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Scholarships for Muslim College Students 20 Awards to Help Fund Your Education

When considering the wide variety of resources available to college students, beginning an academic career at a higher education institution seems like it should be a fairly straight-forward process. However, while these resources exist, many students feel overwhelmed by the amount of information they are provided. This is especially true when it comes to locating specialized scholarships, like those designed specifically for Muslim college students. How should a student go about finding the best opportunities? Fortunately, we’ve already put the work in to find the best scholarships for Muslim students that are being offered for the 2018 schoolyear, helping to relieve some of the college-prep stress.

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Scholarships for Muslim Students

In addition to traditional forms of federal aid, students should also be open to pursuing scholarships that may align with their academic history, skills set, or personal background. This list provides 20 unique scholarship opportunities specifically designed for Muslim students studying in the United States. Check below to find your scholarship today.

Abdelkader Global Leadership Prize

With the goal of honoring the legacy of Emir Abdelkader, the Abdelkader Global Leadership Prize is a unique competition-based funding opportunity available to Muslim students. Applicants, who can be either high school or college-level students, may either submit an essay and poster for consideration.

Amount: $500-$1,500 Deadline: Mid-May
Amana Mutual Funds Scholarship

Amana Mutual Funds seeks to reinforce values of Islamic finance principles by offering this award to Muslim students pursuing a degree in finance, economics, or mathematics. This scholarship is offered through the Islamic Society of North America, and is available to students studying in the United States.

Amount: $2,500 Deadline: Early September
Avicenna Scholars Program

Muslim students enrolled in their Junior year of high school may be eligible to apply for the Avicenna Scholars Program. As both a merit-based and a need-based scholarship, this program is designed to reward leadership qualities in young learners to facilitate academic success in their future.

Amount: $2,000 Deadline: Mid-May
Aziz Jamaluddin Scholarship

Muslim students studying in the fields of either journalism or political science have the opportunity to apply for the Aziz Jamaluddin Scholarship. This award is provided to 5 students annually, in hopes of preparing students to promote Islamic values through a variety of media forms.

Amount: $4,000 Deadline: Early September
Barakat Senior Scholar

Offered specifically as an award through the University of Oxford, recipients of this award will be given the opportunity to complete three month’s research at Oxford, funded up to £ 10,000. The selected applicant will also be permitted to provide a lecture on the findings of their research.

Amount: $10,000 for three months of study at Oxford University Deadline: Late March
Dr. Abdulmunim A. Shakir Scholarship

Available through the Islamic Society of North America, the Dr. Abdulmunim A. Shakir Scholarship is available to Muslim students enrolled in their first semester at an institution of higher education. Students from any field of study may apply.

Amount: $1,000 Deadline: Early September
IFC-UC Irvine MSU

The IFC-UC Irvine Muslim Alumni Scholarship is designed to reward Muslim graduates who exhibit key leadership qualities and a dedication to community service. Applicants must maintain a GPA of a 3.0 or higher and be pursuing a degree in an IFC supported field.

Amount: $5,000 Deadline: Late March
Ilyas Ba-Yunus Award

This scholarship is awarded in honor of Ilyas Ba-Yunus, known widely as the father of Islamic Sociology. Applicants will be selected based on qualities that align with Dr. Ba-Yunus’s beliefs, most specifically a dedication to achieving an integrated Muslim community in North America.

Amount: $1,000-$2,000 Deadline: Varies
ISF National Scholarships

Muslim students who are pursuing an ISF-supported major may be eligible to receive funding up to $5,000 with the ISF National Scholarship. The goal of this scholarship program is to promote academic representation among the Muslim community, specifically in fields dealing with public policy. Students at the undergraduate or graduate level may apply.

Amount: $5,000 Deadline: Late March
ISF-MCA Scholarship

Available to Muslim students who are active members of the MCA, the ISF-MCA Scholarship was developed with the intent to foster greater representation for upcoming generations of Muslim learners. In addition to being required to be pursuing a major supported by ISF, applications will also be required to maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Amount: $5,000 Deadline: Late March
ISF-MCC Scholarship

The ISF-MCC Scholarship is an excellent opportunity for Muslim students looking to lighten the financial burden of an academic career. Recipients of this scholarship must be active members of the MCC, and will also be required to hold a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Amount: $5,000 Deadline: Late March
ISF-MSA West Scholarship

Provided through the Islamic Scholarship Fund, the ISF-MSA West Scholarship gives students attending an MSA West member university the opportunity to focus less on finances and more on their studies. Students must be studying at the sophomore, junior, or senior level, or be pursuing a Ph.D. in order to apply.

Amount: $3,000 Deadline: Late March
ISF-SRVIC Scholarship

Active members of the SRVIC may be eligible to apply for the ISF-SRVIC Scholarship. This sponsored scholarship program requires applicants to maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher, as well as being declared under a major supported by the ISF.

