Scholarships for Mexican Americans award free tuition money to help bridge the Latinx college degree gap. According to Higher Education Today, 33 percent of Mexican Americans between ages 18 and 24 are enrolled in college. By age 25, only ten percent of Mexican-American adults hold a bachelor’s degree. Lack of financial aid is one barrier that holds many Mexican Americans back from their college goals. Scholarships are essential to afford rising college prices. That’s especially true for undocumented and DACA students who don’t qualify for federal financial aid. Here are 30 scholarships for Mexican-American students to apply for regardless of citizenship status.
1. MAES Padrino/Madrina Scholarships
Established in 1974 by Robert Von Hatten, the Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists (MAES) awards three Padrino/Madrina Scholarships worth $4,000 each Spring. Eligible recipients are current Hispanic student members who are enrolled full-time at U.S. accredited, undergraduate institutions. Mexican Americans must be declared STEM majors for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers. Before the April 30th deadline, applicants must submit the institution certification form, two recommendations, an unofficial transcript, and financial aid information. Other MAES scholarships for Latinos include the $2,500 Founder’s Scholarship and $3,000 Graduate Scholarship.
2. Hispanic Women’s Council Scholarship Program
Since 2007, the Hispanic Women’s Council (HWC) in Albuquerque has run the Scholarship Program to support Latinas who are currently pursuing college degrees or certificates. Female New Mexico residents must have at least junior status with 60+ previous postsecondary credits. Hispanic women who are enrolling full- or part-time in bachelor’s or master’s degrees at the University of New Mexico qualify. Central New Mexico Community College students who intend to transfer can also apply. Several scholarships up to $2,000 each are available until the June 12th deadline. Interested Mexican Americans should submit two reference letters, an unofficial transcript, a resume or curriculum vitae, and a one-page narrative essay.
3. CHCI Public Policy Fellowship Program
Sponsored by Google and Amazon, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) has a Public Policy Fellowship Program that provides nine-month stipends of $26,100. Fellows also receive Washington DC travel vouchers, $80 Metro passes, and full insurance coverage. Mexican Americans must have finished an accredited bachelor’s degree in the last three years. The CHCI requires strong leadership skills, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and an interest in civil service. Graduate students need U.S. citizenship, a visa, or DACA eligibility to legally work 32 hours weekly on Capitol Hill. The competitive application process ends on January 15th. Hopeful Public Policy Fellows must submit a one-page PDF resume, transcript, recommendation letter, and 600-word essay.
4. Chicana Latina Foundation Scholarships
Chaired by Lupe Gallegos-Diaz, the Chicana Latina Foundation (CLF) in Burlingame offers $1,500 merit-based scholarships for Hispanic students to excel in higher education. Self-identified Mexican-American women must have lived 24+ months in 13 qualifying Northern California counties. Qualified candidates will be enrolled full-time with 12 or more semester credits at accredited, in-state institutions. Minimum GPAs are 2.0 for undergraduates and 2.7 for graduate students. Entrants must commit to performing 10 hours of volunteer work and attending the CLF Leadership Institute. Apply online between January 1st and March 31st. Don’t forget supporting materials, including the transcript, two recommendations, and a resume.
5. Kenneth and Penny Jameson Family Scholarship
At the University of Utah, the College of Social & Behavioral Science (CSBS) has administered the Kenneth and Penny Jameson Family Scholarship since 2005 to honor the former economics professor. Funding of varying amounts goes to undocumented immigrants and Dreamers, or DACA recipients, who enroll full-time as HD144 students. Recipients must be at least sophomores who’ve attained 30+ credits at the main Salt Lake City campus or off-campus locations. Preference goes to CSBS majors, including anthropology, psychology, and political science. Mexican Americans with unmet financial need and high academic marks should apply by February 1st. Applications require a resume and one letter of support.
