The Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) is a fantastic resource for students who want to cut the expense of their education and position themselves for success after graduation. The HSF not only provides its scholars with a vast array of resources to help them thrive in higher education, but they also have some rather hefty scholarships!
Because of this, we’re going to provide you with all the information you require in this post to create a successful application for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.
What we’ll cover is as follows:
How much financial aid an HSF Scholar is eligible to receive
qualifying requirements for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund
How to submit a Hispanic Scholarship Fund application
The deadline for HSF applications
6 suggestions to increase your likelihood of receiving an HSF scholarship
The Hispanic Scholarship Fund: What Is It?
The Hispanic Scholarship Fund is a non-profit group that helps Hispanic and Latino students get the skills and resources they need to do well in college.
About 10,000 students are chosen each year by the HSF to be HSF Scholars. If you are chosen as an HSF scholar, you have access to a wide range of amazing services, such as internship and job opportunities with the HSF’s corporate partners, mentorship opportunities, leadership development programs and conferences, wellness programs, and exclusive scholarship opportunities.
HSF Scholarship Opportunities
The HSF gives more than $30 million in merit-based scholarships to HSF Scholars every year. Each student gets between $500 and $5,000. These scholarships can be used to pay for school costs like tuition, fees, books and other school supplies, room and board, and transportation.
But you should know right away that not every HSF Scholar gets a scholarship. So, in the rest of this post, we’ll tell you how to improve your chances of winning. This is, of course, only true if you can apply. Let’s see if you are right now.
How to Qualify for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund
The Hispanic Scholarship Fund can help you at almost any point in your education, such as if you are:
High school senior about to graduate
Undergraduate student (all years)
Transferring from a two-year college to a four-year university
Graduate student (law school, medical school, MBA, and all other full-time masters or PhD programs)
But you must also do the following to become an HSF Scholar and be eligible for scholarships:
Be of Hispanic background
Be a U.S. citizen, permanent legal resident, or DACA
Have at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale (or the equivalent) if you’re in high school; a 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale (or the equivalent) if you’re in college or grad school.
Plan to go to a four-year university or graduate school in the US that is accredited, public or not-for-profit, and full-time next year.
Fill out the FAFSA or state forms for financial aid (if applicable)
Hispanic Scholarship Fund: How to Apply
To fill out your online application for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, you will need to gather several documents. It’s not too hard, thank goodness!
Here is what you will need:
Your most recent report card from high school or college. You might be able to ask for these on the Internet. If not, you’ll need to talk to your high school guidance counselor or college registrar.
A filled-out FAFSA. Check out our guide on how to fill out the FAFSA if you’ve never done this before!
A copy of the report on your student aid (SAR). After you send in your FAFSA, you’ll get this.
You will get a letter from the college or university you will be going to. This will come from the financial aid office at your college or university.
A picture. You will need to send in a professional headshot or a photo of yourself as a student.
Verification of enrolment from your college or university. You will need to ask your school’s admissions office for this. Or, if you haven’t signed up yet, you can wait until the summer after you get your HSF award notice to send it.
A personal essay. You will be asked to write an essay about your goals, strengths, education values, and why you want to apply for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.
At least one letter from a teacher or professor. This letter must come from a teacher, academic advisor, guidance counselor, or someone else who has had an impact on your academic growth. You can also include more letters of recommendation, including ones from people who know you outside of school (e.g. sports coach, your boss at work).
Employment Authorization Document (EAD) (EAD). If you have DACA, you are the only one who has to meet this requirement.
Dates for applying to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund
So, you may be wondering when the Hispanic Scholarship Fund application is open and when it is due. Well, we’ll take care of it! Here is the official timetable for HSF scholarships:
On January 1, applications for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund can be sent in.
February: The deadline for the application.
From March to April, the HSF finalists are named and asked to send in letters of recommendation, transcripts, the SAR, and a personal essay.
May and June: The HSF looks at the applications and chooses Scholars. The Scholars will then find out if they got a scholarship or were put on a waiting list (waitlisted). As long as the remaining required documents are turned in, all HSF Scholars will be able to use HSF support services.
From June to September, all HSF Scholars must send in their award letter for financial aid.
All HSF Scholars must turn in their enrollment verification form between October and November.
From October to December, a small number of HSF Scholars are given the HSF Scholarships.
Here are six ways to increase your chances of getting a scholarship from the HSF.
Every year, thousands of qualified students send in applications to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. However, not all of them will be chosen as HSF Scholars. Even fewer students will get scholarships. So, here are a few things you can do to improve your chances!
Get started as soon as you can on your HSF application.
You are less likely to miss important documents, deadlines, or instructions if you start the HSF application as soon as possible. It also gives you time to follow up with people who need to send things like your transcripts, a letter saying you got financial aid, letters of recommendation, etc.
Starting early also gives you time to have a teacher, parent, or guidance counselor look over your application materials and make sure they are as good as they can be.
Fill out the FAFSA. Early
When students fill out the FAFSA early, they usually get more money. But since you need a lot of information to finish it, it’s easy to put off until the last minute. Please don’t do that!
Remember that you can’t finish the HSF application until you’ve sent in your FAFSA and your Student Aid Report. You don’t want your FAFSA application to be incomplete because you put it off too long! Take a look at this guide on how to fill out the FAFSA if it’s your first time or if you just need a quick reminder of what you need to do.
Try to get a good grade in school.
For high school students, the minimum GPA to apply for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund is a cumulative 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. For college and graduate students, the minimum cumulative GPA is a 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. But keep in mind that these scholarships are hard to get.
If you still have time to raise your GPA before you apply, try as hard as you can to do so. Ask your teachers for extra help, use free tools like Khan Academy to get ahead, and take honors or advanced level classes to show how smart you are.
Write a personal essay that stands out.
In many scholarship competitions, the essays are a pretty important part of the process. Why? Because they are the only chance for the scholarship committee to hear your voice and find out what makes you special. So, make sure you’re not writing a boring essay that anyone else in your class could have written.
The best scholarship essays tell a story that shows you have a connection to the scholarship foundation’s mission and are, therefore, the best person to give the scholarship to. If you don’t know how to write an essay like this, check out our guides on how to write a scholarship essay and how to write a personal statement.
Look for opportunities to lead
Scholarship groups want to see more than just good grades from applicants. They also want to give awards to students who take the initiative to do things they’re interested in. So, if you have time before you apply, one of the best things you can do is try to be a leader in your extracurriculars, volunteer work, or job.
Even though the HSF application doesn’t have a section for leadership, there are still ways to show that you are a leader. For example, your leadership experience could be a great thing to talk about in your personal essay and could also show up in your recommendation letter.
Make Sure You Get a Stellar Recommendation Letter
Like the personal essay, recommendation letters give scholarship foundations like the HSF a chance to see you and your academic potential from a different point of view. Most of the time, you can’t change what is written about you in the letter. But you can do some things to get the best letter you can.
First, make sure you’re following HSF rules by asking someone who knows you from school. Then, make sure that person knows what about you to highlight in the letter by telling them why you want to apply for HSF, what your academic goals are, giving them a copy of your personal essay, and giving them your resume with work and extracurricular experience.
You can also ask your recommender to read our guide on how to write a scholarship letter of recommendation, where we give them all the information they’ll need!
Where to Look for More Scholarships
The Hispanic Scholarship Fund is one of the best ways for Latino and Hispanic students who want to go to college to get help. If that’s you, we hope the information we’ve given you here will help you make a great application.
We also hope you know that you can apply for and win many more scholarships. Download Scholly Search, the #1 scholarship app in the world, to find them quickly and easily based on your interests, accomplishments, and personality!
You can also check out the rest of our blog, where we talk about how to graduate without any debt, how to understand your options for college financial aid, how to find online jobs to make some extra money, and how to win scholarships like the Fulbright scholarships.