Who Gets the Most Financial Aid for College, Blacks or Whites?

In what will come as a surprise to many readers, the average amount of financial aid of all types received by white undergraduate college students is actually higher than the average amount of financial aid offered to African Americans. According to the U.S. Department of Education, in 2004 the average financial aid award to white undergraduates was $7,500. For blacks, the average aid award was $7,200.

On average, whites also received larger scholarship grant awards than blacks. In 2004 the average financial aid grant for whites was $4,000. For blacks, the mean grant award was $3,800.

One reason for this disparity is that a large percentage of African Americans are enrolled at historically black colleges and universities. Many of these schools have puny endowments and offer little in the way of financial aid. A large number of students at these schools are forced to rely on federal and state financial aid programs. In turn, many white students attend colleges and universities with large endowments that are able to supplement federal and state awards with generous financial aid packages of their own.