9 top scholarships for Hispanic and Latinx students

Dreamers and international students might qualify for some.

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Several private companies and national foundations offer scholarships tailored specifically for Hispanic and Latinx students who might otherwise have to depend on student loans — with options for international students and DACA recipients. Many are based on merit, though you’ll have more choices to pick from if you’re interested in math, science or business.

How we picked the top scholarships

When considering the top scholarships, we looked for funds open to the widest range of Hispanic and Latinx students by academic discipline and geographic location. We also considered factors such as scholarship amounts and how many awards are available each year.

Hispanic Scholarship Fund

This need- and merit-based scholarship is available to high school seniors, undergraduates, community college students who plan on transferring to a four-year university and graduate students. While it favors students pursuing a STEM field, you can qualify no matter what you’re majoring in.

There are no financial requirements to get this scholarship, though how much you receive is based on need. You can apply online through the Hispanic Scholarship Fund when applications open on January 1st.

Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards

Each year, 180 students from all academic fields are awarded merit-based grants founded by the Hispanic Heritage Foundation. The awards are geared toward rising high school seniors of Hispanic heritage who’ve excelled in the classroom and community in select categories:

  • Business and entrepreneurship
  • Community service
  • Education
  • Healthcare and science
  • Media and entertainment
  • Technology and engineering

You’re free to apply to more than one category to increase your chances of winning. Applications are available in both English and Spanish on the Hispanic Heritage Foundation website and accepted through October 15th.

Mpower Global Citizen Scholarship

Student loan provider Mpower offers one grand prize and four regional scholarships to Dreamers and international students enrolled at a partner school. It can be a helpful alternative to student loans for students who aren’t eligible for federal funding. Mpower selects winners based on the essay you submit with your application. You can apply on the Mpower website through July 15th.

Ann Seki Memorial Scholarship

This STEM scholarship sponsored by Chevron is awarded in memory of Ann Seki, a recruiter who helped the company meet diversity hiring goals. While you don’t have to be Hispanic to qualify, you must show a commitment to working with underserved communities. Applicants are required to write a personal essay on the great minds of STEM, which you can submit online with your application by April 1st each year.

NBCUniversal/LNESC Scholarship Program

NBCUniversal and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) National Educational Service Centers (LNESC) offer this scholarship to 10 Latinx undergraduates. There are no restrictions on your college major, though you must be interested in working in the entertainment or media industry. You can apply on the LNESC website through July 22nd each year.

Chicana Latina Foundation Scholarship

Each year, between 30 and 40 Chicana and Latina students in northern California receive this merit-based scholarship. The Chicana Latina Foundation (CLF) judges applicants based on their commitment to social justice for Chicana and Latina women, leadership skills and experience overcoming obstacles. High school seniors will have to wait to apply for this one — you’re required to complete at least 12 college credits to be eligible.

In exchange for funding, scholars are required to attend the CLF Leadership Institute and volunteer with CLF for at least 10 hours. You can only apply for this scholarship once every four years. Applications are available on the CLF website from February to April each year.

Actuarial Diversity Scholarship

This scholarship is available to undergraduate students who are interested in studying actuarial science, with the intention of bringing more diversity to the field. It’s entirely based on merit, so everyone who qualifies gets the same amount, which increases as you get further along in your college career. You can apply online through the Actuarial Foundation website beginning in November each year.

La Plaza Scholarship

This need- and merit-based scholarship is open to all Indiana residents with strong academics and financial need — though La Plaza gives preference to Hispanic students. There are no limits to your area of study or career interests. However, you’re required to write an essay about your involvement with the Hispanic community when you apply.

You can apply on the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF) website through the beginning of February each year.

Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers scholarships

The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) offers scholarships to engineering students of all levels — from high school seniors to doctoral candidates completing their dissertation. You must either be a SHPE member or plan on joining to qualify for these funds.

You can join SHPE and apply for its different scholarships online through the SHPE website. Applications open in February and close during the summer months — exact deadlines vary depending on the scholarship you’re applying for.

How else can I pay for school?

These scholarships can help reduce some of the cost of school, but most won’t foot the whole bill. You might also want to consider some of the following options:

  • Federal Pell Grant. This need-based grant can cover up to $6,195 in college costs, depending on factors like your expected family contribution and your school’s cost of attendance. You must be eligible for federal aid to qualify.
  • Work-study program. Many schools offer programs where you can work in exchange for reduced tuition — often through the federal student aid program.
  • Merit- and talent-based scholarships. Many academic departments offer scholarships to students with exceptional grades. Others offer funding based on artistic or athletic talent. Talk to the departments you’re involved in to find out if you qualify.
  • Student loans. When you’re out of free funding, federal and private student loans can help you cover the rest of the cost.

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Bottom line

There’s a wide range of funding options for Hispanic and Latinx students. However, many of these are limited by academic interest or geographical location, so not everyone can qualify. Make sure you review the eligibility requirements before you apply. You can learn more about your options to pay for school by reading our guide to student loans.

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