On the surface, Latino and Hispanic students don’t seem to be suffering as much from the U.S. student debt crisis. Only 22 percent of Hispanic households carry student loan debt, compared to 42 percent and 40 percent of white households and black households, respectively.
But the bad news is that the low debt level is mostly because fewer Hispanics are attending college, according to the Pew Research Center. (And many of those who do are more likely to attend less expensive community colleges.)
There is good news, however. You can avoid a heavy debt load while achieving your dream of a college education and the higher earnings that can come with it, thanks to a long list of scholarships specifically for Latino and Hispanic students.
Read on for a comprehensive list of scholarships for Latinos that can keep your educational costs at a reasonable level.
9 awesome scholarships for Latinos
So, what are some of these scholarships, and how can you get them?
The eligibility ranges for each one, but on average, the Latino scholarships listed below require a 3.0 GPA (out of a 4.0 scale) and attendance or enrollment at an accredited four-year college or university.
All of the scholarships below are available regardless of location or school, and all are for Latinos or Hispanics only. Let’s dive in.
1. Ann Seki Memorial Scholarship
Chevron sponsors this scholarship in honor of an original member of its Hispanic recruiting team, Ann Seki. Seki worked for three decades to help Chevron meet its diversity hiring goals, and now students majoring in engineering can earn a scholarship in her name.
The Ann Seki Memorial Scholarship requires a 3.3 GPA and a concentration in civil, chemical, electrical, facilities, mechanical, or petroleum engineering. Recipients can receive anywhere from $500 to $10,000. Applications are closed for now but likely will open up in the new year, as they are due at the end of April.
2. Haz La U Program
The Hispanic Heritage Foundation and Colgate-Palmolive partnered to create the Haz La U Program to offer 31 scholarships for amounts of $2,000 to $15,000 for Hispanic youth.
The Hispanic Youth Awards scholarship requires Hispanic heritage, a 3.0 GPA, and plans to enroll in an accredited bachelor’s program in the fall after high school graduation. Preferred areas of study are business and entrepreneurship, community service, education, health care and science, media and entertainment, and STEM programs (science, technology, engineering, and math). Applications for this scholarship were due October 15, so keep an eye out for next year.
3. Hispanic Scholarship Fund
The Hispanic Scholarship Fund is available to Hispanic students of various age ranges — from high school seniors all the way up to graduate students. All majors of study are accepted, but there is an emphasis on STEM majors. There’s also a GPA requirement of 2.5 for college students and 3.0 for high school students.
Recipients can receive from $500 to $5,000, based on both need and merit. Applications open in January and come due in April.
4. La Unidad Latina DREAM Scholarship
La Unidad Latina Foundation offers scholarships of $500 to $1,000 to qualified recipients. Applicants must also register for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), which protects those who are undocumented and entered the U.S. as minors. They must also be currently enrolled in a master’s or bachelor’s program and maintain at least a 2.8 GPA.
Students must have already completed one full year of undergraduate study. Undergraduates can major in anything, but graduate students must be pursuing a Master of Arts, Master of Science, Master of Public Administration/Policy, Master of Social Work, Master of Education, Master of Divinity, or Doctor of Philosophy.
Applications were due October 22; check back in the new year to apply.
5. Liberty Power Bright Horizons Scholarship
Liberty Power created the Bright Horizons Scholarship for students majoring in STEM programs interested in energy and the environment. As a leading Hispanic-owned energy provider in the U.S., this company is giving back to the community in the form of scholarships of $4,000 to $10,000.
Previous applications were due by the end of July; recipients can look for the next batch in the new year. Students must have attended at least one full semester of college to be eligible.
6. NBCUniversal/LNESC Scholarship
The NBCUniversal/LNESC Scholarship was created to help Latinos pursue careers in media and entertainment. The scholarship is available to college sophomores and juniors who maintain at least a 3.0 GPA. Students can major in anything but should have an interest in working in the media and entertainment industries.
Applications are now closed, but students can find out about the next round by signing up for email updates from the League of United Latin American Citizens.
7. Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Scholarships
Hispanic students interested in STEM programs can take advantage of a variety of scholarships through the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). The GPA requirements for each scholarship vary, ranging from a minimum of 2.75 to a minimum of 3.0, and some require full-time membership in the SHPE.
Applications for these scholarships will open back up in January.
8. The Carlos M. Casteñeda Journalism Scholarship
The Carlos M. Castañeda Journalism Scholarship awards $7,000 to Spanish-speaking journalists or journalism students who have been accepted into a post-graduate journalism program.
Recipients need a 3.0 GPA, although the undergraduate degree earned doesn’t have to be in journalism. The last batch of applications was due in mid-April, so look for the next round to open up in the new year.
9. The Randy Falco Scholarship
The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences offers a handful of scholarships. One of these scholarships is for Hispanic or Latino students only — and the students must be pursuing a career in journalism or television. The scholarship awards $10,000 to its recipients.
This scholarship is called the Randy Falco Scholarship and should open up in the new year, as applications were previously due at the end of February.
Where you can find more Latino scholarships
The awards above are just the start of a much longer list.
You can find even more scholarships for Latinos specific to the school you plan to attend or are attending, and the location where you live or went to high school, as well as programs for minority groups as a whole. Scholarships.com is a great place to search for more Latino scholarships like these, as are Fastweb and Niche.
Doing a more specific search can turn up some interesting results such as a scholarship for a conference in California to learn professional leadership skills and a Latinos in Tech Scholarship for qualified students living in Silicon Valley.
You might be surprised by what you find if you start looking for scholarships now.
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