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6 top scholarships for Black American students

Take control of your education by getting funds to cover tuition, supplies and more.

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The education and experiences college can provide last a lifetime — but your student debt shouldn't. Finding scholarships you're uniquely eligible for can help cut the out-of-pocket costs and keep your student debt lighter throughout university.

How we picked these scholarships

We selected scholarships for Black American students that offer the biggest payouts and meet the needs of a variety of applicants. We considered factors like the number of scholarships given out each year, if they're renewable and whether attendance at select schools is required.

UNCF Intel Scholarship Program

  • Amount: $5,000
  • Deadline: August 31

The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) partners with Intel to offer a scholarship that comes with built-in opportunities to network, get access to research and training and join up with an Intel mentor. It's specifically for STEM majors, and you'll get access to internships and full-time job opportunities with Intel.

Ron Brown Scholar Program

  • Amount: $10,000
  • Deadline: January 9

Mentorship opportunities alongside awards of $10,000 for African-American and Black students who show a commitment to their communities, public service and academic success. The award can be renewed each year you continue to meet the criteria, for up to $40,000 total.

To apply, visit the Ron Brown Scholar Program website. From there you can print out the application to fill out and mail in with transcripts and letters of recommendation.

Blacks at Microsoft (BAM) Scholarship

  • Amount: $5,000
  • Deadline: April 10

Scholarships offered by the TMCF rotate often, and over 300 are given each year. Stipends and scholarships are typically offered in partnership with other organizations and companies and range from $200 to over $10,000.

Check the TMCF website for current scholarships. Applications may require several documents — a copy of your FAFSA, transcript and current resume are fairly standard prerequisites.

Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) Scholarship Program

  • Amount: Up to $30,000
  • Deadline: February

The Jackie Robinson Foundation — named for the baseball legend — awards scholarships to minority high school students dedicated to civil engagement and ready to lead. 

The award is given over four years for up to $30,000, but there are many more benefits. Students also get access to mentorship, internships, employment opportunities, online programming and a leadership conference in New York City.

While it varies each year, around 60 awards are typically given out. Applications are online only, and can be accessed through the Jackie Robinson Foundation website.

How else can I pay for school?

While scholarships can lighten the load, they're usually not enough to completely cover the costs of tuition, supplies, fees, housing and transportation. Consider supplementing them with other forms of financing:

  • Financial aid. Many need-based scholarships already require you to fill out the FAFSA. Put it to work for you by thoroughly comparing any aid packages from any colleges that accept you. Because aid will vary by school, carefully review each one before confirming your enrollment.
  • Work-Study jobs. The federal Work-Study Program provides work to full- and part-time college students. You're paid at least once a month, work is on- or off-campus and the schedule conforms to your classes.
  • Paid internships. Keep an eye out for internships in your field of study that are paid. But be cautious of any positions boasting compensation that's mostly or purely in the form of experience or exposure.

Compare student loan providers

If scholarships, financial aid and federal loans won't be enough to cover your education costs, check out these lenders that offer private student loans.

Data indicated here is updated regularly

Name Product Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount APR
Ascent private student loans
540
$200,000
2.71% to 12.99%
EDvestinU Private Student Loans
675
$200,000
4.07% to 9%
Straightforward student loans for undergraduate and graduate students.
LendKey Private Student Loans
Varies by lender
4.99% to 11.06%
This connection service partners with Sallie Mae and WSFS Bank to offer competitive rates.
 Advantage Education Loan Refinance Loan
670
Starting at 3.74%
Refinance to a more flexible repayment plan with this nonprofit lender.
Alliant Credit Union Traditional Student Loan
680
$60,000
Starting at 4.56%
All-purpose personal loans from @pl_product_min_loan_amount@ to @pl_product_max_loan_amount@ with rates that stop at @pl_product_var_rate@.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

Scholarships can make education costs much more manageable — especially when you can score more than one. Take a look at our full list of scholarships to find even more you might qualify for. And get fully informed on other ways to pay by reading our guide to student loans.

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