Programs that provide various forms of scholarship for minority students are available from the government as well as from various public and private organizations, foundations, associations, or even from trade unions and religious organizations. Whatever the minority you belong to, chances are you will be able to find at least one organization that provides free, that is, non-repayable money, to allow you to pursue your educational dreams. Here are a few ideas about how to find the right sources and how to apply for scholarships.

Like the name suggests, a scholarship for minority students is a form of funding offered to students belonging to minorities. In this sense of the word, the term minority can refer to a number of different groups, from religious and ethnic groups to minorities defined based on gender, social situation such as single mothers, financial situation, area of residence, age or health condition. If you belong to more than one minority, it means that you can apply to scholarships offered by institutions or organizations promoting education for each of those minorities and you can apply to multiple scholarships.

Each scholarship program has its own specific set of eligibility requirements, but there are some conditions most of them impose:

  • US citizenship or a permanent residency in the US
  • Proof of enrollment to an institution of higher education
  • Proof that the applicant belongs to the minority the scholarship is offered to
  • Proof of residence for regional scholarships
  • Financial need demonstrated by the submission of tax documents for the period specified by the provider of the financial aid
  • Most scholarships require applicants to demonstrate academic merit and/or community activity as well.

The scholarship office of your school, the websites of minority organizations, foundations and associations and the website of the Department of Education are all valuable sources of information. The descriptions of the available scholarships will provide detailed information about eligibility and application deadline, so you should read them very carefully and follow the application instructions. If you have questions or you need further guidance, don’t hesitate to contact the scholarship provider to ask for help – there are many applicants out there and competition is high, so it is in your best interest to gather all the information you need and act fast to be able to submit correct applications and to obtain at least one scholarship for minority students.