Graduate students belonging to a minority and demonstrating outstanding educational performance can benefit from numerous forms of financial aid – fellowships for minority graduate students are nowadays available from many different sources. Whether you are currently studying for your master’s degree or you are participating in a doctoral or a postdoctoral program, fellowships are available to you from sources ranging from federal or state-specific programs to funding programs offered by other public institutions and private organizations. If you have distinguished yourself in your field of study, you can surely find the fellowship provider that will reward you for your efforts and talent.
In terms of the institution where you can use the fellowship funds you are eligible for, there are two basic types of programs:
- fellowships that are available only if you study in the programs provided by the institutions accredited for a specific fellowship program
- portable fellowships programs, which are awarded based on academic merit and do not restrict your choice of institution.
Most minority fellowships have requirements regarding the field and the level of study. For example, some fellowships are offered to minority graduate students who major in psychology, mental health, mathematics, human rights, engineering, arts or science, while others are available only for doctoral students who carry out research in a specific field.
Fellowships available for minority graduate students vary in terms of the money available as well as in terms of payment frequency and duration. There are fellowships that are paid on a monthly basis for the entire duration of the program, usually between a few months and three years, while others come in weekly or bi-weekly installments or are paid in one sum.
The eligibility criteria are as varied as the fellowship programs themselves, but there are a few recurrent conditions:
- The applicant needs to be a full-time graduate student with outstanding study results
- The applicant must belong to the minority the fellowship is available for, such as ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, people of a certain age
- The applicant is required to exhibit financial need
- Many fellowships exclude applicants who are currently in their internship year
- Most fellowships require applicants to submit an essay in which they describe their career plans as well as letters of reference from their teachers
- Most fellowships are available for citizens or permanent residents of the US or for students authorized to work in the States
- Each fellowships comes with an application deadline that must be respected.
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