16 Aviation scholarships for minorities

In the aviation industry, diversity and inclusion are paramount to progress. Thus, we have several aviation scholarships for minorities designed to foster equal opportunities and encourage more representation from underrepresented groups. These aviation scholarships are meant to drive diversity in the sector, as well as help aspiring pilots, technicians, and aviation professionals achieve their dreams.

In this guide, we have carefully handpicked the best aviation you want to send your application for an opportunity to boost your career at no cost as a minority.

Aviation scholarships for minorities

Below are available aviation scholarships for minorities you should consider applying for:

1. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

Through the Inspire Initiatives program, this organization annually offers need-based and merit scholarships to deserving Black students for undergraduate and graduate degrees. These scholarships, facilitated by generous donors, focus on ensuring equal educational opportunities and preparing you for life’s successes. They cater to various academic interests and age groups, from high school seniors to early career professionals.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Membership with the NAACP
  • Be an African American or a person of color
  • Full-time enrollment or acceptance in an accredited U.S. college/university
  • High school senior, undergraduate, or graduate status
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Demonstrated interest in relevant study fields (where applicable)

Ensure to review each scholarship’s specific requirements and deadlines.

2. Ron Brown Scholarship Program

This program encourages African American students with intellectual gifts and a service-oriented mindset, helping them transition into impactful leadership roles. It is one of the best aviation scholarships for minorities out there to apply for and learn for free.

3. Thurgood Marshall College Fund

Try the TMCF offers scholarships to help you be relieved of the financial burdens of attending TMCF member schools or other accredited colleges or universities.

Over $13 million in scholarships has helped 2,000+ students to date. It’s a competitive process, focusing on ambitious and qualified students pursuing a baccalaureate, graduate, or professional degree. You just have to visit the TMCF Scholarship Portal to apply. Create a TMCF student account if you do not already have one. Apply on the dashboard and submit the application.

4. Zonta Amelia Earhart Fellowship

This fellowship, established in honor of Amelia Earhart, provides $10,000 annually to up to 30 women pursuing Ph.D./doctoral degrees in aerospace engineering and space sciences. Eligibility includes women of any nationality demonstrating superior academic records in aerospace-applied fields. You must be enrolled in a full-time Ph.D./doctoral program or have a master’s degree in an aerospace-applied field to qualify for this aviation scholarship for minorities.

5. AWAM Scholarship program

AWAM Scholarship Program started in 2002 and nurtures the variety of skills needed in Aviation Maintenance. Thanks to their remarkable sponsors, the program continues to grow, supporting industry needs and the wonderful people working in it.

The scholarships are not confined to women or students but extend to active technicians, transitioning military, and individuals of any gender. Winners will be announced at the Women in Aviation International (WAI) Annual Conference.

6. FAFSA scholarship

FAFSA is designed for minorities and aims to ensure equal distribution of skills in the aviation space. The FAFSA application opens yearly on October 1. You are encouraged to submit your application as early as possible to stay eligible for federal aid.

Submit your application promptly as many schools and states have much earlier deadlines, and funds may get exhausted if you apply late. The FAFSA process includes gathering required materials, creating an FSA ID, filling out the FAFSA, receiving your Student Aid Report, and comparing Financial Aid Offer Letters From Schools.

7. Women in Aviation International scholarships

Another one of the best aviation scholarships for minorities is the Women in Aviation International scholarship. Membership in Women in Aviation International offers a significant benefit in the form of scholarship awards. These scholarships assist you (as a member) in achieving your goals in aviation and aerospace. Scholarship applications for the current year are open in July, with descriptions and requirements available on the same day.

Note that WAI scholarships are exclusively for WAI members. Refer to the membership section for joining details and join.

8. OBAP scholarships

The Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP) actively supports minority inclusion in aerospace careers, providing over $5.8 million in scholarships to more than 470 recipients across the nation. These scholarships are made possible via partnerships with aviation businesses and carriers and cater to diverse aviation career paths. Note that OBAP membership is a prerequisite for application, so make sure to register to become an OBAP member to begin your scholarship application.

9. AMAC Foundation scholarship

AMAC Foundation, in collaboration with AMAC, focuses on fostering the advancement of minorities and women in the aviation industry. It accomplishes this through educational programs and scholarships aimed at budding aviation professionals.

