You can get special scholarships for Hispanics that others can’t! Here’s 7 secrets of scholarships for Hispanics, revealed.
Latinos are the the largest minority group on U.S. college campuses. Therefore, it’s no surprise that schools, organizations, and companies are offering scholarships exclusively to Hispanic applicants. Colleges are increasingly looking to diversify student bodies, and therefore, scholarships are being offered for Hispanics at higher rates. Some will require an essay or video, and some will just require heritage only. But just how do you make sure to get those scholarships? Here, we reveal 7 secrets about scholarships for Hispanics that you must know!
1. Here are some top scholarships for Hispanics, including some no-essay scholarships
Hispanic Scholarship Fund is designed to help students of hispanic heritage get a college degree. Amounts ranging from $500-$5,000 are offered to students attending community colleges, undergraduate, or graduate programs. Applicants must be Hispanic, plan to attend full-time, and have a high school GPA of 3.0, or college GPA of 2.5.
Adelante Fund is a US education leadership fund. They offer scholarships, internships, and leadership opportunities exclusively to Hispanic students. Make sure to apply early! Scholarship applications for the Adelante Fund close in May.
Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities For the HACU scholarship, you must already be enrolled in a college or university, meaning that you must be at least be a college freshman to apply. These scholarships are usually awarded based on financial need, and your school must be a member of the association for you to be eligible. (List of schools eligible for this scholarship can be found here.)
Prospanica is a business scholarship available for Hispanic graduate and undergraduate students, from sophomore year on. There is a minimum GPA requirement of 3.0, and you also must have a Prospanica Association membership.
2. There are also scholarships just for Hispanic women
Botari Women’s Scholarship Fund This scholarship, offered to female Brazilian students pursuing an associate degree at University of the People offers up to 10 assessment fees awarded. This makes this already tuition-free university even cheaper!
Chicana/Latina Foundation Scholarship offers 30-40 merit-based scholarships of $1,500 to female students each year. Applicants must show demonstrated interest in justice and equality efforts, as well as be able to participate in the program’s leadership institute.
3. Look into important entry requirements
You do need a minimum GPA.
Almost all scholarships for Hispanic students require a 3.0 minimum grade point average on a 4-point scale. Whether that is a high school GPA or college GPA will depend on when you apply. Some scholarships may also have an English requirement, so make sure to check before you begin your application!
Tailor your application.
You are much more likely to be awarded a scholarship if you tailor your application to the needs and requirements of the organization. Just like college entry applications, make sure you understand the organization’s values and goals and tailor both your resume and essay to exemplify those goals. Check the FAQs on your scholarship’s website to find out about specific criteria to include on your application.
Write your essays first.
It may be tempting to skip Hispanic scholarships with essays, but don’t! The essay portion of an application will help you stand out from the rest! And of course, due to the ease of application, there will be many more applicants for the non-essay scholarships. Think of all the students who will mindlessly fill out a form, and hope for the best. Don’t be that student! Put time and effort into your scholarship applications, and you will likely be rewarded for that extra energy you put into it.
Don’t be afraid to brag, boast, and highlight any and all personal, professional, or academic accomplishments you’ve achieved. It’s your time to get rewarded for your hard work! When writing your essays, make sure to tell personal stories — ones that help you stand out and show specific examples of your skills. Don’t just write you are in independent, self-starter. Make sure to give specific examples, like how you single-handedly set up your own after-school lawn mowing business, or whatever it may be!
4. Get leadership experience to win tons of scholarships
This is one of the best ways you can guarantee your scholarship application will not be overlooked! The committees for scholarship awards for minorities, Hispanics, and general scholarships are always on the lookout for leadership experience shown in your resume or essay. It will show the organization your ability to actually make something out of yourself and that their investment in you is well worth it. Leadership experience translates to other amazing skills needed in college such as communication, business/entrepreneurship skills, and flexibility.
Here are some ideas for how you can get leadership experience in your job, or as a student:
- Lead group projects in school
- Participate in local community projects
- Volunteer to be on the board of any local committees
- Try to get into leadership for student organizations
- Plan an event (either for charity, business, or friend)
- Check with your employer about any projects to lead
- Start personal projects and meet your own goals
5. Apply early to college scholarships and grants
Some scholarships are awarded until the funding runs out, so make sure to get your application in as early as possible. In submitting your scholarship application early, you ensure that your application is read before everyone else’s, increasing your chances of being chosen.
Do some early research of all the scholarships that you qualify for — including financial need-based scholarships, merit-based scholarships, and scholarships for Hispanics. Then outline for yourself all the application materials necessary for each scholarship and the deadlines for each one. Be organized with your applications, and get a head start over everyone else.
6. Read the instructions carefully
We absolutely cannot stress this enough! You must make sure that you submit all necessary parts of the scholarship application, or else you will not be considered. Think about how all the time and effort you have spent to apply for this scholarship will wind up wasted if you forget one part. This is why it is imperative to make a list of all requirements and deadlines before you start so that you don’t miss a thing.
Double check that you meet all the qualifications. Some have GPA requirements, minimum year in school, major specifications, or heritage specifications, such as only Puerto Rican, Mexican, Brazilian, or others. Check all the qualifications before you get started on the scholarship application. You do not want to get half-way through (or even finish), and suddenly realize that you weren’t even eligible in the first place.
Also, make sure that your essay answers the scholarship application prompt. While it may be tempting to submit your general essay to each organization and bang out as many scholarship applications as possible, overall you will be setting yourself up for failure if you do not carefully read the essay prompt. You may even be disqualifying yourself if you fail to answer the prompt entirely.
Proofread. Proofread. Proofread. Never submit a scholarship application without re-reading the summary of application. You want to double check that you filled out your address, school, and other important identifying factors correctly, or you may never see that scholarship money.
7. Ask for help
There are so many resources out there to help you with your Hispanic or general scholarship application. If you need some help on where to get started to look for scholarships you may be eligible for, or if you just want someone to go over your application essay, a great place to start is from your university’s admissions team. They are experts at understanding selection criteria and standing out in an application. Try to reach out via email, or make an appointment to go over your scholarship applications one on one, if your school offers that service.
Finally, one of the best secrets out there is to try to find others that got a scholarship award for the program or school you want to apply for. You can check the scholarship website for past winners and take stock of what they may have done to get the award. If you check around with peers who have received scholarships, try to sit down and learn from them about what they did to stand out on their applications.
Remember, the secrets to success in applying for scholarships for Hispanics is to read the instructions carefully, apply early, check out our list of organizations that offer Hispanic scholarships, get leadership experience, make a checklist of entry requirements, and don’t be afraid to ask for help! Get started and apply today!