We will also provide information including some of the biggest scholarships available today.
The black community has faced particular challenges throughout history. Dating back to slavery and the civil rights movement, black Americans have been a disadvantaged minority. Lack of access to good schooling and high levels of poverty have historically put African Americans at a disadvantage when it comes to attending college and obtaining advanced degrees.
Women have also been considered at a disadvantage historically. Women haven’t always had all of the rights they have today, like the ability to vote. In fact, only recently have women become a strong presence on college campuses and in the workforce.
The combination of being black and a woman has historically been even more problematic. This combination once made it very difficult for black women to attend college.
For these reasons, scholarships exist specifically for black women. The goal of these scholarships is to encourage black women to attend college. Scholarships are available from a variety of places which we will discuss later in this guide.
The good news is that the numbers of black college students, especially women, have risen in recent years. Part of this is certainly a large number of scholarships available. From 1976 to 2012 the percent of black students going to college increased from 10 to 15%. This is while white enrolment went down from 84% to 60%. Also, female black students have been earning more degrees than their male counterparts. In 2010, 66% of black students getting bachelor degrees were women. 71% of black master’s degree students were women.
These statistics are encouraging and show that black women students are enrolling more and more in higher education. If you’re interested in attending college and looking for funding, read on.
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Where to Find Scholarships
There are many sources out there to find scholarships for black women. These include colleges and universities, advocacy foundations, women’s groups and more. When beginning your search, it is important to look for scholarships in a variety of places. This way you will find more opportunities and have a better chance of winning a scholarship in the end.
Universities and Colleges
Many universities and colleges have diversity programs. The goal of these programs is to encourage a wide range of students to enroll in the school. These include minority populations such as different races, religions and even sexual orientation. When looking into schools, make sure to check out what their diversity program includes. Being a black female student makes you even more unique.
These diversity programs and initiatives will often provide special conditions for acceptance. Many schools have certain quotas of minority students to accept each year. They may also include scholarships, stipends on campus and more.
Civil Rights and Advocacy Foundations
Due to the difficult road, black Americans have had to face, many civil rights and advocacy foundations exist today. Their main role is to promote black Americans and ensure their equality. This includes raising awareness, dealing with social gaps and programming for the community. These include the NAACP and the American Civil Rights Union (ACRU)..
In order to ensure a thriving future, these organizations are invested in making sure black students go to college. One way they do this is by providing scholarships to black students. These organizations and foundations exist on both a national and local level. Make sure to look for local organizations to make sure you’re not missing out on any opportunities.
Similarly to the previous group, women’s groups exist to try and obtain equal rights for all women. While women have become dominant on college campuses, there are still many issues relating to gender equality. This includes the pay gap between men and women in the workplace. The gender pay gap in 2016 was 19.5%. This means that women make much less than men for doing the same job.
Women’s groups try to deal with this gap by making sure that successful and bright women go to college and enter the workforce. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of scholarships available for women all over the country. As a black woman, you are at an even bigger advantage when it comes to finding scholarships specific to you. Make sure to check out scholarships aimed towards black women in order to have an even higher chance of winning.
Scholarships for Black Women in STEM
STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) has become a very popular field of study in the 21st century. Job options are vast, prestigious and well-paid. The number of women in STEM is notoriously low and therefore scholarships exist. This is even more true for black women. If you are interested in studying STEM, you will likely be at a big advantage when it comes to getting scholarships.
Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)
Before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, HBCUs were established throughout the country. This was done because many of the existing schools were for white students only during segregation. The goal was to allow black students to get a degree like their white counterparts. Even after the Civil Rights Act went into place, these schools still continued to operate.
Today there are 101 HBCUs that are fully functioning colleges and universities. Some of these schools are private while others are public. Various government acts have given these schools funding. Non-black students are also welcome to attend these schools as well, of course. Overall enrollment in the last decades has increased.
Today, the number of black students attending HBCUs has dropped. In 1980, 17% of the total black students attending college went to an HBCU. In 2015 that number had dropped to 9%. This may be because of the growing opportunities for black students in other colleges. The number of black students overall has also increased.
No matter what, when you’re searching for colleges, HBCUs should certainly be on your list. Many of them are great schools!
Black Student Organizations
Student organizations exist to help certain groups of students throughout college and afterward. They provide support, programming, scholarships, and many other services that many students need. There are a number of organizations that exist for black students. These organizations can help you greatly during your college and scholarships search and also while you’re a student.
Here are some of the biggest student organizations today:
- National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME). NACME’s goal is to promote more minority students to enter the engineering field. They provide large amounts of scholarships to minority students looking to pursue a career in engineering/STEM. Their mission is to create “an engineering force that looks like America.
