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Financial Aid for Minority Students

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Members of racial minority groups make up a disproportionately small number of nurses in the profession. While members of minority groups made up about 40% of the U.S. population in 2019, a 2017 National Nursing Workforce survey indicates that these individuals represent only about 19.2% of registered nurses (RNs).

Many aspiring nurses hesitate to attend school for a variety of reasons, including cost. RNs need either an associate or bachelor’s degree to earn licensure, and both degrees can cost tens of thousands of dollars in tuition.

Luckily, there are a variety of financial aid options available to help candidates cover educational costs. Many schools and independent organizations sponsor scholarships, including scholarships specifically for minority students. Professional associations for minority groups like the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) can also serve as great sources for scholarships for Black nursing students, for example.

Nursing students also enjoy other financial aid options. They can receive federal student loans after filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), apply for grants, and participate in loan forgiveness programs if they choose to work in low-income or high-need communities after graduation.

The following list outlines some scholarships and grants for minority nursing students.

Featured Online Programs

Scholarships for African American Nursing Students

  • Dr. Lauranne Sams Scholarship

    Amount: $5,000

    Deadline: April 15

    Who Can Apply: Applicants must be members of the NBNA. They must be enrolled in a nursing program at any degree level with at least one full year of school remaining. Candidates must also demonstrate scholarship achievement and financial need. Students may apply here.


  • NBNA Board of Directors Scholarship

    Amount: $1,500

    Deadline: April 15

    Who Can Apply: NBNA members can apply for this scholarship, which rewards undergraduate and graduate nursing students with at least one academic year ahead of them. Find more information about how to apply here.


  • Black Nurses Rock Scholarship

    Amount: Varies

    Deadline: January 15

    Who Can Apply: This scholarship funds official members of the Black Nurses Rock organization. Applicants must be enrolled in a nursing program at any level with a minimum 3.0 GPA. They should also participate in student nursing organizations and demonstrate financial need.


  • Mae & Mary Legacy Foundation Scholarship

    Amount: >Varies

    Deadline: April 30

    Who Can Apply: High school seniors planning to enter the healthcare field may apply for this scholarship if they intend to attend a technical, two-year, or four-year college.


  • Thomara Latimer Cancer Foundation Scholarship

    Amount: Varies

    Deadline: December 29

    Who Can Apply: This scholarship is open to African American students up to 30 years old who live in Michigan. Applicants should be enrolled in a health-related academic program and maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA.


Scholarships for Hispanic and Latino Nursing Students

  • NAHN UnitedHealth Foundation Scholarship

    Amount: $5,000 for 3 years

    Deadline: April 15

    Who Can Apply: Applicants should hold membership with the National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN). They should be enrolled full-time in a nursing program with a minimum 3.0 GPA. The foundation gives preference to applicants who are at least rising sophomores.


  • HSF Scholarship

    Amount:

    $500-$5,000

    Deadline: February 15

    Who Can Apply: The Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) sponsors awards for graduating high school seniors, undergraduate students and graduate students of Hispanic heritage. High school applicants need a 3.0 GPA or higher, while college students should possess at least a 2.0 GPA. STEM students receive preference.


  • McDonald's HACER National Scholarship

    Amount:

    Varies

    Deadline: January-February

    Who Can Apply: The Hispanic American Commitment to Education Resources (HACER) grants scholarships to college-bound high school seniors with at least one Hispanic parent. Eligible students must demonstrate at least a 2.8 GPA.


  • NBCUniversal/LNESC Scholarship

    Amount: $5,000

    Deadline: Varies

    Who Can Apply: Latino/a college sophomores and juniors majoring in any field may apply for this scholarship, which is paid out in two installments. Recipients must maintain a GPA of at least 3.0.


  • Aguilar-Cuellar-Toben (ACT) Research Grant

    Amount: $1,000

    Deadline: Springtime

    Who Can Apply: This grant funds Latino Ph.D. in nursing candidates conducting research to improve healthcare for Latinos. Applicants can submit a proposal outlining how they would allocate the funds for their research.


Scholarships for Native American Nursing Students

  • Indian Health Service Health Professions Scholarship

    Amount: Varies

    Deadline: Typically around April

    Who Can Apply: Applicants must possess at least a 2.0 GPA and study a healthcare-related major. They should also be a member of a federally recognized American Indian tribe or Alaska Native village planning to work with Native American communities upon graduation.


  • American Indian Nurse Scholarship

    Amount: $1,500

    Deadline: Varies by semester

    Who Can Apply: Founded in 1928, this scholarship program supports students of American Indian descent studying nursing, pre-med, and other healthcare-related professions. Applicants should hold tribal membership, study at an accredited college or university, and demonstrate financial need. They should also intend to work among other American Indians after graduating.


