Timothy Peck 7 min read Scholarships

10 College Scholarships for Black Women to Save You Thousands

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College can be prohibitively expensive, but scoring scholarships can definitely help cut costs. Looking for niche scholarships is especially smart, as they tend to be less competitive, and you’re more likely to align with the scholarship’s mission. 

 

If you’re a Black woman looking to save money on college, here are 10 of the best college scholarships for Black women. 

 

10 Best College Scholarships for Black Women

1. Blacks at Microsoft (BAM) Scholarship

Amount: $5,000 (with the potential for renewal for up to 4 years)

Deadline: April 10, 2020

Eligibility: 

  • Of African descent (either African American or African)
  • High school senior
  • Minimum 3.3 GPA 
  • Plan to attend a four-year college or university in the fall following high school graduation
  • Plan to pursue a bachelor’s degree in engineering, computer science, computer information systems, or select business programs 

 

Application Requirements:

  • Transcript
  • Resume of extracurricular activities, honors, and awards, along with work experience
  • Two letters of recommendation (one of which is from a faculty or staff member of your school)
  • Passionate about technology
  • A color picture of yourself
  • Two essays 
    • A 500-word essay describing how you plan to engage in the technology industry in your future career. (If you have done exemplary work using technology during high school, please describe that also.)
    • A 250-word essay that demonstrates your financial need for this scholarship.

 

Founded in 1989, Blacks at Microsoft was the first Microsoft-sponsored employee resource group. Following the same mission 30 years later, the Blacks at Microsoft (BAM) Scholarship

encourages outstanding Black high school seniors to pursue careers in technology. In addition to the primary award, up to 24 scholarship runners-up will be eligible for a one-time $2,500 BAM technology stipend.

 

2. Development Fund for Black Students in Science and Technology (DFBSST)

Amount: $12,000

Deadline: June 15, 2020

Eligibility: 

  • African American 
  • U.S. citizen
  • Majoring in a technical field of study
  • Enrolled in, or intending to enroll in, at a predominantly Black college or university: Bennett College, Morehouse College, Clark Atlanta University, Morgan State University, Elizabeth City State, University of North Carolina A&T State University, Fisk University, Prairie View A&M University, Florida A&M University, Southern University, Fort Valley State College, Spelman College, Hampton University, Tennessee State University, Howard University, Tuskegee University, Langston University, Wilberforce University, Lincoln University (PA), and Xavier University of Louisiana

 

Application Requirements:

  • Transcript
  • SAT or ACT scores
  • Personal essay describing career goals and relevant extracurricular activities
  • Letters of recommendation from teachers and guidance counselors 

 

The Development Fund was established to provide financial support to talented Black students pursuing scientific and technical careers. Having supported almost 200 students and awarded more than $500,000, the scholarship requires attendance at a historically Black institution (HBCU) or college with a strong Black community to receive this award, as these schools are where where Black students have the highest rates of retention and graduation. 

 

3. The National Press Club Scholarship for Journalism Diversity Honoring Julie Schoo 

Amount: $10,000

Deadline: March 1, 2021

Eligibility: 

  • High school senior
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA 
  • Plans to become a journalist and bring diversity to the profession

 

Application Requirements:

  • Transcript
  • Maximum of five samples of journalism (either school newspaper or other media)
  • 500-word essay on how you’ll bring diversity to U.S. journalism
  • Short personal statement on your pursuit of journalism in high school
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Letter of acceptance from college, or documentation indicating where you’ve applied
  • FAFSA

 

Founded to promote diversity in American journalism, The National Press Club Scholarship for Journalism Diversity Honoring Julie Schoo provides a $2,000 one-year scholarship (which is renewable for up to three years at $2,500 a year) to promising and diverse young journalists. The first-year scholarship includes the Ellen Masin Persina Scholarship—an additional $500 book stipend. 