The scholarship categories include:

  • J.A. Watts, Inc. Diversity in Aviation Scholarship
  • Heinemann Americas Aviation Scholarship
  • AECOM FLY Scholarship
  • AMAC Legacy Scholarship
  • Aviation and Professional Development Scholarship
  • Bonita Jean Olson Memorial Scholarship
  • Delta Air Lines Engineering Scholarship
  • NKL Aerospace Engineering Scholarship

10. Red Tail Flight Academy scholarship

Aimed at training no less than 997 African American pilots and 300 African American Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) technicians, Red Tail Flight Academy scholarship offers a unique opportunity to eligible, driven students who reflect the principles of the original Tuskegee Airmen.

11. Bessie Coleman Memorial Grant

Founded in honor of Bessie Coleman, the first African-American woman to earn a pilot’s license, this scholarship commemorates her perseverance amidst rampant racial discrimination and inequality.

She aspired to establish an institution specifically for African-American aviators, a vision tragically cut short by her untimely death in a plane crash. Hence, this is one of the aviation scholarships for minorities open to students from various backgrounds and experiences, including those with underrepresented skills in STEM or who face social and economic disadvantages.

You must be a US resident, a high school student of color, or a female from any racial and ethnic group, with a keen interest in aviation, sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

12. Emirates Aviation University Funding

Emirates Aviation University offers two forms of scholarships targeted at African American pilots and individuals of other racial backgrounds:

The Chancellor’s Grant, which is distributed in the first (Fall) semester to up to ten students annually, covers up to 100% of their tuition.

The Vice-Chancellor’s Grant, opens the door for up to 100 winners, covering up to 50% of their tuition.

13. EAA Aviation Training Grants

Through the generosity of numerous donors and benefactors, the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) grants more than $1 million in aviation scholarships for minorities via different programs each year. Recognizing the high costs of flight training, EAA strives to offer scholarships starting at a minimum of $5,000.

Some of the scholarship opportunities offered include:

  • Adapt to Fly Grant
  • Air Academy Alumni Grant
  • Florence “Coffy” Gregory Grant
  • Richard R. Harper Memorial Grant
  • Will Martin Flight Training Grant
  • Wilson “Tex” Edwards Memorial Grant
  • Matthew Platt Grant

International students are welcome to apply, but recipients must attend a flight training school in the US or Canada.

14. Alton “Al” Wright Youth Apprentice Scholarship

The Gulfstream Aerospace Youth Apprentice Grant has been initiated to assist a deserving high school senior who has been involved in the Gulfstream Youth Apprentice Program, is due to graduate in the spring of the ongoing academic year, and aims to pursue an undergraduate degree at a recognized college or university.

Selection criteria

  • High school seniors who have engaged in the Gulfstream Aerospace Youth Apprentice Program
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Consideration of financial need

Even previous recipients may apply again, as long as they are eligible.

15. UAA Janice K. Barden Aviation Scholarship

To be eligible for the UAA Janice K  Barden Aviation scholarship, you must meet these eligibility criteria:

  • Full-time undergraduate student enrolled in aviation-related courses at an NBAA/UAA member institution
  • Rising sophomore or above
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Award Value
  • Minimum of $1,000 to assist with educational expenses

NBAA Charities annually provides, via the UAA Janice K. Barden Aviation Fund, a minimum of $1,000 to a maximum of five undergraduates pursuing aviation-related courses at institutions affiliated with the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and University Aviation Association (UAA).

16. Blue Line Aviation’s Fly Right Scholarship

The Soar High Grant from Blue Line Aviation, worth $100,000, is a flight training scholarship to be awarded this academic year to a graduate from Johnston County Public Schools. The award will be given to a student who consistently strives for excellence, displays high ethical standards and character, and makes positive contributions to their surrounding world, as recommended by their teachers and classmates and endorsed by an unbiased committee.

The top-ranking candidate will receive a scholarship of $100,000, while the second to fifth-place candidates will each receive a $15,000 discount on the Career Pilot Program, and the sixth to tenth-place candidates will each get a $7,500 discount on the Career Pilot Program at Blue Line Aviation. Scholarships will be granted for one academic year, and the funds will be sent directly to the school. Awards will be granted to U.S. citizens or permanent residents, regardless of sex, race, religion, or national origin. Scholarship winners must utilize the funds by the conclusion of the academic year or risk losing the award.

That’s it, folk, the best aviation scholarships for minorities. You are welcome to any of these scholarships as long as you can demonstrate your ability and passion and also meet the eligibility requirements. Apart from your grades, applying early for the scholarship can bolster your chance of getting approved. It’s also advisable to send applications for multiple aviation scholarships that meet your preference.

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