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Top Scholarships at HBCUs

In a nation that has seen unequal access to education throughout its history, HBCUs have helped to break down barriers and provide supportive and financially viable options for Black students. 

According to a Gallup poll, 40% of HBCU graduates reported a sense of financial security throughout college, versus 29% of Black students across all schools. We are hoping to raise that 40% statistic with this list of the top scholarships at HBCUs.

See also: Top scholarships for Black students

Top scholarships at HBCUs

Check out these scholarships for current or incoming HBCU students, including some opportunities for students who are looking to study abroad!

IES Abroad Tuition and Travel Grant

  • Eligibility: HBCU students who are enrolling in an IES study abroad program
  • Minimum GPA: 3.3
  • Amount: Varies
  • Deadline: March 15, April 1, May 1, and November 1

ETS Presidential Scholarship for HBCU Students

  • Eligibility: Incoming juniors or seniors at HBCUs
  • Minimum GPA: 3.5
  • Amount: Full tuition
  • Deadline: March 15

TMCF & McDonald’s “Black and Positively Golden” Scholarship

  • Eligibility: Students at HBCUs who demonstrate leadership
  • Minimum GPA: 2.7
  • Amount: $15,000
  • Deadline: March 27

Delta Community Credit Union HBCU Scholarship

  • Eligibility: Current or incoming undergraduate students at a HBCU that are Georgia residents
  • Minimum GPA: N/A
  • Amount: $5,000
  • Deadline: Must be nominated by April 30, 2024

Development Fund for Black Students in Science and Technology

  • Eligibility: Black students enrolling at one of the listed HBCUs who are studying STEM. There’s no required GPA, but students are partially ranked according to their academic achievement. 
  • Minimum GPA: N/A
  • Amount: Up to $3,000 per year
  • Deadline: June 15

National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame HBCU Scholarships

  • Eligibility: The National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame offers multiple different scholarships that HBCU students can apply for. Undergraduate and graduate students are both eligible. 
  • Minimum GPA: N/A
  • Amount: Not listed
  • Deadline: Rolling basis, but reviewed quarterly

National Black MBA Association Partner Scholarships

  • Eligibility: Open to Black students majoring or intending to major in business at one of the National Black MBA Association’s partner institutions
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0 or above
  • Amount: $1,000 – $50,000
  • Deadline: Varies

Semester at Sea HBCU Scholarship

  • Eligibility: Undergraduate students attending HBCUs who have been accepted into the Semester at Sea study and sailing program
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Amount: $10,000
  • Deadline: Varies; apply after acceptance to the program

Other scholarship lists to explore

How to win scholarships at HBCUs

Scholarships at HBCUs can be competitive, so it’s important to craft an application that stands out from the crowd. One of the best ways to give your application a boost is to write a great essay! Since you’re applying for scholarships specifically offered to HBCU students, you may be asked to write about your heritage and what it means to you. 

Spend some time reflecting on this before you launch into your essay. Once you’re ready to start writing, take a look at the following guides for some inspiration:

Resources for students seeking scholarships at HBCUs


On October 1st of every year, the FAFSA opens. Keep in mind that the deadline for each state is different. Prepare and apply well before the recommended deadline, as some states have a “first come, first serve” policy.

List of HBCUs

HBCUs produce about 20% of all African American graduates in the country, and they have played a crucial role in education for Black students since they began to operate in the 1860s. If you are wondering exactly which colleges are on the HBCU list, check out the “official” list!

Don’t forget to check out some more HBCU scholarship lists such as the United Negro College Fund UNCF) Scholarship List

Upcoming scholarships

CBS Sports HBCU Scholarship

  • Eligibility: This scholarship is offered to full-time HBCU juniors and can possibly be renewed for an additional year if you win! However, applicants must have completed the FAFSA and demonstrate financial need
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Amount: Up to $4,250

José E. Serrano Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions

  • Eligibility: Open to rising college juniors majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) at Minority Serving Institutions
  • Minimum GPA: 3.2
  • Amount: up to $45,000

Frequently asked questions about HBCU scholarships

What is the #1 HBCU in America?

Howard University and Spelman College typically rank among the top HBCUs in the nation. However, there are plenty of other great HBCUs across the country. The school that’s best for you may not align with the highest ranked colleges, so be sure to consider your personal preferences when picking a school. Check out our guide on how to choose a college to learn more.

What are the advantages of attending an HBCU?

HBCUs are a great option for Black students seeking a supportive community and sense of belonging on campus. Not to mention, HBCUs typically have lower tuition rates, excellent programs for STEM students, and great networking opportunities. Check out our complete guide on HBCUs to learn more!

Can you get a full ride at an HBCU?

Absolutely! Even with limited government funding, HBCUs give out partial and full scholarships to their students. Some scholarships you might have to apply for, but others you might qualify for when you apply.

What’s the most expensive HBCU?

The most expensive HBCUs are Spelman College and Howard University. Both are very competitive institutions with stellar academic programs. Just remember that with enough financial aid, any school can be affordable so don’t let the price stop you from applying.