Financial Support for Hispanic Students
There is a lot of financial support available for Hispanic students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents who live in Oklahoma. You are eligible for in-state tuition, regardless of the immigration status of your parents. Undocumented students are not eligible for federal student aid. But other scholarships and grants are available. Many are listed at the end of this section that will help you started. Some colleges also offer scholarships to undocumented high school graduates and work/study programs.
The first financial aid program you should research is the Oklahoma's Promise Program that is available to the state's Hispanic Students that meet the program's requirements. Here is a Hispanic student commenting on how this Program helped her go to college and pursue a career as a dentist:
The program was started by our state legislature in 1992 and is expected to pay college tuition for nearly 18,000 students attending Oklahoma colleges in 2018-19. The new family income limit for students applying in 2017-18 is $55,000, and will increase to $60,000 in 2021-22. These new income levels mean about half of you who want to go to college may qualify. Students can apply and know if they are accepted during their eighth, ninth or tenth grade years.
Must be an Oklahoma resident.
Must enroll in the 8th, 9th or 10th grade.
Must maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA in high school and stay out of trouble.
Must complete high school courses that meet the State Regents' requirements for college admission, the eligibility requirements for Oklahoma's Promise and the requirements for the college preparatory/work-ready curriculum for Oklahoma high school graduation. Here is a link for the courses the Regents require you to take for Oklahoma' s Promise and for admission to Oklahoma Colleges on the website OK Start.org
- A FAFSA application must be filed after each year you are in college to maintain your tuition payments.
Tulsa Achieves is a funding program that provides up to 100 percent of tuition and fees to eligible Tulsa County residents who are graduating high school seniors and enroll at Tulsa Community College the fall after they graduate. The program pays for up to 63 college credit hours or up to three years of college, whichever comes first. Every documented high school graduate living in Tulsa County, including public, private or home-schooled students, with a 2.0 GPA or higher grade point average is eligible.
To be eligible for Tulsa Achieves, you must:
- Reside in Tulsa County while in high school and maintain Tulsa County residency while in the program
- Apply to Tulsa Achieves as a high school senior
- Graduate from a public or private high school, or home school
- Graduate High School with at least a 2.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale
- Be a U.S. Citizen or Legal resident of the U.S.
There are other eligibility requirements you must meet to be accepted and to maintain your eligibility while you are going to TCC. You will see that that one of these requirements is filing a FAFSA when you apply for the program and each year to maintain your eligibility like the Oklahoma's Promise program and other scholarships and grants based on family income.
Speaking of FAFSA, eligibility for most other kinds of scholarships and financial aid programs is ususally determined by each college’s financial aid office using data from the Federal Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA). Students and their parents will need to learn how to fill out this form that requires family income information from the student's parents and have a completed form ready to submit with your application. Here is a Spanish language videos showing how to fill out this form. YPNG also has a section on how to fill out this application in English on its Scholarship and Financial Aid page under the HS College Prep pull down.
Some of the general categories of places where Hispanic students can go to research opportunities for scholarships and financial aid:
- Non-profit Organizations
There are several groups dedicated to helping Hispanic students attend college. The dollar amounts of the scholarships and grants vary, and some may require applicants to have specific majors and career goals. Check with each organization for its requirements. Here are some places to start:
Hispanic Scholarship Fund https://www.hsf.net
The HSF is the largest Hispanic-focused scholarship-granting organization in the country, awarding millions of dollars in scholarship money each year to Hispanic high school and college students. In addition, it offers awards to students at community colleges who are planning to transfer to four-year colleges.
Most of the scholarships require that applicants:
* Be U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents
* Be of Hispanic descent (at least one parent must be fully Hispanic or both parents must be half Hispanic)
* Be currently enrolled full time in school
The above criteria can change depending on the scholarship, so check the HSF Web site for specific details. You can also find a complete list of scholarships, requirements, application deadlines, downloadable applications and tips for applying.
Hispanic Scholarship Fund Institute (HSFI)
The HSFI is affiliated with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, acting as the public policy and awareness branch of that organization. It also administers a scholarship program for community college and university students who are pursuing degrees in environmental science, math, science, computer science and other specific fields. Awards are typically between $2,000-$3,000. Check their Web site for more details.
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI)
In addition to awarding their own scholarships for high school and college students who demonstrate strong community leadership, the CHCI also publishes an extensive list of scholarships on their Web site.
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
With approximately 115,000 members throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico, LULAC is the largest and oldest Hispanic organization in the country. Since 1998, the LULACNational Scholarship Fund has awarded more than $10 million to high school seniors, undergraduates and graduate students.