6. Princeton Prize in Race Relations
Founded by Henry Von Kohorn in Fall 2003, the Princeton Prize in Race Relations has assisted 850+ minority high schoolers who promote racial equity in their communities. It’s one of the best scholarships for Latinx students given by a top-tier Ivy League college. Each Spring, Princeton University distributes multiple $1,000 awards to diverse individuals in grades 9-12. Recipients earn a free, all-expenses-paid trip to New Jersey for the Princeton Prize Symposium too. Students must complete a two-part application process online between November 26th and January 31st. Eligible U.S. residents are chosen by one at-large and 27 regional committees. Entrants need to submit a sponsor’s recommendation for their outstanding race-related project.
7. ABA Foundation Diversity Scholarship Program
In memory of its late CEO George T. Snyder Jr., the American Business Association (ABA) Foundation has funded the Diversity Scholarship Program for over $1 million since 1995. Each year, the Foundation grants $5,000 scholarships to undergraduate and bachelor’s students of traditionally underrepresented minority groups. Eligible applicants must declare majors related to the transportation and travel industry, such as hospitality management or tourism. Interested Mexican Americans must have good academic standing at an accredited U.S. university. Applications are due on April 6th with a 500-word essay outlining how students’ career goals connect to the advancement of motor coaches.
8. CCNMA Latino Journalists of California Scholarships
Celebrating their 45th year, the Latino Journalists of California Scholarships have awarded more than $800,000 in total from the California Chicano News Media Association (CCNMA). Individual prizes range from $500 to $2,000 to assist with full-time college tuition. The scholarships for Hispanic students require living or studying in the “Golden State.” Qualified applicants will be pursuing media-related majors, including journalism and communications, with 3.0 or better GPAs. Mexican Americans must exhibit a journalistic talent with at least two work samples. Applications must also include two references, transcripts, resumes, and 500-word autobiographical essays by August 7th.
9. William K. Schubert Minority Nursing Scholarship
Named Forbes’ 40th best employer for diversity, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center has an Office of Diversity & Inclusion to run programs like the William K. Schubert Minority Nursing Scholarship. Valued at $2,750 annually, these minority scholarships assist aspiring pediatric care nurses of all underrepresented groups, including Mexican Americans. Students must attain minimum 2.75 GPAs during pre-licensure bachelor’s or master’s programs in nursing. Entrants can be enrolled full- or part-time at U.S. nursing schools with CCNE or ACEN accreditation. Individuals should show promise for passing the NCLEX-RN registered nursing exam. Being a Cincinnati Children’s employee isn’t required to apply by the April 30th deadline.
10. COFEM Mexican-American Dream Scholarships
Located in Los Angeles since 2002, the Consejo de Federaciones Mexicanas (COFEM) has budgeted more than $400,000 in total to support 400+ college students. The Mexican-American Dream Scholarships gift $500 to junior college and $1,000 to university attendees after the September 30th deadline. These scholarships for Latinx students require being a member of a COFEM-affiliated federation. Undocumented AB-540 immigrants and DACA recipients qualify. Entrants must be enrolled full-time with 12 or more semester credits and GPAs above 3.0. California residents pursuing their first associate or bachelor’s degree must complete at least 25 community service hours. Scholarships are renewable for up to three consecutive years.
11. Minority Teacher Education Scholars Program
Adhering to Title XLVIII, the Florida Fund for Minority Teachers Inc. (FFMT) chaired by Dr. Glenn Good has delivered the Minority Teacher Education Scholars Program for 20 years. Minority scholarships provide $2,000 per semester or $4,000 annually to “Sunshine State” residents of diverse racial groups, including Cuban and Mexican Americans. Qualified candidates will be enrolled full-time in the 35 participating Florida teacher preparation programs. Having at least junior status with 60+ credits or an Associate of Arts degree is required. Graduate students seeking a Master of Arts in Teaching for initial K-12 certification are also eligible. Priority deadlines are July 1st for Fall and November 30th for Spring.
12. José Martí Scholarship Challenge Grant
Named for the Cuban poet of “Guantanamera,” the José Martí Scholarship Challenge Grant was created in 1988 by Dr. Arnhilda Badia to financially assist Latinx college students. From October 1st to April 1st, individuals with Hispanic heritage can submit the Florida Financial Aid Application (FFAA) for consideration. Eligible entrants will have at least one parent born in Mexico or Central and South American counties. Spain, Brazil, and Haiti are the only Spanish nations that won’t qualify. Undergraduate and graduate students must have unweighted GPAs above 3.0 at accredited U.S. institutions. Citizens and non-citizens must have a minimum of $2,000 in unmet financial need.
