As of 2016, a black college student will typically graduate with more debt than a white student — $7,400 on average. According to the Brookings Institute, the growing debt gap is projected to reach $25,000 by 2020.
The student loan debt journey can be long and arduous. Graduating with above-average debt is certainly not ideal for any student. Luckily, there are scholarships out there to help bridge the gap before you even graduate.
Read on to see if you might be eligible for scholarships that can help decrease your future student debt load.
Scholarships black students should know about
Since there is a great selection of scholarships available to black students — with new ones being added all the time — below is just a sampling of what’s available. This list is broken down into scholarships you can obtain for majoring in the arts, sciences, healthcare, and businesses.
Scholarships for journalists
Journalism might be considered by some to be a noble pursuit, but it’s typically not a well-paid one. Here are a few scholarships to help.
- Carole Simpson Scholarship: In conjunction with the Radio Television Digital News Foundation, this scholarship offers $2,000 to students majoring in radio, television, or digital journalism.
- National Association of Black Journalists Scholarships: Aspiring journalists should bookmark this one for 2018. There are multiple scholarships included for an award of up to $3,000.
Scholarships for health care and other sciences
One field that’s ideal for scholarships (and great later for student loan repayment assistance), is the sciences, especially health care. Here are a few scholarships you can look at right now if science is your passion:
- Blacks at Microsoft Scholarships: Two high school seniors with a passion for technology can receive $5,000 in this scholarship from Microsoft.
- Mae and Mary Scholarship Fund: This scholarship is for black graduating high school seniors who plan on working in health care after college.
- The National Board for Certified Counselors Foundation (NBCCF) Scholarships: NBCCF offers a variety of scholarships, fellowships, and awards to black students pursuing a career in professional counseling.
- National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) Scholarships: NBNA has an extensive scholarship program, offering from $1,000 to $6,000 for black students enrolled in nursing programs.
Scholarships for business students
Is business your passion? There are scholarships available to you as well in a variety of different fields within your major.
- National Association of Black Accountants (NABA, Inc.) Scholarships: Active members of NABA, Inc. majoring in accounting, business, or finance are eligible for undergraduate and graduate-level scholarships of varying amounts.
- National Black MBA Association Collegiate Partnerships Program: This program lists numerous scholarships from different organizations and universities at the undergraduate and graduate level for its members.
- The Ron Brown Scholarship: This scholarship packs quite the punch with a renewable $10,000 per year award. Black students who are interested in the four pillars of its namesake’s mission (public service, community engagement, business entrepreneurship, and global citizenship) are eligible.
More ways to find funds to help you pay for school
Hopefully, this list gives you an idea of what could be available to you as you embark on the next step in your education. But remember, there are more options than what’s listed here.
These scholarships don’t even include those available to all students of color, as well as those you might find from your college or organizations awarding students at your college.
If you want to find even more scholarships, a great way to start is to go local. In fact, a majority of the scholarships for black students that aren’t listed here are specific to a certain city or even county. And if you use Fastweb or scholarships.com, you’ll be able to refine your search by location to find scholarships.
Also, search for businesses in your community that offer scholarships for black students and other students of color. If you’re not yet in college, talk to the schools you’re considering. Ask about any scholarships they might offer. And don’t forget to see if professional organizations in your desired field offer scholarships.
Finally, when you graduate and look for work, don’t forget to research companies that help repay your student loans. In the search for education funds, no amount of research is too much. Find more opportunities now so you can pay less in student loan debt later.
Need a student loan?Here are our top student loan lenders of 2019!
|1 Important Disclosures for Ascent.
Before taking out private student loans, you should explore and compare all financial aid alternatives, including grants, scholarships, and federal student loans and consider your future monthly payments and income. Applying with a cosigner may improve your chance of getting approved and could help you qualify for a lower interest rate. Ascent Student Loans may be funded by Richland State Bank (RSB). Ascent Student Loan products are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application, verification of application information and certification of loan amount by a participating school. Loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions, and certain restrictions, limitations; and terms and conditions may apply. Ascent is a federally registered trademark of Turnstile Capital Management (TCM) and may be used by RSB under limited license. Richland State Bank is a federally registered service mark of Richland State Bank.
* Application times vary depending on the applicants ability to supply the necessary information for submission.
2 Important Disclosures for College Ave.
College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.
Information advertised valid as of 4/1/2019. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.
3 Important Disclosures for Discover.
* The Sallie Mae partner referenced is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.
4 = Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.
5 Important Disclosures for SunTrust.
Before applying for a private student loan, SunTrust recommends comparing all financial aid alternatives including grants, scholarships, and both federal and private student loans. To view and compare the available features of SunTrust private student loans, visit https://www.suntrust.com/loans/student-loans/private.
Certain restrictions and limitations may apply. SunTrust Bank reserves the right to change or discontinue this loan program without notice. Availability of all loan programs is subject to approval under the SunTrust credit policy and other criteria and may not be available in certain jurisdictions.
SunTrust Bank, Member FDIC. ©2019 SunTrust Banks, Inc. SUNTRUST, the SunTrust logo and Custom Choice Loan are trademarks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All rights reserved.
6 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Additional terms and conditions apply. For more details see LendKey
7 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
A government loan is made according to rules set by the U.S. Department of Education. Government loans have fixed interest rates, meaning that the interest rate on a government loan will never go up or down.
Government loans also permit borrowers in financial trouble to use certain options, such as income-based repayment, which may help some borrowers. Depending on the type of loan that you have, the government may discharge your loan if you die or become permanently disabled.
Depending on what type of government loan that you have, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness in exchange for performing certain types of public service. If you are an active-duty service member and you obtained your government loan before you were called to active duty, you are entitled to interest rate and repayment benefits for your loan.
A private student loan is not a government loan and is not regulated by the Department of Education. A private student loan is instead regulated like other consumer loans under both state and federal law and by the terms of the promissory note with your lender.
If your private student loan has a fixed interest rate, then that rate will never go up or down. If your private student loan has a variable interest rate, then that rate will vary depending on an index rate disclosed in your application. If the interest rate on the new private student loan is less than the interest rate on your government loans, your payments will be less if you refinance.
If you don’t pay a private student loan as agreed, the lender can refer your loan to a collection agency or sue you for the unpaid amount.
Remember also that like government loans, most private loans cannot be discharged if you file bankruptcy unless you can demonstrate that repayment of the loan would cause you an undue hardship. In most bankruptcy courts, proving undue hardship is very difficult for most borrowers.
8 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|4.24% – 13.24%1||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.07% – 11.32%2||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|
|4.84% – 13.49%3||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.50% – 11.35%*,4||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|4.25% – 13.25%5||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|6.08% – 7.22%6||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|3.95% – 9.81%7||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|
|4.45% – 12.42%8||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|