Students of Hispanic and Latino descent make up a large portion of the college and university student body, with more than 16 million enrolled in the U.S., according to the Unidos US. Unfortunately, 48 percent had zero contribution from their families. For many, that means funding their education themselves through employment, scholarships, and grants.
Many of these students also struggle because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status, or family circumstances. They take on additional debt for basic needs like housing and food, making tuition bills even harder to pay. Our guide helps you find the funds to continue your education with information on scholarships and grants for Latino and Hispanic students and resources to help you succeed in earning your master’s degree.
Available Scholarships for Latino and Hispanic Students
As the cost of undergraduate and graduate school continues to climb and the cost-of-living increases, more Latino and Hispanic students are looking for ways to help subsidize and pay for their graduate degrees. Scholarships are an excellent avenue for students to receive funds for partial or complete tuition.
Scholarships are awarded based on various factors, including academic performance, special interests, race, gender, ethnicity, participation in athletics, and financial need. They’re significant funding sources for underserved communities to increase access to higher education.
The following list of 30 scholarships for Hispanic or Latino students invites graduate students to apply.
AICPA Scholarship for Minority Accounting Students
Amount: Up to $5,000
- Minimum 3.0 GPA
- Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Pacific Islander, or Asian American
- Enrolled in a program in the U.S. or its territories
- Accounting or an accounting-related major
- Pursuing the Certified Public Accountant licensure but not presently a CPA
- At least 30 semester hours, including at least six hours in accounting, completed
ALCOA Fund Scholarship
Amount: $2,000 to $5,000
- African American or Hispanic
- Graduate of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District or a Catholic school in the greater Cleveland, Ohio area
- Minimum 3.0 GPA
- Enrolled in or currently attending an accredited nonprofit educational institution within the state of Ohio
- Enrolled full-time or part-time
- Financial need
Alice Newell Joslyn Medical Scholarship
Award: $500 to $2,000
- Entering a medical/health care profession or seeking a Bachelor of Science, master’s degree, or doctorate in the health field
- Living or attending a high school or college in San Diego County, California
- Financial need, scholastic determination, and community/cultural awareness
American Bus Association Diversity Scholarship
- Undergraduate or graduate student at an accredited university
- Declared major or course of study relevant to the travel and tourism industry
- Demonstrated diversity
American Library Association Spectrum Scholarship Program
- American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Middle Eastern/North African, and/or Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander
- Planning to attend an ALA-accredited graduate program in library and information science or an American Association of School Librarians-recognized School Library Media program
- Citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. or Canada
The Anhelo Project Dream Scholarship
- Undocumented student from any racial/ethnic background. Do not need DACA status.
- Illinois resident attending a high school, college, university, or vocational training program in Illinois
- Enrolled full-time at an accredited college, university, or vocational training program in Illinois
- Good academic standing with a minimum 2.5 GPA
- Demonstrated leadership through community involvement
Commit 20 hours of volunteer time to Anhelo Project events during the following academic year
Bay Area Minority Law Student Scholarship
- Provide official transcripts
- From a minority group underrepresented at the following universities:
- University of California, Berkeley, School of Law
- University of California, Berkely, Hastings College of Law
- Golden Gate University School of Law
- Santa Clara University School of Law
- Stanford School of Law
- University of San Francisco School of Law
Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. Medical Diversity Scholarship Program
- Medical school student in the U.S. who promotes ethnic diversity in their communities
- Member of an ethnic, racial, or other minority or any individual demonstrating a defined commitment to issues of diversity within their community
- U.S. citizen currently attending an accredited medical school within the U.S.
- Minimum 3.0 GPA
- At least one semester of classes at an accredited medical school completed
Charles Cheesman's Student Debt Reduction Scholarship
- Undergraduate, graduate student, or college graduate
- African American or Hispanic/Latino
- Have student loan debt
- First-generation student
Chicana Latina Foundation Scholarship
- Self-identify as Chicana and/or Latina
- Enrolled in an accredited college, university, or community college in one of the following California counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, Sacramento, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, San Francisco, Sonoma, or Yolo
- Lived at least two years in one of the above counties at the time of application
- Enrolled graduate/professional student completing course, thesis, dissertation or accepted into graduate/professional school
- Minimum 2.7 GPA
- Committed to attending the CLF Leadership Institute and annual CLF Annual Awards Dinner
- Committed to volunteering 10 hours as a CLF ambassador
Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund
Amount: Up to $15,000
- Demonstrated activism in the struggle to achieve civil rights, economic justice, international solidarity, or other progressive issues
- Enrolled in an accredited college, university, or trade school
- Undocumented students can apply
Ford Foundation Fellowship Programs
- Predoctoral, dissertation, or postdoctoral fellowship student
- U.S. citizen, U.S. national, U.S. permanent resident, DACA recipient, and or individual with Temporary Protected Status
- Superior academic achievement (e.g., GPA, rank, honors, etc.)
