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United Negro College Fund

The United Negro College Fund was started in 1943 by Dr. Frederick D. Patterson, president of what is now Tuskegee University, urged his fellow black college presidents to raise money collectively through an "appeal to the national conscience." The next year, on April 25, 1944, Dr. Patterson, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune and others incorporated the United Negro College Fund with 27 member colleges. Early supporters of UNCF included President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John D. Rockefeller, Jr. 


The fund began as a necessity and is still very much a necessity today. Many people have benefited from this fund. The fund helps 10,000 college students each year with financial assistance and paid internships so that college is a reality.


The fund focuses its energy on people of color that come from moderate to low income homes. Most of the students that receive grants are eligible for financial aid. There are three specific programs geared toward different education levels.

The Gates Millenium Grant supports students from undergraduate through graduate studies. UNCF/Merck Science Initiative, offers students in biotechnology and biosceince fellowships,hands on training and close mentoring. This gives students and opportunity not only for financial support but for professional support as well.

The Corporate Scholars program a working part of the fund matches students with fortune 500 companies for internships. Hundreds of students benefit from this program each year many of them staying on at the company after graduation.

The UNCF Institute for Capacity Building is a program that is in place to help member schools improve their programs and further close the gap by improving curriculum and other areas.

Fredrick Patterson Research Institute focuses on the educational status of African Americans of all ages from pre-school through adulthood.

The United Negro College Fund has expanded greatly since its humble beginnings. It is so much more than potential financial aid although it is still very much so a good source for financial assistance. It is important to know that if you would like to see if you are eligible for any of the programs offered by the UNCF you will need to fill out an application which will have to be turned in by a specific deadline.

Check with UNCF online to see what programs are available to you. Pay close attention to application requirements and be sure to adhere to deadline requirements. See what the United Negro College Fund can do for you!