Socioeconomic conditions within the African-American community have long been responsible for low education rates. The apathy of this situation has prompted the government as well as other organizations to step up and help this community. There are several funding programs that help women from this community to pursue higher education. The Obama administration has increased funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the education budget. Government grants have also increased in funding, so that they can help more students from low income families. Many of these programs have their own eligibility criteria and application processes. To apply for federal grants, an applicant needs to fill the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.
Major Funding Programs
United Negro College Fund
This fund was started way back in the early 1940s, and has helped many students from the African-American community with their education needs. The United Negro College Fund (UNFC) helps females with funding in graduate schools and colleges for 39 private member institutes. These institutes offer several funding programs that students can apply for. There is an online application process for all the programs, where you can also check the details of participating institutes.
HP Scholars Program
Students who are interested in engineering should apply for this program. Students enrolled for this award are eligible to receive $3,000 per year for a four-year period, hence making this a $12,000 fund. Qualifying students are also eligible for three years of paid internship programs. This benefit is limited to the HP scholar partner universities.
The National Scholarship
This financial award program is offered to graduating high school seniors from this community. Eligibility criteria for the program includes submitting two letters of recommendation from the school, one from either the school counselor or principal, and another from a school teacher who teaches subjects like math, science, or English.
National Society of Black Engineers
The NSBE offers funds ranging from $500 to $6,500, for undergraduate, graduate, and various other degree courses. In addition to the college fund, they also have cash award programs for students with good academic achievements.
There are several government grants available for students from low income families, that help them get higher education from over 500 participating colleges. Grants like the Federal Pell Grant award are up to $5,500 for each student per year. Then there are TEACH grants for students looking to make a career in teaching. It is mandatory to fill the FAFSA form in order to be eligible for these grants.
AORN Foundation Scholarship
This foundation offers nursing scholarships for women. The award given under this program can go up to $20,000 for each student. The AORN is a professional organization of registered nurses. It provides funding to students who are aspiring to become nurses.
There are several other programs which offer funding for African-American women for different education programs. You can visit the financial aid office of your college, or check with some of the local non-profit organization for more details.
Finally, you can check the individual websites of all these programs for further details regarding the application process, eligibility criteria, opening and closing dates, and the amount of the funds provided.