Key takeaways

  • Scholarships for Black women are available in a variety of fields and industries, including science, healthcare, law and more.
  • The best way to find scholarships is by using a scholarship search engine, which can help you narrow down the options based on your qualifications and interests.
  • It's important to apply for as many scholarships as possible to increase your chances of receiving aid for college.
  • Scholarships may be applied directly to your college expenses or sent to you in the mail, depending on the specific scholarship.

Scholarships are a type of financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid, which makes them a great first step when searching for college funding. One big appeal of scholarships is that they’re often geared toward specific needs, skills and backgrounds. Hundreds of scholarships for Black women are available, including scholarships for Black women interested in science, health care, computer engineering, law and more. Therefore, the best scholarships for Black women depend on what you are eligible for and can potentially earn.

Scholarships for Black women are available through various national and local organizations. A scholarship search engine is the best place to find all the scholarships you may qualify for, but these scholarships are a good starting point.

1. Judith McManus Price Scholarship

Offered by the American Planning Association, the Judith McManus Price Scholarship is available to women and students in minority groups who display financial need and hope to pursue careers in planning. Students must be enrolled in an approved Planning Accreditation Board-approved program to qualify. Applicants must submit a two-page personal statement describing their interest in planning and how their education relates to their career goals.

2. Dr. Gussie M. Ware Memorial Scholarship

If you’re a Black woman pursuing your first undergraduate degree, then you could be eligible to receive the Dr. Gussie M. Ware Memorial Scholarship. To apply, you must be a high school senior or GED recipient with a GPA of at least 2.5; live in Winnebago County, Illinois; or be related to Dr. Ware. You’ll also have to flex your creative muscles by writing an essay that lists any personal achievements, leadership skills or obstacles you’ve overcome that make you an ideal candidate for this award.

3. UNCF Healthcare Workforce Diversity Program

Sponsored by the AbbVie Foundation, the UNCF Healthcare Workforce Diversity Program aims to reduce the racial imbalance in the healthcare industry by providing financial, academic and career support to Black students majoring in the field. The scholarship is open to both high school seniors and college students. To apply, you must be enrolled in a certificate program or associate degree at an accredited institution and aspire to work in a healthcare-related STEM field. Additionally, you must fill out the FAFSA, have unmet financial needs as determined by your school and be in good academic standing.

4. Geoscience IDEA Scholarship

Black women studying geoscience or earth science may qualify for up to $5,000 through the Geoscience IDEA Scholarship. This award, offered by the Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG), seeks to enhance diversity within the geosciences and matches scholarship recipients with AWG mentors. Scholarship recipients may reapply for subsequent years of funding, and even applicants who are not selected may qualify for a one-year sponsored AWG student membership or placement with an AWG mentor.

5. James W. Stoudt Memorial Scholarship

The Pennsylvania Bar Association annually awards $3,000 to two minority law students through the James W. Stoudt Memorial Scholarship. To apply, you must be a Black, Hispanic or Native American student in one of Pennsylvania’s nine accredited law schools and be in good academic standing. You’ll also have to submit an essay discussing what contributions you aspire to make in the legal profession or your community and provide references that can vouch for you.

6. American Meteorological Society (AMS) Scholarship

Black women studying meteorology and have at least a GPA of 3.0, may qualify for a two-year, $6,000 stipend from the AMS. To apply, you must be a Black, Hispanic or Native American student who plans to pursue a career in atmospheric or hydrological and oceanic sciences. You also must have at least a 3.0 GPA to qualify.

7. Brown and Caldwell Minority Scholarship

Brown and Caldwell offers a $5,000 scholarship to minority students pursuing environmental careers. To apply, you must identify with a minority group — for example, Black, Asian or Hispanic. You must be a junior, senior or graduate student with a GPA of at least 3.0.

8. American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Scholarship for Minority Accounting Students

If you’re a Black woman who plans on becoming a CPA, you may qualify for the AICPA Scholarship for Minority Accounting Students. This organization awards scholarships of up to $10,000 to minority undergraduate and graduate full-time accounting students planning to obtain a CPA designation. To qualify, you must have at least a 3.0 GPA and completed 30 hours of coursework, with at least six hours in accounting.

Where to find scholarships for Black women

Some of the best spots to find scholarships for Black women are scholarship search engines. These services compile thousands of available scholarships and organize them by deadline, award amount and more. You can also filter for more specific criteria to find the scholarships that you’re uniquely suited for. Some of the best scholarship search engines include:

How to get scholarships for college

The more scholarships you apply for, the more likely you will get aid. Here are a few tips to help you increase your chances of winning scholarships:

  • Meet deadlines: Most organizations won’t accept late applications. If you’re mailing in an application, consider whether your application must be received or postmarked by the deadline.
  • Submit the FAFSA: Some organizations require you to submit the FAFSA form prior to applying, particularly if you’re applying for a need-based scholarship.
  • Contact your college’s financial aid office: HBCUs and minority-serving institutions (MSIs) offer scholarships and programs specifically for Black women that other universities don’t offer.
  • Find your niche: To narrow the field, look for scholarships or fellowships related to your interests, major or discipline. Because there will be fewer applicants, the more specific you get, you have a better chance of earning the award.
  • Keep a spreadsheet: If you’re applying for multiple scholarships, stay organized with a spreadsheet or calendar where you can mark deadlines, scholarship amounts and application status to ensure that you stay on track.

How and when you’ll receive your money depends on the scholarship. Some scholarships will be directly applied to your total cost of attendance (tuition, fees, housing, etc.), and some send the award money in the mail. When you accept the scholarship, the organization or school will provide you with the details.

The bottom line

Many scholarships are available to help Black women pay for higher education. Using a scholarship search engine can help you find a scholarship opportunity that best matches your unique qualifications. Make sure you’re aware of the scholarship’s deadline before applying to ensure you submit your application on time. Apply to as many scholarships as you’re eligible for to increase your chances of winning one.