Minority Grants — Places to Find Money for School

It used to be that you could get a good job with just a high school diploma and then work your way up the corporate ladder. Today, however, you have to have a college degree before employers will even look at your resume. If you are a part of a minority group and you are looking to get a college degree, there are a number of minority grants that will help you pay for school. Before you apply for these minority grants, however, you must submit the FAFSA form. Many of the minority grants are need based and you will have to demonstrate on the FAFSA that you qualify under those terms.

The first place to look for minority grants is the government. While the government doesn't have minority grants per se, the grant programs they do have tend to award the bulk of their money to minority groups due to socioeconomic factors. Students should look into the Pell Grant, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, the Academic Competitiveness Grant and the National SMART Grant. All of these grants are need based programs with the Pell Grant being the most important of the bunch. Some of the other grant programs require that the student be a Pell Grant recipient.

Another great place to look for minority grants is associations and foundations that were developed specifically to help minority communities. African-Americans should contact United Negro College Fund, the Frederick Douglas Scholars Program, or the National Black Nurses Association about minority grants they have available. Hispanic-Americans should look into the Hispanic Scholarship Fund Institute or the Hispanic Nurses Association Grants and Scholarships. Native Americans can apply for the Tribal Colleges Education Equity Grants or the Indian Adult Education program. Students with mental or physical disabilities are eligible for the Harry Truman Scholarship Program and the Tech-Prep Education program.

Lastly, a number of corporations support education and provide grants for top performing students. While not all of them offer minority grants for specific groups, it is worth the effort it takes to contact Fortune 500 companies to see what programs they offer. Wal-Mart, ExxonMobil, AT&T, and Coca-Cola are all examples of companies who invest in education by offering scholarships and grants. Be careful though. Some companies may require you to work for them for a few years after you graduate, so always read the fine print. When it comes to paying for your education, use all of the resources at your disposal to find minority grants that will help you pay for your degree.

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