Grants For Minorities

Paying for college can be a complicated process, and can include things like loans, grants, and scholarships. Loans have their place and can be very useful, but grants and scholarships don’t gain interest and don’t have to be repaid, so they may take priority in your application process when it comes time to apply.

What's The Difference Between A Grant And A Scholarship?

While both grants and scholarships give money to a student for tuition or school related expenses, there are some important differences. Scholarships are generally awarded to students as a result of outstanding achievement in some sport or discipline. These scholarships can be awarded for things as varied as success in volleyball, or a desire to pursue a career in digital retail. The scholarships do not have to be repaid and, in some cases, are very competitve (although grants can be competitive as well).

Grants, on the other hand, are generally awarded out of a particular need of the individual student. Occassionaly, “some grants contain performance indicators, like maintaining a certain GPA during college, but generally the funds are dispersed to the neediest applicants.” (see A minority grant is money given to the neediest applicants of a certain minority class (black, hispanic, native american, women, students with a disability, etc.). While the minority status applicant must show a need for the money, grants are generally less competitive than scholarships because they can only be applied for by people within that particular minority class.

Two Types of Minority Grants

There are two types of minority grants: those grants for people who fit within a certain ethnic minority, and those grants for people who are needy because of some other, non-ethnic problems or obstacle. One of these might be a grant for women who are in a traditionally male dominated field, or perhaps it might be a grant for someone with autism or another disability.

If you are a member of a recognized minority ethnic group, it’s a good idea to apply for the regular sources of funding just as all other students do, but don’t stop there. Continue to search for grants that might be available to you solely because of your ethnicity.

Some Federal Grants

Interestingly, some of the most popular grants are not explicitly directed at minority groups, and yet they can help minority individuals who are in need of financial help enormously by providing for another opportunity for grant money. These may not qualify officially as minority grants, but should be looked at by every candidate, no matter what your race or ethnicity.

1. Pell Grants – these grants provide need based funding at a maximum of about $5,500 every year. In order to be get a pell grant you must have demonstrated financial need and have given the government some more information about the cost of your particular institution.

2. The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant – this grant targets those students who are the poorest among the applicants for federal financial aid. Part of this grant money is paid for by the college, but note that not every college participates.

3. The Federal Academic Competitiveness Grant – this grant offers money to people who are studying math, science, and technology, subjects which are in high demand and in need.

Even though these grants are not directly aimed towards minority students, every student should apply for them and for other grants they may qualify for (even if they aren’t specifically aimed at minorities).

Non-Federal Minority Grants

For a selection of classic minority grants aimed towards people in a certain ethnic class, there are many different places you can look. Nonprofit societies such as the NAACP or the United Negro College fund often have a list of grants that students can apply for, and the same applies for all other ethnic groups and societies (see, for example, the American Indian College Fund, the Ciri Fund, and others).

In addition to the minority foundations and nonprofits, corporations, universities and other large institutions also provide grants to minority groups who meet certain criteria. In an attempt to promote diversity, these grants can often be “competitive but lucrative”. (see

Where To Find?

To search for minority grants and scholarships, you may want to try Petersons (, Unigo (, FastWeb (, or Chegg (, all of which provide helpful search tools to find the grant or scholarship that is right for you.

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