Scholarships, unlike student loans, don’t need to be repaid, so it’s well worth the effort to search them out. It’s important to understand that many types of scholarships exist — some are for exceptional students with high achievements, while others are based on financial need.
Not everyone will qualify for scholarships, but you might be surprised at how many different types are out there. Did you know there are scholarships specifically for Hispanic and Latino students?
Basic Info About Scholarships
Some scholarships are strict about who is eligible to apply and are targeted to members of a certain ethnic group, age range, or field of study. Other scholarships may require nothing more than your basic information, such as name, address, the college you’re attending, ACT scores, and financial records. Still, others make you write essay responses and letters, get recommendations from teachers or work supervisors, or even create a video.
Before you begin, however, you’ll need to fill out a FAFSA® to see what aid you qualify for.
Award amounts also vary considerably. You might be able to win a “full-ride” scholarship to pay your entire college tuition. More commonly, a scholarship may award only a few hundred dollars. Even those are worthwhile since every bit helps! For this reason, it’s a good idea to apply to as many as possible.
You can find these scholarships in several ways:
- Clubs, unions, large companies, credit unions, or other organizations may offer scholarships to members’ children.
- Ask your school’s financial aid office or high school counselor to help you look.
- Visit the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of State websites for scholarship opportunities.
To get you started, here is a list of scholarships for Hispanic and Latino students:
Hispanic Heritage Foundation Youth Awards
This scholarship is for high school seniors who will attend an accredited college or university in the fall of 2019 to pursue a bachelor’s degree. The awards range from $2,000 to $15,000. Winners get to attend a regional award ceremony in one of 10 cities throughout the U.S.
To be eligible, students must be of Hispanic heritage, which includes Spain, Brazil, and the Philippines. They must be a permanent U.S. resident, U.S. citizen, eligible non-citizen, or DACA. Students must have a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale.
Hispanic Scholarship Fund
Designed to help college-bound students of Hispanic heritage, this scholarship is based on financial need. It is open to high school seniors, undergrads, community college students, and graduate students, as well. Awards range from $500 to $5,000. All majors are accepted, but they are especially interested in STEM majors.
To be eligible, students must be of Hispanic heritage. High school seniors need to have a 3.0 GPA, and college students must have a 2.5 GPA. Students must plan to enroll in an accredited four-year college or university in the following fall semester. U.S. citizens, permanent residents, DACA, or eligible non-citizens may apply.
NBCUniversal/LNESC Scholarship Program
Latino students with an interest in the media industry, regardless of what major they intend to pursue, are invited to apply for this scholarship. The program offers 10 awards of $5,000 divided into $2,500 for fall and spring semesters, and they are nonrenewable.
To be eligible, students must be 18 years of age or older, enrolled as a college sophomore or junior in an accredited college or university, and have a 3.0 GPA. Students must be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident.
La Unidad Latina Foundation Scholarship
This scholarship program is intended to advance the Latino community and promote student leadership and community service. Awards range from $250 to $1,000 and are given to students enrolled in a bachelor’s or master’s program at a four-year college or university.
To be eligible, students must be of Hispanic/Latino heritage, reside in the U.S., and have a GPA of 2.8. Applicants must submit a letter of recommendation from a university administrator, faculty member, or community leader. Undergraduate students must have finished their first year of study, and grad students must have completed at least one semester.
This is only a short list. In addition to the ones listed here, many colleges and universities offer scholarships promoting diversity, as do local organizations for those who reside in their county or state. Be sure to seek out others, and prepare for a bright future.