The United Negro College Fund (UNCF), also known as the United Fund, is an American philanthropic organization that funds scholarships for black students and general scholarship funds for 37 private historically black colleges and universities. UNCF was incorporated on April 25, 1944 by Frederick D. Patterson (then president of what is now Tuskegee University), Mary McLeod Bethune, and others. UNCF is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
UNCF help students not just to attend college, but thrive, graduate and become leaders. They do this in three ways:
- Award more than 10,000 students scholarships, worth more than $100 million, each year
- Provide financial support to 37 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs)
- Serve as the nation’s leading advocate for the importance of minority education and community engagement
Since its founding, UNCF has helped to more than double the number of minorities attending college. The six-year graduation rate for UNCF African American scholarship recipient is 70 percent. This is 11 percentage points higher than the national average and 31 percentage points higher than the national average for all African Americans.
UNCF envisions a nation where all Americans have equal access to a college education that prepares them for rich intellectual lives, competitive and fulfilling careers, engaged citizenship and service to our nation.
UNCF’s mission is to build a robust and nationally-recognized pipeline of under-represented students who, because of UNCF support, become highly-qualified college graduates and to ensure that the network of member institutions is a respected model of best practice in moving students to and through college.
UNCF’s North Star is to increase the total annual number of African American college graduates by focusing on activities that ensure more students are college-ready, enroll in college and persist to graduation. This is done through a three-pillar strategy:
- Positioning member institutions as a viable college option for students and investing in institutional capacity to improve student outcomes
- Creating transformational support programs to ensure students are enrolling and persisting through college completion
- Building awareness of educational attainment and cultivating college-going behaviors within the African American community
UNCF’s Member HBCUs
Thirty-seven historically black colleges and universities belong to the UNCF network of member institutions. UNCF provides these colleges and universities with a range of support that enables them to keep their academic programs strong and their tuitions affordable. As a result of this support, member institutions educate more than 60,000 students each year and have produced more than 450,000 graduates with the help of UNCF. The economic impact of member institutions extends beyond just the students they educate.
The 37 HBCUs are:
- Allen University (Columbia, SC)
- Benedict College (Columbia, SC)
- Bennett College (Greensboro, NC)
- Bethune-Cookman University (Daytona Beach, FL)
- Claflin University (Orangeburg, SC)
- Clark Atlanta University (Atlanta, GA)
- Dillard University (New Orleans, LA)
- Edward Waters College (Jacksonville, FL)
- Fisk University (Nashville, TN)
- Florida Memorial University (Miami Gardens, FL)
- Huston-Tillotson University (Austin, TX)
- Interdenominational Theological Center (Atlanta, GA)
- Jarvis Christian College (Hawkins, TX)
- Johnson C. Smith University (Charlotte, NC)
- Lane College (Jackson, TN)
- LeMoyne-Owen College (Memphis, TN)
- Livingstone College (Salisbury, NC)
- Miles College (Fairfield, AL)
- Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA)
- Morris College (Sumter, SC)
- Oakwood University (Huntsville, AL)
- Paine College (Augusta, GA)
- Philander Smith College (Little Rock, AR)
- Rust College (Holly Springs, MS)
- Saint Augustine’s University (Raleigh, NC)
- Shaw University (Raleigh, NC)
- Spelman College (Atlanta, GA)
- Stillman College (Tuscaloosa, AL)
- Talladega College (Talladega, AL)
- Texas College (Tyler, TX)
- Tougaloo College (Tougaloo, MS)
- Tuskegee University (Tuskegee, AL)
- Virginia Union University (Richmond, VA)
- Voorhees College (Denmark, SC)
- Wilberforce University (Wilberforce, OH)
- Wiley College (Marshall, TX)
- Xavier University of Louisiana (New Orleans, LA)
UNCF Scholarship Programs
UNCF has helped over 450,000 students pursue and earn their college degrees since its founding in 1944. UNCF is the nation’s largest private scholarship provider to minority group members. Each year, UNCF award more than $100 million in scholarships to more than 10,000 students at over 1,100 schools across the country, including its prestigious network of HBCUs.
UNCF also manage a variety of scholarship programs, such as the Fund II Foundation UNCF STEM Scholars Program, UNCF / Koch Scholars Program, Walton K-12 Education Fellowship and the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Scholarship Program.
