How to Benefit from the United Negro College Fund

College is more overly important to any student, but also more expensive than ever. With the United Negro College Fund scholarships and internships, up to $10,000 will go a long way to help overcome financial obstacles.

Scholarships and grants are available from many organizations, including the UNCF and through the federal government.

Unlike loans, which you may need to repay, scholarships and grants do not need to be repaid, and unlike work-study programs, they do not require you to have a job on campus during your time of the study.

What is the United Negro College Fund

Founded in 1944, U.N.C.F. It is the largest minority scholarship program in the country. It provides operating funds to 39 historically black colleges and universities, administers 300 scholarships and internships, and supports minority students across the country.

The United Negro College Fund’s motto, “A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste,” remains one of the most recognized in the history of American advertising.

For more than seven decades, this principle has remained at the heart of UNCF, allowing them to raise more than $5 billion and help more than 500,000 students and not only hope to go to college, but also to prosper, graduate and become leaders.

They do this in three ways: by awarding more than 10,000 scholarships worth more than $100 million a year. Providing financial support to 37 historically black colleges and universities (HBCU). And acting as a prominent advocate for the importance of minority education and community engagement.

This three-point approach is powerful: Since our founding in 1944, we have served more than twice the number of minorities who attend college.

The six-year graduation rate for African American UNCF fellows is 70%. That’s 11% higher than the national average and 31% higher than the national average for all African Americans.

Why Choose UNCF HBCU?

Everyone deserves access to a college education that sets them up for success.

This is the belief shared by UNCF to more than 100 historically black colleges and universities in the United States, a belief you’ll feel in the air when you visit or attend an HBCU.

UNCF HBCU Members – Institutions

States Institutions
Alabama Alabama A&M University
Bishop State Community College
Alabama State University
Concordia College Alabama
Gadsden State Community College
H. Councill Trenholm State Technical College
J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College
Lawson State Community College-Birmingham
Miles College
Oakwood University
Selma University
Shelton State Community College
Stillman College
Talladega College
Tuskegee University
Arkansas Arkansas Baptist College
Philander Smith College
Shorter College
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
Delaware Delaware State University
District of Columbia Howard University
University of the District of Columbia
Florida Bethune-Cookman University
Edward Waters College
Florida A&M University
Florida Memorial University
Georgia Albany State University
Clark Atlanta University
Fort Valley State University
Interdenominational Theological Center
Morehouse College
Morehouse School of Medicine
Paine College
Savannah State University
Spelman College
Kentucky Kentucky State University
Simmons College of Kentucky
Louisiana Dillard University
Southern University at Shreveport
Grambling State University
Southern University and A&M College
Southern University at New Orleans
Xavier University of Louisiana
Maryland Bowie State University
Coppin State University
Morgan State University
University of Maryland Eastern Shore
Mississippi Alcorn State University
Coahoma Community College
Jackson State University
Mississippi Valley State University
Rust College
Tougaloo College
Missouri Harris-Stowe State University
Lincoln University
North Carolina Bennett College
Elizabeth City State University
Fayetteville State University
Johnson C. Smith University
Livingstone College
North Carolina A&T State University
North Carolina Central University
Saint Augustine’s University
Shaw University
Winston-Salem State University
Ohio Central State University
Wilberforce University
Oklahoma Langston University
Pennsylvania Cheyney University of Pennsylvania
Lincoln University
South Carolina Allen University
Benedict College
Claflin University
Clinton College
Denmark Technical College
Morris College
South Carolina State University
Voorhees College
Tennessee Fisk University
Lane College
LeMoyne-Owen College
Meharry Medical College
Tennessee State University
Texas Huston-Tillotson University
Jarvis Christian College
Paul Quinn College
Prairie View A&M University
St. Philip’s College
Southwestern Christian College
Texas College
Texas Southern University
Wiley College
The U.S Virgin Islands University of the Virgin Islands
Virginia Virginia State University
Hampton University
Norfolk State University
Virginia Union University
Virginia University of Lynchburg
West Virginia Bluefield State College
West Virginia State University

United Negro College Fund Scholarships | What You Will Benefit

UNCF has helped more than 500,000 students graduate from college since its founding.

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Officially, UNCF is the nation’s largest provider of private scholarships for members of minority groups. Each year, they award more than $100 million in scholarships to students who attend more than 1,100 schools across the country, including their prestigious network of 37 HBCUs.

Each of these programs, along with dozens of other internships, scholarships, and teacher development opportunities, comes with its own eligibility criteria, application requirements, and deadlines, so it’s important you follow this guide.