Amount: $5,000 Deadline: Late March
Islamic Development Bank Loan Scholarship

The Islamic Development Bank Loan Scholarship is geared towards Muslim students pursuing an education in the medical or engineering fields. Although preference is given to students in these areas of study, students pursuing degrees in other STEM majors may also be eligible, and should not be deterred from applying.

Amount: $15,000 Deadline: Early September
Islamic Scholarship Fund

The Islamic Scholarship Fund has been in operation since 2009, and since then has provided Muslim students with more than $800,000 of funding. Applicants will have numerous scholarship options available, and will be required to submit a resume, personal video, essay questions, and letters of recommendation to be considered for funding.

Amount: $2,000-$10,000 Deadline: Early April
Islamic Scholarship Fund Film Grant

With the goal of guiding young Muslim filmmakers into the film industry, the Islamic Scholarship Fund provides a variety of awards to the recipient of this grant. In addition to a cash prize up to $20,000, students will receive one-on-one training from a film industry professional, an ISF film screening, and numerous opportunities for networking within the film community.

Amount: Up to $20,000 Deadline: Late July
Naziruddin Ali Award

This award—meant to honor Naziruddin Ali, an Islamic activism pioneer—is provided in hopes of perpetuating the convictions Ali lived by: that few things were as fulfilling as academic success and a commitment to the Muslim community. Applicants will be required to be at the sophomore level or higher to be considered for the award.

Amount: $1,000-$2,000 Deadline: Varies
Plainfield Muslim Women for Better Society Scholarship

High school seniors attending either Plainfield High School or Indianapolis Islamic High School may apply for a competitive scholarship of $500. One student from each school will be selected, and qualifying applicants will be required to hold a GPA at 3.5 or above, plan on majoring in a human services-related field, and have completed at least 20 community service hours.

Amount: $500 Deadline: Early September
The Fadel Educational Foundation

The Fadel Educational Foundation awards up to $10,000 in grant funding, distributing prizes annually to first time awardees. Students who are able to renew their grant after their first year will receive greater funding, ranging from $25,000 to $30,000 each academic year.

Amount: Varies Deadline: Late May
The Hajja Razia Sharif Sheikh Scholarship

The Islamic Society of North America has been selected to host the distribution of the Hajja Razia Sharif Sheikh Scholarship, a memorial scholarship created in honor of the beneficiary’s—Dr. Hamid Sheikh—mother. The award will be provided to a qualifying recipient studying in the areas of journalism or Islamic studies.

Amount: Varies Deadline: Early September
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How to Improve Your Chances of Landing a Scholarship

Finding scholarships is only half the battle. Now it’s up to you to actually get it. Fortunately, we were able to find a financial aid expert to discuss some tips in regards to how Muslim students can find and receive the highest quality scholarships. Check below to help increase your chances of landing that big payout.

  • Look for Ways to Diversify Your Application

    There are a lot of scholarships out there and it’s safe to assume there will be a large number of students applying to each. How can you give yourself the best shot at being selected? “There’s only so much you can do if you want to stand out. For scholarships like these, all of the applicants usually fit similar criteria. If you want to make an impression, try finding a scholarship that requires more input than a simple application, such as an essay requirement. That could be a chance to stand out from the crowd.”

  • Be Aware of Application Requirements

    As is the case with any scholarship, students will be expect to meet certain requirements to be eligible for funding. Fortunately, many of the requirements for Muslim-specific scholarships open paths to other funding options. According to Rombach, “Overall requirements don’t differ significantly from other scholarships. For instance, there could be a GPA or community service requirement which are two standards. However, a specific requirement could involve some sort of commitment to the Muslim community, membership in a community group/organization, or even majoring in an Islam-related field.”

  • Know Your Resources

    One of the perks of pursuing specialized scholarships–like those intended for Muslim students–is that there are often organizations with the express goal of assisting these students. “There are many local organizations that will help out students. One example is the Islamic Association of Raleigh. This is a local group in NC. There are other more scholarship-oriented groups such as the Islamic Scholarship Fund.”

  • Know What to Avoid

    Unfortunately, while most scholarships are designed to make paying for college a bit easier, there are some groups who seek to exploit students with a variety of scam techniques. Familiarizing yourself with these red flags will help you to avoid problems. “It would be easy for a scammer to just set up a scam application targeted at Muslim students. In general, don’t ever pay for a scholarship application, do not offer up a social security number on an online application, don’t pay a service to “help” your application stand out, don’t apply to unsolicited offers, etc.”

  • Research All of Your Options

    Most schools offer some kind of specialized scholarships for Muslim students, but there are several independent groups that may also offer funding options. “If students want to find opportunities, it starts with research online. If a scholarship is offered, then the best chance of finding it is through the internet. The next best way is to contact certain department offices or financial aid departments and ask.