13. Cafe Bustelo El Cafe Del Futuro Scholarships
Launched by 18 Hispanic-serving institutions in 1986, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) grants $5,000 Cafe Bustelo El Cafe Del Futuro Scholarships each Fall. There are 20 scholarships for Latinos and Latinas in all academic majors available. Undergrad and graduate students must be enrolled full-time with 12+ semesters at four-year member colleges in the United States or Puerto Rico. Qualified applicants age 18 or older can’t be employees of the sponsor Rowland Coffee Roasters Inc. To apply by July 6th, interested Mexican Americans must write an 800-word essay about their Latin heritage, engagement in community service, and degree motivations.
14. Miller Lite Texas Scholarships
With America’s second-largest brewing company MillerCoors, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) provides the Miller Lite Texas Scholarships too. Each year, four $2,500 scholarships go to three regions: Dallas/Fort Worth, Laredo, and McAllen. Eight $5,000 scholarships for Latinos and Latinas go to the Houston metropolitan area. Eligible U.S. citizens, residents, or DACA recipients must be at least 21 years old. Funding supports students who attend a two- or four-year, Hispanic-serving institution with any declared major and 2.5 or greater GPAs. Interested Mexican Americans must agree to attend the HACU/Adelante Leadership Institute Conference. The Miller Lite National Scholarships have the same July 21st deadline.
15. Exxon Mobil Engineering Scholarship Program
Formed in 1973, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) National Educational Service Centers Inc. runs the Exxon Mobil Engineering Scholarship Program. As one of the biggest Latinx scholarships, the fund donates $20,000 over four years to Hispanic engineering bachelor’s majors. Graduating high school seniors must reside in 15 qualifying cities, including Philadelphia, Austin, Albuquerque, and San Diego. Incoming, full-time STEM freshmen must achieve at least 3.5 GPAs. Entering accredited U.S. institutions with a minimum 29 ACT or 1350 SAT score is mandatory. The LULAC National Scholarship Fund also includes the Ford Driving Dreams Scholarship, Macy’s Scholarship, and NBCUniversal Scholarship.
16. Hispanic Educational Endowment Fund Scholarships
Originally funded for $25,000 by Infotec Development Inc., the Hispanic Educational Endowment Fund (HEEF) has grown to provide 33 Latinx scholarships of $1,500 to $5,000 apiece. For example, the Wells Fargo Scholarship supports graduating high school seniors who choose business or finance majors. The Mayte Santacruz Scholarship assists Santa Ana students with 3.5 or better GPAs who plan to attend law school. The Richard Bermudez Scholarship helps Cal State Fullerton students with minimum 2.5 GPAs and active extracurricular engagement. Mexican Americans from Orange County who have citizenship, residency, or AB-540 status can apply until December 31st for diverse sub-funds.
17. Hispanic Scholarship Fund
The Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) is a California-based nonprofit opened in 1975 to empower Latino families with more than $588 million in college tuition assistance. Mexican Americans can receive HSF scholarships of $500 to $5,000 based on their financial need. Graduating high school seniors, community college transfers, current undergrads, and post-grad students qualify with a minimum 2.5 GPA on the four-point scale. Priority is given to entrants with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics majors. Non-citizens and DACA recipients are eligible if attending accredited, nonprofit U.S. universities full-time. The application period lasts from January 1st to February 15th. Prospective scholars must create a MyHSF profile online and submit required documents by July 31st.
18. Julio Iglesias Scholarship
Honoring the 2001 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year, the Julio Iglesias Scholarship is bestowed by the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation for musical prodigies. The four-year, renewable scholarship for Hispanic students has a whopping value of $200,000. Recipients earn full tuition coverage for a Bachelor of Music degree from the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Promising applicants must be between 17 and 24 years old with significant financial need. Students must record a 10-minute YouTube audition singing or playing two Latin music songs of differing tempos. Applications must arrive by April 13th with a high school transcript and two letters of recommendation. There are also three $25,000 Gifted Tuition Scholarships.
