Higher Education > Advanced Advice

Graduate Fellowships and Scholarships for Minority Students

Available financial aid for engineering and computer science students from diverse backgrounds.

By Valerie Anderson


According to the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Inc., financial need is the number one barrier to minority students seeking an engineering degree. Zeroing in on graduate-level education, only 159 African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans earned doctorates in computer science and engineering in 1995. One can only assume that this number would be higher if financial aid sources were made more available.

(ABBREVIATION KEY: NA=NATIVE AMERICAN, E=ESKIMO, A=ASIAN, AA=AFRICAN AMERICAN, H=HISPANIC)

AAUW Educational Foundation Selected Professions Fellowships.

One-time, non-renewable, $5,000-$14,500. Contact: Linda Hamilton, Administrative Assistant, (319) 337-1716. NA, E, A, AA, H.

Amelia Earhart Fellowship Awards.

$6,000. Engineering or Aerospace Science. Contact: Zonta International Foundation, 557 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60661. Women only.

American Indian Graduate Center Fellowships.

$250-$3,000, dependent on financial need. Must be one quarter or more American Indian or Alaskan Native. Contact: Fellowship Committee, American Indian Graduate Center, 4520 Montgomery Boulevard, N.E., Suite 1-B, Albuquerque, NM 87109-1291, (505) 881-4584. NA, E.

AT&T Labs Fellowships Program for Women and Minorities.

Renewable, $13,200 plus tuition and expenses. Must be available for internship preceding graduate work. Contact: AT&T Labs Fellowship Administrator, (908) 582-4353 or see www.research.att.com/academic. AA, NA, H.

Cheyenne-Arapaho Higher Education Scholarship.

Amount not specified. Must be 1/4 or more Cheyenne-Arapaho Indian. Contact: Cheyenne-Arapaho Education Department, P.O. Box 38, Concho, OK 73022, (405) 262-0305. NA.

Eisenhower Tribal Colleges Initiatives.

For fields related to transportation. Contact: Director, Universities and Grants Program, National Highway Institute, 901 North Stuart Street, Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22203, (703) 235-0538. NA.

Fulfilling the Legacy Scholarship.

Amount varies. Must be member of National Society of Black Engineers. Contact: Placement Services, (703) 549-2207 ext. 215 or psdept@nsbehq.nsbe.org. AA.

GEM Fellowships.

Tuition, fees, stipend of $6,000/year for masters, $12,000 stipend for Ph.D. Must intern during summer. Contact: National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science, Inc., Executive Director, GEM Fellowships, Box 537, Notre Dame, IN 46556, (219) 631-7771.

Graduate Fellowship Program.

Up to three years, approximately $14,400. Contact: NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, P.O. Box 3010, Oak Ridge, TN 37831.

Indian Fellowship Program.

$6,000. Must be a Native American and U.S. citizen. Contact: John Derby, U.S. Department of Education, 600 Independence Avenue, SW, Portals Building, Room 4300, Washington, DC 20202-6335, (202) 401-1902. NA.

Japanese American Citizens League Scholarships.

$1,000-$5,000. Must be a member of Japanese American Citizens League or have parents who are members. Contact: National Scholarship Awards, Japanese American Citizens League, 1765 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94115, (415) 921-5225.

Minority Doctoral Study Grant Program-Oklahoma.

Non-renewable, up to $6,000. Oklahoma residents and institutions only. Must teach at an Oklahoma state system institution for one year per award. Contact: Joe Hagy, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, 500 Education Building, Oklahoma City, OK 73105. NA, E, A, AA, H.

Minority Retention Grant-Wisconsin.

Renewable, $2,500. Wisconsin residents only; must study in Wisconsin. Contact: Mary Lou Kuzdas, State of Wisconsin, P.O. Box 7885, Madison, WI 53707-7885. NA, E, A, AA, H.

National Association for Campus Activities Multi-Cultural Scholarship.

One-time, not renewable, based on financial need. Contact: Dionne Blakeney, (803) 732-6222. NA, E, A, AA, H.

National Hispanic Scholarship Fund.

Renewable, $500-$1,000. Applicants from community colleges must have 15 college units in a transferable major before applying. Contact: Ernest Robles, President, (415) 892-9971. H.

National Society of Black Engineers Scholars Program.

$1,500-$2,000. Must be member of National Society of Black Engineers. Contact: Placement Services, (703) 549-2207 ext. 215 or psdept@nsbehq.nsbe.org. AA.

Native American Education Grant.

Renewable, $200-$1,500. Must be member of Presbyterian Church USA. Contact: Maria Alvarez, Program Assistant, (502) 569-5760. NA, E.

Native American Fellowship Program.

All tuition and stipends, need-based. Apply through tribe or area office of Indian Education Programs or call Postsecondary Education Branch of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, (202) 208-4871. NA.

Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Professional Study Grants.

Not renewable, $4,000. Professional degree program, four-year Oklahoma state institution; Oklahoma resident, must be nominated. Contact: Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, State Capitol Complex, 500 Education Building, Oklahoma City, OK 73105, (405) 524-9152. NA, E, A, AA, H.

Seminole/Miccosukee Indian Scholarship.

Amount not specified. Must be member of Seminole or Miccosukee tribe and Florida resident. Contact: Office of Student Financial Assistance, Florida Department of Education, 1344 Florida Education Center, Tallahassee, FL 32399-0400. NA.

United Methodist Church Hispanic, Asian, and Native American Scholarships.

One-time, non-renewable. Must be member of United Methodist Church. Contact: P. Zimmerman, Scholarship Officer, United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 871, Nashville, TN 37202-0871. NA, E, A, H.

Wisconsin Native American Student Grant.

Renewable, up to $1,100. Wisconsin residents studying in Wisconsin. "At least one-quarter American Indian." Contact: Joyce Apfel, Grant Coordinator, Wisconsin Higher Educational Aid Board, P.O. Box 7885, Madison, WI 53707-7885. NA, E.

* Somewhat surprisingly, the ethnic group with the most financial aid opportunity is Native Americans and Eskimos—the group with the lowest representation in the technical fields. Information is subject to change, but the organizations listed are worth a phone call or postcard if you are considering grad school and need a few extra bucks.

Valerie Anderson is the Senior Editor of Graduating Engineer & Computer Careers magazine.

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