- A planned career in teaching and research at the college or university level in the U.S.
GFOA Minorities in Government Finance Scholarship
- U.S. or Canadian citizen or legal permanent resident
- Full or part-time in an undergraduate or graduate program
- Majoring in public administration, accounting, finance, political science, economics, or business administration
- Pursuing a career in government finance
- Not a past winner of a GFOA Scholarship
Goldman Sachs MBA Fellowship
Award: $35,000 plus summer associate salary
- First-year MBA student
- Pursuing a summer associate position at Goldman Sachs
- Black, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, or female
Great Minds in Stem Scholarship Programs
Amount: $500 to $5,000
- Demonstrate merit through academic achievements, leadership, and campus and community activities
- Science, technology, engineering, or math-related major
- Minimum 3.0 GPA
- Hispanic origin and/or significantly demonstrated leadership or service within the Hispanic community
- Enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program for the preceding fall semester at an accredited two-year or four-year college or university in the U.S. or its territories
Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities Scholarship Program
- Financial need
- Meet specific criteria for the scholarships to which you are applying
- Currently attend a HACU-member college or university in the U.S. or Puerto Rico
Hispanic Scholarship Fund
Amount: $500 to $5,000
- Hispanic heritage
- U.S. citizen, permanent legal resident, or DACA student
- Minimum 2.5 GPA for college and graduate students
- Plan to enroll full-time in an accredited, public, or not-for-profit graduate school in the U.S.
- Submit the FAFSA or state-based financial aid forms if applicable
Latin American Educational Foundation Scholarship
Amount: Up to $20,000
- Colorado resident regardless of legal residency status or citizenship
- Hispanic/Latino heritage or actively involved in the Hispanic/Latino community
- Minimum 3.0 GPA
La Unidad Latina Foundation Scholarship
Amount: $500 to $2,000
- Latinx heritage
- Enrolled at a graduate or undergraduate level
- Minimum 2.8 cumulative GPA
- Enrolled in an eligible bachelor’s or master’s degree program at an accredited four-year college or university
- At least one full-time semester of study
- U.S. resident
League of United Latin American Citizens National Scholarship Fund
Amount: $250 to $2,000
- Latino or Hispanic
- Strong academic performance
- Leadership potential
- Community involvement
National Association of Hispanic Journalists Scholarships
Amount: $1,500 to $10,000
- College-bound high school senior, college undergraduate, or graduate student pursuing a career in English or Spanish-language print, broadcast, digital, or photojournalism
- Attending a four-year college and community college in the U.S. or Puerto Rico
- Minimum 3.0 GPA
National Board for Certified Counselors Foundation Minority Fellowships
- U.S. citizens or have permanent resident status
- Not work for a federal agency or receive any other federal funds, except for federal student loans or work-study
- Not already possess a master’s or doctoral degree in a behavioral health field depending on fellowship
- Enrolled and be in good standing in an approved accredited program
- Demonstrate knowledge of addressing the substance use disorder needs of one or more of the following: underserved minority communities, child/adolescent and geriatric groups, minority communities in inner cities and rural areas, minority persons (including LGBTQIA2S+), or those who are veterans or are from military families
- African Americans, Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders encouraged to apply
National Hispanic Health Foundation Hispanic Health Professional Student Scholarship
Amount: $2,000 to $5,000
- U.S. citizen, permanent lawful resident, or DACA recipient
- Enrolled full time in one of the following U.S.-based accredited graduate programs:
- Medicine: allopathic or osteopathic
- Nursing (including BSN)
- Master of Public Health or Health Policy
- Physician Associate
- Minimum 3.0 GPA
- Exceptional academic performance, leadership activities, and a commitment to a career providing health care services to the Hispanic community in the U.S.
Papi and Mamita Memorial Scholarship
- Undergraduate or graduate student
- Black or Latino
- First-generation college student
Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation Scholarship
Amount: Up to $5,000
- A woman with minor children at least 17 years of age
- Pursuing a first degree at a post-secondary level (e.g., vocational, associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral)
- Enrolled in a not-for-profit, accredited institution or program in the U.S.
