Best Scholarships For Latino Students | Bankrate (2024)

Scholarships are a great way to pay for college without the obligation to repay funds. Maximizing scholarship potential can be especially useful for Latino students. While the number of Latino students enrolling in U.S. colleges and universities has more than doubled in the past two decades, Latino students still tend to enroll in and finish college at lower rates than other demographics due to financial constraints.

Hundreds of organizations recognize this financial gap and offer scholarships specifically for Latino college students with the aim of making a college education more accessible and affordable. Here’s where you can start your search and apply for a few of the best scholarships for Latino students.

Federal and state funding options

Before looking into scholarship opportunities, Latino students should fill out the free application for federal student aid (FAFSA). The Department of Education has several grants available for qualifying students, including the Federal Pell Grant, which is awarded based on financial need and does not have to be paid back. The maximum award amount for this grant changes each year. For the 2023-24 school year, the maximum award is $7,395.

To qualify for Federal aid, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. That means that DACA students are not eligible for federal student aid, but many states offer financial aid to students regardless of immigration status. These states include California, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia. Other states have also expanded access to public scholarships and aid to include undocumented students. If you are a DACA student, it is worth looking into your state’s offerings.

Where to find scholarships for Latino students

Scholarships are offered by thousands of corporations, organizations and programs. A scholarship search engine is the best way to find awards for Latino students, as these sites break down opportunities by category, award amounts and application details. Some popular scholarship search engines are Fastweb, Unigo and, but you can also Google “scholarships for Latino students” to find more options.

While there are national and state-level scholarships available, they typically are more competitive since they offer high award amounts. To increase your earning potential, look into smaller scholarships offered by minority advocacy groups, nonprofit organizations, small corporations and even your college or university.

5 useful scholarships for Latino students

Here are a few scholarships offered specifically for Latino students. Some scholarships are annual, while others require applicants to reapply every semester. Before applying, check the requirement details so you don’t miss out on any award opportunities in the future.

This list is not exhaustive, so research and find scholarships you qualify for.

1. Hispanic Scholarship Fund

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) awards more than $30 million annually in scholarships to students of Hispanic heritage based on academic merit and financial need. Recipients will also receive access to HSF Scholar Conferences, career training and a wide range of support resources.

To qualify, students must be U.S. citizens, permanent residents or DACA recipients and plan to enroll full-time at a four-year university or graduate school. Along with the application, students must submit their FAFSA or state-based financial aid forms.

Applications have closed for the 2023-24 school year, but this is a good option to keep in mind if you will be enrolled during the 2024-25 school year.

Amount: $500 to $5,000
Deadline: Feb. 15, 2023
Apply here:

2. GMiS STEM Scholarship

Great Minds in STEM is an organization that enables Hispanic and Latino students pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to be leaders in the national STEM community. For its scholarship program, it seeks out students who demonstrate leadership qualities or service within underserved communities.

Both undergraduate and graduate STEM students attending a qualifying university are eligible to apply, though applicants must have a GPA of at least 3.0. Award amounts are based on academic merit, as well as leadership qualities and campus or community involvement. In addition to a personal statement and resume, applicants must provide two letters of recommendation — one from a peer and one from a faculty member.

Amount: $500 to $5,000
Deadline: April 30, 2023
Apply here:

3. Hispanic Scholarship Consortium Scholars Program

Students of Latino heritage may apply for the Hispanic Scholarship Consortium’s Scholars Program, which provides renewable college scholarships for high school seniors, undergraduates and graduate students residing in Texas.

Along with scholarship funds, scholars have access to leadership training, mentoring and assistance for first-generation college students. Each scholarship has unique requirements, though students must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 to qualify and participate in five hours of community service per semester.

The website specifies that first-generation college students and students from low-income households are strongly encouraged to apply.

Amount: $1,000 to $5,000
Deadline: April 30, 2023
Apply here:

4. LULAC National Scholarship Fund

The League of United Latin American Citizens provides a national scholarship designed to empower members of the Latino community by making college enrollment more obtainable.

