As a minority student interested in furthering your education, you should apply for minority education grants even if you think your academic performance is low. Minority grants for education are based upon your course of study, income level, or overall achievement level. The government, foundations, and community organizations awarding minority education grants are working towards implementing effective programs to increase the recruitment, retention, and graduation of minority students.

Minority education grants are one of the largest segments of restricted scholarships available. There are millions of dollars available in minority education grants, if you can identify a grant opportunity that fits your need. The two types of minority education grants are scholarships and Pell Grants. A Pell Grant is money the federal government provides for students who need it to pay for college. It is income based and although minorities can apply it is open to all low-income students.

A minority education grant in the form of a scholarship may be limited to minorities or may be open to all who meet the set criteria. A scholarship is an award of funds to pay for tuition and in some cases books, room and board, etc. Scholarships are flexible in their criteria, which usually reflects the values and purposes of the donor or founder of the award. Almost all students know of grants being awarded in the form of scholarships, for students who excel academically or athletically. The reality is that many scholarships offered by foundations are just for limited recipients, such as minorities. Sometimes the criterion for applying is the student’s choice of study or career. Foundations award minority education grants to students based upon the donor or founder’s preferences, which is why the criteria for awards differ in each situation.

Some minority grants for education may be available to you if you are interested in pursuing certified vocational courses or on-the-job training. These minority education grants are usually offered by not-for-profit companies to minorities living in a targeted geographical area. In some instances, the not-for-profit will have staff to provide the additional training or technical assistance directly to you.

As a high school student looking for minority education grant opportunities, the best place to begin your search is your school counselor, or the financial department of the university/college of your choice. If you are not a HS student, the library offers online access and is an excellent way to search for minority education grants.