- National Association of Black Engineers (NSBE). NSBE is an organization supporting black engineers. This includes students, professionals, educators, corporate companies and more. NBSE has multiple scholarships to encourage more black students to study and work as engineers.
- National Black Graduate Student Association (NBGSA). NBGSA supports black students studying graduate and advanced degrees. They provide much-needed resources for this population. If you have finished your undergraduate degree and are looking for resources, check out NBGSA.
- Thurgood Marshall College Fund. The Thurgood Marshall College Fund is the largest organization for the black community on campus. It supports students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs). The fund has granted more than $300 million in scholarship awards and funds to black students since its inception.
- United Negro College Fund (UNCF). UNCF is a major organization supporting black college students today. It has raised over $4.8 billion and has helped more than 450,000 receive their college degrees. There are multiple tracks to achieve its mission. These include millions of dollars in scholarships and providing financial support to HCBUs. They also do extensive advocacy work for black rights on campus.
- National Black Student Union (NBSU). The NBSU is a resource for black students across the country. It holds a conference each year, the largest of its kind, dealing with black education and professional advancement.
- National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice (NABCJ). If you’re looking to study a criminal justice related field, the NABCJ is for you. With the goal of improving the justice system, the NABCJ supports black students with these career goals.
- National Association of Black Accountants (NABA). NABA has provided over $11 million in scholarships to black accounting students. NABA’s goal is to close the gap for black students who want to become accountants or work in other financial fields. It provides many resources and programming for relevant students.
Famous Scholarships for Black Women
There are tons of scholarships available for you if you’re a black woman. In this section, we will highlight a few of the most famous scholarships available today. The list doesn’t end here. Make sure to keep searching for other scholarships that may be relevant to you!
- Black Women in Sisterhood for Action Scholarship. BISA provides generous scholarships to encourage educational development. In addition to its scholarships, BISA provides networking, courses and more. BISA’s scholarships are relevant for women who want to study at HBCU.
- National Achievement Scholarship Program. This scholarship fund was established in 1964, along with the Civil Rights Act. The goal is to allow black students to have equal educational opportunities. In addition, a goal is to encourage academic success among these students. Over 228,000 students have received scholarships since the beginning of the program.
- Joshua David Gardner Memorial Scholarship for Blacks. This is a merit-based scholarship meaning you will have to submit your transcript and SAT scores. Scholarships are $2,000 and at least two are awarded yearly. In addition to scholarships, the organization provides information about attending college.
- The United Negro College Funds Scholarship for Blacks. Don’t miss out on this scholarship. The UNCF provides large scholarships and many resources for students.
- The National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs Scholarships for African American Females. NANBPWC provides scholarships to support black women in college. Scholarships are available for different ages and have different requirements (grades, etc.).
- Black Women Lawyers Association Scholarship. The BWL scholarships are for black women in their 2nd or 3rd year of an accredited law school. There are multiple scholarships available. Students must show academic achievements, community service as well as financial need.
- NBNA Scholarship Program for Black Nurses. The NBNA offers multiple scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $6,000. You must be enrolled in a nursing program to be eligible. The NBNA aims to encourage more women to continue their education and contribute to the nursing community.
- Jeannette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Fund for Low Income Women. This scholarship provides funding for women 35 and older to complete their college education. Rankin was the first woman elected to congress in 1916 and believed in promoting women’s rights.
- National Hook-up of Black Women Scholarships. The National Hook-up of Black Women is an organization committed to furthering black women’s rights. They provide scholarships to encourage women to start or continue their college education.
- AWG Minority Scholarship Program for Women. The Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG) provides scholarships specifically for minority women. You must be enrolled in college and studying a geoscience field. This scholarship is available for African-American, Hispanic and Native American women.
- HBO Writing and Directing Fellowships for Minorities and Women. This scholarship is for minorities and women looking to get into film writing and directing. Students study at HBO’s campus. Filmmakers are also given a budget to make short films for HBO!
Although black women used to be at a disadvantage, today many possibilities exist to get a college education. As a black student, you have many schooling options. These include traditionally black schools as well as public and private schools. Many scholarship opportunities are available, as we’ve explained throughout this guide.
As you start your scholarship search, make sure to check out options available from many sources. Focusing on scholarships for black women will put you at an advantage. Don’t forget to complete your application thoroughly and on time. This will increase your chances of winning.
We know that looking for funding can be stressful. Use the tips and information in this guide to help get started. Good luck!
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