Hispanic Scholarships

Written by Tara Peris
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Hispanic scholarship programs are designed to help Latino students secure the financial resources they need to succeed in higher education. They typically go beyond basic funding issues, however, to provide leadership training as well. Thus, the goal is to take a multi-pronged approach to creating a generation of leaders who are well equipped to give back to their communities.

Recent research suggests that Latino students are more likely to obtain two-year associate's degrees (A.A.s) compared to four-year bachelor's degrees (B.A.s). Financial constraints are a primary determinant of this educational path, as many students must enroll only part-time in order to fulfill work commitments. Scholarship programs are a major source of funding for Latino students and can help to ensure successful pursuit of higher education.

Giving Back

Most Latino scholarship programs focus not only on academic performance, but on community service and civic involvement as well. These programs emphasize public service and leadership, and often weight community involvement more heavily than grades and test scores when considering applications. If the goal is to produce professionals who will remain committed to their communities, these are the criteria that matter most.

In addition, many scholarship programs are designed to help Latino students understand how ethnic identity shapes personal, professional, and public roles. The hope is that this understanding will in turn foster a generation of civic-minded adults who remain committed to working in the Latino community. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and a number of other non-profit organizations issue award thousands of scholarships each year; take the time to look and you are bound to find resources that put college within reach.

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