African American College Grants

African American College Grants

According to the Journal of Black in Higher Education, in 1984, just 20.3 percent of all 18- to 24-year-old African Americans were enrolled in higher education. In 2004, that percentage had risen to 31.8 percent. While the number of college attendees has risen substantially in 20 years, many African American students are unable to complete their educations because they don’t have the money to pay for college. Several government and private organizations offer African American college grants–financial aid that, unlike loans, do not have to be repaid.

When contemplating African American college grants, the first name that comes to mind is typically the United Negro College Fund and its famous slogan, “A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste.” The UNCF Scholarships and Grants Administration office has given out more than $105 million in grants since 1985 and has benefited more than 28,000 students. These grants cover more than just tuition–they fund books, fees, room and board, and more.

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Many of these grants require that students attend colleges or universities that are members of UNCF. UNCF typically provides money to these schools to help them keep costs low. Many of them can be renewed each year and require that recipients maintain high GPAs.

Another major source of African American college grants is the Ron Brown Scholarship Program. This program awards grants to motivated African American high school seniors who demonstrate academic excellence. As of 2006, a minimum of 10 African American high school seniors each year were honored with a grant of $10,000 a year for four years.

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