Grants for Hispanic Students

Hispanic Student Grants

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.

Government Grants

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.

Federal Pell Grant

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.

Academic Competitiveness Grant

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:

  • Receive the Pell Grant
  • Be a U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Be enrolled at least part-time in a degree program
  • Second year students must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better
  • Students must also be enrolled in a rigorous secondary education program.

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant

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-Funded Scholarships and Grants for Hispanic Students

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.

Minority and Underrepresented Environmental Literacy Program

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:

  • Be U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Be a resident of Missouri
  • Graduate from an accredited high school
  • Have a minimum 3.0 high school GPA, or a minimum GPA of 2.5 if currently in college
  • Be a full-time student at a participating Missouri school in one of these study programs: Chemical engineering, Mechanical engineering, Civil engineering, Environmental engineering, Agricultural engineering, Biology, Environmental law enforcement, Wildlife management, Natural resource planning, Natural resources, Environmental chemistry, or

The initial application process requires:

  • Submitting a complete application form
  • Three letters of recommendation, one from an advisor, principal or counselor
  • A one-page essay about explaining why the student should receive the scholarship
  • Transcripts along with SAT and ACT scores
  • A resume of school and community activities

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

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:

  • Have an ACT score of 21 or SAT score of 990
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Be in the top 33% of their class
  • Complete the Kansas Scholars Program
  • Be selected by College Board as a Hispanic Scholar
  • Complete a FAFSA application

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.

Jose Marti Scholarship Challenge Grant Fund

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:

  • Being a resident of Florida
  • U.S. citizen or eligible non-resident
  • No previous default on a student loan
  • Hispanic descent
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Enroll in a college or university for at least 12 credit hours
  • Students need to complete a FAFSA form

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.

Hispanic Scholarships and Grants Offered by Colleges and Universities

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

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.

Danny Villanueva Scholarship

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:

  • Complete an application
  • Have a minimum 2.5 GPA
  • Must be a full-time undergraduate student at NMSU Las Cruces campus
  • Submit a two-page essay on the concept of leadership
  • Submit letters of recommendation that confirms community service
  • Submit an unofficial transcript

The deadline for fall applications must be received by early October. Click here for more information about this scholarship and the scholarship application.

Scholarships and Grants Offered by Private Organizations

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.

Hispanic Scholarship Fund

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.

HSF/General College Scholarships

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:

  • Be of Hispanic descent
  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Be enrolled or plan to enroll full-time at a two or four year U.S. accredited school
  • Fill out a FAFSA application
  • Be working towards their first undergraduate or graduate degree

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.

HSF/Georgia Opportunities Scholarship

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:

  • Must be of Hispanic heritage
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or a legal permanent resident
  • Be a high school student that graduates from a Georgia high school
  • Have a GPA of at least 3.0
  • Complete a FAFSA application
  • Be eligible for a Pell Grant

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.

HSF/Peierls Rising Star Scholarship

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:

  • Be of Hispanic descent
  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident
  • Have at least a 2.5 and a maximum of 2.99 GPA
  • Must live in Texas or Colorado
  • Have completed a FAFSA
  • Plan to enroll in two or four-year accredited school

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 Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) Scholarship

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:

  • Enrollment at an accredited two- or four-year institution
  • Active participation in public service activities
  • U.S. citizenship or legal permanent residency status
  • Financial need

The deadline for this scholarship is early April. To apply for this scholarship, click here.

The Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) Program

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:

  • Be African American, American Indian, Asian Pacific Islander or a Hispanic American
  • Be a citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States
  • Have at least a 3.3 high school GPA or have earned a GED
  • Demonstrate leadership skills through participation in extracurricular and community service activities
  • Be eligible for the Pell Grant
  • Complete and submit the Nominee Personal Information, Nominator and the Recommender Forms

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.

Professional Association Scholarships and Grants

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.

American Chemical Society (ACS) Scholars Program

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 seniors planning to enter college in a chemically related field; or
  • College freshmen, sophomores and juniors engaged in a full-time study of a chemically-related field; or
  • Two-year students enrolled in a chemical technology program.

High school applicants must submit the following:

  • Application
  • Official transcript
  • ACT or SAT score
  • Two letters of recommendation with at least one from a chemistry instructor
  • Copy of SAR

College students need to submit:

  • Application Form
  • Official transcripts
  • College freshmen need to provide a high school transcript as well as a college transcript.
  • Two letters or recommendation with one being from the faculty member in your field of study.

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.

AIA/AAF Minority Disadvantages Scholarship Program

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:

  • Be legal U.S. residents
  • Be a college freshman in a NAAB-accredited professional program; or
  • Be High school students entering a NAAB-accredited program; or
  • Be enrolled in a community college and plan to transfer to a NAAB accredited program

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.

Actuarial Diversity Scholarship

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:

  • Applicants must have at least one birth parent that is Hispanic, Native American or African American
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • High school seniors need a minimum math score of 28 on their ACT and a SAT match score of 600
  • Plan to have a career in the actuarial profession

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.

Corporate Scholarships for Hispanic Students

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.

RMHC/HACER Scholarship

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:

  • Be high school seniors
  • Be a U.S. citizen or valid resident
  • Be under the age of 21
  • Have a minimum 2.7 GPA
  • If already in college, be a full-time student at an accredited two of four-year university or college
  • Live in a participating RMHC geographic area
  • Complete application
  • Submit required supporting documentation which includes a transcript, personal statement, letter of recommendation and Form 1040.

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.

Xeroxís Technical Minority Scholarship

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:

  • Be enrolled full-time at a four-year college or university
  • Have at least a B average
  • Receive a BS, MS or PhD in an engineering or technical science program
  • Be Hispanic, Pacific Islander, Asian, African American or Native American
  • Must have tuition or tuition-related expenses that are not covered by scholarships and grants

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.

The HCF/Google Scholarship Program

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:

  • Student must be Hispanic or of Hispanic descent
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Must be a full-time student studying at an accredited school in the U.S. or Puerto Rico
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Must demonstrate financial need

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.

Scholarships Based On Ancestry

Another resource for Hispanic students seeking financial aid for college is scholarships and grants that are based on a personís national origin.

Salvadoran American Leadership & Educational Fund

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:

  • Applicants must be of Central American or other Latino ethnicity
  • Applicants need to show financial need
  • Must show a commitment to community service
  • Have a minimum 2.5 GPA
  • Must be a high school graduating senior.

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.

Puerto Rican Society Scholarships

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:

  • At least one of the applicantís grandparents must be Hispanic
  • Enrolled in a college or university
  • Have a minimum 3.0 GPA

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.

General Scholarships

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.

AXA Achievement Scholarship

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:

  • Be U.S. citizens or legal residents
  • Be current high school seniors
  • Demonstrate outstanding achievement in school, community or work activities

Applications for this program are due in December. Click here for the application.

Imagine American High School Scholarship

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.

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