Both undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to apply if they meet the academic and status requirements, as are students in vocational programs. The application requires a personal essay of at least 500 words, and awards are given based on GPA, financial need, community involvement and personal motivation. Students must also submit their application to a participating LULAC Council. In 2022-23, 13 states and Washington, D.C., had participating councils.

Amount: $250 to $2,000
Deadline: March 31, 2023
Apply here:

5. TheDream.US Scholarships

TheDream.US is an organization intended to help undocumented students graduate from college. It is the largest college access and success program for DREAMers in the U.S. They offer two scholarships: the National Scholarship and the Opportunity Scholarship.

The National Scholarship is available to all undocumented immigrant students (with or without DACA or TPS status) who came to the U.S. before the age of 16 and before November 1st, 2017, and are eligible for in-state tuition. You must be a high school graduate (or graduating senior) or have (or be in the process of getting) a GED to qualify. Applicants must also have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 to qualify. This scholarship can only be used at partner colleges. TheDream.US has a list of partner colleges on its website. Currently, there are partner colleges in 22 states.

The Opportunity Scholarship is specifically for undocumented students who live in states that do not allow undocumented students to have in-state tuition. Qualifications for this scholarship are similar to those for the National Scholarship, but you must live in and graduate from high school in a state that does not provide in-state tuition for undocumented students. You also need to plan on enrolling in one of the Opportunity Partner Colleges. These include Christian Brothers University, Delaware University, Dominican University, Eastern Connecticut State University and Trinity Washington University.

Both scholarships require that students demonstrate significant financial need, and both are renewable each year if you continue to meet the eligibility requirements.


  • National Scholarship: Up to $16,500 for an Associate’s degree and up to $33,000 for a Bachelor’s degree
  • Opportunity Scholarship: Up to $80,000 in total for a Bachelor’s degree


  • National Scholarship: February 28, 2023
  • Opportunity Scholarship: January 31, 2023

Apply here:

Next steps

Creating an organized system is your best bet at maximizing scholarship potential. Before you apply for any scholarships, create a spreadsheet that lists important details, like the award amounts, deadlines and application requirements. You should also track which awards you’ve applied to, when you should expect to hear back and how much progress you’ve made toward your target funding goal.

If you’re having trouble finding scholarships specifically for Latino students, you can broaden your search. Scholarship sites often let you customize by location, major and even hobbies. It is also worth looking into local scholarships that may not be listed in larger databases. Remember, the more scholarships you apply for, the more likely you are to win an award. If you’re running into trouble, you can always ask a friend or teacher to proofread your application and personal statement to make sure it’s the best representation of you and your goals.

Learn more:

  • Guide to college scholarships and grants
  • 10 ways to attend college for free
  • 7 bizarre scholarships to consider
Best Scholarships For Latino Students | Bankrate (2024)


Best Scholarships For Latino Students | Bankrate? ›

If you're a student of Hispanic heritage who wants to obtain a college degree, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund could help you achieve your goals. To qualify for this award, an applicant must be at least 25% Hispanic or Latino and able to trace their heritage to a Latino country.

What percentage of Hispanic do you have to be to get scholarships? ›

If you're a student of Hispanic heritage who wants to obtain a college degree, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund could help you achieve your goals. To qualify for this award, an applicant must be at least 25% Hispanic or Latino and able to trace their heritage to a Latino country.

What is the no essay scholarship for Latino students? ›

The Hispanic Empowerment No-Essay Scholarship is meant to encourage diversity in academia. This $750 award will help current or aspiring students who are Hispanic pay their tuition or student loans.

How do you find scholarships that almost nobody knows about? ›

Other ways to find unclaimed scholarships include asking your specific college or university what they offer, using the library's recommendation section, reaching out to businesses in your field of study, speaking to your high school counselor, and asking religious organizations if they offer scholarships.