- Low-income (all annual family income less than $20,000 for a family of two, less than $24,000 for a family of three, and less than $28,000 for a family of four)
Prospanica Foundation Scholarship Program
Amount: Up to $5,000
- U.S. citizen, legal permanent resident, or DACA recipient
- Hispanic or Latino heritage
- Minimum 3.0 GPA or 2.75 with work experience
- Prospanica membership (Member ID required)
- Enrolled or planning to enroll in an undergraduate program in an accredited university business school in the U.S. or Puerto Rico
Puerto Rican Bar Association Scholarship Fund
- Puerto Rican or Latino student permanently residing in or attending law school in New York state or with a commitment to work in New York state upon completion of their law school education
- First-, second-, third- or fourth-year law student
- In good standing and enrolled full-time in a Juris Doctor degree program at an accredited American Bar Association law school in New York state
- Financial need and academic promise
Running of the Bulls Scholarship for Immigrants
- Immigrant or child of an immigrant in the U.S.
- Attending a four-year college program, accepted to a four-year program, or accepted at or attending a graduate program within the U.S.
- Minimum GPA of 3.0
Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Scholarships
- Student or professional pursuing a technical certificate or graduate-level professional education
- Graduate student pursuing a master’s or doctoral STEM degree program at an accredited university
- Active SHPE Member
- Minimum 2.7 GPA
- Pursuing a STEM degree
- Attending an academic institution in the U.S. or Puerto Rico
Tylenol Future Care Scholarship
Amount: $5,000 to $10,000
- Resident of the U.S., Puerto Rico, or the District of Columbia
- Graduate student or college senior enrolling in graduate school
- Enrollment in a graduate program in public health/health education, medical school, nursing, and/or pharmacy degree program
- One or more years of school remaining
How to Make Your Scholarship Application Stand Out
With hundreds and sometimes thousands of applicants trying to secure funding for their graduate programs, applying for scholarships can be a rigorous and competitive process. Standing out among the competition and receiving maximum funds requires that your application provide an accurate depiction of your accomplishments and is also personal and compelling.
Before you begin your application, carefully review the requirements and make sure you have plenty of time to gather all necessary information, complete all forms and essays, and review for errors. Ask a trusted mentor, advisor, or friend to review your application packet to make sure it’s complete and error-free. The following list of specific tips can help you choose the best scholarships for you and complete a top-notch application.
Get Excellent Letters of Recommendation
Letters of recommendation allow the people who know and have worked closely with you to highlight your personal and professional achievements. Reach out to teachers, professors, mentors, leaders in organizations you belong to, coaches, colleagues, and even co-workers for recommendations that provide insight into your character, accomplishments, and the qualities that make you a great candidate for the scholarship. Choose people who know you well in various areas of your personal and professional life, and give them plenty of time to respond (i.e., at least two weeks). Be clear about the requirements, such as information requested, when it’s due, and whether it should be electronic or hard copy.
Talk About Your Extracurriculars and Other Interests
Scholarship committees look for well-rounded, involved students with various interests and abilities. Highlight clubs and organizations, such as academic clubs, athletics, fraternities or sororities, or political and media clubs, you were involved with as an undergrad. Share information about your interests within your community, like community service or religious or spiritual organizations you’re involved in. Some scholarship applications even allow you to tell them about your other interests, like your hobbies. All this shows the application committee how you’ve stepped into leadership roles, dedicated your time, and used your talents and interests.
Make Your Essay Shine
While not all scholarship applications require an essay, many do. When an essay is required, take your time, and highlight all the reasons you deserve the scholarship. Have a proofreader carefully review your essay to ensure there are no errors. Turning in a complete, thoughtful, and accurate essay shows the scholarship committee that you are dedicated and deserving.
Beat the Deadline
Turn your application in well before the deadline. Not only does being late usually disqualify you but being early shows the scholarship committee you’re taking the opportunity seriously. Typically, you’ll want to apply for scholarships about six to nine months before your academic year. However, all scholarships have different application periods, so be sure to research scholarship applications well ahead of time to ensure you don’t miss the deadline.
Look for Local and Regional Scholarships
While many scholarships are offered nationally, there may also be scholarships available within your local community. Local scholarships typically have a smaller applicant pool, which increases your chances of winning. It also allows you to use your personal and professional network, who also have local ties, for letters of recommendation. Speaking about how you plan to serve your community once you receive your graduate degree and how their scholarship could help you achieve that goal is often a solid approach with local scholarships.
