September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month when America celebrates the achievements and contributions of Hispanic Americans.
President Lyndon B. Johnson launched the observation in 1968 and it has expanded ever since. As of last year, the U.S. has the second-highest Hispanic population in the world, making Hispanic Heritage Month a major event in the country.
And according to the Pew Research Center, college enrollment among Hispanics and Latinos went up 240 percent from 1996 to 2012. Yet, the demographic still faces unique challenges when it comes to achieving a higher education degree.
However, businesses and non-profits understand the crucial role Hispanic and Latino students will play in the future workforce, and are offering scholarships designed specifically for them to help offset the cost of college.
Student scholarships for Hispanics and Latinos
Scholarships are rising among companies and organizations for Hispanic and Latino students looking to grow America’s economy.
These scholarships range in value, but you can apply for multiple scholarships if you meet the eligibility requirements. And if you win, you can combine the amount awarded to lessen how many student loans you need to take out.
Here are 10 scholarships you can check out today.
1. National Hispanic Health Professional Student Scholarship
The National Hispanic Health Foundation will offer 21 scholarships this year, ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 in value.
The scholarship, which aims to encourage students to enter the healthcare industry, is given to those enrolled full-time in accredited graduate programs for the 2016-2017 academic year.
Applications are due Friday, October 14.
2. Hispanic Scholarship Foundation (HSF) Scholarship
The HSF Scholarship was created to help Hispanic and Latino students obtain a college degree. Awards can range from $500 to $5,000, and HSF makes determinations based on need and academic performance.
The organization gives special consideration to students pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM).
Applications are available in January and are due at the end of March.
3. Coca-Cola For the Dream Scholarship
Coca-Cola partners with the Hispanic Scholarship Foundation to offer $175,000 in scholarships this year to Hispanic and Latino students.
Awards can be as high as $20,000, making them some of the highest scholarships available.
Students must complete the forms and submit a photo of themselves with a Coke can. Applications open on January 1.
4. Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) Scholarships
Offered to current students pursuing a STEM career, merit and need-based scholarships range from $1,000 to $5,000.
SHPE partners with major companies like Google, Boeing, and Chevron for various scholarships. Most of these scholarships have already closed, but keep these application deadlines in mind for the future.
5. American Bus Association (ABA) Diversity Scholarship
Students who have completed at least one year of college and are studying the transportation, tourism, or travel industries are eligible for the Diversity Scholarship.
Valued at $2,500, applicants must submit a 500-word essay with their applications. The ABA accepts submissions between December 7 and April 6.
6. La Unidad Latina Foundation (LULF) Scholarship
LULF offers scholarships to students pursuing a four-year degree.
Students must have a 2.8 GPA or higher and completed at least one year of full-time undergraduate study or one full-time graduate semester.
Awards range from $500 to $1,000 and applications are due on October 15.
7. Becas Univision Scholarship
Univision created these scholarships for Hispanic students who will be attending an accredited two- or four-year school full-time.
What’s more, these scholarships are available to U.S. citizens as well as undocumented students. The submission form opens in January 2017 for the 2017-2018 academic year.
8. Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPA) Scholarship
The ALPA offers scholarships of various amounts for recipients. Hispanic students currently enrolled in college and pursuing a career in business-related fields are eligible to apply.
Applications are accepted February through May.
9. Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities (HACU) IES Abroad Scholarship
HACU offers scholarships valued between $2,500 and $5,000 to make studying abroad more affordable for Hispanic and Latino students.
Additionally, they give priority to first-generation students or those receiving a federal Pell Grant.
If you intend to study abroad in the spring semester, the deadline to apply is November 1.
For those intending to study abroad next fall, the deadline is May 1.
10. League of United Latin America Citizens (LULAC) NBC Scholarship
In partnership with NBCUniversal, LULAC offers scholarships to outstanding Latino students who are interested in pursuing a career in media and entertainment.
The organization distributes ten awards valued at $5,000 each to qualified sophomores and juniors pursuing their undergraduate degrees.
Applications are accepted in the summer and are due by August 1.
Hispanic Heritage Month and higher education
Post-secondary or higher education are both increasingly important for a successful career. Unfortunately, many Hispanic and Latino students do not enroll in college, despite being highly qualified, due to cost.
By applying for multiple scholarships, you can increase your chances of getting an award and minimize the need for student loans. Hispanic Heritage Month is an excellent reminder to do your homework and research options available to you as a Hispanic or Latino student.
If you do need student loans to fill the gap to pay for school, make sure you understand all of your options when it comes to federal and private loans.
And if you already have student loan debt, check out how refinancing could potentially bring down your interest rate or reduce your monthly payment.
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