The United Negro College Fund, often known as the United Fund, is an international charitable organization that supports black student scholarship as well as general scholarship monies at 37 historically black institutions and universities. Since its inception, UNCF has assisted over 500,000 students in obtaining their college diplomas.
UNCF is the country’s largest private provider of minority group scholarships. We provide more than $100 million in scholarships each year to students at more than 1,100 schools around the country, including our esteemed network of 37 historically black colleges and universities.
The Fund II Foundation UNCF STEM Scholars Program, the UNCF/Koch Scholars Program, the K-12 Education Fellowship, and the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Scholarship Program are among the scholarship programs we handle.
Countless business institutions, including UNCF and the national government, provide scholarships and awards. Scholarships and grants, with exception of debts, do not force you to work in college while you are in school, however, unlike work-study programs, they do not compel you to work in college while you are in school.
It’s critical to complete your homework because each scholarship or grant program has its qualifying criteria and application requirements.
NEED-BASED VS. MERIT-BASED AWARDS
There are two types of scholarship and grants:
- Need-based financial aid
- Merit scholarships
Need-based financial aid is awarded strictly based on your financial need. An essential step in the application process for need-based aid is completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Merit scholarships are typically awarded to students based on their academic, athletic or artistic ability. Merit scholarships are also awarded to students who are connected with a particular group or organization such as a church or civic group.
Because many merit scholarships also require applicants to complete FAFSA, we recommend you begin your application process by completing the important first step of filing a FAFSA.
FINDING SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS
UNCF manages various scholarship programs and awards more than $100 million a year in scholarships to more than 10,000 students at more than 1,100 schools across the country, including our prestigious network of 37 members HBCUs. To find and apply for a UNCF scholarship:
- Go to Scholarships to explore UNCF scholarships available to those who meet the following criteria:
- Minimum GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
- Full-time enrollment in a college or university, presently or prospectively
- FAFSA application filed
- Financial need verified by the financial aid director of the college or university you wish to attend
Here are other free resources that offer information about scholarships and grants:
- Online scholarship search for Student Aid
- Your high school, Upward Bound or Talent Search counselor
- Your library’s reference section
- Local foundations, religious or community organizations, businesses and civic groups
- Organizations related to your field of interest
- A parent’s employer
SEVEN TIPS FOR WINNING A MERIT-BASED SCHOLARSHIP
- Keep your eyes open. Watch for announcements of scholarships on your guidance counselor’s bulletin board, at your church institution, in your library’s college section or in your local newspaper.
- Don’t miss deadlines. Stay organized and create timelines for yourself, just as you do when applying to colleges and universities.
- Know your audience. Describe yourself in terms of the interest of the sponsoring organization. Show how your goals match theirs.
- Tell your story. Most applications require an essay. Keep it real and personal. Share an important experience from your life that will help the reader understand what makes you, you.
- Clean up your online profiles. Many colleges and universities conduct online searches of the students they are considering. Make sure your Facebook, Twitter and other public social media profiles show your best self.
- Proofread your work. Give yourself time to review everything before you submit. Enlist help from parents, teachers, coaches and other trusted adults who can serve as another pair of eyes to make sure your work is strong and error-free.
- Make and keep copies. After you’ve spent so much time putting together a great application, you wouldn’t want to have to re-create it if it gets lost in the mail. Be sure to make a copy of everything you submit.
To submit an application right now?
Don’t miss out on these scholarships and career openings that are closing in February!
Each of these programs, as well as dozens of other internships, fellowships, and faculty career advancement, has its own set of eligibility rules, implementation deadlines, and enrollment specifications.