Basically, there are two types of United Negro College Fund scholarships and grants:

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  • Need-based Financial Aid
  • Merit Scholarships

Need-Based Scholarships

Need-based financial assistance is provided strictly on the basis of your financial need. An essential step in the need-based aid application process is completing the Application for Free Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Merit-Based Scholarships

Merit scholarships are generally awarded to students based on their academic, athletic, or artistic abilities. Also, merit scholarships are awarded to students who are related to a particular group or organization, such as a church or civic group.

Since many merit scholarships also require applicants to complete the FAFSA, we recommend that you begin your application process by completing the first important step in applying for a FAFSA.

Toyota/UNCF Scholarship

Officially, Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. is recognized as one of the world leaders in the automotive industry.

Recently, Toyota has partnered with UNCF to offer scholarships to students interested in the automotive industry. Selected awardees will receive a scholarship of up to $7,500 for one academic year.

Provider

Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc.

Scholarship Worth

Up to $7,500

Eligibility Requirement

  • For a full review of the awards, students must complete the online application, including an essay outlining their career aspirations in the automotive industry.
  • Applicants must also invite two references to submit recommendations online. One of the references must be familiar with the student’s academic performance.
  • Additionally, applicants will submit their recent transcripts and CVs.
  • This scholarship is only for seniors, who are enrolled full-time in Historically Black Colleges or Universities.
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Must be U.S. Citizen, U.S. national or permanent resident

Level of Study

Accounting, Analytics, Computer Science, Data Science, Economics, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Science(s), Finance, Human Resources, Industrial Engineering, Information Technology, International Business, Management Information Systems, Marketing, Mechanical Engineering, Supply Chain Management, and Logistics.

Application Deadline

Open Date: 9/10/2025 12:00 AM EST

Close Date: 1/28/2025 11:59 PM ESTApply Here

DTE Energy Foundation Scholarship

The DTE Energy Foundation scholarship program is for third or fourth year college students who are currently enrolled in a 4-year college or university.

Scholarship Worth

Selected winners will receive between $3,000 and $5,000 in one-year, renewable, needs-based scholarships (for juniors) during the school year.

Eligibility Requirement

Eligible applicants must:

  • Maintain a 3.0-grade point average or better on a 4.0 scale
  • Be a resident of the state of Michigan
  • Declared specialization in mechanical, chemical, or electrical engineering, information technology, or business.
  • Be a junior or senior college enrolled full-time at the time of application to a 4-year college.
  • Also, for scholarship review, applicants are required to write a one-page essay outlining their career goals and aspirations and how this scholarship will help achieve those goals.
  • Submit a letter of recommendation from a professor or advisor, attach a copy of the most recent official or unofficial transcripts, and complete the online application before the deadline.

Field of Study

Business, Chemical and Electrical Engineering, Information Technology, Mechanical Engineering

Application Deadline

Open Date: 10/2/2025 12:00 AM EST

Close Date: 1/20/2025 11:59 PM ESTApply Here

The Wellington Management Foundation Scholarship

The Wellington Management Foundation Scholarship is open to students from UNCF member schools enrolled in the academic year. Students are expected to be considered juniors in the school year, graduating in 2025.

Scholarship Worth

The scholarship will provide a scholarship of $5,000 depending on the financial need of the student, as verified by the participating university or college.

Eligibility Requirement

To have a complete application file, applicants must:

  • Be African American / Black
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale
  • Complete a Free Federal Student Aid Application Form (“FAFSA”)
  • Have a demonstrated and unmet financial need, verified by your college or university.
  • Provide proof (notice and instructions located in the appropriate section of the app)
  • Provide a transcript (unofficial accepted)
  • Have a letter of recommendation (instructions are at the bottom right of this page)
  • Have a completed student application
  • Be registered full-time as a junior attending a UNCF member institution
  • Specialization in finance, economics, business, accounting, computer science, data science, political science, history or psychology
  • Have an interest in pursuing a career in asset management or financial services.

Field of Study

Accounting, Business, Computer Science, Data Science, Economics, Finance, History, Political Science, Psychology

Application Deadline

2/1/2025 11:59 PM ESTApply Here

UNCF K-12 Education Fellowship

The UNCF Kindergarten through Grade 12 Education Scholarship is a leadership and talent development initiative aimed at building a strong portfolio of high-achieving African Americans who are engaged in education in America.

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The program selects undergraduate students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to participate in a 10-week summer experience. This includes leadership development, a paid internship with an innovative teaching or organization or school. kindergarten through 12th grade, and participating in an education reform case competition.

During the competition of the 10-week program, fellows have access to additional training and skill development aligned with kindergarten through grade 12 career paths during their final year of college.

