Black and African American Student Success

Black and African American student success

Black and African American Students Can Succeed at California Community Colleges

California Community Colleges aims to offer plenty of on-campus resources and support services to help you reach your academic goals. Learn more about our programs and services, including financial aid and scholarships, transfer opportunities, state and federal assistance programs, and career education support.

Welcome to college

We know students face numerous challenges, like financial insecurity, access to resources, racial discrimination, and underrepresentation. Whether we’re working with community leaders and organizations or speaking directly to students, we’re committed to helping Black and African American students improve the future for themselves, their families, and communities. It’s all part of our goal to help all students reach their educational goals and achieve success in life. We've created this page to help Black and African American students and families find information about the programs and resources available at California community colleges.To learn more, check out the information on this page and reach out to your local college to find out what is available in your area.

Financial Aid

Money shouldn't get in the way of going to college and reaching your goals. Thankfully, financial aid is available to help cover college costs like tuition, textbooks, supplies—and sometimes even rent. To get started, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA) to apply for financial aid year-round. No matter your financial situation, it's always free to apply and it opens the door to most types of financial aid.

There are many financial aid options available, including grants and work study, as well as scholarships specifically for Black and African American students. Use our locator tool to get contact information for your local college financial aid office to learn more. Here are just a few financial aid options:

The Gates Scholarship
This highly selective, last-dollar scholarship is available for outstanding, minority, high school seniors from low-income households.

Ron Brown Scholar Program
Applicants for this scholarship must be low-income Black or African American high school seniors. This selective program looks for students who demonstrate an interest in public service, entrepreneurship, and community involvement.

AMS Minority Scholarships
The American Meteorological Society awards this scholarship to minority students. Applicants must be starting their first year of college and intend to pursue a career in atmospheric or related oceanic and hydrologic sciences.

American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE) Scholarship
AABE awards 13 annual scholarships to underrepresented minority high school seniors, including African Americans. Students must pursue a major in business, technology, engineering, mathematics, or one of the physical sciences.

Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Spouses Education Scholarship
Eligible applicants include Black and African American students pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees. High school seniors may also apply. Applicants must live or go to school in a CBC Members district.

National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) Scholarship Program
The NBNA offers numerous scholarships for Black and African American students pursuing a career in nursing. Students must be NBNA members currently enrolled in a nursing program.

KnowBe4 Scholarship for Black Americans in Cybersecurity
Administered by the Center for Cyber Safety and Education, the KnowBe4 scholarship is open to Black and African American students. Applicants must be pursuing a degree focused on cybersecurity or information assurance.

ACS Scholars Program
Open to applicants intending to major or are already majoring in chemistry, biochemistry, chemical engineering, chemical technology, or another chemistry-related science AND planning to pursue a career in a chemistry-related science as well.

Associate Degree for Transfer

We’ve partnered with the CSU system, fully online and out-of-state universities and independent colleges and universities in California to guarantee saved spots for Black and African American transfer students looking to move on and earn their bachelor’s degree. Don’t miss out on this guaranteed transfer opportunity.

Guarantee Transfer to Historically Black Colleges and Universities

We’re proud to partner with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to offer guaranteed transfer to students who receive at least a 2.0 GPA and 30 transferable units. 37 HBCUs currently participate in our program, with more to come.

Career Education

Undecided on your major? Thinking of exploring your culinary skills? Always dreamed of creating your own business? With over 200 hands-on career training programs, you’re sure to find something that works for you. The road to your future starts with enrolling in a career education program at a California community college.

On-Campus Organizations

You’ll find many Black-led and created student organizations and clubs on our campuses. Every campus has different groups, though, so check with your local college.

Umoja is a critical educational and community resource dedicated to enhancing the cultural and educational experiences of African American students. Umoja actively serves and promotes academic student success, personal growth, and self-actualization for students through its academic programs and services and champions equity through its annual comprehensive faculty development and training which supports a curriculum and pedagogy responsive to the legacy of the African and African Americans. If your college does not have an Umoja chapter, you can still get involved. Reach out to a regional coordinator to learn more.

A²MEND provides an affirming environment where African American students are able to thrive, especially male students and other men of color. A²MEND charters at California community college campuses provide educational, cultural, social and intellectual programs that promote positivity and brotherhood among its members. 

Black Student Union
Check our locator tool to find if your local campus has a Black Student Union.

Pipelines 2 Possibilities
The Pipelines to Possibilities Program (P2P) offers a HBCU graduate internship program designed to develop an intentional faculty pipeline within the California Community College Districts. Through proactive recruitment, hiring, and retention of diverse tenured faculty, P2P aims to diminish equity gaps and meet the needs of diverse student populations to improve student success.

Tutoring Services
All California community colleges offer free online and in-person tutoring services. Tutors are fellow students who provide support in subjects ranging from writing to math and more. Whatever you need help with, there’s a student tutor for it. Check your local campus for tutors and skills workshops.

Undocumented Student Resources

California Community Colleges knows “undocumented” applies to students from all backgrounds, including Black students not born in the U.S. We understand the challenges undocumented students face and are here to help with a variety of resources.

California Department of Social Services/DACA Support
California Department of Social Services funds programs and provides community education that helps immigrants living in California, including DACA students.

Immigration Legal Resource Center
Immigration Legal Resource Center works with immigrants, community organizations and the legal sector to help build a society that values diversity and rights.

Supporting Undocumented Students
California community colleges offer numerous services to undocumented students including students with a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) work permit and those without one

Food and Housing

Food and/or housing insecurity are very real concerns for many of our students. Eleven California community college campuses offer student housing, and free money is available for groceries through the CalFresh program.

On-Campus Housing
Some California community colleges offer on-campus housing options. Take the next step and see if on-campus housing is available near you.

Free Money for Groceries
Many California community college students are eligible for CalFresh, a program that helps them buy food and eat healthier. CalFresh benefits are not income and don’t impact your taxes or financial aid. Find out if you qualify today.