19. Mexican Studies Scholarship Program
Directed by Fulbright Scholar José Higuera López since December 2016, the Jaime Lucero Mexican Studies Institute at the City University of New York (CUNY) has a $7,000 scholarship. Eligible individuals must be enrolling full-time for an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree at the 25 CUNY campuses. Mexican-American students who are undocumented or DACA recipients receive equal opportunity to U.S. citizens. Specific GPAs aren’t listed, but applicants must exhibit significant unmet need. From November 25th to January 31st, students can submit the online application, unofficial transcript, PDF resume, recommendation, and two 750-word essays. Recipients also benefit from the Mentorship Program and free, three-day Catskills retreat.
20. Anhelo Project Dream Scholarships
Debuted in April 2010, The Anhelo Project is a Chicago-based nonprofit foundation that offers the Dream Scholarships to help undocumented immigrants achieve their college goals. More than 60 recipients have collected $200,000 to attend universities and trade schools in Illinois. Students with F-1 international visas aren’t currently eligible. Chicagoland learners must study full-time with 12+ semester credits and 2.5 or greater GPAs. Active community involvement with over 20 hours of volunteer service is necessary. Online applications must be submitted with an e-signature before January 31st. Email PDF documents, including the two recommendation forms, resumes, income tax returns, and transcripts.
21. AMS Minority Scholarship Fund
Overseen by two-time U.S. Presidential Rank Award winner Mary Glackin, the American Meteorological Society (AMS) is a Boston-based nonprofit with over 13,000 members. Its Minority Scholarship Fund presents $3,000 per year to freshmen and sophomores for $6,000 in total. Open to all underrepresented groups, this could be a great Mexican-American or Cuban-American scholarship. Qualified candidates will be legal U.S. residents with college majors in atmospheric, oceanic, and hydrologic science fields. Incoming first-years must have reached a minimum 3.0 GPA during high school. The minority scholarships close on February 14th for May selections. Applications are incomplete without a transcript, reference letter, and SAT score.
22. MAEGA Scholarship Program
Started in 1970 by San Dieguito Citizen publisher Don Lapham, the Mexican American Educational Guidance Association (MAEGA) hosts a scholarship program annually for over $66,000 combined. Funding is reserved for San Dieguito Union High School district seniors of Mexican or other Hispanic heritage. Students must be graduating on time and becoming full-time freshmen at accredited California colleges. Significant financial need and GPAs above 2.0 are mandated. Most recipients attend California State University or University of California campuses. Associate degrees at two-year community colleges are also covered. Applications are due on March 5th with a one-page essay, school counselor recommendation, and transcript.
23. MALDEF Law School Scholarships
Headquartered in Los Angeles since 1968, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) awards five to 15 Law School Scholarships worth $2,000 each year. These scholarships for Mexican Americans require enrolling full-time at an ABA-accredited United States law school. Eligible applicants must have minimum 3.0 bachelor’s GPAs and satisfactory LSAT scores. Only first Juris Doctor, not Master of Laws, degrees are acceptable. Future attorneys must be committed to serving the Hispanic community and advancing immigrant rights. Apply electronically or by mail before December 31st. Don’t omit the 750-word personal statement, current resume, recommendation form, and transcript.
24. HACER National Scholarship Program
Running 37,855 restaurants in 100+ countries for $21.7 million revenue, McDonald’s gives back by funding the HACER National Scholarship Program for Hispanic youth under age 21. Eligible applicants are graduating high school seniors who legally reside in the United States. Students must have at least one parent from a Hispanic nation, such as Mexico or Guatemala. Maintaining a minimum 3.0 GPA at an accredited, two- or four-year college is required. For 2018-19, McDonald’s selected 30 Latinx recipients to claim $25,000 per year for $100,000 in total. Applications are processed from October 7th through February 5th. Sending a transcript, personal statement, recommendation, and FAFSA report is required.
