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FAFSA, LULAC and 3 other Scholarships for Latino Students to take into account Freepik

Taking full advantage of scholarships for Latino students can be especially beneficial for this demographic, as many cover tuition and various college-related expenses such as room and board while allowing them to pursue their academic studies.

Despite the rise in college enrollment rates for Latinos, their graduation rates still lag behind those of the white non-Hispanic population.

According to a report from Excelencia in Education, a non-profit organization founded and led by Latinos to promote Latino education, only 28 percent of adults from this demographic in the U.S. hold a college degree, compared to 48 percent of White adults.

This gap persists despite having similar enrollment rates, with 21 percent for Latinos and 23 percent for Whites, the same study showed. To bridge this graduation rate gap, Excelencia in Education estimates that 6.2 million Latinos would need to earn a degree by 2030.

Recognizing the financial challenges many households face, several organizations offer scholarships for Latino students to make a college education more accessible and affordable. Here are some of the best scholarships available for Latino students.

Scholarships for Latino Students: FAFSA, LULAC and More Options

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FAFSA, LULAC and 3 other Scholarships for Latino Students Freepik

FAFSA Deadline: Why is it Important for Latino Students to Know It?

One of the key steps for Latino students seeking financial aid is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Department of Education provides various grants for eligible students, such as the Federal Pell Grant, which is awarded based on financial need and does not require repayment. The maximum award for the 2023–24 award year was $7,395.

In addition to federal aid, states and colleges use FAFSA information to award their own grants, scholarships, and loans. Each college and career/trade school may have its own deadline, so it's important to verify with the institution students plan to attend. Each state also has its own deadline; for instance, California's is April 2, 2024; May 14, 2024 in Florida; and January 15, 2023 in Texas. Those seeking to apply for federal financial aid to attend college between July 1, 2024, and June 30, 2025 should be aware of these deadlines.

Hispanic Scholarship Fund: A Prestigious Program for Latino Students

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) is a notable scholarship program that provides over $30 million in funding annually. HSF Scholars can secure scholarships ranging from $500 to $5,000, based on both merit and financial need. To qualify, applicants must have Hispanic heritage, be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or DACA recipients, and maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 for high school students or 2.5 for college and graduate students.

LULAC National Scholarship Fund: A Grassroots Effort for Latino Students

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) National Scholarship Fund, co-sponsored by 70 LULAC Councils, combines local grassroots efforts with national corporate matching to provide scholarships for Latino Students. The 2024 application opens in February, offering a maximum award of $2,000.

GMiS STEM Scholarship: A Valuable Opportunity for Latino Students in STEM

The GMiS STEM Scholarship is an opportunity for Latino students aspiring to pursue degrees in science, technology, engineering, or math fields. Awards range from $500 to $5,000 for merit-based achievements and $500 to $1,000 for non-merit-based contributions. While the current application window is closed, prospective candidates are advised to stay informed about upcoming deadlines for future opportunities.

The Gates Scholarship: a Last-dollar scholarship for Latino Students

The Gates Scholarship (TGS) is an exclusive last-dollar scholarship designed for exceptional minority high school seniors with demonstrated leadership abilities and low-income backgrounds. Latino students can apply to cover the cost of attendance, which includes tuition, fees, room, board, books, transportation, and additional personal costs. Applications are now closed.

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