There is an increase in the number of Hispanic students entering colleges and universities. While receiving a college education is a dream for many, financing an education may put a strain on achieving that dream. Grants are one way to lessen the financial burden of receiving an education. Grants, unlike loans, do not have to be repaid. There are many Hispanic student grants available that will help lessen the cost of a higher education.
Every student that will apply for school aid should fill out a FAFSAapplication. The U.S. Department of Education uses the FAFSA to qualify students for government grants. Colleges and other institutions may also use this form to determine the amount of scholarships and other aid they will give students.
The FAFSA calculates the students Expected Family Contribution. The formula to determine a families expected contribution takes into consideration the studentís income and assets. If the student is a dependent, the assets and income of the parents are used. Once the form is completed, the student will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR informs students of their grant eligibility and how much aid they will receive.
To be eligible for FAFSA, students must be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens. Students need to have a valid Social Security number and all males between the ages of 18 to 25 must register for the Selective Service. Other criteria students must meet include having a high school diploma or GED.
The FAFSA form decides if a student qualifies to receive a Federal Pell Grant, Academic Competitiveness Grant and the Federal Supplemental Educational Grant. These grants are awarded yearly and are based on need or academic merit.
The amount of Pell Grant aid received by students depends on their financial need, school attendance costs and their status as either a full- or part-time student. For the 2011-2012 school year, the maximum award was $5,500.
The grant is need-based. However, if the student has a parent or guardian who died serving the military in Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001, the student will receive the full grant amount. The award does not have to be repaid and is typically awarded to students who have not completed an undergraduate program or received a professional degree.
The school must notify the recipient in writing of the amount of the award and when the award will be paid. The grant is either paid directly to the student, to the school, or a combination of the two options. The funds are dispersed once each semester or twice a year.
Created in 2006, the Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) awards first-year college students $750 and $1,300 for second-year students. If the number of students eligible for the award exceeds the total amount of funding for the grant, the maximum award amount may be reduced. Also, the amount of the ACG combined with the Pell Grant cannot exceed the studentís cost of attendance.
To receive this grant, students must:
The Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant is a need-based grant. Students who are designated to have the lowest estimated family contributions are given priority. The yearly award ranges from $100 to $4,000.
To be eligible for the grant, students must fill out the FAFSA and be enrolled at least part-time in an associate or bachelor degree program. The payments occur twice a year or each semester. The award is payable either to the student, directly to the school or a combination of the two methods.
State governments are also a good source for educational funding. Many states offer grants for Hispanic students who reside in and are planning to go to school in the state. Missouri, Kansas and Florida are a few of the states that offer this type of aid.
The Missouri Department of Higher Education sponsors the Minority and Underrepresented Environmental Literacy Program. The program helps minority and underrepresented individuals who want to pursue a bachelor’s or masterís degree in an environmental field. African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders are given priority.
Eligible students must:
The initial application process requires:
The average annual award amount is $3,996 a year. This award is renewable and the application and renewal application must be submitted by June 1.
The Kansas Ethnic Minority Scholarship Program is a need-based program created to assist academically competitive students that are Hispanic, African American, Native American or Asian. Applicants that are entering their freshman year are given priority.
To be considered for this scholarship, students must meet the following criteria:
Recipients receive up to $1,850 for each of the four years of school, or five years if the student is enrolled in a five-year program. Recipients also have to attend a Kansas community college, independent college or state university. The scholarship is renewable and students must maintain a 2.0 GPA to remain eligible. The application deadline is May 1st.
The Jose Marti Scholarship Challenge Grant Fund is a need-based merit scholarship that offers financial assistance to Hispanic students that plan to attend a Florida college or university.
Applications need to be submitted in the senior year of high school. Graduate students can apply, but priority is given to graduation high school students. The awards are financed through private donation and the Florida Legislature.
The eligibility requirements include:
To apply for the award, students must complete a Student Florida Financial Aid Application and submit a certified statement of their GPA by April 1st.
Students will receive a $2,000 scholarship. This scholarship is renewable. Priority in distribution of the award is given to renewal applicants, reinstatement applicants, eligible initial undergraduates and then to graduate applicants.
Individuals seeking scholarships and grants should also consider looking at the prospective colleges. Several schools offer scholarships and grants for Hispanic students.
The Bob & Minnie Snead Minority Presence Scholarship is offered to students by Appalachian State University. The scholarship is available for Hispanic, Native American, African Americans and other minorities. For consideration, students must also show financial need and be a first-year or transfer student.
There is no interview or formal application required for this scholarship. All students who fit the criteria are automatically given consideration.
The Danny Villanueva Scholarship Fund was established to assist Hispanic students that show a commitment to leadership through community service and campus activities. The scholarship award is a one-time $1,500 scholarship that is given to students who have completed at least 12 credits at New Mexico State Universityís Las Cruces campus.