How do you win a Hispanic Scholarship Fund Award? ›

Eligibility Requirements
  1. Must be of Hispanic heritage.
  2. U.S. citizen, permanent legal resident, or DACA.
  3. Minimum of 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent) for high school students; minimum of 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent) for college and graduate students.
Jan 1, 2023

What GPA do you need for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund? ›

Is there a minimum GPA requirement? Yes. High school students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 based on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent), and college/graduate students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent).

What ethnicity receives the most scholarships? ›

While there are very few private scholarships that are explicitly restricted to Caucasian students, Caucasian students receive a disproportionately greater share of private scholarship funding. Caucasian students represent 69.3% of private scholarship recipients but only 61.8% of the undergraduate student population.

Has anyone actually won a no essay scholarship? ›

The good news is that there are reputable no-essay scholarships that award students simply for filling out a form. Thousands of people are likely applying, so the odds of winning are low. However, someone will actually win, and it could be you.

How many people win the Hispanic scholarship Fund? ›

- Every year, HSF selects ~10,000 outstanding students as HSF Scholars from a broad and talented pool of applicants.

Is the Hispanic scholarship Fund worth it? ›

HSF stands strong as the leading and most reputable non-profit organization in the US. Its strategies and operating model are the best practices others try to emulate.

Which scholarship is the easiest to get? ›

The name of the Easiest scholarships Without IELTS are:
  • Royal Thailand Government Scholarship 2023. ...
  • Turkiye Burslari Scholarships. ...
  • Brunei University Scholarship. ...
  • Azerbaijan Government Scholarships. ...
  • KNB Indonesian Government Scholarship Program. ...
  • Chinese Government Scholarship Program. ...
  • MEXT Japanese Government Scholarships.
Jul 7, 2023

What is the hardest part of applying for scholarships? ›

The main challenges of searching for scholarships are finding opportunities you are eligible for, as mentioned, and taking the time to search for scholarships. Though most students have a busy schedule, it can really pay off in the end if students can find the time to apply for a few scholarships.

What is the hardest type of scholarship to get? ›

Athletic Scholarships

If you're a star athlete, you may qualify for an athletic scholarship with a particular school. An athletic scholarship may cover some or all of your tuition costs, depending on the school. Athletic scholarships are some of the hardest to receive.

Do you have to write an essay for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund? ›

Personal statements are an important requirement in the application process. They are a great way to tell readers about you. Use these essays as an opportunity to highlight your personal experiences for college and scholarship applications. Essays can range from short (200-500 words) to long (900+ words).

Who is the academic recommender for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund? ›

Your academic recommendation writer must be an instructor, an adviser, or someone who can evaluate you academically (e.g., your academic performance, motivation, plans and goals, etc.). Additional recommenders can be either academic or nonacademic.

Does the Hispanic Scholarship Fund require an essay? ›

Do you need to write an essay to qualify for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund? Yes, part of the process of applying for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund involves the writing of an essay, as this is one of the ways to demonstrate academic talent.

Can I get a scholarship if I'm Hispanic? ›

1. Hispanic Scholarship Fund. The Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) awards more than $30 million annually in scholarships to students of Hispanic heritage based on academic merit and financial need. Recipients will also receive access to HSF Scholar Conferences, career training and a wide range of support resources.

What percentage of Hispanic students go to college? ›

While the increases are noteworthy, the number of people of Latino descent comprise 39% of the state's population and 43% of all undergraduate students attending community college and public universities in California, making them the single largest racial and ethnic group in the state.

How does the Hispanic scholarship work? ›

The HSF Scholarship is designed to assist students of Hispanic heritage obtain a college degree. Scholarships are available to undergraduate and graduate students. Awards are based on merit; amounts range from $500 to $5,000.

What percent of Hispanic people go to college? ›

In 2021, about three-in-ten Latinos ages 18 to 24 (32%) were enrolled at least part time in college, a similar share to Black Americans (33%) and a lower share than among White (37%) and Asian (58%) adults of the same age, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Current Population Survey data.

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