As the student loan crisis in America grows, racial disparities in student debt have become increasingly apparent. Black students take out a disproportionate amount of student loans, with the average Black graduate owing over $25,000 more in student debt than the average white graduate. The financial support of scholarships for minority students can be crucial in bridging this gap.
Black students are also most likely to take out loans, with 84.3% of Black Bachelor’s Degree students taking out loans for the 2015-2016 year, followed by 83.0% of Alaska Native and American Indian/Native American students and 72.2% of Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students.
There are also discrepancies between rates of default by race, with half of the Black students who graduated in 2003 defaulting on their student loan payments at some point by 2015 and 36.1% of Latino students defaulting. Comparatively, only 21.5% of white 2003 graduates defaulted within the same time frame.
Student loan disparities are made even worse due to the racial wage gap that disadvantages Black and Latinx workers. Part of the reason for this discrepancy is the underemployment of Black workers. Nearly 40% of Black degree holders work a job that doesn’t require a college degree, as compared to only 31% of white graduates.
Furthermore, there is a significant divide between the employment rates of Black and white workers. Since 1972, the Black unemployment rate has been more than twice the rate of white unemployment, except during the Great Recession. Among college-educated workers, the gap is smaller, though Black unemployment is still higher than white unemployment, at 3.5% as compared to 2.2%.
The significant wage and employment gaps between Black and white employees make it even more difficult for Black borrowers to repay debt, 48% of Black students owing 12.5% more than they originally borrowed, four years after graduating. In comparison, after the same amount of time, 83% of white students have reduced their debt by 12%.
Due to the significant barriers that BIPOC students face and the disproportionate burden that student loans place on students of color compared to white students, we’ve compiled this list of 17 scholarships for underrepresented minority students, available exclusively on Bold.org, to encourage minority students to pursue opportunities in higher education.
To start applying for scholarships for minorities on Bold.org, simply create your free Bold.org profile by clicking on any of the many scholarships above. After creating a profile, you can search for scholarships, filtering categories in order to find scholarships that you are eligible for.
In order to qualify for minority scholarships, you must be of a racial minority. The list of scholarships for minority students above includes scholarships for African-American students, Hispanic students, Asian American students, Native American and indigenous students as well as other general minorities.
There are general eligibility requirements in order to apply for scholarships on Bold.org. Applicants must be a high school student or engaged in a higher form of education. Additionally, applicants must be fourteen years of age or older and enrolled in a school in the United States.
Each scholarship for minority students has a set of specific eligibility criteria. This can include education, with scholarship opportunities for college students specifically, high school seniors, or a variety of education levels. Minority scholarships already have a racial eligibility requirement. Other criteria range from GPA to location to fields of interest.
There are many different types of