Hispanic students who are headed to school have several scholarship and grant options to consider. These programs, designed particularly for students of Latino heritage, make it possible for this often underserved minority group to have the same privileges as the rest of the population, privileges which are often reserved for those who have a higher education.
The Hispanic Scholarship Fund offers students access to a variety or programs designed for Latino students. The Gates Millennium Scholars program is one of these. It serves minority students of all nationalities, including Latino students. The program was developed through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 1999 and is available to graduating high school seniors. This program awards students with high GPAs with money for school regardless of the degree program they pursue. GPAs for applicants must average 3.3, and applicants must also be in significant financial need and have good leadership skills.
The Margoes Foundation offers a scholarship with the help of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. This program, open only to San Francisco area Latino students, is available to seniors who participate in the College Connect program. Awards can be as high as $2,500.
The Hispanic Scholarship Fund assists eligible students through the General College Scholarship program. Competition for these awards is strong, but Latino students who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, have a GPA of at least 3.0, and are going to attend school full-time in a degree program, whether it be a two-year or four-year degree, can qualify for the program. It is available to both undergraduate and graduate students, but only if they are pursuing their first degree of that type. The typical award is between $1,000 and $5,000.
Latino students who are looking to pursue a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics degree (STEM field) may qualify for the Proctor and Gamble Company scholarship offered through the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. This $2,500 scholarship, which is available in a limited number of areas, is offered to Hispanic students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. The students must plan to attend a full-time degree program in the United States or one of the qualifying territories.
All of these scholarships require the FAFSA to be completed prior to applying. The FAFSA is used to determine financial need, which is one of the ways the committees decide which students will be awarded money for school. To find out more about the programs available to Latino students, visit the Hispanic Scholarship Fund or talk to your school’s financial aid or guidance counselor.