 

4. The Herbert Lehman Education Fund Scholarship

Amount: $8,000

Deadline: April 1, 2020

Eligibility: 

  • African American 
  • U.S. citizen
  • Graduating high school senior, a first-year student at an accredited four-year college, or a student transferring into an accredited four-year college
  • Demonstrated financial need (combined family income of $65,000 or less)

 

Application Requirements:

  • Transcript 
  • Resume 
  • SAT or ACT scores
  • Acceptance letter from the college you plan to attend
  • Two recommendation letters 
  • Essay
  • Personal statement
  • FAFSA

 

The original mission of the Herbert Lehman Scholarship was to support African American students attending formerly segregated schools in the South, and to increase African American representation in legal professions. Today, this scholarship aims to make racial equality a reality by helping outstanding Black students achieve their college dreams. Established in 1964, the scholarship is named after the former Governor and U.S. Senator from New York for his integrity, courage, and persistence on a myriad of civil rights issues. 

 

5. Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG) Ethnic Minority Scholarship

Amount: $6,000

Deadline: June 30, 2020

Eligibility: 

  • African American, Hispanic, or Native American woman
  • Full-time student pursuing a degree in the geosciences, or planning to do so after high school graduation 
  • Those contributing to the world through academics 

 

Application Requirements:

  • Transcript
  • SAT or ACT scores
  • Personal essay describing academic achievements and career goals 
  • Two letters of recommendation  

 

Sponsored by the Association for Women Geoscientists, the AWG Ethnic Minority Scholarship provides encouragement to young minority women interested in pursuing education and careers in the geosciences (geology, geophysics, geochemistry, hydrology, meteorology, physical oceanography, planetary geology, and earth science). In addition to a monetary reward, the association pairs scholarship recipients with a mentor in their field. 

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We'll help you negotiate a better price from your two favorite colleges. Last year, a few of our students even saved more than $100,000 on the total cost of their education (more than $25,000 per year).

6. National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) Dr. Lauranne Sams Scholarship

Amount: $1,000-5,000

Deadline: April 15, 2020

Eligibility: 

  • NBNA member and member of the local chapter (if one exists)
  • Enrolled in a nursing program (B.S.N., A.D., Diploma or L.P.N./ L.V.N. Masters, and Doctoral) 
  • In good scholastic standing
  • At least one full year of school remaining 

 

Application Requirements:

  • Transcript
  • A 500-word essay responding to the prompt: A NBNA Scholarship will allow me to…
  • Two letters of recommendation (one from the school the applicant is attending, the other from the local NBNA chapter—if no local chapter exists, a letter from a nurse can be substituted)
  • Professional headshot

 

Named in honor of Dr. Lauranne Sams, the founder and first President of the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA), the Dr. Lauranne Sams Scholarship is awarded to an NBNA member based on academic achievement, financial need, and community service. Recipients will have demonstrated leadership and participated in activities for the betterment of the African American community. 

 

7. Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Education Scholarship 

Amount: $1,500

Deadline: April 30, 2020

Eligibility: 

  • African American or Black 
  • Enrolled full-time in an accredited institution
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Constituent of a CBC member’s district
  • Minimum unweighted 2.5 GPA 

 

Application Requirements:

  • Transcript 
  • Resume of academic achievements, extracurricular activities, honors, employment, community service, and any other notable skills
  • Two letters of recommendation (one from a community service or public service leader)
  • Photo suitable for publication
  • Two 250-word essays: 
    • How does your academic interest align with your long-term career goal?
    • If you were a member of congress, what issue would you address and how?

 

This award was founded in 1988 by the spouses of the Congressional Black Caucus as a response to federal cuts in education programs and scholarships that affected people of color. The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Education Scholarship is awarded to academically-talented African American and Black students pursuing degrees ranging from associates to doctorates. Successful applicants will have demonstrated leadership and community involvement.

