When it comes to Latino students applying for college, there is good news and there is bad news. Let’s start on a positive note: In recent years, the rate of Latinos attending college has skyrocketed from 22% in 2000 to 37% in 2015. More somberly, however, there continues to be a gap in the graduation rates between Latinos and whites, with the former 14% less likely to graduate in four years than the latter.
Experts say that this educational disparity is due to demographics, as Latino students are statistically more likely to come from low-income households. In order to remind you that demographics are not your destiny, we’ve compiled a list of 10 scholarships that Latino students should look into when applying to colleges. Here, a few resources to give you a helping hand on the way to achieving your dreams.
Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Scholarships
According to the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, “financial need is the No. 1 reason why Hispanic students do not complete a bachelor’s degree.” They’re working to change that reality. The SHPE has more than 150 scholarships to help Latino students pay for their college tuition. This scholarship is exclusively for students who are pursuing an education in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) field. The application opens on February 1.
Ascend Educational Fund
The Ascend Educational Fund is a scholarship for first- and -second generation immigrants who live in New York City. The scholarships range from $2,500 to $20,000, and applicants must be “immigrant students and children of immigrants who are graduating from a New York City high school to attend public or private colleges and universities, regardless of ethnicity, national origin, or immigration status.” The “regardless of immigration status” note means that all students can apply — including DACA and undocumented students.
Anhelo Project Dream Scholarship Application
Another scholarship that is geared toward undocumented students is the Anhelo Project’s Dream Scholarship, which helps undocumented students in the state of Illinois who are looking to pay for college. According to the website, the scholarship looks for students who “demonstrate leadership, academic competitiveness, community involvement, and financial need.” The Anehlo Project is very explicit that you do not need to have DACA status in order to apply for this scholarship.
McDonald’s HACER® National Scholarship
The McDonald’s® HACER® National Scholarship is for students with at least one parent of Latino descent who demonstrates sufficient academic achievement, community involvement and financial need. In addition, there is a personal interview conducted by phone to gauge the potential recipient’s character strengths. Time is of the essence for this one: application deadline is February 5, 2020. You can apply here.
The Randy Falco Scholarship
While many Latino students may have big dreams of conquering Hollywood, like other communities of color, this aspiration doesn’t always seem viable when there are financial constraints. Luckily, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is working to change that. The Randy Falco Scholarship awards $10,000 to a student of Latino descent who is looking to pursue a career in the television industry. Although the deadline for the 2020 application hasn’t been announced yet, expect it to close around mid-March of 2020.
Dr. Juan Andrade, Jr. Scholarship for Young Hispanic Leaders
Named after the founder of the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute, the Dr. Juan Andrade Scholarship for Young Hispanic Leaders is a scholarship aimed at students of Latino descent who demonstrate significant leadership capabilities and an “ability or desire to effectively serve their community.” This scholarship has awarded more than $1.3 million in funds to the Latino community. Even better, students need not be U.S. citizens to apply. The application deadline will most likely be in November of 2020.
United Health Foundation National Association of Hispanic Nurses
In order to qualify for this scholarship, applicants must be “enrolled in accredited LVN/LPN, associate, diploma, baccalaureate, and graduate nursing program” and have been a member of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses for at least six months. Recipients are selected based on need, course of study and supporting application materials. This scholarship’s application period starts on March 1 of 2020 and ends on April 1.
The Haz La U Program
The Haz La U program was created by global consumer products company Colgate-Palmolive in order to “put Hispanic youth on the track to college by providing financial relief.” The scholarship program offers grants organized into “bronze, silver and gold” categories of various values, with one national grant of $15,000. According to their website, recipients are chosen based off of academic excellence, dedication to community service and demonstration of leadership in one’s community. The application period will open in September of 2020.
Florida Fund For Minority Teachers
Minority Teacher Education Scholarship (MTES) is a performance-based scholarship for minority students who live in the state of Florida and are planning on pursuing an education and career in teaching. In order to qualify, applicants must have at least a 2.5 GPA, attended the Florida Fund for Minority Teachers annual symposium and, most importantly, “teach in a Florida public school for a time equivalent to the number of years funding was received.” The application period for the 2021-2022 school year will open at the end of 2020.
Hispanic Scholarship Fund
The Hispanic Scholarship Fund’s mission statement is to “provide scholarships and support services to as many exceptional Hispanic American students as possible.” Their scholarship program is the most all-encompassing entry on this list, with funds being awarded to all majors and graduate fields. Grants range from $500 to $5,000 and are awarded on a merit-based, competitive basis. The application opened on January 1 and will close on February 15 of 2020. Apply here.