Last updateMon, 26 Aug 2019 4am

Paying Your Way: Financing Your College Education

Going to college represents a huge financial commitment for many. The good news is that, on average, HBCUs cost much less than other institutions. Still, a college education is expensive, and most students must explore loans, scholarships, and grants to defray the costs of tuition.

Your high school guidance counselor can provide you with information on applying for financial assistance and also tell you about scholarship opportunities for residents of your city, county, or state. You may also qualify for a scholarship based on your academic performance or athletic ability.

The Internet offers endless resources to assist you in your search for financial assistance. You can visit for a free application for federal student aid. A searchable database of more than 2,300 sources of funding is available online at

Many scholarships and grants are specifically targeted to minority youth. The following list provides just a few of the resources available to help you begin your research.

  • Actuarial Foundation
    The Actuarial Foundation's Actuarial Diversity Scholarship is an annual scholarship program that encourages academic achievements for Black/African American, Hispanic, and Native American students.
  • American Architectural Foundation (AAF)
    The AAF offers minority/disadvantaged scholarships to students who plan to study architecture at an NAABaccredited program (National Architectural Accrediting Board).
  • American Chemical Society (ACS)
    The ACS offers scholarships to minority students who want to study chemistry or chemistry-related fields.
  • American Geological Institute (AGI)
    AGI, through its Minority Participation Program, offers Geoscience Student Scholarships to ethnic-minority students in the geosciences.
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
    The AICPA provides scholarships to minority students demonstrating exceptional academic achievement, leadership, and commitment to pursuing the CPA designation.
  • American Physical Society (APS)
    The APS Minority Scholarship provides funding and mentoring to minority physics students to increase the number of under-represented minorities obtaining degrees in physics.
  • American Planning Association (APA)
    The APA's Judith McManus Price Scholarship is awarded to women and minority students who are enrolled in a Planning Accreditation Board program and are interested in careers as practicing planners.
  • Aspen Institute
    The Aspen Institute Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation awards the William Randolph Hearst Endowed Fellowship to students of color with an interest in nonprofit organizations, philanthropy, and the social sector.
  • Boeing
    Boeing offers scholarships to students who attend one of the colleges and universities with whom the company partners, including some HBCUs.
  • Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Spouses
    Part of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, CBC Spouses provides scholarships to minority students.
  • Development Fund for Black Students in Science and Technology (DFBSST)
    Established by a group of black technical professionals, DFBSST is an endowment fund that provides scholarships to African-American undergraduate students enrolled in scientific or technical fields of study HBCUs.
  • Gates Millennium Scholars Program (GMS)
    GMS provides scholarships to outstanding minority students with significant financial need.
  • Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF)
    The JRF provides four-year scholarships for higher education to minority youths.
  • Microsoft
    The Microsoft Scholarship Program offers a scholarship to help minorities pursue education in computer science and related fields.
  • National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME)
    The NACME Pre-Engineering Student Scholarship Program recognizes minority high school seniors who are committed to science and engineering.
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
    The NAACP offers a number of scholarships for minority youth to promote and ensure higher education opportunities.
  • National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ)
    The NABJ awards scholarships to student members interested in pursuing careers in journalism.
  • National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs, Inc. (NANBPWC)
    The NANBPWC offers several scholarships as part of their mission to serve as a bridge for young people seeking to enter business and the professions.
  • National Black Nurses Association (NBNA)
    The NBNA offers various scholarships to provide funding for continuing education.
  • National Black Police Association (NBPA)
    The NBPA's Alphonso Deal Scholarship Award helps student pursue higher educational training in law enforcement or other related areas.
  • National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)
    NSBE provides several scholarships to minority students studying engineering at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC) The African-American Future Achievers
    RMHC offers scholarships to students from disadvantaged communities who have at least one parent of African-American heritage.
  • Ron Brown Scholar Program
    Named for the late Secretary of Commerce, the Ron Brown Scholar Program provides academic scholarships, service opportunities, and leadership experiences for young African Americans.
  • Thurgood Marshall College Fund
    The Thurgood Marshall College Fund provides scholarships to students attending the nation's public HBCUs.
  • United Negro College Fund (UNCF)
    The UNCF administers 400 scholarship and internship programs aimed at ensuring students from low- and moderate-income families can afford college tuition, books, and room and board.