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!
|* 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.
1 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.
(1)All rates shown include the auto-pay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.
(2)This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 8.35% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $179.18 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $21,501.54. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.
(3)As certified by your school and less any other financial aid you might receive. Minimum $1,000.
Information advertised valid as of 11/4/2019. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.
2 Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.
3 Important Disclosures for Discover.
Discover's lowest rates shown are for the undergraduate loan and include an interest-only repayment discount and a 0.25% interest rate reduction while enrolled in automatic payments.
4 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change and state law restrictions. Loans are offered through CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS #1175900).
5 Important Disclosures for Citizens.
Undergraduate Rate Disclosure: Variable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of November 1, 2019, the one-month LIBOR rate is 1.80%. Variable interest rates range from 2.90% – 11.16% (2.90% – 11.01% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. Fixed interest rates range from 4.72% – 12.19% (4.72% – 12.04% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. Lowest rates shown requires application with a co-signer, are for eligible applicants, require a 5-year repayment term, borrower making scheduled payments while in school and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of the loan.
Citizens Bank Student Loan Eligibility: Borrowers must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree-granting program at an eligible institution. Borrowers must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident or an international borrower/eligible non-citizen with a creditworthy U.S. citizen or permanent resident co-signer. For borrowers who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a co-signer is required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at anytime. Interest rate ranges subject to change. Citizens Bank private student loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/consumer credit agreement, verification of application information, and if applicable, self-certification form, school certification of the loan amount, and student’s enrollment at a Citizens Bank- participating school.
Please Note: International Students are not eligible for the multi-year approval feature.
|2.84% – 10.97%1||Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents|
|3.12% – 10.54%*,2||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|3.37% – 11.87%3||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|3.52% – 9.50%4||Undergraduate and Graduate|
|2.90% – 11.16%5||Undergraduate and Graduate|