  • Udall Undergraduate Scholarship

    Amount: Up to $7,000

    Deadline: March 2

    Who Can Apply: This award is available to Native American and Alaska Native college students in their sophomore or junior year. They must show interest in the healthcare field and plan to positively impact their communities during their careers.


  • American Indian College Fund Full Circle Scholarship

    Amount: Varies

    Deadline: May 31

    Who Can Apply: Intended for tribally affiliated American Indian and Alaska Native college students, this scholarship offers funds for any course of study. Applicants should be enrolled full time at an accredited college and hold a minimum 2.0 GPA.


  • Cobell Scholarship

    Amount: Varies

    Deadline: March 31

    Who Can Apply: This scholarship program funds members of federally recognized tribes enrolled in an accredited college or university. Vocational students can apply with a minimum 2.0 GPA, while undergraduate students should hold a 3.25 GPA and graduate students must demonstrate at least a 3.5 GPA.


Scholarships for Asian and Pacific Islander Nursing Students

  • Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) General Scholarship Program

    Amount: Varies; $2,500 one year to $20,000 over multiple years

    Deadline: January 11

    Who Can Apply: Applicants should be Asian and/or Pacific Islander, enrolled in an undergraduate program and maintain a minimum 2.7 GPA. This scholarship is for Asian and/or Pacific Islander students pursuing any major, including nursing.


  • Asian American/Pacific Islander Nurses Association

    Amount: $1,000

    Deadline: Varies

    Who Can Apply: This professional association offers a scholarship for members enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate nursing program. Candidates must possess a minimum 3.5 GPA and submit a personal essay and two letters of recommendation.


  • U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Scholarship

    Amount: $3,000-$5,000

    Deadline: May 15

    Who Can Apply: High school seniors of Asian/Pacific Islander heritage may apply for this award. To be eligible, candidates should hold a 3.3 GPA or better, show leadership initiative and extracurricular involvement, and plan to enroll full time at an accredited college or university the following year. Applicants should also demonstrate financial need.


  • Groundbreaker Leadership Scholarship

    Amount: $1,500

    Deadline: May 31

    Who Can Apply: Open to all majors, this scholarship funds college seniors and graduate students who have demonstrated leadership in the Asian community. Applicants must possess a minimum 3.3 GPA and be of at least 25% Asian and/or Pacific Islander ethnicity.


  • Asian Pacific Community Fund Chen Foundation Scholarship Program

    Amount: Varies

    Deadline: Varies

    Who Can Apply: This foundation partners with multiple organizations to offer various scholarships for Asian/Pacific Islander students. Scholarship opportunities change frequently, and students should check the website for updates.


Scholarships for Undocumented Nursing Students

  • Jack Kent Cooke Foundation College Scholarship Program

    Amount: Up to $40,000

    Deadline: November 14

    Who Can Apply: Applicants must be high school graduates with a 3.5 GPA or higher and standardized test scores in the top 15%. Applicants do not have to be U.S. citizens, but they should demonstrate financial need.


  • Chicano Organizing and Research in Education Que Llueva Cafe

    Amount: Varies

    Deadline: Mid-March

    Who Can Apply: This scholarship is specifically for undocumented high school graduates or GED certificate-holders planning to attend college. The scholarship committee evaluates’ applicants’ personal stories, extracurricular involvement, and academic promise.


  • TheDream.US Scholarship

    Amount: Up to $80,000

    Deadline: Mid-March

    Who Can Apply: DREAMERS, or students with DACA status, may apply for this scholarship if they moved to the U.S. before November 1, 2015. The scholarship program offers two awards: one for high school and community college graduates, with scholarships up to $16,500 for associate degrees and $33,000 for bachelor’s degrees. High school graduates who live in states that do not offer in-state tuition for DACA recipients may apply to the second scholarship, which can cover up to $80,000 in tuition and other college-related expenses.


  • Esperanza Educational Fund Scholarship

    Amount: $5,000-$20,000

    Deadline: June 1

    Who Can Apply: This scholarship supports immigrants or students with two immigrant parents. Applicants may qualify if they are graduating seniors or recent GED graduates from Washington, D.C., Maryland, or Virginia. Their annual family income must not exceed $100,000, and they should plan to enroll full time at an accredited public college or university.


  • Royal Prestige Scholarship

    Amount: $2,500

    Deadline: April

    Who Can Apply: Hispanic students, including individuals with DACA status, may apply for this scholarship. They should possess a minimum 3.0 GPA and be enrolled full time at a college or university. Applicants should also be a Royal Prestige distributor or customer.


Types of Funding Available for Nursing Students

In addition to scholarships and grants for minority nursing students, candidates may also apply for general scholarships. These awards usually require students to possess a high GPA, participate in extracurricular activities, show their dedication to promoting health and the nursing profession, and demonstrate financial need.

If you want to find even more nursing scholarships, check out this guide. This resource lists financial awards for everyone, from graduating high school seniors to Ph.D. candidates.

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