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.

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