Students must meet the following requirements:
The deadline for fall applications must be received by early October. Click here for more information about this scholarship and the scholarship application.
There are several organizations that provide scholarships and grants to students of Hispanic descent. Some of these grants are merit-based while others take financial need into consideration. These organizations provide funding to help students develop both personally and professionally through educational opportunities.
The Hispanic Scholarship Fund strives to help Hispanic students gain access to the opportunities provided by a college education. The Fund provides outreach opportunities, educational programs and scholarships. The Hispanic Scholarship Fund offers several scholarship programs for college students.
The HSF/General College Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis. Graduating high school seniors, community college students, undergraduate and graduate students may apply for the scholarships. The award amounts range from $1,000 to $5,000.
To be eligible, students must:
Applications for this scholarship must be submitted in early December to be considered for an award for the following school year. Click here to apply.
The Georgia Opportunities Scholarship is a competitive scholarship for students who reside in Georgia. Students are required to be enrolled as a full-time first-year student at a four-year school or be a first-year student at a two-year institution who plans to transfer to a four-year school.
Students are awarded $2,500 each year. The award is renewable for up to three years if the student continues to meet the eligibility requirements:
Preference for this award is given to students that live and graduate from specific counties in Georgia like Appling, Evans, DeKalb, Jasper, Cherokee and McIntosh. The application deadline for this scholarship is mid-December.
The HSF/Peierls Rising Star Scholarship is for high school seniors that live in Colorado or Texas. Students enrolled in a four-year college are eligible to receive $2,500 or $1,250 if the student enrolls in a community college. The scholarship is renewable for the duration of a studentís college career and can total up to $10,000.
To be eligible, students must:
Students who have participated in pre-collegiate programs like AVID, Girls Inc., Upward Bound and Trio are given preference. To find out how to apply for this scholarship and other Hispanic Scholarship Fund scholarships, click here for instructions.
The CHCI Scholarship was created to provide Hispanic college students with financial assistance to pursue their degrees. These scholarships are for students who have shown a desire to service their community by engaging in public service activities. There are no GPA requirements, nor do students have to major in any particular field.
Students who are attending a two-year institution will receive $1,000. Recipients enrolled at four-year schools receive $2,000, while graduate students receive $5,000. The award is a one-time-only scholarship that aims to help students with tuition and other educational expenses. The award amount recipient is paid out once a year for the number of years it takes the student to receive their degree.
The eligibility criteria for this program include:
The deadline for this scholarship is early April. To apply for this scholarship, click here.
Established in 1999 by Bill & Melinda Gates, the Gates Millennium Scholars program provides African American, Native American, Hispanic and Asian Pacific Islander students with financial assistance so they are able pursue a college education. The program is open to high school seniors that have a minimum GPA of 3.3, display leadership qualities and show financial need.
The renewable award is administered by the United Negro College Fund in association with American Indian Graduate Center Scholars, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, and the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund. Each year, 1,000 students are selected to receive the scholarship. The amount recipients receive depends on their financial need. For example, if a student receives enough aid to cover 80% of the costs for school, the GMS award will cover the other 20%.
To be eligible for this award, students must:
The application needs to be submitted by early January for consideration for the following year. Recipients are notified of their award in June. Click here to begin the application process.
Students who already know the professional field they want to enter should contact the professional organizations of that field. Some professional organizations offer grants and scholarships to students who enter into that particular profession.
The ACS Scholars Program is for Hispanic, African American and American Indian students taking courses in chemical science. The renewable scholarship is for minority students who want a career in chemistry or a related field. It awards up to $5,000 for high school seniors, college freshmen, juniors or sophomores working towards a degree in chemical sciences. Acceptable majors include biochemistry, chemical engineering and environmental science. Suitable career options include forensic chemist, patent law, and biochemist.
Eligible students must be:
High school applicants must submit the following:
College students need to submit:
The applications are accepted between November 1st to March 1st. The award amount for freshmen is $2,500, $3,000 for sophomores and $5,000 for juniors and seniors. The funds are distributed twice a year and made payable to the school and the recipient. Click here to apply for this scholarship.
The AIA/AAF Minority Disadvantages Scholarship gives aid to high school graduates, college freshmen and students at community colleges that are from a minority or financially in-need background. These scholarships are for students who plan to receive a NAAB-accredited degree in architecture.
To be eligible, students must:
The applications are available in early January and the deadline is April 15. Up to five scholarships are awarded with scholarships valued between $3,000 and $4,000. The scholarships are renewable yearly until the student completes the degree.
The Actuarial Diversity Scholarship helps to encourage diversity in the actuarial profession. The scholarship is for Hispanic, African American and Native American students.
