4 scholarships that help minorities access higher education in the US

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Although there is a large selection of scholarships available specifically for minorities, there is also a large number of students competing for those limited awards. Scholarships can be a huge boon for students to help them avoid massive federal student loans. Need-based scholarships do exist, but students should do their best to reach the highest academic successes they can to improve their odds of landing a scholarship.

High school students should take plenty of AP and other advanced courses and keep those grades high. Stellar ACT and SAT scores are a great way to increase your chances of standing out from the crowd. Don’t be afraid to get tutoring in your weakest subjects, and consider taking practice tests before you take the real tests. Also, be aware of the content on your social media profiles, as scholarship committees may actually find your accounts and use that information as part of their determination process.

Letters of recommendation can also play a large role in the application process. Be sure to build strong relationships with those you would like to write you letters of recommendation. The teacher should be intimately familiar with your work and capabilities in order to draft the most specific and flattering letter possible. Also, give these teachers plenty of time to write the letters rather than leave it until last minute. Usually, these instructors are very busy people.

Minorities can improve their chances of landing a minority-specific scholarship by joining minority advocacy groups, such as the African American Planning Commission in New York. Beyond volunteering for one of these advocacy groups, students can also find other types of leadership positions in extra-curricular organisations to boost their case for a scholarship. Remember, competition is tough, so don’t assume that just graduating is going to land you a critical scholarship.

In your scholarship application, you may want to consider integrating the unique challenges you may face as a member of a minority group. Be sure to include concrete, real-life examples to personalise it. Showing your resilience in the face of difficulty could help bolster your scholarship case, especially if you are applying to one of the minority-specific awards like those listed above.

Choosing a scholarship can be a difficult process. Students should maximise potential by using a scholarship directory and applying to those that fit their educational goals and specific backgrounds, and they should be as prepared as possible, following all application requirements, in order to give themselves the best shot.

 

Special thanks to Anica Oaks for this well-documented article. Anica is a professional content and copywriter from San Francisco, California. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her speciality. 

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