Hispanics have become the largest minority population in the United States. However, as the Hispanic population has grown college enrollment and graduation statistics remain at a staggering low. The American Hispanic population remains vastly under-represented in colleges and universities as well as being marginalized in business and industry. To offset these statistics there are an increasing number of proactive organizations committed to helping Hispanic students get into, and succeed at, college. These organizations provide grants and scholarships to help Hispanic students handle the ever increasing costs of a higher education.
The following sources will help guide you through the grant and scholarship opportunities open to Hispanic, Latino and Mexican students.
The Hispanic Scholarship Fund is dedicated to helping Latino students obtain access to a college education. Working in cooperation with a number of corporate and philanthropic organizations the HSF has spent more than 35 years providing financial aid and encouragement to college bound Latino students in the United States.
One of the greatest successes the Hispanic Scholarship Fund has had is with the First In My Family Scholarship Program Working in tandem with the Sallie Mae Foundation, the HSF offers scholarships to qualified Hispanic-American students who are the first in their family to attend college or university. This program is dedicated to encouraging and supporting post secondary education in Hispanic families.
The Hispanic Scholarship Fund is the number one resource for information and scholarship opportunities targeted to benefit Hispanic students. Working with a number of businesses and organizations like the Gates Millennium Foundation, AT&T, Morgan Stanley and Toyota allows the HSF to give financial aid opportunities to deserving Hispanic students across America.
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, or HACU, is a consortium of American and International colleges and universities catering to a large Hispanic student body. These universities are making concerted efforts to encourage and nurture the growth of the Hispanic college population. The HACU includes more than 200 accredited Hispanic-serving colleges and universities which provide grants and scholarships specifically designed to meet the needs of Hispanic college students.
Under-representation refers to the lack of minority students in certain fields of study, particularly the STEM disciplines of science, engineering, technology and mathematics. Hispanics and other minorities are also vitally under-represented in the law studies, foreign language programs and education. Colleges, business organizations and the Federal government are sponsoring many grants and scholarships for Hispanic-American students in an effort to diversify the national student body as well as the general industrial and professional workforce.
A few notable examples of grants available to college bound Hispanic students include:
There are many grant and scholarship programs available to Hispanic-American students planning for college. Sources for this much needed financial aid can be broken down into five main categories:
2. Then explore any state grant programs available for minorities or Hispanics. For example:
3. Colleges and universities, particularly the HACU institutions, are excellent sources for Hispanic student grant programs. Check with the financial aid office at the colleges to which you're applying.
4. Professional organizations and societies such as the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers often provide monetary support in the form of scholarships, grants, research funds and travel grants.
5. Local organizations and businesses can often be an overlooked source for college funds. Make inquiries at Latino owned and operated businesses in your community.