25. Mexican Fiesta Scholarships
Partnered with LULAC Council 342, the Wisconsin Hispanic Scholarship Foundation Inc. (WHSF) has granted more than $1.75 million in Mexican Fiesta Scholarships since 1987. Wisconsin residents who are least 25 percent Hispanic descent from Mexico or other Latin countries can apply until March 31st. High school seniors or current undergrads must be enrolling full-time with 12+ semester credits at “Badger State” colleges. Copies of ACT/SAT scores are required along with transcripts showing 2.5 or higher GPAs. Applications ask for proof of acceptance, a 300-word career goals essay, and financial data too. Finalists must commit to volunteering for 20+ hours at the WHSF Mexican Fiesta.
26. Edward and Estela O’Brien IDEA Scholarship
In 2019, Peabody Award and Edward R. Murrow Award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien donated more than $500,000 to Pardee Rand Graduate School in honor of her parents. The Edward and Estela O’Brien Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Award (IDEA) comes with a full-tuition scholarship worth $26,500 per year or $53,000 in total. Selected minority post-grads also receive extensive professional development and mentoring. Mexican Americans could join America’s largest Ph.D. in Public Policy program in Santa Monica for free. Preference is given to first-generation college students who’ve overcome academic and socioeconomic adversity. Students are automatically considered when submitting the $50 admission application.
27. SHPE Bechtel Scholarship
Directed by CEO Raquel Tamez since June 2017, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) offers the $5,000 Bechtel Scholarship to active members of its 300+ chapters. United States citizens of Hispanic heritage, including Mexican Americans, can apply in their freshman to junior year of college. Qualified candidates will be enrolled at seven participating colleges: Georgia Tech, Penn State, Prairie View A&M, Purdue, Texas A&M, Houston, or Maryland. Latinx students must be declared engineering majors with cumulative GPAs of 3.0 or better. Applications are processed from April 6th to May 31st. Finalists are chosen in July based on academic merit and career promise.
28. Eaton Multicultural Scholarship
Formed in 1974 by Los Angeles STEM professionals, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) also delivers the Eaton Multicultural Scholarship for $2,500 per year. Active student members who pay the $10 undergraduate fee are considered from sophomore to senior year. Eligible entrants can be U.S. citizens who attend any ABET-accredited engineering school nationwide, including in Puerto Rico. Interested Mexican Americans must be majoring in six engineering specializations: aerospace, computer, electrical, industrial, manufacturing, and mechanical. Apply between February 16th and May 31st with official transcripts plus supporting references. Also, consider the $5,000 Intel Scholarship and $2,000 John Deere Scholarship from SHPE.
29. Opportunity Scholarship Award
Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, TheDream.US is America’s largest Dreamer organization that has paid out $60 million to 3,300 DACA recipients with a 99 percent persistence rate. The Opportunity Scholarship Award gifts up to $80,000 overall to waive tuition and fees plus room and board expenses. Funding is designed for graduating high school seniors who live in locked-out states where Dreamers don’t qualify for in-state tuition. These 13 states include Alaska, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, and West Virginia. Immigrants of all ethnicities, such as Mexican Americans, must apply before February 28th. Finalists must maintain 2.5 or higher GPAs at partner colleges.
30. Dr. Juan Andrade Jr. Scholarship
Named for a notable Latino Civil Rights Movement figure in 1982, the Dr. Juan Andrade Jr. Scholarship is bestowed by the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI) for $1,000. Young leaders must have at least one parent of Hispanic heritage. Mexican Americans who are U.S. citizens, DACA recipients, or undocumented are all welcome. Qualified applicants will be enrolling full-time this Fall at an accredited, two- or four-year college. Application materials are due November 30th for January decisions. The checklist includes a 500-word biographical statement, 750-word leadership essay, portrait picture, resume, transcript, and recommendation.
This isn’t an exhaustive list of scholarships for Hispanic students to enter higher education. Other scholarships for Mexican Americans include the Propsanica Foundation Scholarship, La Unidad Latina Scholarship, Actuarial Diversity Scholarship, Kansas Ethnic Minority Scholarship, Gates Millennium Scholarship, Latinos in Technology Scholarship, Hispanic Heritage Youth Award, Randy Falco Scholarship, and Victor Grifols Roura Scholarship.
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Source: Higher Education Today