Scholarships for Hispanic and Latino/a Students
Don't let finances stand in the way of achieving your educational goals. Click through to read more about the scholarships and grants available to you.
Published on September 1, 2021 · Updated on March 17, 2022
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Unique Challenges | Scholarships | Grants | Additional Resources | Frequently Asked Questions
Despite record enrollment numbers for Hispanic and Latino/a college students in recent years, many of these learners still encounter difficult challenges on the road to graduation. Financial aid, especially "free" scholarships and grants, are critical to Hispanic and Latino/a students impacted by rising costs of living, low wages, and statewide divestment in higher education.
Many Hispanic and Latino/a students are the first in their family to attend college. College tuition is more expensive than ever, and these students often face mounting debt with limited employment options and earning potential compared to their non-Hispanic counterparts. The following guide explores essential scholarships that can help Hispanic and Latino/a students find success.
Challenges Impacting Hispanic and Latino/a Students
Economic Decline Due to COVID-19 - Hispanic and Latino/a students considering college during the COVID-19 pandemic have been hit especially hard, as a significant percentage enter school as low-income students. Thirty-two percent of Latino/a students delayed or canceled their college plans in 2020 — double the rate of white learners and 8-9 percentage points more than Black or Asian American learners.
Less Generational Wealth Than White Students - The high cost of college is daunting for many, including many Hispanic and Latino/a students and their families. Low-income families are 64% less likely to accumulate savings than higher-earning families. Additionally, 47% of Hispanic Americans were denied or approved for less credit than requested in 2016-17, more than double the rate for white Americans.
Decline in Community College Enrollment - Due in part to President Obama's tuition-free community college plan in 2015, Hispanic and Black students became the largest enrollment groups in community colleges nationwide. However, two-year college enrollment fell more than 10% during the pandemic in 2020.
First-Generation College Students - As the first members of their families to pursue college, many Hispanic and Latino/a students are unfamiliar with the complexities of the processes required to apply to college and for financial aid.
|GMiS STEM Scholarship||Applicants must be of Hispanic heritage or demonstrate high involvement in an underserved community. They must also have a minimum 3.0 GPA and be pursuing a full-time STEM graduate or undergraduate degree at a two-year or four-year college or university.||$500-$5,000||April|
|Hispanic Scholarship Fund||Applicants must be a U.S. citizen, a permanent legal resident, or DACA-eligible. They must also be of Hispanic heritage with a minimum 2.5 GPA for high school students or a minimum 3.0 GPA for college and graduate students. Applicants should be enrolled or planning to enroll full time in a four-year university or graduate school.||$500-$5,000||February|
|La Unidad Latina Foundation||Applicants must be of Latino/a heritage and enrolled in a graduate or undergraduate program.||Up to $2,000||October|
|LULAC National Scholarship Fund||Latino/a and Hispanic students can qualify for various League of United Latin American Citizens awards. Applicants should be able to demonstrate strong academic performance, leadership potential, and community involvement.||$250-$2,000||Varies|
|TheDream.Us National Scholarship||Applicants must be DACA- or TPS-certified. They must also be current U.S. high school or community college students, or recent graduates/GED recipients. Students must have come to the U.S. before the age of 16 and have resided in the U.S. continuously since November 1, 2015.||Varies||Varies|
|Red Thread Foundation Scholarship||To qualify, applicants must be women who were born internationally, immigrants, or first-generation Americans enrolling as first-year college students in an undergraduate program.||Varies||February|
|Chicana Latina Foundation Scholarship||Applicants must be women of Chicana or Latina heritage enrolled in an accredited graduate or undergraduate program in one of 13 northern California counties. Students must have resided in a qualifying county for at least two years prior to applying.||$1,500||March|
|Illustrating Awesomeness Scholarship||Applicants must be women or gender nonconforming students of color enrolled in or planning to enroll in an undergraduate program in the upcoming fall term.||$750||November|
|Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation Scholarship||Applicants must be women who are at least 17 years old and mothers with minor children. Applicants must also qualify as low-income individuals and be pursuing their first graduate or undergraduate degree. Preference is given to women from underserved communities.||Up to $5,000||August|
|EducationDynamics Minority First-Generation Scholarship||Applicants must be first-generation students who are at least 17 years old and pursuing an undergraduate program at an accredited institution.||$10,000||June|
|The Gates Scholarship||Applicants must be high school seniors who plan to enroll in a full-time undergraduate program. Students must be U.S. citizens, be Pell Grant-eligible, and hold a minimum 3.3 GPA. Preference is given to first-generation students.||Varies||September|
|Kaiser Permanente Health Equity Scholarship||Applicants must be graduating high school seniors with a minimum 2.5 GPA and planning to enroll in a full-time undergraduate program the following year. Students must permanently reside in California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, or Washington, D.C. Preference is given to students from underrepresented communities.||$5,000||May|
|TELACU Education Foundation Scholarship||Applicants must be first-generation, low-income, full-time undergraduate students with a minimum 2.5 GPA. They must be permanent residents in underserved communities in select counties of California, Illinois, New York, or Texas. Preference is given to business and STEM majors.||Varies||Varies|
|College Assistance Migrant Program||Applicants must be migrant workers or children of migrant workers currently enrolled in their first year of an undergraduate program.||Varies||April|
|Jean DeGrace Crandall Memorial Scholarship||Migrants or children of migrants who are currently enrolled in or have graduated from a high school in New York's Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster, or Westchester counties may qualify for this award. Priority is given to migrants from Mexico.||At least $1,000||April|
|Quest for Excellence: New Americans Award||Eligible applicants are immigrants or children of immigrants in their junior year of high school who demonstrate exceptional academic potential and plan to attend college after their senior year.||Up to $1,000||Varies|
|Running of the Bulls Scholarship for Immigrants||Applicants must be immigrants or children of immigrants and enrolled in or accepted to a four-year undergraduate or graduate program with a minimum GPA of 3.0.||$1,000||June|
|Gloria Mattera National Migrant Scholarship||Applicants must demonstrate a recent move for agricultural employment, as well as academic potential and financial need. They must be enrolled in, accepted to, or planning to pursue a program at an accredited college or university, technical school, or vocational school. Priority is given to interstate migrant youth.||Up to $250||April|
|Hispanic Heritage Foundation Youth Awards||Applicants must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or DACA recipients of Hispanic heritage. They must also graduate from high school in spring 2022 with a GPA of at least 3.0 and enroll at a college or university in 2022-2023.||Varies||November|
|Federal Pell Grant||Applicants must be U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens who are first-time college students. Most award recipients are undergraduates, except for aspiring teachers.||Up to $6,495 (2021-2022)||June (FAFSA deadline)|
|Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant||Applicants must be enrolled full time or part time in a graduate or undergraduate degree program at a participating school and maintain a GPA of at least 3.25. Recipients commit to teaching in a high-need field for at least four years after they graduate.||Varies||June (FAFSA deadline)|
|Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)||Applicants must be undergraduate students and demonstrate financial need.||$100-$4,000||June (FAFSA deadline)|
|Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant||Applicants must be ineligible for the Pell Grant based on income and meet other criteria. Qualifying students must have been under 24 years old or enrolled in college when they experienced the death of their parent or guardian through military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after 9/11.||Up to $6,495||June (FAFSA deadline)|
Frequently Asked Questions About Scholarships for Hispanic and Latino/a Students
Filling out the FAFSA is necessary to determine financial aid eligibility and to qualify for federal aid. Qualifying Hispanic and Latino/a students who complete the FAFSA automatically apply for federal grants. Resources like the White House Hispanic Prosperity Initiative assist students in applying for aid. The FAFSA is also available in Spanish.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a person of Hispanic or Latino/a descent is from a Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Spanish, or South or Central American culture.
In general, the higher the GPA the better — especially for a merit-based, full-ride scholarship. While the majority of scholarships that include a GPA requirement ask for a minimum GPA of at least 2.5-3.0 GPA, full-ride scholarships for Latino/a students typically raise that minimum to at least 3.5.
Yes. Scholarships for Hispanic students are widely available through national and regional organizations and private sponsors, though thousands more scholarships are available through Hispanic-Serving Institutions. Students should verify a school's membership in HACU to pursue its specific scholarships for Latino/a students.
Susana Muñoz, Ph.D.
Dr. Susana M. Muñoz is Associate Professor of higher education, Program Coordinator of the Higher Education Leadership (HEL) Program, and Co-Director of CSU initiatives for the Race and Intersectional Studies for Educational Equity (RISE) Center in the School of Education at Colorado State University (CSU).
Her scholarly interests center on the experiences of minoritized populations in higher education. Specifically, Dr. Muñoz focuses her research on issues of equity, identity, and campus climate for undocumented Latinx students, while employing perspectives such as legal violence, racist nativism, and Chicana feminist epistemology to identify and dismantle power, oppression, and inequities as experienced by these populations. She utilizes multiple research methods as mechanisms to examine these matters with the ultimate goal of informing immigration policy and higher education practices.
Dr. Muñoz has been honored by the White House Initiative for Educational Excellence for Hispanics for her teaching and research. She was also recognized as a Salzburg Global Fellow and named one of the "top 25 most influential women in higher education" by Diverse Issues in Higher Education magazine. She also brings 13 years of student affairs experience in multicultural affairs, Greek life, diversity and leadership training, TRiO programs, and residence life.
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