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Scholarship Opportunities for Hispanic and Latino Students

The rising cost of colleges threatens to make education unattainable for many. While loans offer an opportunity to fund an education, they do so at a steep cost, and many new graduates find themselves overwhelmed with repayment obligations. That’s why the hunt for scholarships is so critical. While students of Hispanic heritage are eligible to apply for a wide range of merit and need-based scholarships, there are also scholarships designated solely for them. Here’s a look at just a few of them:
The HSF Scholarship
These merit-based scholarships are available to students of Hispanic heritage who are pursuing a college degree. Graduating high school seniors, community college transfer students, undergraduate and graduate students are all eligible to apply. Applicants must plan to enroll full time in an accredited, not for profit, four-year college or university during the fall semester. The award amounts range from $500 to $5000, and individual awards are based on financial need among the selected scholars. The application period opens January 1, 2017 and the deadline to apply is March 30, 2017. Recipients will be notified of awards in June and July. Review the guidelines for additional information.
The Gates Millennium Scholarship
Each year, 1,000 outstanding students from underrepresented backgrounds are granted a GMS award. These scholarships are awarded to high school seniors, GED recipients, or high school graduates enrolling in full-time study at an accredited institution for the first time. Students of Hispanic descent are included among the ethnicities eligible to apply. These scholarships are both merit-based–applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.3—and need-based. Applicants must meet Pell Grant eligibility criteria to be eligible to receive an award. Review the guidelines for additional information.
Becas Univision Scholarship Program
The awards included in the Becas Univision Scholarship Program are designated for Hispanic students who live in the United States. In order to be eligible, applicants must be of Hispanic heritage, satisfy a minimum GPA requirement, and plan to enroll full-time in an accredited, not-for-profit four year college or university during the fall semester. For more information, review the guidelines.
Regional-Specific Scholarships
Two scholarship programs are geared for Hispanic students residing in certain geographical areas within the United States. The Valley Alliance of Mentors for Opportunities Scholarship (VAMOS) awards scholarships to talented scholars from certain districts within in the Rio Grande Valley area of Texas. The Greater Cincinnati HSF Scholarship offers financial support for Latino scholars who live in Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana. Both of these organizations have specific eligibility requirements. Additional information can be found here and here.
Other Sources
These are just a few of the scholarship opportunities available to Hispanic and Latino students. There are a number of free resources available to help in the search for additional scholarships, including:

  • The financial aid office at a college or career school
  • High school guidance offices
  • The free scholarship search tool provided by the U.S. Department of Labor
  • Numerous federal and state agencies

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