Mexican Americans have a long and rich cultural history. Mexicans were in parts of America before it was even the USA, and have been a part of the fabric of our community ever since. Mexican Americans, like other ethnic groups in America, are very proud of their traditions and their community. This pride is reflected in the Mexican American community’s support of students pursuing higher education.
Like Jewish Americans or Americans of other ethnicities, Mexican Americans have strong ties to religious groups in the United States, most notably the Catholic community. This affiliation with religious organizations is also a major source of support for Mexican American students. Support for Mexican American students, and students of Mexican, Hispanic, or Latin heritage, has increased over the years thanks to a greater effort to better Mexican American and similar communities. Advocacy groups are springing up all over the country to provide even more financial back for Mexican Americans who want to pursue higher education.
Is it Hard to Find Scholarships for Mexican American Students?
The short answer to this question is “No.” It is not difficult to find Mexican American scholarships, because students of Mexican heritage have so many different avenues for scholarship and college funding support.
Besides the many scholarships and college grants dedicated to Mexican American students, all academic, athletic, and other merit scholarships available to American students are available to students of Mexican heritage. On top of those offers available to all American prospective college students, Mexican Americans enjoy plenty of opportunities for college funding through Mexican heritage and advocacy groups.
How Mexican Students Should Prepare for Scholarship Applications
If you plan on applying for scholarship funding through a Mexican American advocacy or cultural group, participation in your community or involvement in Mexican American affairs would make your application stand out. These groups are looking to lift up people who can be good examples and good leaders for the Mexican American community, so any activity to support your local Mexican American cultural heritage or advocacy group would be a feather in your cap.
Remember that scholarship application essays are a big part of the decision process, so working on a few practice essays before it is time to apply for scholarships could make you better prepared for whatever essay topic is thrown your way on a Mexican American scholarship application. Essay topics tend to focus on your pride as a Mexican American, your future plans to support your community, and why you feel you deserve assistance for college. A little essay writing practice goes a long way toward making you a better scholarship candidate.
Scholarship Offers for Mexican Students
These four scholarship offers for Mexican students are representative of the types of scholarship offers you can find all over the country. If you’re looking for a Mexican American scholarship, checking out these five offers would be a great start towards earning money for college and can show you the types of offers you can expect from other organizations and universities.
Hispanic Scholarship Fund
The Hispanic Scholarship Fund is one of the largest organizations dedicated to helping students of Mexican, Hispanic, and Latin heritage find funding for college. There are currently four different scholarship programs offered by the HSF: a program for academically gifted high school seniors called the Gates Millennium Scholars, scholarships for graduating high school seniors at all levels of academic performance and financial need, funding for current community college students, and grants to help current four-year college students finish their education. Applications can be found at the website, and include letters of recommendation, transcripts, essays, and other materials. Awards range from a few hundred dollars to full-tuition awards.
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Scholarships
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute hands out scholarships to Latino students in the United States to reward them for public service-oriented activities. These scholarships don’t depend on an above-average GPA and are available to students studying any subject at college. The awards handed out by the CHCI range from $1,000 to community college students, $2,500 for 4-year college students, and $5,000 for students at the graduate level. These rewards are renewable each year that students remain in good academic standing. The CHCI says they hand out awards based on financial need, participation in public service activities, and the quality of the written essay.
College Board/National Hispanic Scholar Recognition Scholarships
This group hands out multiple annual awards for what they call “outstanding Hispanic high school students.” Students qualify for these awards by taking the PSAT/NMSQT test in the fall of their high school junior year, at which time they have to prove their Hispanic heritage to the board. If a student is proven to have Hispanic heritage and scores well on the PSAT, they are then invited to apply, by submitting recommendations, further proof of excellent SAT scores, participation in extracurricular activities, volunteer and community service, and other materials to establish they deserve college aid. Students should ask their guidance counselor for more information about qualifying via the PSAT/NMSQT or the College Board’s Recognition Program.
Latin American Education Foundation Scholarships
The Latin American Education Foundation awards funds every year to qualified students who show commitment to the Hispanic Community in Colorado. Students must be legal residents of Colorado, be of Hispanic heritage, have been accepted to college, university or vocational school, and have at least a 3.0 GPA. If you are selected for this award, you’ll be asked to perform 10 hours of community service during your academic year of funding, and the website suggests service for the Latin American Education Foundation could make you eligible for renewal of the scholarship for the following academic year.
Contacting your local Mexican American advocacy group or even Mexican American owned businesses in your area should be your first step when looking for funding for college. National organizations also exist to provide Mexican Americans with the funding they need to get through college. It isn’t hard to find scholarships for Mexican Americans, you just need to know where to look.
by Will Roby