Promoting Diversity and Inclusion Through Scholarships for Underrepresented Communities



Identifying and supporting underrepresented communities in higher education is one of the most important challenges we face as educators. To help you address this issue, we’ve gathered information from experts in academia and beyond on how to promote diversity and inclusion through scholarships for underserved communities.

What is Diversity and Inclusion?

Diversity and inclusion are two important concepts that are often confused. Diversity refers to the range of differences among people, while inclusion is the act of including others in your community. Diversity can be thought of as a spectrum from homogeneity (all members are similar) to heterogeneity (the opposite).

When we talk about diversity, we typically focus on race/ethnicity, gender identity or expression and sexual orientation–but there are many other ways that people differ from one another: religion; national origin; socioeconomic status; age; physical ability or disability status; veteran status; family structure (single parent vs two parents) etc.

Why is Diversity Important in Higher Education?

Diversity is important to higher education because it leads to better understanding of others, more creativity and innovation, and a better economy.

These are just some of the reasons why diversity in higher education matters:

  • Diversity fosters empathy–the ability to understand another person’s feelings or situation (1). Empathy is linked with pro-social behavior (2), which can help prevent conflict between groups. For example, if students are exposed to other cultures through their coursework or campus activities, they may be more likely to see people from different backgrounds as less threatening than those who have not been exposed this way (3). This could lead them down a path toward increased tolerance for others’ viewpoints.

How to Promote Diversity and Inclusion Through Scholarship Programs

A scholarship is a monetary award granted to a student for academic merit or financial need. Scholarships may be awarded by an institution of higher learning, such as a university or college, and can be awarded by individuals or organizations outside of the school. Scholarship programs are similar to scholarships but often include additional benefits such as mentorship opportunities and networking events for students who receive them.

Scholarship programs can help promote diversity at colleges and universities by providing financial assistance to underrepresented communities (e.g., first-generation college students) that would otherwise not be able to attend college due to their socioeconomic status or other factors related to their identity (e.g., race/ethnicity).

Promoting Diversity through Scholarships for Underserved Communities

Promoting diversity through scholarships for underserved communities is a great way to promote diversity and inclusion. Underrepresented groups are underrepresented in higher education, which means that they have less access to the resources necessary for success. Scholarships like these provide financial support for students who may not otherwise be able to attend college due to their socioeconomic status or other factors.

For example, one scholarship program provides $5,000 per year toward tuition costs at any accredited postsecondary institution of the student’s choice. In order to qualify for this award, applicants must demonstrate financial need; if they do not meet all criteria but still want help with financing their education (such as filling out applications), they can request an appeal letter from the organization administering it.[1]

Addressing the issue of diversity and inclusion in higher education is one of the most important challenges we face as educators.

Addressing the issue of diversity and inclusion in higher education is one of the most important challenges we face as educators. It’s also one of the most important issues for our society at large, because an educated population benefits everyone–including those who don’t have access to it.

Diversity refers to differences among people based on characteristics such as race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression (which includes transgender), sexual orientation/identity, religion or spiritual practice (for example: Judaism or Christianity), ability/disability status (such as blindness or physical disability), age group (adolescents vs adults). Inclusion means creating a welcoming environment where all students feel they belong regardless of their differences from others within their community of learners; this includes providing opportunities for students’ voices to be heard through active participation in decision-making processes so they can learn how they fit into society at large while also helping others learn how best support each other during times when conflict arises between groups over different issues such as politics


Diversity and inclusion are important issues that need to be addressed in higher education. We hope that this article has provided some useful information on how to promote diversity through scholarship programs for underrepresented communities.

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