As more Hispanic students enroll in college, many are worried about the cost of attendance. Fortunately, there are hundreds of very substantial scholarship opportunities for Hispanic students. Finding these scholarships can seem difficult if you don’t know where to look. Read below to learn where to find Hispanic scholarships, how they work and how to apply.
What is a Hispanic scholarship?
Hispanic students can apply for scholarships that are targeted to the Hispanic community as well as scholarships that are geared to any underrepresented group. For example, the Jackie Robinson Foundation offers scholarships to minority students who have demonstrated financial need and will be attending a two or four-year school.
Hispanic scholarships may pay for some or all education-related expenses, and may be given for just one year or several years. Scholarship renewal often depends on the student’s Grade Point Average (GPA).
Hispanic scholarship providers may require that students have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Many schools also mandate that students interested in financial aid submit the FAFSA. Completing the FAFSA renders students eligible for federal and state aid, including grants and federal student loans.
How to apply for a Hispanic scholarship
There are dozens of different Hispanic scholarships available, and students should take the time to research all scholarships they may qualify for.
Students should not only look for general Hispanic scholarships, but also for niche awards that fit their distinctive interests and skills. For example, the National Hispanic Business Women Association Educational Scholarship is only given to a female Hispanic student based in California.
While some Hispanic scholarships are open to anyone with Hispanic heritage, others are only available if you are from a specific country or region. For example, the CINTAS Foundation Brandon Fradd Fellowship in Music Composition is only given to students with a Cuban parent or grandparent.
Once you have a list of scholarships, try to organize them by the scholarship deadline date. Then, read through the requirements and figure out what you need in order to apply. Most scholarships will require an official transcript and letters of recommendation. Many will also ask for information about your parents’ financial situation, and may require a copy of their tax return.
Some scholarships will have an essay component. Even if you have a strong GPA and extracurricular record, essay scholarships, though they will take a bit more work on your part, may be your best chance to stand out from the other applicants. Try to have someone else read your essay before submitting it. This will help you to catch any errors you may have missed. Be sure to perform a spelling and grammar check on any documents you submit. Remember that the essay is one of the most important parts of your application, so it’s important to allow yourself as much time as possible to write and edit it before you send it in.
Frequently asked questions about Hispanic scholarships
What are the best scholarships available for Hispanic students?
There are many Hispanic scholarships that cover most or the entire cost of tuition. For example, the McDonald’s HACER® National Scholarship offers up to 30 scholarships for Hispanic students, with three different award tiers. The first tier receives up to $100,000, the second tier receives $10,000 or $20,000 and the third tier receives $5,000.
Are there any scholarships specifically for Hispanic women?
There are plenty of Hispanic scholarships that are open to all genders, but there are several scholarships that are only for female Hispanic students. For example, the NYLPRW, Inc. Scholarship for Puerto Rican Women is a scholarship just for female students of Puerto Rican heritage.
The Chicana Latina Foundation Scholarships help Chicana or Latina women residing in and attending post-secondary school in Northern California. The organization will select between 40 and 45 students, each receiving $1,500.
Are there scholarships available for DACA recipients?
There are many Hispanic scholarships available to students who are part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
For example, TheDream.US National Scholarship is only given to immigrant students who are undocumented. Students must have come to the US both before November 1, 2017 and before the age of 16.
Can Hispanic students receive scholarships for graduate or professional school?
Many students assume that scholarships are only available for undergraduate studies, but there are several award programs available for post-graduate studies. For example, the NBCC Minority Fellowship Program for Mental Health Counselors is available for minority students who are receiving a Master’s degree in counseling.
The MALDEF Law School Scholarship Program provides scholarships between $2,000 and $10,000 to law students who are passionate about legal rights for Latinos.
If you're applying to grad school, contact the financial aid department and ask them how to be considered for all potential scholarships. You may have to submit a separate application and fill out the FAFSA as well.