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Scholarships are a type of financial aid that don’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. There are hundreds of scholarships for Black women available, including scholarships for Black women interested in science, health care, computer engineering, law and more. If you’re looking for ways to cover the costs of a college education, here’s where to start.
5 best scholarships for Black women
Scholarships for Black women are available through a variety of national and local organizations. A scholarship search engine is the best place to find all of 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, be living in Winnebago County, Illinois, or be related to Dr. Ware. You’ll also have to flex your creative muscles by writing an essay, which lists any personal achievements, leadership skills or obstacles you’ve overcome that make you an ideal candidate for this award.
Deadline: Feb. 1, 2023
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 health care 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 health care-related STEM field. Additionally, you must fill out the FAFSA, have unmet financial need as determined by your school and be in good academic standing.
Amount: Up to $5,000
Deadline: Sept. 29, 2022
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.
Amount: Up to $5,000
Deadline: June 30, 2023
5. James W. Stoudt Memorial Scholarship
Each year, the Pennsylvania Bar Association 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 talking about what contributions you aspire to make in the legal profession or in your community and provide references that can vouch for you.
Deadline: Dec. 1, 2022
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 are to 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, take note of 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.