Black Americans Can Win A $5,000 Scholarship To Help Pay College Costs

Black Americans Can Win A $5,000 Scholarship To Help Pay College Costs

Student debt for Black Americans is often more exhausting for those borrowers than others.

Based on new data from the Education Data Initiative, Black and African American college graduates owe an average of $25,000 extra in student loan debt than white college graduates. It reportedly takes Blacks more time to repay the loans, potentially straining their overall financial more.

The good news is that Black undergraduate and graduate students can win a $5,000 scholarship to help conquer barriers to attending college. They can pursue it through Earnest, a fintech lender offering $50,000 in scholarships to 10 recipients. The lender says the funding is available to any U.S. college student, including permanent residents like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students and Black Americans.

Earnest CEO David Green shared with BLACK ENTERPRISE by email the 2023 Earnest Scholarship is one example of free money available to help reduce the financial burden of school. Since 2019, the company reports it has awarded $875,000 through the Earnest Scholarship Fund.

Green says the scholarship may be used to pay for educational expenses at the winner’s accredited institution. Those expenses can include application fees, course credit hour fees, books, computers, and school-related supplies. It’s aimed to help any student, regardless of their background. Green explained the scholarship has no GPA minimum, residency, or demographic requirements.

“Earnest is on a mission to make higher education accessible and affordable for everyone,” Green says, adding that his firm recommends exhausting resources like scholarships, financial aid, and grants to supplement and reduce any student loans.

In fact, he says, Earnest acquired Going Merry in 2021 to fuel the mission and expand beyond just student loans by offering access to scholarships and resources to make college education more affordable. Black students could also gain more scholarship and funding information at Going Merry.

The Deadline to apply for the Earnest scholarship is January 31 and can be done here.