As many high school seniors prepare to make the transition to college, the typical financial burden of room, board and books could be alleviated — and in some cases, eliminated — because of scholarships. This is especially important this year because as the number of Black students enrolling in college has been on the rise, so too has the number of Black students defaulting on college loans.
However, it would appear that the number of Black teens who have been awarded hefty merit-based scholarships for their stellar academic performance this year was also on the rise.
Case in point: Jasmine Harrison, a 17-year-old North Carolina resident, has accepted to 113 colleges and received more than $4 million in scholarships, USA Today reported. She now has a full ride to Bennett College, a historically Black school in Greensboro.
Another 17-year-old senior, Michael Brown, was awarded full-ride scholarships to 20 colleges. The student from Houston has his pick of schools including Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, Northwestern, Georgetown and the University of Michigan. He hasn’t decided yet, but will be heading to one of the schools with $260,000 in scholarships, The Huffington Post reported.
Other teens can follow in Harrison and Brown’s footsteps with winning other merit-based scholarships, including some by sponsored by celebrities.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z
The “Sorry” singer put down a $100,000 grant for four HBCUs to each create $25,000 scholarships for the 2018-2019 academic year. Google then matched her grant for the scholarships going to Texas Southern University, Fisk University, Grambling State University and Morehouse College.
Jay, on the other hand, set up a scholarship fund through his Shawn Carter Foundation. Scholars must complete community service and mentorship opportunities as part of the deal.
The rapper vowed last May on Twitter that she would help pay her followers’ student debts if they made all straight A’s. This isn’t upfront money, but has planned to reimburse students and create a charity, according to CNBC.
The Black Eyed Peas star has his own foundation, I.Am.Angel, which has awarded thousands in scholarships.
The Rhythm Nation/Janet Jackson Endowed Scholarship is open to students at United Negro College Fund member institutions who are Communication majors. Students who verify their college or university attendance can be awarded up to $5,000 depending on the financial needs.
There is an annual scholarship inspired by Lamar’s hit Black pride anthem, “Alright,” and students can each get a total of $1,500. Students are currently required to submit a short video that explains their relationship to hip-hop and how they will nurture their talents in college.