Whether you are looking to earn a fundamental certificate or enter into a doctoral degree for nursing, education is crucial – and sadly, that education comes at a cost.

However, a number of scholarships are available for African Americans interested in seeking a career in nursing, which can complement federal and state grant programs, such as Pell Grants, to help open the door to a career.

Scholarships Specific to African American Nursing Students

National Black Nurses Association


The NBNA is a nearly 40-year-old nonprofit organization whose mission is “to implement change to make available to African Americans and other minorities health care commensurate with that of the larger society.”ùThey also offer a range of scholarships ranging from $500 to $2,000. These are provided to students already enrolled in a program, with a year or more left toward completion of the degree. Scholarships are awarded only to those with NBNA membership, which is provided to students for $35.

Minority Fellowship Program


This organization provides scholarships for African Americans who are prepared to seek out a master’s or doctoral degree related to mental illness or substance abuse issues, specifically for minorities. You must be a member of the American Nurses Association (www.ana.org) to apply for this scholarship, which includes subscriptions to magazines and discounts on certifications. The scholarships for pre-doctoral candidates cover a stipend and tuition for three to five years.

Scholarships specific to African Americans



Because “a mind is a terrible thing to waste,” the UNCF (formerly the United Negro College Fund) runs 400 scholarships and internships designed to help African Americans earn a degree.

The organization also provides fellowships and grants for students starting undergraduate work all the way up to a doctorate. Each scholarship has different requirements and restrictions. If you are attending a school with a UNCF membership, you may also complete a form for a general scholarship.



A number of scholarships available to members of the NAACP, including the Agnes Jones Jackson Scholarship for undergraduate ($1,500) or graduate studies ($2,500) and the Roy Wilkins Scholarship ($1,000) for those starting their first year of college.

The Ron Brown Scholar Program


Covering $10,000 a year for up to four years, the Ron Brown Scholar Program is open to African-American high school seniors who are active in their community and demonstrate financial need.

The Jackie Robinson Foundation


This foundation provides $7,500 scholarships to high school students who reach certain criteria for financial need and have the prerequisite SAT/ACT scores.

The Thurgood Marshall Fund


There are a number of scholarship opportunities for African Americans, mostly geared toward business degrees. However, a number lack restrictions on field of study, including the $4,400 Wal-mart Scholars Fund for first-generation college students. Other scholarships are provided for specific schools or areas.

Scholarships Specific to Any U.S. Minority Group

Taylor Michaels Scholarship Program


Sponsored by the Magic Johnson Foundation, this scholarship is provided for minority high school students seeking to earn an undergraduate degree. However, this scholarship is limited to students who live in Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit, Houston, Lansing, Los Angeles County, or New York.

Scholarship Resources

Sallie Mae


The Sallie Mae Fund has also created this directory of more than 300 scholarships geared toward African Americans, which is free to use.

Other Resources

A large number of resources are available to encourage students to become nurses. On top of the resources described above, most colleges will provide funds for students based on economic need or to encourage diversity on their campus.

However, many small grants, low-interest loans, or scholarships might be found in your home town, provided by local businesses, churches, or community organizations. They may not be large on their own, but they can add up, and every bit counts.

Also, the IRS will allow you to claim some of the cost of tuition for a refund on your taxes by way of the Hope Credit.

Some states will also offer excellent reductions for attending state schools. Opportunity Maine, for example, will refund the cost of tuition if you commit to remaining in the state after earning a degree. Other states offer free tuition to students who graduate with a certain GPA in high school. To find out more, contact the financial aid offices of the schools you are interested in applying to.

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