Everything you need to know about getting a minority scholarship to help you fund your higher education.
Training for a new profession or progressing in your career involves a major investment in time and money. Training can be expensive and often involve a lot of debt which can become a major financial burden to you after you qualify. If you belong to a particular minority, such as religious, ethnic, LGBT, you may be entitled to a minority scholarship. A scholarship will reduce your student debt, lower your stress levels and give you peace of mind while studying for your degree.
What Is a Scholarship?
A scholarship is a grant of financial aid given to students to further their education. It is given on the basis of predetermined criteria that reflect the wishes and values of the donor. The donor believes that education is a human right and is offering the scholarship in order to help you get your degree and reach your career goals. Scholarships don’t have to be repaid.
What Are Minority Scholarships?
Donors often choose to promote diversity by giving their scholarships to minority groups who may have certain disadvantages in life which prevent them from having the opportunity to study. These disadvantages may be a result of their financial situation, the country or culture to which they were born into or the political situation in their country.
- USA Minorities such as African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, Latinos
- Religious Minorities
- Students with disabilities
- Students with learning difficulties
What Types of Minority Scholarships Are Available?
Sometimes scholarships are given as a reward based on academic excellence. They are called Merit Scholarships. They can also be given to a student who is displaying outstanding talent in a particular subject.
Due to the under-representation of women in certain industries, (particularly the STEM subjects), and the gender disparity in the workplace, there are various initiatives and organizations offering scholarships to women who would like to study one of these subjects. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. They are given because these subjects are in high demand and fundamental to a country’s ability to innovate.
According to a Business Insider 2018 report, a study on the 50 best majors for finding the highest paying jobs upon graduation, the STEM fields are top of the list with an early career salary of $60,000.
In order to create gender diversity in the technology field, there is an array of choices of scholarships to encourage women to enter technology professions, such as the Women in Information Security Scholarship, provided for women who plan to study cybersecurity or a related field. Adobe also offers an Adobe Research Women in Technology Scholarship which recognizes outstanding undergraduate female students who want to study computer science, computer engineering or a closely related technical field
There are also scholarships for religious minorities — Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Catholic, Jewish, Baptist, Bahai, Methodist and Protestant are some examples. For example, the The Anglo Jewish Association (AJA Scholarship) is available to Jewish students from a range of countries who can demonstrate financial need.
Scholarships are also available for students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender and can demonstrate financial need, such as the Edward Tang Scholarship.
Ethnic minorities such as Hispanic, Latino, African American, and Indian also have specific minority scholarships, for example, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund offers merit-based annual awards to assist students of Hispanic origin who want to study one of the STEM majors.
University of the People, the first accredited, online, tuition-free university doesn’t charge students for educational instruction, course materials or annual enrolment, but in order to maintain high-quality online programs, charges an assessment fee per course. Students who are unable to pay for these assessment fees can apply for a UoPeople Scholarship to one of their Scholarship funds. We have amongst others an Emergency Refugee Scholarship Fund and a Simon Biles Scholarship fund for students who have been in foster care.
Where to Search for Minority Scholarships
There are several scholarship websites that are great resources for searching and applying for scholarships. They streamline the process, provide all the information that you require, including eligibility, deadlines, criteria and application procedure. Some of them also give you hints and tips on essay writing which are worth checking prior to making your application.
How to Choose a Scholarship
If you have a particular talent (music, sport, art, etc.), there are merit-based scholarships that you can apply for if you can prove your talent.
If you can demonstrate financial difficulty, there are scholarships specifically for students with financial need.
Once you have decided on your field of study, start searching for scholarships that are subject specific, e.g., scholarships for the arts or scholarships for engineering.
Do you identify as LGBT? If so, do your research to see which scholarships are available to you.
If you belong to an ethnic minority eg African American or Hispanic, you can search for ethnic minority scholarships.
Do you intend to study a STEM subject? Are you female and want to study a STEM subject?
Write down your answers and once you have done the groundwork, you will be ready for the search process.
6 Tips on Making Applications
- Check eligibility requirement and only apply if you meet the criteria.
- Use a spell check and make sure your application is neat, well structured and clean.
- Check your grammar and makes sure that your writing is as succinct as possible.
- Apply within the deadline.
- Make sure your essay is well structured and organized.
- Check and double check before sending.
Scholarships are a fundamental part of university study. They reduce your university debt and can give you peace of mind while studying. This enables you to work less and study more — the key to passing your degree and succeeding in your chosen career. Start right away! Don’t be afraid to apply for multiple scholarships as it will greatly improve your chances of attaining one if not more.