Applicants must meet this criteria to be eligible:
For scholarship consideration, the application and following materials must be submitted. The materials should include a personal statement, actuarial exam transcript, letters of recommendation and official school transcript. High school graduates need to submit their standardized math test schools. The application deadline is in early May.
The scholarship amount varies. High school seniors will receive $1,000 and current freshmen and sophomores receive $2,000. Junior and senior year recipients receive $3,000. Students who only attend school for a portion of the year will receive a portion of the scholarship. Priority is given to students who have passed the actuarial exam.
For more information about this scholarship program, click here.
Corporations are excellent sources of college aid. Many offer scholarship programs as a part of their philanthropic goal to give back to the community. McDonaldís, Xerox, and Google are a few of the corporations that offer scholarships for Hispanic students.
The RMHC/HACER Scholarship is sponsored by McDonaldís. This scholarship is for students that have at least one parent of Hispanic descent. The program awards four $100,000 national scholarships and numerous local scholarships each year. Students that win a national award are no longer eligible for local awards. The national award is paid over four years. Recipients of this award will need to verify their college enrollment each year to continue to receive scholarship funds.
To be eligible for this award, students must:
RMHC/HACER Local Scholarships are a minimum of $1,000. The award is given to recipients based on their financial need, community service, academic achievement and a personal statement. Students who receive this scholarship must attend an accredited school. The scholarship funds are paid directly to the school.
Students who want to apply for national or local scholarships need to submit one application. The deadline for the application is in January with scholarship award notifications occurring in May or June. Click here to apply for these scholarships.
The Xerox Technical Minority Scholarship provides aid for minority scholarships that are enrolled in a technical sciences or engineering program at the bachelor level or higher. U.S. Citizens and permanent residents are eligible to apply for this scholarship. However, children or spouses of Xerox employees are ineligible. This scholarship grants qualified students $1,000 to $10,000.
To qualify, students must:
To apply, students must fill out the top part of the application and have the bottom part of the application completed by the schoolís financial aid office. Students must also submit a resume. The application deadline for this scholarship is the end of September. Click here for the application.
Google has partnered with the Hispanic College Fund to create the Google Scholarship Program. This scholarship provides aid to college juniors and seniors who are pursuing a degree in computer science or computer engineering.
Eligibility requirements include:
Recipients of this award receive a $10,000 scholarship and a trip to Google headquarters. The award is given annually with applications due by March 1st. Click here for application instructions.
Another resource for Hispanic students seeking financial aid for college is scholarships and grants that are based on a personís national origin.
The Salvadoran American Leadership & Educational Fund was started to help Salvadoran and other Hispanic students achieve their educational goals. Scholarships range from $1,000 to $5,000 yearly.
Other eligibility requirements include:
Eligible applicants may also be enrolled in community college, an undergraduate or graduate program or a vocational school.
The program gives low-income students from the Greater Los Angeles Area, San Fernando Valley and San Francisco/Bay area priority. The award can only be used for tuition and is sent directly to the school. The disbursement occurs in two installments. Students are also required to complete 52 hours of community service.
To find out more about this scholarship, click here. The application deadline is early June.
The Puerto Rican Society awards a $1,000 to students of Hispanic descent. At least one of these scholarships will go to a student who is Puerto Rican. The awards are for students from the Greater St. Louis area that demonstrate strong academic performance.
To apply, students must meet the following qualifications:
Applications are due in May. First time college students must submit the application along with a copy of the college admission letter, official transcripts, ACT and SAT test scores and resume of school or community service activities and a 300-500-word essay.
College students applying for the scholarship must provide official college transcripts, a statement about community involvement, 300-500-word essay and two letters of recommendation. One of the letters of recommendation must be from a professor.
The applications are due in late May. Click here for the scholarship application and more details.
Although the previous scholarships and grant opportunities are specific to students of Hispanic descent, Hispanic students should not forget to also apply for the general scholarships that are open to all students.
The AXA Achievement Scholarship provides $670,000 worth of college scholarships to students. 52 winners are selected from the U.S., Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. to win a scholarship of $10,000 each. These winners are then put in a pool to win a one of ten one-time scholarships of $15,000 and an internship at AXA.
To qualify for this scholarship, students must:
Applications for this program are due in December. Click here for the application.
The Imagine American Foundation Scholarship provides an annual scholarship for high school students that have shown a commitment to leadership and community service. Qualified high school seniors will receive a $1,000 scholarship.
Eligible students are able to show financial need, a GPA of at least 2.5, likelihood of success in college and voluntary community service in senior year of high school. Applications are due in late December. Click here to apply.
Colleges and universities are seeing an increase in the amount of Hispanic students that enroll. Achieving an educational dream can become more of a reality with the grants and scholarship available from private corporations, state and federal government and corporations.