 

8. Dr. Julianne Malveaux Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: March 1, 2021

Eligibility: 

  • Female African American 
  • Minimum unweighted 3.0 GPA 
  • U.S. citizen 
  • College sophomore or junior enrolled full time 
  • Studying Economics, Journalism, or a related field 
  • Enrolled at a college accredited by the NANBPWC

 

Application Requirements:

  • A 1,000-word essay discussing your career plans and their relevance to the Dr. Juliannce Malveaux program’s theme: Black women’s hands can rock the world.

 

Presented by the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs (NANBPWC), the Dr. Julianne Malveaux Scholarship is awarded annually to a female African American. To receive the award, students must be in their sophomore or junior year of college and enrolled in a school accredited by NANBPWC. They must also be majoring in journalism, economics, or a related field such as public policy or creative writing. 

 

9. Go On Girl Book Club (GOG) Unpublished Author Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: March 31, 2020

Eligibility: 

  • Identify with the African diaspora
  • U.S. citizen or legal resident 
  • Reside in the U.S.
  • Must be unpublished (includes self-publishing)

 

Application Requirements:

  • Maximum 2,000-word original, unpublished work of fiction
  • 250-word biographical profile including writing goals and current status
  • Photograph

 

Submit an original, unpublished work of fiction—such as a short story or excerpt from a novel—for the opportunity to win a $1,000 award and to receive promotion on the scholarship sponor’s website and in their quarterly newsletter. Works are judged on their appeal, originality, continuity, character development, and polish. 

 

10. Ethel Lee Hoover Ellis Scholarship 

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: March 1, 2021

Eligibility: 

  • Female
  • African American 
  • Minimum unweighted 3.0 GPA 
  • U.S. citizen 
  • College sophomore or junior enrolled full time 
  • Majoring in business
  • A resident of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, or West Virginia

 

Application Requirements:

  • 750-word essay on the prompt, Business and Community United: How the Two Can Work Together for Success.

 

The Ethel Lee Hoover Ellis Scholarship is an annaul award given to members of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs’ (NANBPWC) southern district, which includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, the Carolinas, Tennessee, and West Virginia. In order to receive this award, you must be an African American female, in your sophomore or junior year of college, and studying business. 

 

Tips for Applying to Scholarships

 

Apply for Lots of Scholarships

 

The more scholarships you apply for, the greater your odds of winning an award. In addition to the well-known national scholarships listed above, be sure to also seek out smaller, specialized, and localized awards. The added benefit of less well-known scholarships is that there is often less competition. 

 

Apply for Awards You’re Well Matched To

 

Applying for lots of scholarships can increase your opportunity to win an award, but to really boost your chances, apply for scholarships that are well-suited to your interests and unique traits. For example, it goes without saying that if you’ve spent your high school years writing, your odds of winning the GOG Unpublished Author Scholarship are better than someone picking up a pen for the first time. 

 

Prioritize Your List

 

Know which scholarships you’re applying to and when their deadlines are, then develop a systematic approach—based on deadline, how good of a match it is, and the dollar amount—to make sure you’re devoting your time in the most efficient way possible. 

Build a Schedule

 

Scholarships deadlines have a way of sneaking up on you. Filling out applications, gathering the necessary documentation, writing essays, and asking for recommendations is time consuming.  Carve out some time on your calendar every week and dedicate it to working on scholarships.   

 

Do the “Optional” Work

 

When you’re rushed for time, it’s easy to pass over the “optional” requirements of a scholarship—but if you’re serious about winning awards, consider them mandatory. Fulfilling the “optional” requirement shows initiative and drive, gives you the chance to stand out from other applicants, and often provides space to tell scholarships more about yourself. 

 

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute 

 

All scholarships have deadlines, you don’t need to wait for them to arrive to submit your application. Rather, getting your application in early shows enthusiasm, avoids a technical glitch like a crashed website from tanking your application, and frees you up to apply for more scholarships. 

 

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Timothy Peck
Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.