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Your Guide to Scholarships for Hispanics

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An aversion to debt is a significant reason that Hispanic people don’t pursue undergraduate degrees. In the spring of 2021, enrollment for Latinx students fell by 7% compared to the previous year and the completion gap for Hispanic students compared to their white peers remains concerning. 

The good news is that there are scholarships for Hispanics that can greatly ease the financial burden of going to college. 

Source: Pexels

What is a Scholarship?

There is a tendency to think of athletics when the word “scholarship” is brought into a discussion. We consistently hear about “full rides” for athletes but is that all there is to it? Absolutely not! Before we discuss scholarships for Hispanic students, let’s first be clear about what a scholarship is. 

Simply put, a scholarship is a payment that takes care of either the full or partial cost of a student’s education. Some scholarships are based on financial need, while the criteria for others are determined on merit. The awards can be based on athletic excellence, academic achievement, community involvement, areas of study, and work experience. Many scholarships look at a combination of these factors to get the whole picture of who the applicant is. 

Hispanic scholarships, like all financial awards, can be issued as one-time payments or they can be renewable so that the student or school receives the money at specific times. They can cover the full cost of an education or they can be smaller amounts. Even though a scholarship may not cover everything, applying for as many small scholarships as possible will add up!

Top Scholarships for Hispanics

If you check in with Google and do a search on scholarships for Hispanics, you will likely be surprised at just how many there are. The amounts can range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands! Let’s take a look at five of the top scholarships for Hispanic students.

ABA (American Bus Association) Diversity Scholarship 

If you are interested in management and operation careers in transportation, travel, or tourism, the ABA Diversity Scholarship is worth looking at. Its purpose is to help fund the education of underrepresented groups in these industries. Applicants will need to write a 500-word essay about how they see themselves advancing in the transportation, travel, or tourism industries. The award for this scholarship is $5,000.

AMS Minority Scholarships 

The $6,000 AMS (American Meteorological Society) scholarship is awarded to students who have been traditionally underrepresented in the sciences with a focus on Black, Native American, and Hispanic students. Freshmen with a GPA of 3.0 – 4.0 who are entering studies focused on careers in atmospheric or related oceanic or hydrologic sciences are encouraged to apply. Successful applicants will receive a $3,000 payment during their freshman and sophomore years. The deadline is early February.

Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF)

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund remains among the best scholarships for Hispanics because, in addition to financial awards, HSF scholars have opportunities for mentorships, internships, job opportunities, career counseling, and personal development.

The HSF Scholarship is merit-based and the amounts range from $500 to $5,000 based on relative need. High school applicants need a GPA of 3.0 to 4.0 and college applicants will have to have a minimum of a 2.5 GPA. The deadline is mid-March.

Pueblo Hispanic Education Foundation Scholarships

The Pueblo Hispanic Education Foundation (PHEF) was begun in 1988 by a group of local business leaders and other visionaries who recognized the need to get Hispanic/Latinx students connected with scholarships. PHEF is organized to not only connect students with various Hispanic scholarships, but they also to provide support services for navigating college applications, essay writing, and completing the FAFSA package.  PHEF also conducts numerous workshops throughout the year on topics such as educational goals, time management, academic writing, note-taking, and financial literacy.

GMiS STEM Scholarship 

The GMiS (Great Minds in Stem) Scholarship is both merit-based with awards ranging from $500 to $5,000 and non-merit-based with awards of $500 to $1,000. If you’re pursuing a math, engineering, or science degree the GMiS is among the most helpful Hispanic scholarships!

Merit is based on your academic achievements, your involvement in community or campus activities, and your leadership record. For merit-based scholarships, you must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and for non-merit-based awards, you’ll need at least a 2.5 GPA. One of the perks of this scholarship is that you can be either a full-time or part-student. The deadline is April 30.

Things to Consider When Applying and Best Practices 

While there are countless scholarships for Hispanics that are available it’s important to remember that there are also just as many students applying for that funding! So how do you improve your chances of being awarded a scholarship?

Minimum GPA: Pay attention to the minimum GPA requirement. Now is the time to improve your grades if you’re not quite reaching the minimum and don’t be discouraged if you don’t have a 4.0. The nice thing about many scholarships is that your GPA plays only a small part in the applicant evaluation. 

Essays: Some scholarship applications will require an essay while others make it optional. Don’t skip the essay if it’s optional! The essay is your attention-grabber and allows evaluators to get to know you better. Remember that job you got because of how you presented yourself even though you didn’t have the experience? A well-written essay works much the same way. Be original and thoughtful and be sure to answer the specific question(s). And have someone critique your writing and check it for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors.

Letter of Recommendation: It is becoming routine for a college to ask for a letter of letters or recommendation. They may ask for academic, work, or personal references so take a beat and think about who would be the best reference for the program you are applying to. Make sure your reference understands what the college is looking for. If the college is asking for more than one reference, it’s a solid idea to have variety so that the letters provide a clear look at the whole of you.

Organize and Check Deadlines: Scholarship applications have wide windows but their deadlines are firm. If you’re late by one second, you miss the opportunity to apply until the following year. Think ahead. A good practice is to have a calendar where you can keep track of the various deadlines.

Don’t Procrastinate: The applications for scholarships for Hispanic students can be complex so don’t procrastinate. There is nothing worse than scrambling at the last minute to organize and submit all the application information! Hastily written and organized information is almost always substandard and you diminish your chances for an award when you work like this. Benjamin Franklin was wise when he penned, “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.”

Ask for Feedback: There is strength in asking for help navigating the scholarship application process. Guidance counselors, community leaders, and organizations like the Pueblo Hispanic Education Foundation are excellent resources.  

Tuition-Free Institutions: Did you know that you can earn your degree for a fraction of the cost by attending online institutions like the University of the People? We offer degree-granting and certificate programs that are all tuition-free. So, while you can still make use of scholarships to pay for student fees, you may be able to afford college without any extra help. 

Source: Pexels

Final Words

The cost of receiving a college or university education can be daunting and the idea of graduating with crushing debt just doesn’t make sense. Scholarships for Hispanics are solid opportunities to be able to pay for your education and graduate debt-free. 

Research plays an important role in accessing scholarships and so does organization. Know what organizations are looking for in their applicants and keep on top of the deadlines. And finally, aim to present yourself as a well-rounded individual who has a good GPA, is a hard worker, and has given time to your community as a volunteer.