National Scholarship 



Last year, private individuals, alumni, corporations and religious organizations donated more than $27 billion to America’s Colleges and Universities.

Over 20,000 private organizations award scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students.  At many schools, University endowments have funds designated for student scholarships.  In 2009, Johns Hopkins University announced that it was successful in boosting the schools endowment by more than $3.4 Billion dollars.  A significant portion of the contributions were designated for student scholarships. Many organizations and wealthy individuals have established Scholarship endowments that provide scholarship to students over many years.  The interest income earned by the endowment is used to award scholarships to students on an annual basis.  The Michael Jackson Scholarship Endowment and the Oprah Winfrey Endowed Scholarship program at Morehouse are prominent examples. Business organizations, like MasterCard, PNC Bank, Coca Cola, Google, Xerox, Microsoft, Rite Aid, Revlon, CBS, and Exxon award scholarships, grants and fellowships to outstanding students.

The UNCF, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and the Gates Millennium Scholars Program are just three (3) of the 20,000 private  organizations that assist African American students.



Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall’s legacy was to ensure equal access to higher education for all.  The Thurgood Marshall College Fund was established in 1987 to support exceptional scholars attending America's public historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The Thurgood Marshall College Fund was founded by Dr. N. Joyce Payne, Director of the Office for the Advancement of Public Black Colleges.  The Thurgood Marshall College Fund is the only national organization to provide merit scholarships and program support to 47 public HBCUs. The Thurgood Marshall College Fund also supports six historically black law schools. The Thurgood Marshall College Fund has awarded more than $100 million in scholarships since 1987.



The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) was incorporated on April 25, 1944 by Mary McLeod Bethune, founder and president of Bethune Cookman College and Frederick D. Patterson, who was president of Tuskegee Institute.  The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) provides college tuition money and scholarships for 39 private historically black colleges and universities.   

Many of the students (60%), that the United Negro College Fund supports, are the first in their families to attend college.  The majority of the scholarships recipients of the United Negro College Fund have exceptional financial need; most (62%) have annual family incomes of less than $25,000.  The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) awarded $113 million in grants and scholarships to more than 65,000 students in 2005.


The United Negro Scholarship Fund

8260 Willow Oaks Corporate Drive

P.O. Box 10444, Fairfax, VA 22031


The Gates Millennium Scholars initiative, funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and administered by the United Negro College Fund and partners is aimed at expanding access and opportunity to higher education to those citizens who will help reflect the diverse society in which we live. The Gates Millennium Scholars awards will enable 20,000 young Americans to attend undergraduate and graduate institutions of their choice and be prepared to assume important roles as leaders in their professions and in their communities.  Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have established this initiative to encourage and support students in completing college and in continuing on to earn the master’s and doctorate degrees in disciplines where ethnic and racial groups are currently underrepresented. The scholarships will be renewed yearly if recipients maintain a 3.0 grade average. Financial assistance is also available for graduate students in mathematics, science (including life sciences, physical sciences and computer science), engineering, and education.  Scholarship awards include full tuition, room, board, books and materials.