Provider

Walton Family Foundation

Scholarship Worth

  • Paid Summer Internship
  • UNCF Student Leadership Conference (SLC) 

Eligibility Requirement

  • ALL specialties are welcome!
  • Must be able to commit for the full 10 weeks of the scholarship
  • Willingness to move during the summer
  • Have demonstrated leadership experience on campus and / or in the community.
  • A recommendation from a university administrator or a member of the university faculty.
  • A referral will be required and will be considered when submitting the finalist interview.

Application Process

Application Deadline

Apply Here

How to Apply for the United Negro College Fund Scholarships

While the application process may seem overwhelming at first, you will find that applying for schools is much more manageable, and even enjoyable, when you understand the process and plan it carefully.

The summer before your senior year is the best time to start the application process, and most of the work is done in the fall of your senior year.

Once you’ve decided which schools you want to apply to, get their application materials by visiting their website or calling them.

Some schools will require paper applications, while others will accept applications online. Each school will list required documents or information to include, such as your high school transcript, letters of recommendation, and test scores.

Also, check if the university accepts the common application. More than 600 US colleges and universities are doing this, and it’s a real time saver.

Determine how you will organize all the information for each school and how you will keep track of your application documents.

Create a dossier for each college with a checklist of the requirements for each application and the application deadline.

Here is a sample timeline listing the milestones throughout the application process.

Most schools charge a non-refundable registration fee that ranges from $35 to $50. Because you can apply to five to eight colleges, those fees can add up quickly.

If they become a challenge for you and your family, check to see if the schools are among the 1,300 US colleges and universities that offer fee waivers.

The application form will require basic information about you, your performance in high school, etc.

Keep your answers real and emphasize your uniqueness. If you must include letters of support from teachers, church leaders, or others, be sure to give the letter writers plenty of time.

Here’s a great guide to completing applications.

Before closing the envelope or hitting “submit”, review your entire application, checking it very carefully for any errors.

Also ask a parent, teacher, coach, or other trusted adult to read your application. They can catch bugs you haven’t seen. They can also provide you with helpful suggestions to improve your application.

A solid, bug-free app says something about what kind of student you’ll be!

And while you’re waiting to receive your acceptance letters, don’t forget to thank those who wrote your letters of recommendation.

Tips for Winning the United Negro College Fund Scholarships

Use the tips and guidelines in this section to optimize your application.

#1: Keep your eyes open

Watch for scholarship announcements on the bulletin board at your guidance counselor, at your religious institution, in the academic section of your library, or in your local newspaper.

#2. Don’t miss deadlines

Stay organized and create calendars for yourself, just like you do when applying to colleges and universities.

#3. Know your audience

Describe yourself according to the interest of the sponsoring organization. Show how your goals match theirs.

#4. Tell your story

Most applications require a trial. Keep it real and personal. Share an important experience in your life that will help the reader understand what makes him you. Tips for writing a solid personal essay.

#5. Clean up your online profiles

Many colleges and universities research the students they are considering online. Make sure your Facebook, Twitter, and other public social media profiles show you the best of you.

#6. Please correct your work

Give yourself time to review everything before submitting. Enlist the help of parents, teachers, coaches, and other trusted adults who can serve as other eyes to make sure your work is sound and error-free.

#7. Make and keep copies

After spending so much time creating a great app, you don’t want to have to recreate it if it gets lost in the mail. Be sure to make a copy of everything you send.

United Negro College Fund FAQs

UNCF (the United Negro College Fund) invests in better futures for students, communities, and the nation by working with its 37 member historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to provide students with the college education they need and that the 21st-century economy demands.

To support its member HBCUs and the more than 60,000 students it supports, UNCF:

1. Provides member HBCUs with financial and other support so they can keep their academic programs strong and their tuition affordable.
2. Awards more than 10,000 scholarships under 400 programs each year to help students at member HBCUs and many other colleges and universities across the United States earn their degrees and launch their careers.
3. Advocates in Washington, DC, and around the country for the importance of HBCUs, college education, and college readiness.

Not at all. UNCF’s member HBCUs admit students without reference to race or ethnicity.

Yes. Many UNCF programs offer students the opportunity to supplement classroom learning with paid, hands-on experience in professions they may be considering. The UNCF/Walton K-12 Education Reform Fellowship Program, for example, places participants in positions that give them experience building a robust pipeline of high-achieving African Americans engaged in education reform. And the UNCF-Oracle Corporate Scholars Program offers internship opportunities to students who aspire to work in the fast-growing technology industry.

Conclusion

You’ve done your research and taken (or soon will take) college entrance exams like the SAT or ACT. You’ve explored colleges and universities online and perhaps visited a few.

Also, you’ve received school recommendations from guidance counselors and others. Now is when things get exciting.

The United Negro College Fund has a lot of scholarships you can benefit from. This article gave a detailed outline of them all.

References

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