Black Excel was founded in 1988 to help students and their parents successfully navigate the college admissions process. The site does focus on college admissions and scholarships for African American students, but don’t let the name of the website fool you into thinking it doesn’t apply to anyone else—it’s named after site founder, Isaac Black. There are a number of links to scholarships for African Americans, but also for other minorities, veterans, disabled, first-generation, and nontraditional students. Mixed in with the scholarship links are search engines, college search sites, and financial advice. You’ll need to scroll through this list and click directly on the links to learn more about eligibility requirements, deadlines, award amounts, and requirements. Be prepared to spend some time with this website to check these links.
Black Excel is simple to navigate as everything is on one very long page with no navigation keys, tabs, or buttons—not necessarily a positive. To find the first link, scroll down the page (below the “Super Flash” heading) to “New! 500+ Scholarships.” This link is for last year’s scholarships, but click on it anyway. The page you come to lists 200 scholarship links. Many of these point to other scholarship search engines/web portals and quite a few of them no longer function. However, at the top of the page, you’ll see a link that says “345 Scholarship Gateway—Click Here.” This link will allow you to download an Excel list of 345 scholarships, many of which we’ve never seen anywhere else. Some of these are obsolete, but most aren’t. This list is definitely worth going through, and gives you the name of the scholarship, application deadline, website address, and eligibility requirements.
As you scroll down, you’ll see more links for things like “1,000 new scholarships for 2012.” There aren’t 1,000 scholarship at this link, but about 200 links to other scholarship sites, and they’re pretty much the same ones that you saw under the “500+ scholarships” link. Same for “200 free minority scholarships” (all of them; there are a few). One gets the sense with this website that housekeeping isn’t a high priority despite the many exclamations of “New!” and “Updated!” There are links going back to 2002 which surely have little value this many years later. Many of the links are broken or deliver “webpage not found” messages.
There’s a lot of information on this page, but the complete lack of organization, with links interspersed with ads, offers for books, and articles on all aspects of getting into college, it takes some time to get oriented and start to find the scholarship application information you’re after. Looking for gems in this pile of data is a bit of a hit-or-miss proposition, but we think they’re in there somewhere. This site seems worth plowing through, particularly for minority scholarships, but you’ll need to set aside a big chunk of time to go treasure hunting.
Overall, we give this site 3 out of 5: