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Free Hispanic Grant Offers

The total Hispanic population of the United States now outnumbers that of other minorities, but the percentage of Hispanics that attend college lags behind population numbers.

Colleges and universities are actively promoting diversity through minority recruiting efforts that target Hispanic students.  By reaching out to Latinos in high school and even middle school, institutions of higher education - especially bachelor’s and graduate level programs, are seeking to increase access for minority students. Scholarships and grants that specifically fund Hispanic higher education provide a leg up for minorities seeking an education beyond high school.

Historically, the Hispanic population of the United States has been considered undereducated – due to some significant social and economic anomalies that have kept Hispanic Americans from finding their place in the U.S. system of higher education.

The trend is moving in the right direction, with more Hispanics earning college degrees than ever before.

Hispanic Students Overcoming Cultural Educational Challenges

Since the early 1990′s, the percentage of Hispanic students moving directly from high school to college has risen dramatically.  In 2010 alone, university enrollment among Hispanics spiked, with a 25% increase over the previous year.  During the same period, enrollment percentages among white students actually went down. The increase in Hispanic college students is supported by a parallel trend that has more Hispanics graduating from high school today, than at any time in history.

For the first time, colleges and universities now have greater numbers of Hispanic students enrolling than students of African American descent.

The economy plays a role too, since the modern job pool requires larger numbers of college educated workers to fill vital employment roles.  To access well paying jobs, Hispanic students are embracing higher education through outreach programs that target them for college enrollment.

One of the most consistent obstacles for Hispanic students has been a lack of financial resources.  Scholarships, grants and other forms of financial aid are essential funding sources for most students.  Whether it comes from the general financial aid pool, or from resources that are available only to Hispanic students, aid for college increases access for Latinos.

hispanic college grants

Economic Challenges – Federal, State and Private Grants

Grants are key components of student financial aid packages, which also include scholarships, loans and work-study roles. Like scholarships, grants involve funds that do not require repayment.  Any portion of your college education that can be funded with free money grants goes a long way toward reducing your overall debt load after college.

While scholarships are often tied to meritorious achievement, grant awards are more likely to be dispersed to students with some degree of financial need.  Hispanic students seeking financial aid should employ a two headed approach, by targeting general aid and aid that is specifically designed to promote higher education within the Latino community.

Federal Grants for Students

Federal Pell Grants are great starting points for Hispanic students who need money for college.  The U. S Government is the most prolific provider of student grants, and Pell Grants represent the deepest pockets for free student aid.

The path to any federal financial aid starts by completing a standard form called the Free Application for Federal Student Aid ( FAFSA).  Your FAFSA is used to compile information about you and your family that helps gauge your level of financial need relating to college.

Your personal income, your parents’ income and assets, as well as the size of your family are used to project your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).  Your EFC and the estimated cost of your education are used to create your personal Student Aid Report (SAR).

Your SAR is used by colleges of your choice to evaluate your eligibility for grants, loans and other forms of student assistance.  Pell Grants are issued to financially disadvantaged students exhibiting a need for tuition assistance.  Pell awards are granted based on these four criteria:

  1. Financial need that goes beyond the scope grants for hispanic studentsof your Expected Family Contribution
  2. Specific cost of attending your college or university
  3. Enrollment status as a full-time or part-time student
  4. Yearlong enrollment as a university student

Pell Grant limits change, based on Congressional funding, but student maximums are usually around $5000 per academic year.

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) are government grants awarded to students with exceptional financial need during college.  If your Expected Family Contribution is zero, you’ll be considered first for FSEOG money.  Grants are distributed from the bottom up, until funds are exhausted.  If you are a FSEOG candidate, filing your FAFSA on time is essential.

Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grants are issued to stimulate enrollment and retain competent education professionals.  Students pursuing teaching degrees must agree to three requisite conditions to be eligible for $4000 yearly tuition grants.  To utilize TEACH grants, recipients must:

  1. Work as a teacher for at least 4 years following graduation
  2. Teach in high-need areas
  3. Teach students who come from low-income families

If these conditions are not met by the degree candidate, the grant reverts to an unsubsidized loan, and the money must be repaid to the Federal Government.

Additional Grants for Hispanic Students

  1. Business
  2. Community Service – Sponsored by Southwest Airlines
  3. Education – Sponsored by Target
  4. Engineering – Sponsored by Exxon Mobil
  5. Health Care – Sponsored by CVS

Corporate Support Benefits Everyone

While many grants are issued by The U.S. Federal Government and by individual state governments, corporations also recognize the importance of supporting advanced education among minority students.  Corporate grants are awarded to individuals directly, and to institutions that support Hispanic education.

Xerox issues scholarships directly to Hispanic college students, and also supports higher education for Latinos through the Xerox Foundation’s Hispanic College Liaison Program. The Foundation disperses dozens of  institutional grants yearly – to schools like University of Central Florida, California State and the University of Puerto Rico.

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund administers corporate grants from a wide range of participating sponsors, including:

Sallie Mae Corporation, in concert with the Hispanic College Fund, administers the “First in My Family” Scholarship Fund. Hispanic students from disadvantaged backgrounds and from families with no history of college education may be eligible to receive these grants.

hispanic grants in college

Hispanic-Serving Colleges and Universities

The Federal Government provides grants for colleges that specifically serve the Hispanic community. Hispanic-serving colleges are defined as those schools, which have student bodies that are comprised of at least one quarter Hispanic Americans. These institutions are concentrated in California, Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, New York and New Jersey.

Hispanic-serving colleges in California:

Hispanic-serving colleges in Arizona:

Hispanic-serving colleges in Colorado:

Hispanic-serving colleges in Florida:

These are only a few of the popular Hispanic-serving schools benefiting from federal grant money.  Consult with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities for a complete listing of schools in your area.

Resources for Hispanic Students

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the more obstacles that an undergraduate student faces, the less likely it becomes that he or she will complete a four-year college degree program. To help ease the financial challenges associated with higher education, Hispanic students are urged to tap every resource available.

General fiancial aid, including Pell Grants and FSEOG funds are available to all needy students, but some additional grant monies are offered exclusively to Hispanic Americans.  Requirements for Hispanic-specific grants include Spanish heritage, U.S. citizenship, full-time enrollment and sometimes an above average GPA.

Corporations also grant college aid to undergraduate and graduate-level Latino students.  Eligibility requirements vary according to each sponser’s wishes; sometimes calling for very specific applicant characteristics.

Filing your FAFSA is an important first step toward pulling together the financial aid you need for college, but it is up to you to uncover additional funding sources. Use Hispanic community organizations and other groups to stay informed about college grants for Latinos.

These helpful organizations provide valuable resources for Hispanic students seeking grants for college: