Did you know? In fact, on college and university campuses across the United States, Latino students account for a significant segment of minority students. Hence, the number of Latino individuals at 18-24 years old who went to post-secondary institutions rose from 22% in 2000 to 36% in 2018, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Obviously, the need for grants and scholarships for Latinos continues to expand with this increased presence in higher education.
Fortunately, many higher institutions provide supportive campus environments and provide students from diverse backgrounds. Of course, this is including the Latino students who are in need of financial assistance. Also, these scholarships for Latinos provide support exclusively for individuals of Latin American descent. Nevertheless, why are Latin students more vulnerable to problems with pursuing their higher education?
Challenges Faced by Latin Students
In reality, the Pew Charitable Trusts reports that 30% of Latino households have unpaid loan loans for any college degree. Also, among Latino households with a bachelor’s degree or higher, the figure rises to 42%. Furthermore, the median income of Latino households is $47,675. In particular, this is considerably lower than the $59,039 average household income.
Additionally, 52% of Latino students complete their education at a two-year community or technical college, according to the American Association of Community Colleges. As a matter of fact, these programs tend to be slightly less costly than four-year programs. However, they are also less likely to assist students following graduation to obtain meaningful jobs. Hence, only 18.5% of Latinos aged 25-29 had a bachelor’s degree in any subject as of 2017.
List of Scholarships for Latinos
Although not a full overview, we present a few examples of financial aid for Latino students in the following list of scholarships for Latinos. Regardless, within Latino groups, specialized scholarships represent subsets. Thus, to decide whether it aligns with your specific circumstances before applying, you should thoroughly investigate the criteria of each program.
1. Latino Community Credit Union Scholarship
The LCCU Scholarship, launched in 2016, funds students pursuing degrees at any technical college or university in the U.S. Specifically, alongside submitting transcripts and a structured essay, you must have LCCU membership and show a minimum of 2.5 GPA and leadership qualities. Also, two letters of recommendation contain extra application materials.
2. Prospanica Foundation Scholarships
The undergraduate and graduate scholarship programs for entrepreneurial-minded students include the Prospanica Foundation Scholarships. In particular, you must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA or a minimum 2.75 GPA with at least two years of professional work experience to apply for these scholarships for Latinos. Additionally, the university collaboration program provides financial aid at one of the nearly 30 participating colleges and universities. Particularly, students pursuing MBA degrees are eligible for the grants.
3. Association of Latino Professionals for America Scholarship
Next, ALPFA scholarships are available to ALPFA’s premium members. Furthermore, these also benefit Latino students in the following fields of study:
- Finance, or
To apply, you must pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree and have a minimum GPA of 3.0. Then, you must compose a one-page essay to submit, too. Additionally, for applicants in financial need and first- or second-generation learners, ALPFA provides additional consideration to claim.
With over 150 scholarships, ScholarSHPE aims to close the gap in STEM education for Hispanic students. In fact, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers refers to graduating high school seniors, undergraduate students, professionals receiving certificates, and graduate students with active membership. Therefore, these scholarships for Latinos are very useful for people of all walks of life.
5. Hispanic Heritage Foundation Youth Awards
Particularly, the HHF Youth Awards are organized to help Latino high school seniors as they enter college or take part in group social efforts to train students to become role models in their communities. Thus, the Youth Award program is also a gateway to the Latinas On Fast Track (LOFT) initiative of HHF. In particular, this brings together Latina professionals and students through leadership preparation, growth of staff, networking, and opportunities for community outreach. In short, applicants for the Youth Awards require a minimum 3.0 GPA. And, if chosen, they must attend a regional award ceremony.
6. PepsiCo Cesar Chavez Latino Scholarship Fund
This fund selects applicants based on academic achievement, leadership in extracurricular sports, community leadership, and financial need to assist individuals enrolled at higher learning institutions in California and Arizona. Specifically, you have to be an incoming or continuing undergraduate student to apply.
7. Lapiz Family Scholarship
Next, on the list of scholarships for Latinos, is the Lapiz Family Scholarship. The scholarship is available to honors farmworkers Apolonio and Arcadia Lapiz. To apply, applicants must be farm workers or farm workers’ or migrant workers’ children. Also, they have to prove financial need. Individuals of any ethnic or racial background may apply. But, within the University of California System, they must enroll in a degree.
8. Latinos in Technology Scholarship
The Latinos in Technology Scholarship supports Latino students pursuing a degree in a STEM-related area. Moreover, they are eligible for financial assistance and internship opportunities. To apply, you must be a junior or senior college student and have graduated with a minimum 3.0 GPA from a high school in one of 11 counties in Northern California.
9. ExxonMobil Engineering Scholarship
ExxonMobil is awarding its engineering scholarship to senior Latino high school students. In particular, these students must be pursuing engineering degrees at institutions in or near one of the 15 cities listed. Specifically, a cumulative high school GPA of at least 3.5 must be held by each applicant. Besides, they must meet the minimum ACT and SAT score criteria. Finally, three letters of recommendation should contain additional application materials.
10. McDonald’s HACER National Scholarship
The HACER National Scholarship, available to students with at least one parent of Latino origin, helps Latino students who aspire to make the world a better place. Centered on academic performance, financial need, and community engagement, McDonald’s distributes these honors. Transcripts, a personal statement, a letter of recommendation, and a list of community service projects must be submitted by each applicant.
11. LULAC National Scholarship Fund
Basically, LNSF works with businesses and local advocates to award three scholarships for Latinos each year. In particular, these scholarships are intended to help young people in underdeveloped communities enroll in college. National Scholastic Achievement Awards, Honors Awards, and General Awards are included in the programs. In fact, each scholarship considers educational achievement and the inspiration, honesty, and community engagement of the applicant.
12. MPower Financing Women in STEM Scholarship
Three female undergraduate or graduate learners participating in STEM programs at colleges or universities in the U.S. or Canada are funded by the MPower scholarship. Transcripts, submitted essays, and proof of citizenship and immigration status must be provided for applying. Basically, MPower evaluates applicants for women and girls in STEM on the following qualities:
- Academic background,
- Ability, and
- Demonstrated mentorship and advocacy.
Scholarships for Latinos: How to Apply
In fact, you can apply for these scholarships for Latinos by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). However, if you don’t know where to start, we have a guide called “FAFSA Financial Aid Explained” which can be of help to you. Thus, check it out and start your application before the closing date as set for each state.
All in all, Latino students may seek funding through private funders, community groups, or loan programs alongside funding opportunities offered through FAFSA. Nevertheless, it is worth remembering that undocumented students are unable to obtain federal assistance. Also, they will find it risky to complete a FAFSA, even though in the U.S. they are required to enroll in public school. For that reason, you may also want to check out these helpful DACA scholarships.