As the Hispanic population in the United States continues to grow, the number of Hispanic high school dropouts continues to decline. This is great news for the millions of college bound Latino students with their sights set on attending a two- or four-year degree program. Scholarships for high school seniors are designed specifically for this need including programs you've never heard of.
Recent data from the Pew Research Center shows that 2.3 million Hispanics between the ages of 18 and 24 were enrolled in a two-year or four-year degree program in 2014, which is a large increase from previous decades. And, as more college bound Latino students enroll in school, the number of scholarships for Latinos available to finance their education increases.
Hispanics Face College Scholarship Challenges
While dropout rates decline and more Latino students enroll in college programs, the population still faces challenges in terms of support needed versus support available.
In a 2014 poll taken by the National Journal, 66 percent of Hispanics who chose to forego studies and enter the workforce or military after high school cited the need to help support their family as a reason for not enrolling in college. This can be compared to the 39 percent of Caucasian students who responded to the poll.
The future for Latino students is positive: The U.S. Census Bureau estimates nearly one in four college-age adults will identify as Hispanic by 2020. In 2012, Hispanic high school graduates enrolled in college at a higher rate than their Caucasian classmates.
DREAMers Face Even More Financial Difficulty
In Februrary of 2018, DREAMers celebrated a small victory when Congress declined to hear the Trump administration's appeal against the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. Recipients of DACA, known as DREAMers, are protected against deportation if they are children of illegal immigrants who were under the age of 16 when brought to the U.S. by their parents and arrived by 2007. Renewal is required every two years.
Despite this win, the future of DACA is unclear, and DREAMers face financial uncertainty. Bankrate has put together five financial moves DREAMers must make now to ensure financial stability. If your citizenship is at stake, download this checklist, and prepare with confidence. Learn how to pay for your education and avoid additional debt.
College Bound Scholarships Awarded to Hispanics
Thousands of college scholarships are available each year to a variety of students depending on financial need, academic achievement, cultural background and choice of college major. As a recipient of a college scholarship, you won't be required to pay the money back, which makes it a desirable choice over student loans.
Most scholarships allow students to fund a wide range of education-related costs, such as tuition and books, while others allow students to use the money to pay for room and board or other approved day-to-day expenses.
While hundreds of scholarships for Hispanics exist, these eight top the list in terms of inclusivity and benefit. View the financial aid links for details.
1. PepsiCo Cesar Chavez Latino Scholarship
Award Amount: $5,000
Deadline: May, 31 2018
Eligibility: Each applicant must be an incoming or continuing full-time undergraduate student of Latino descent at an Arizona education institution. Academic excellence, extra-curricular activities, community service and financial need must be demonstrated. Minimum 3.0 GPA, essay, two letters of recommendation, transcript, and Student Aid Report are required.
2. HPRA Scholarship
Award Amount: $5,000
Deadline: June 5, 2018
Eligibility: HPRA Scholarship applicants must be outstanding undergraduate Hispanic students pursuing a career in public relations and related communications fields.
3. National Association of Hispanic Nurses Scholarship
Award Amount: $1,000
Deadline: June 8, 2018
Eligibility: Eligible applicants must be a member of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses enrolled in an accredited LVN/LPN, associate, diploma, baccalaureate or graduate nursing program. A minimum 3.0 GPA is preferred. Two letters of recommendation, essay, resume and transcripts must be submitted.
4. Buenas Opiniones Scholarship for Latino Students
Award Amount: $2,500 a year for up to four years
Deadline: August 31, 2018 (fall semester) and January 31, 2019 (spring semester)
Eligibility: Any Latino high school senior, undergraduate or graduate student can apply. Students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA and are required to submit an essay on the obstacles they face as a Latino student.
5. NBCUniversal/LNESC Scholarship
Award Amount: $5,000
Deadline: November 6, 2018
Eligibility: Latino college undergraduates in their junior or senior year with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. Applicants must have an interest in media or entertainment, but all college majors are welcome to apply.
6. Diversity Advancement Scholarship (Expired)
Award Amount: up to $20,000
Deadline: January 17, 2019
Eligibility: The Architects Foundation offers this award to support minority students in their pursuit of an education and career in architecture. Eligible high school students and undergrads must be enrolled or enrolling in a NAAB-accredited architecture degree program and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
7. Ronald McDonald House Charities/HACER Scholarship
Award Amount: $100,000 ($25,000 per year)
Deadline: February 5, 2019
Eligibility: High school seniors with at least one Hispanic parent who are planning to enroll in an accredited undergraduate program for the upcoming year. Applicants must have a GPA of 2.7 or higher. The Ronald McDonald House as awarded over $31 million to scholarship recipients.
8. Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund
Award Amount: $15,000
Deadline: March 2, 2019
Eligibility: The American Bar Association awards $15,000 to each recipient ($5,000 each year for three years) to encourage minorities to enroll in law school. Applicants must be first-year law students and have achieved a minimum GPA of 2.5 at their undergraduate institution.
9. HSF College Scholarship
Award Amount: $500 to $5,000
Deadline: March 30, 2019
Eligibility: The Hispanic Scholarship Fund is available to all Hispanic students currently enrolled or planning to enroll in a four-year institution. High school senior applicants must have a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher. Students currently enrolled in a four-year institution must have at least a 2.5 GPA.
10. American Bus Association Diversity Award
Award Amount: $5,000
Deadline: April 6, 2019
Eligibility: Any student with a minority background who has completed at least one full year of post-secondary work and has at least a cumulative GPA of 3.0. Students must plan to major in a field related to travel and tourism.
11. ¡Adelante! U.S. Education Leadership Fund
Award Amount: varies
Deadline: May 2019
Eligibility: The Adelante U.S. Education Leadership Fund provides support to Hispanic college students through a variety of programs including internships, scholarships and training. Scholarship season for this nonprofit is annually from January to May. Visit their site during open enrollment for details.
Other Resources for College Scholarships and Aid
The Hispanic Scholarship Fund offers the most up-to-date information on scholarships for Hispanic students. Follow their blog for even deeper knowledge.
CollegeBoard is another resource for students preparing to apply for and enter university life. Their website offers a scholarship search function in addition to career planning tools and SAT prep. It's never too early to start preparing for your future, so start your search today.