Scholarships for African American Women

Once you start looking for scholarship opportunities for African American Women you are going to be pleasantly surprised by the number out there. Many were created to address the historic inequality of economic opportunity faced by African Americans in this country, and those are often funded by the United Negro College Fund. Others were created to encourage study in areas that are historically underrepresented by this particular minority group. In the long run, as long as you apply -- and receive funding – it’s all good. The rule of thumb is apply . . . and apply often. Remember that application deadlines occur throughout the year, not just in the spring or fall, so keep on top of it. Finally, eligibility requirements differ from scholarship to scholarship, and there is something out there for everyone! (Note: We did include two scholarships that are available to African American women and men because they were just too important, and especially in the case of the offering from the NABJ, too large to omit.) Don’t get discouraged! If at first you don’t succeed --- try, try, try again.

AAUW – Career Development Grants

The American Association of University Women has long supported further education for all women. These particular grants, however, address women of color, with bachelor’s degrees, who have decided to go back to school to further their current careers, change career fields, or return to the workplace. Grant amounts vary from $2,000 to $12,000 each. Selection priority is given to women pursuing their first advanced degree or credentialing in a non-traditional field for women, or to women interested in technical or professional fields who intend to pursue a master’s degree, a second bachelor’s degree, or specialized training to prepare them to work in those areas. If you would like further information, you can find more specific details, on the website: Deadline is December 15th.

AAUW – Selected Professions Fellowships

The American Association of University Women offers these fellowships each year to women who will attend an accredited college or university in pursuit of degrees in fields where women are underrepresented. These fields include Architecture (M.Arch, M.S.Arch); Computer/Information Science (M.S.); Engineering (M.E., M.S.); and Mathematics/Statistics (M.S.).
However, the fields listed below are restricted only to women of color, who have been underrepresented in the fields of Business Administration (M.B.A.) – applicants may apply for 2nd year of study only; Law (J.D.) – applicants may apply for 3rd year of study only; and Medicine (M.D., D.O.) – applicants may apply for 3rd or 4th year of study only.

Applications deadline is January 10th.. Any questions about applications should be directed to the Iowa City office. Please do not contact the AAUW office in Washington, D.C., or local branches for application information. Please call (202) 785.7700, email, or fill out their "contact us" page at

The Dr. Arnita Young Boswell

This scholarship is presented annually by the National Hookup for Black Women to an African American undergraduate student, enrolled in an accredited college or university. The minimum amount awarded is $1,000, and the prize is renewable, however, the student must reapply annually. Deadline: March 1st.

Scholarship Committee
National Hook-Up of Black Women, Inc.
1809 East 71st. Street, Suite 205
Chicago, IL 60649

Local chapters provide scholarships as well. Contact the local chapter nearest you for details.

Development Fund for Black Students in Science and Technology

With the assistance of engineering and science deans and professors at pre-selected colleges, promising students are encouraged to apply for these scholarships, based on their aptitude. Eligibility requirement include intent to major in a technical field such as engineering, math or science; that they are currently enrolled in one of the specified black colleges or universities listed on the website; and, that they are U.S. citizens. Amount of awards are up to $2,000 per year and are renewable for a maximum of four years. If you would like to receive an application, contact the science or engineering department of one of the schools listed on their website. Deadline is June 15th.

Ethel Lee Hoover Ellis

If you are an African American woman, who is a college sophomore or junior, majoring in Business, who resides in the Southeast District of the United States, you may be eligible for this scholarship. The Southeast District includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, the Carolinas, Tennessee, or West Virginia. You must be currently enrolled in an accredited college or university, and have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale. Deadline: March 1st. For complete details about application requirements, visit the website

Essence Scholars Program

Five scholarships are awarded each year to female African American sophomore or junior college students who are attending schools that are part of the United Negro College Fund, unless enrolled at Howard or Hampton Universities. Eligibility requirements include a 3.0 GPA, and a demonstrable need for financial assistance through an FAFSA application. (May be obtained at Applicants should also be able to demonstrate a strong desire to learn; a comprehensive understanding of contemporary African American culture; and a general understanding of the UNCF and its work. The maximum award is $10,000; some receive lesser amounts. This program is supported by Essence Magazine. Deadline is November 30 annually. Visit or you may call (202) 810-0258 .

The Dr. Wynetta A. Frazier "Sister to Sister"

This scholarship is awarded by the National Hookup for Black Women to mature African American women, at least 30 years of age, who do not have the support of a spouse. Applicants may be women who dropped out of college to care for their families or to seek employment. At least two of these awards are made each year, in the amount of $500 each, based on eligibility requirements and the competition as outlined in the application packet. Deadline: March 1st.

Dr. Julianne Malveaux

This scholarship is presented annually to an African American female college sophomore or junior currently enrolled in an accredited college or university by the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc. Student must be majoring in journalism, economics or a related field, such as public policy or creative writing. The application filing period is January 1 through March 1 each year. Watch the website for announcement regarding application and theme for the year.

The Phyllis G. Meekins

This scholarship has been awarded annually since 2006 to one support one graduating minority female high school senior that will be pursuing a full course of study as well as playing collegiate golf at an accredited university or college in the U.S. This year’s award was in the amount of $1,250.00. Eligibility requirements include demonstration of financial need and a 3.0 GPA. This scholarship fund is administered by the Ladies Professional Golf Association. Deadline is May 15th.


The National Association of Black Journalists awards a number of scholarships each year to both men and women of African American heritage each year, but if you’ve ever dreamed of being that person who wrote the Pulitzer Prize winning news story of the year you should apply for one of these scholarships. The requirements vary from award to award. The application deadline is April 1st annually, but that will give you time to write something prizewinning to go into your application packet. The awards and prize amounts are:

NABJ/News Corporation High School Scholarship
DeWayne Wickham Founder’s High School Scholarship
Les Payne Founder’s Scholarship
Allison E. Fisher Scholarship
Carole Simpson Scholarship
Visual Task Force Scholarship
up to $1,500
Larry Whiteside Scholarship
NABJ Scholarship

All applicants must be members of the NABJ. For more information visit the website at

Omega Phi Beta Sorority “Reach for the Gold”

As their way of addressing the increasing cost of college, the Omega Phi Beta Alumni Association created this book scholarship of $1,000 to help defray that portion of the cost for a deserving female student of color entering her first year of college. Deadline is May 26th.

Jeanette Rankin Foundation

The Rankin Foundation offers these scholarships each year and their application process kicks off on November 1st. Over 500 awards have been given since 1978, when the program began, with the intention of helping low income women over 35 – sadly a group where African American women often find themselves – to return to school to make a better life for themselves and their families. Deadline: March 1st. If you would like more information and to see if you would qualify for one of these scholarships, visit the website at

Dr. Blanca Moore-Velez Woman of Substance

This is another award given by the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs – this time to an African American female, aged 35+, who is an undergraduate student currently enrolled in an accredited university or college. You must be a resident of the state of Nevada to apply. Filing period is from January 1 through March 1. Visit for an application and more details about this very special scholarship.