The dollar amounts of the scholarships vary, and some may require applicants to have specific majors and career goals. Many require a minimum GPA of 2.7 to 3.0. Visit LULAC.org for a list of available scholarships, eligibility requirements and more.
Hispanic College Fund (HCF)
The HCF is primarily geared toward students who plan to study business, but it does offer scholarships based on other fields. You can also find information on other scholarship-granting organizations, along with their contact information. Visit HispanicFund.org for more information.
Corporate/Association Scholarships and Grants
Many professional organizations offer scholarships, fellowships and grants to encourage minority participation in their specialized field. Research the professional associations in your intended career, as well as leading corporations. Even if scholarships or grants aren’t available, you may find internship opportunities and networking contacts.Some corporations ask for a post-graduate work commitment, so be sure to review all requirements before getting involved. Below are two professional organizations that have scholarship programs in place.
Hispanic National Bar Association https://hnba.com
The Hispanic National Bar Association is a non-profit association representing the interests of Hispanic American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. It offers fellowship and scholarship opportunities for students planning to enter the field of law.
National Society of Hispanic MBAs.
They offer several scholarship programs for Hispanic students interested in pursuing a career in business. Some are geared specifically for MBA candidates, but other scholarships are more general.
Golden Door Scholars
Golden Door Scholars is an organization committed to not only helping DACA and undocumented students afford college, but also ensuring that these students find rewarding careers after graduation.
Past Golden Door alumni stay connected to the program, and mentor current scholarship students, helping them find internships and other professional opportunities. In the past five years, the organization has awarded scholarships to 158 deserving students.
Golden Door boasts an impressive roster of partner schools, including Oberlin College, Tufts University and Smith College. If you’re interested in applying for a scholarship, you can check out their application online. If you’re an employer who’s interested in potentially hiring DACA college graduates, head to Golden Door’s website for more. And finally, if you’d like to support the organization through a donation, you can make a contribution too.
11. Founded in 1975, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund has awarded over $500 million dollars in scholarships, empowering Latinx students to reach for the educational opportunities they deserve. Though not specifically designed for undocumented students (The HSF is open to applicants of all Hispanic backgrounds), it does allow applications from DACA students and Eligible Non-Citizens, as outlined by FAFSA.
In addition to awarding scholarships, the HSF also boasts a variety of programs aimed at helping its alumni turn their college education into a rewarding career. Events like their Career Symposium, Finance Conference, and Entertainment Summit allow scholars to connect with mentors, explore internship and job opportunities, and participate in career-oriented workshops. Students looking to apply can head to the HSF’s website for more information. If you’re interested in supporting the HSF’s efforts, you can learn more about volunteer opportunities, or make a donation.
QuestBridge is a national nonprofit that empowers low-income students, by providing them with scholarships to some of the nation’s top schools. The organization extends its arms to undocumented students, with the majority of its partner universities accepting scholars who don’t possess current U.S. visas.
Questbridge has an impressive roster of partner colleges, including schools like Brown University, Yale University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, making this scholarship program a great opportunity for high-achieving, undocumented students.
If you’re an academically advanced, low-income, high school senior, you can apply for the QuestBridge National Match Scholarship. This remarkable scholarship covers the full cost of tuition with no student loans, as well as room and board. If you’re a low-income high school junior, looking to get a head start on college admissions, consider applying to the QuestBridge College Prep Scholars Program. Finally, if you’re not a student, but interested in supporting the organization’s important mission, you can make a donation.
Education for Fair Consideration
Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC) is an organization that aims to empower undocumented youth, through a series of programs that help students achieve their educational goals, and pursue the careers of their dreams. One of E4FC’s most successful initiatives is their New American Scholars Program, a scholarship fund for low-income, immigrant students living or attending school in the San Francisco Bay Area. The organization awards scholarships up to $7,000 dollars, which help deserving students pay for tuition and other college expenses.
TheDream.US is one of the nation’s largest college access and scholarship programs for Dreamers. In just three years, the organization has committed over 49.6 million dollars in scholarships, to help over 1,700 Dreamer students. With a network of over seventy five partner colleges, TheDream.US is determined to help immigrant students fulfill their dream of achieving a college education. The organization has a fantastic reputation, and recently made headlines when Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie, donated a $33 million scholarship grant.
Applicants must be have either Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to apply, and may apply for one of the organizations two main scholarships.
The National Scholarship
The National Scholarship is for high school or community college graduates who qualify for in-state tuition at one of the organization’s partner colleges, and provides up to $29,500 in tuition assistance. The Opportunity Scholarship.