Each of these UNCF scholarship programs comes with its own eligibility criteria, application requirements and deadlines.
Fund II Foundation UNCF STEM Scholars Program
UNCF partnered with The Fund II Foundation to establish a scholarship program to help African American students seeking careers in STEM fields.
The Fund II Foundation UNCF STEM Scholars Program will identify 500 African American high school students who are determined to pursue careers in STEM fields. These students will receive scholarships, internships, mentoring and other tools to help them reach their goals. The Fund II Foundation is contributing $48 million for the STEM Scholars Program.
With African Americans making up less than 5% of the science and engineering workforce, and less than 1% of all tech startups, this partnership addresses this challenge. The Fund II Foundation UNCF STEM Scholars Program will create a robust pipeline of African American students well prepared to have careers in the tech industry and to become the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs.
To qualify for a UNCF STEM scholarship, applicants must:
- Be African American
- Be a citizen, legal permanent resident, or national of the United States
- Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 on an unweighted 4.0 scale
- Pursued a rigorous course of study in high school in math and science courses, including pre-calculus
- Have demonstrated financial and unmet need as measured by the student’s college university
- Show evidence of readiness for and commitment to pursue STEM majors, including biological / life sciences, physics, chemistry, computer science/engineering, information sciences, engineering (industrial, mechanical. Electrical or chemical), mathematics
- Complete all of the application essays
- Arrange for a letter of recommendation to be submitted via the UNCF scholarship application portal
- Be enrolled for the first time at a U.S.-located, accredited college or university (with the exception of students concurrently pursuing a high school diploma while taking college-level courses) in the fall as a full-time, degree-seeking, first-year student
- Complete and submit the application by the deadline
Each UNCF STEM scholarship are worth up to $2,500 per academic year for freshmen and sophomores, $5,000 for juniors and seniors, and an additional $5,000 for students whose academic programs require a fifth year..
The scholarships are renewable for five undergraduate years, contingent upon maintenance of a 3.0 (out of 4.0) GPA + continued full-time enrollment to a degree in an eligible STEM major
A $5,000 stipend based on a STEM-related project / internship of the student’s interest is also included in the scholarship.
For questions or concerns please contact the UNCF STEM Scholars staff by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202 810 0179. Visit the website for more.
Walton-UNCF K-12 Education Fellowship Program
The Walton-UNCF K-12 Education Fellowship Program is a leadership and talent development initiative aimed at building a robust pipeline of high-achieving African Americans engaged in education reform in America.
The general eligibility requirements for this fellowship are:
- At least a 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale
- Must be African American
- S. citizen or a permanent resident
- Must be enrolled at an HBCU
- Must be classified as a junior
- Open to all majors with interest in education reform
- Have demonstrated leadership experience within college campus and/or community
- A complete application must include one letter of recommendation from a school administrator or faculty member
For additional information, please email email@example.com. Visit the website at www.uncf.org/pages/walton to learn more about the program.
UNCF Honda Scholarship
The UNCF Honda Manufacturing of Indiana Scholarship is a program for entering college freshmen or rising sophomore students. The UNCF Honda scholarship program will provide three need-based scholarships of up to $2,500 each.
To be eligible for this UNCF scholarship, applicants must:
- Complete an online application
- Be permanent resident of the State of Indiana
- Have been enrolled in a Student Development and/or Student Leadership Program
- Possess a minimum cumulative GPA of a 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
- Be an entering current college freshman or rising sophomore enrolled full-time at a U.S. located, accredited post-secondary educational institution
- Have filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and have a demonstrated unmet need as determined by the Financial Aid office of your college or university
- Provide a letter or recommendation
- Provide a current transcript
- Submit a one-page essay on the topic “How the UNCF Honda Scholarship will help you achieve your educational goals”
- Priority will be given to students who are majoring in one of the field(s) related to Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM).
For inquiries, students may contact Ms. JaiSun McCormick via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the program’s website for more information.
Remember to complete all steps for the application. You will not be considered for a UNCF scholarship, internship or program until you submit all the information and essays the application requires.
For inquiries regarding UNCF scholarship, you may call 800 331 2244 or 202 810 0258 (internship programs, scholarships and grants, social entrepreneurship, and UNCF / MERCK Science Initiative).