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.
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