Look for Scholarships Outside of Academics
While many scholarships focus strictly on academic achievements and goals, many are available based on your interests, hobbies, ethnic or religious background, work experience, and career goals. These scholarships may still take academic performance into account but often focus more on what your personal experience offers. Scholarships may be available from churches and religious organizations, professional organizations, clubs, groups through your employer, or groups specific to your ethnic background. Highlight leadership roles you’ve taken, what you’ve learned from these experiences, and how they will serve you as a graduate student.
Apply for as Many Scholarships as You Can
There are hundreds of scholarships available. If you need significant financial assistance to complete your graduate program, apply for as many scholarships as possible. There is no limit. The more applications you submit, the more likely you’ll receive funds.
Write a Thank You Letter
When awarded a scholarship, express your gratitude and appreciation to the awarding organization. Many scholarships are granted yearly, so expressing gratitude to the awarding organization helps you establish a great relationship with them. It may also help you develop professional relationships within the organization that may be helpful as your career progresses.
Additional Resources for Latino and Hispanic Students
More and more Hispanic and Latino students are pursuing their graduate degrees, often being the first in their families to do so. Many face distinctive challenges in the academic process, though. Fortunately, several organizations are available that provide additional resources, education, and information for Latino and Hispanic students, including assistance with the graduate application and scholarship process. Some even offer financial assistance or internships.
The following organizations and nonprofits are explicitly designed to address the needs of Hispanic and Latin undergraduate and graduate students.
Act on a Dream
Act on a Dream is a student-run scholarship database at Harvard University with a specific scholarship database for immigrant students who don’t have U.S. citizenship or legal permanent residency. A mobile application is available.
Association of Latino Professionals For America
The first national Latino professional association in the U.S., ALPFA provides professional and student members with networking and leadership opportunities, including internships
Dare to Dream: Get Educated!
This nonprofit works with middle school and high school Latinas to help them be successful in all aspects of education, including achieving college aspirations.
Excelencia in Education
Excelencia in Education is a nonprofit organization that helps Latino students achieve academic success and get into college. Its various initiatives include addressing legal policies, education, and financial aid.
This online public database of more than 1.5 million scholarships simplifies the scholarship search and provides additional information about FAFSA, internships, and loans.
Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities
Committed to the success of Hispanic and Latino students, HACU is a national association representing 500 accredited, not-for-profit colleges, universities, and educational agencies that serve Hispanic/Latino students in the U.S.
Hispanic Heritage Foundation
The Hispanic Heritage Foundation offers several leadership, education, workforce development, and public awareness programs to help the Latino community.
HSI receives grants for the expanded White House Initiative’s programs, academic offerings, and infrastructure to support Hispanic students completing their postsecondary degrees.
An Initiative of Strive for College, I’m First! is a nonprofit that provides information and support for students who are the first of their families to attend and graduate from college.
Latino Student Fund
LSF offers resources for underserved pre-K through 12th-grade students, setting them up for future success and promoting higher education.
League of United Latin American Citizens
LULAC offers community programs and assistance, including $1 million in scholarship aid. It also provides literacy training, advocacy, and job skills programs.
MANA is a grassroots membership organization serving the entire country. It represents the interests of Latina women, children, and families in education, health, financial literacy, civil rights, and immigration reform.
Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
MALDEF is the leading Latino legal civil rights organization in the U.S. While it is designed to protect the rights of all Latinos in the U.S., it also provides resources about academia for Latino students.
Migrant Students Foundation
This nonprofit serves the thousands of existing migrant farmworker families in the U.S. through scholarships, internships, and service-learning opportunities.
National Hispanic Institute
NHI collaborates with 80 colleges and universities in the U.S., supporting the Hispanic community by focusing on college readiness, leadership opportunities, scholarships and fellowships, and outreach programs.
The nation’s largest nonprofit private scholarship organization, Scholarship America, provides resources and scholarship lists to help students find and apply for scholarships.
The Fig Factor Foundation
Through various platforms, the Fig Factor Foundation provides leadership platforms, mentoring, and resources for young Latina women.
With more than 300 affiliates, UnidosUS provides advocacy, research, and policy analysis for the Hispanic community, including in higher education.
White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics
This initiative works to advance educational equity and economic opportunity for Latino and Hispanic students, families, and communities, promoting the economic development of the Hispanic community in the U.S.