Minority groups have increased their undergraduate and graduate college enrollment rates since 1976, but teaching staff don't represent minorities as well as student populations do. For this reason, the National Education Association has made it a priority to recruit more teachers from minority groups, making minority education scholarships readily available from higher education institutions and funding organizations. Most of these scholarships are for U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens, but undocumented students can also find financial support to pursue teaching degrees at many American institutions.
Agnes Jones Jackson Scholarship $2,000
Anthony S. Fountain and Alissa Fountain-Burse Scholarship $3,000
Beyond the Burroughs National Scholarship Up to $20,000
TMCF/McDonald's True to the HBCU Scholarship $10,000
TMCF/Walmart Foundation First Generation Scholarship $6,200
Professional Organizations for African-American Students
- Thurgood Marshall College Fund The Thurgood Marshall College Fund creates education opportunities for African Americans through scholarships, research, and capacity-building. The organization also connect employers with students for job and internship opportunities. The Thurgood Marshall College Fund advocates for HBCUs and Predominantly Black Institutions.
- United Negro College Fund As the nation's leading minority education organization, the United Negro College Fund provides minority education scholarships, financial aid assistance, and career planning for students and their parents. The fund also works with lawmakers to expand educational opportunities for African Americans.
- National Alliance of Black School Educators Founded in 1970, the National Alliance of Black School Educators strives to improve education for African-American youth. In addition to research and policy advocacy, the organization provides professional development opportunities and employment assistance. It also publishes the Journal of the Alliance of Black School Educators.
Hispanic Scholarship Fund $500-$5,000
Hispanic Heritage Foundation Youth Awards $2,000 to $15,000
Cafe Bustelo El Cafe Del Futuro Scholarship $5,000
Kia Motors America, Inc. $3,400
Big Red Avance Scholarship $1,000
Professional Organizations for Hispanic and Latino Students
- Hispanic Heritage Foundation The Hispanic Heritage Foundation helps Latino leaders find their place in the classroom, community, and workforce. The foundation's leadership and development program includes 10 potential career tracks, including education. Program graduates enjoy internship and career placement opportunities, and may apply for one of 31 scholarships through their Haz La U program.
- Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities represents more than 470 colleges and universities in the United States, Puerto Rico, Latin America and Spain. In addition to providing scholarships, the association sponsors career development, networking, and student programs.
- United States Hispanic Leadership Institute The United States Hispanic Leadership Institute empowers the Latino community by promoting education, leadership development, unity, and non-partisan civic participation. The organization offers scholarships, internships, and a student leadership series focused on creating a culture of education for all Latino families.
The Native American Scholarship $5,000
TransCanada Indigenous Legacy Scholarship $5,000
DAR American Indian Scholarship $4,000
Emilie Hesemeyer Memorial Scholarship $1,500
AISES Burlington North Santa Fe Foundation Scholarship $2,500
Professional Organizations for Native-American Students
- American Indian College Fund The American Indian College Fund awards more than 4,000 scholarships each year, with a goal to double its awards in the next five years. The fund's website provides resources for students preparing for college and graduate school. It also helps students find doctorate scholarships for minorities in education.
- Association on American Indian Affairs Founded in 1922, the Association on American Indian Affairs focuses on three main initiatives: protecting sovereignty, preserving culture, and educating youth. The association provides scholarships to both undergraduate and graduate students to better equip future leaders within American-Indian communities.
- American Indian Education Fund This fund offers scholarships, grants, and college-readiness camps, with a goal to end the cycle of poverty among American Indians. The website features a helpful document entitled "Tools for Success," which includes a scholarship directory and guidelines for getting into college.
AT&T Scholarship $2,500
Coca-Cola Scholarship $2,500
FedEx Scholarship $2,500 per year
Korean American Scholarship Foundation Scholarships $500-$5,000
The Gates Scholarship Varies
Professional Organizations for Asian and Pacific-Islander Students
- Asian and Pacific Islander Scholarship Fund As the largest nonprofit scholarship provider for Asian Americans, the Asian and Pacific Islander Scholarship Fund awards financial aid and training resources to help students access, complete, and succeed after their college education. Beyond scholarships, the organization offers resources including the Jumpstart College Tour and scholarship application assistance.
- Asian Pacific Fund This fund focuses on efforts in the San Francisco Bay Area, offering scholarship and leadership development opportunities to Asian Americans. They raise awareness of issues facing Asian and Pacific-Islander populations in the Bay area. The organization currently funds 10 scholarship programs.
- Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership This conference strives to equip and empower Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to lead at all levels of public service. It offers a scholarship and internship program, plus a networking and career fair and professional development training.
The Dream.US National Scholarship Up to $29,000
The Dream.US Opportunity Scholarship $80,000
Scholarship America Dream Award $5,000 to $15,000 per year
Education First Scholarship $3,000 to $5,000
Golden Door Scholarship $7,500
Professional Organizations for Undocumented Students
- TheDream.us TheDream.us provides DREAMers (undocumented minors seeking conditional residency) the opportunity to earn a college education and give back to their family, community, and country. In addition to scholarships, the organization provides networking opportunities and in-college support. It also advocates for education equality for all DREAMers.
- ScholarshipAmerica ScholarshipAmerica designs and delivers student support programs, including scholarship opportunities. One service, The Scholarship Coach, helps students find and apply for scholarships. It also offers a free ebook, called "How to Afford College."
- Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities offers resources for DACA/Dreamers beyond just scholarships. Specifically, the site contains directories of organizations, government agencies, and legal resources that benefit DACA/DREAMer students.
Scholarships provide funding for post-secondary education, and they don't have to be repaid. Given the vast number and variety of scholarships out there, most motivated students pursuing a college education in the United States can qualify for a few scholarship opportunities.
Most scholarships require their applicants to meet certain academic achievement or leadership standards, but some focus on need, ethnicity, or being the first person in the family to attend college. Minority teacher education scholarships specifically target minority students pursuing teacher education programs.
|As with scholarships, students who receive grants to help fund their college education do not need to repay the money. However, while scholarships tend to be funded by individuals and non-governmental organizations, grant funding usually comes from the government. Scholarships also tend to focus on applicants' accomplishments and drive, while grants look at financial need.|
Work-study programs provide part-time jobs for students to fund a portion of their college education. The U.S. government funds nearly all work-study programs with a small percent funded by state governments. Applicants must demonstrate financial need in order to qualify for work study.
Work-study opportunities vary by university, but usually involve an element of civic education and relate to the student's field of study. Both full-time and part-time students may qualify for work-study. Given the limited funds available to each institution, students should apply to their college financial aid office as early as possible.
Federal Student Loans
Federal Student Loans offer the borrower lower interest rates and more flexible repayment schedules than loans available from banks or other private sources. In 2017, Federal Student Loans carried fixed interest rates between 4.5% and 7%, depending on the type of loan.
These loans fall into two major categories: the Federal Direct Loan Program and the Federal Perkins Loan Program. The Perkins Loan targets students in exceptional financial need. The Direct Loan Program offers direct subsidized student loan options, in which the U.S. government covers interest while recipients are enrolled at least half-time, meaning students don't need to begin repaying the loan until after graduation. Unsubsidized loans require repayment while recipients are enrolled.
Students may also apply for private student loans from banks, state agencies, their university. Because the U.S. government does not subsidize these loans, recipients must begin repaying them while in school.
Unlike federal student loans, private student loans require students to have an established credit score, and in some cases, a cosigner. Private lenders usually offer the option of either a variable interest rate or fixed interest rate. Variable interest rates may be lower initially, but usually rise as time goes on. Private interest rates typically run about double those of government loans.
Filing the FAFSA
Anyone applying for federal student loans, work-study programs, grants, or need-based scholarships from a college or private funder must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students who depend on their parents will need to complete the FAFSA with a parent, and the application must be completed online, in English. Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, but the FAFSA doesn't ask about parents' citizenship status.
Deadlines vary by state and type of requested funding, but the federal deadline is June 30. Still, students should aim to submit the FAFSA by March 1.
FAFSA applicants must provide their social security number, alien registration number (for non-citizens), and federal income tax returns. They must also provide bank statements and investment records, if applicable. Dependent students must provide most of the same information from their parents. Students may also find it useful to create a Federal Student Aid ID in order to sign the form electronically.
Students can usually complete and submit the FAFSA as early as Oct. 1 each year. Deadlines vary by state and type of requested funding, but the federal deadline is June 30. Still, students should aim to submit the FAFSA by March 1, to ensure best access to available funding.
Start Your Research Early
Students who begin their search for minority education scholarships early will find plenty of opportunities, especially for applicants who demonstrate significant financial need. Scholarship selection committees prefer students who apply early, with accurate, high-quality applications and essays. Many scholarship application cycles open as early as September of the year preceding fall enrollment. Students should devote the same attention and discipline to the scholarship search and application process as they would to a regular job.
Prior to starting the application process for a particular scholarship, students should review the eligibility requirements. Beyond basic citizenship and ethnicity requirements, students should find out if the scholarship is restricted to particular universities, or if it mandates standards for academic achievement, field of study, organizational affiliation (if applicable), or economic status. Scholarship committees will not review applications from students who do not meet eligibility requirements.
Apply for Many Scholarships
Students should avoid the temptation to apply for just a few big scholarships. Large scholarships tend to attract plenty of competition, while smaller ones create less competition. Students should start their search with through their university's financial aid office, to find school-specific opportunities.
Follow Instructions Carefully
Students make have one shot to impress scholarship selection committees: through the application. Applicants must follow instructions carefully to create a winning impression on committee members, and make sure they understand each application question, plus requirements for recommendation letters and other supplemental materials.
Write Compelling Essays
Many scholarships require applicants to submit an essay with their application package. Essay writers should clearly understand the topic, tone, and objective required by the prompt. Students should then make an outline, and write as many drafts as necessary to create a polished final essay. Prior to submitting, applicants should ask a trusted teacher or accomplished writer to review the copy for final suggestions.
- Free Application for Federal Student Aid FAFSA serves as the first step for any student searching for any kind of federal student aid, plus several scholarships. The site offers a school-finder tool students can use to narrow their selection based on location, institutional size, and course of study.
- Student Aid for Non-U.S. Citizens As part of the Federal Student Aid division of the U.S. Department of Education, this page focuses specifically on helping non-U.S. citizens get the financial aid they need to attend college. Non-U.S. citizen students should review the helpful questions and answers on this page prior to completing the FAFSA.
- College Scholarships for Teachers This website allows students to search for a variety of financial aid options, breaking them down according to gender and ethnicity.
- TEACH The TEACH.org website provides information for students interested teaching as a career. The site introduces students to the profession of teaching, and offers networking opportunities, plus directories for teacher education programs and scholarship resources for education majors.