Monday, March 7, 2016

Hispanic Scholarship Fund Makes College a Reality for Latinos

This is a sponsored post with Hispanic Scholarship Fund. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

When I was growing up, there was never any question about whether or not I would attend college. My mother talked about it in everyday conversations.

"When you go to college..."

"Work hard so you can pick the college you want..."

"While you are in college..."

"You should think about that after college..."

So in my mind, it was always a part of my future. It was a goal toward which I was working. I was excited about it. I knew that it was the path to fulfilling the plans I had for my future. And once I was actually in college, my whole life changed (but that's another story).

I never really worried about how we were going to pay for it, though. I know now that my mother did. She agonized about how we would afford for me to attend. I applied for a couple of scholarships, and received one, but in the end, I was fortunate because my mother was offered a position teaching journalism and broadcast news at our local university, which enabled me to attend at a greatly reduced rate.

But not every Latino family has that opportunity. And for too many Latino families, the expense is what causes them to not even consider college as an option for their children. Some have no idea that there are tools available to help them financially afford to send their children to college. They don't know about student loans, work-study program, or scholarships that are available specifically for Latino students.

Even more important is that too many Hispanic families don't realize that a college degree can be their ticket out of poverty. Because people with a college degree are more likely to make $1,000,000 dollars more in their lifetime than those who don't graduate from college.

RELATED: Top Five Reasons Why Latino Children Need to Go to College

The point of all this is that as parents, we have many powerful tools at our disposal for making college a reality for our kids. Daily conversations is by far, the most impactful tool because it creates a mindset that sets everything else into motion. And we have to start when our kids are little, so they are conditioned to love learning and to view education as one of the keys to a happy life.

Taking this cue from my own mother (and childhood), I've been talking about college with my own kids for years. Even though the are only in 4th and 6th grade now, I can see the impact when my daughter asks me questions about which colleges have the best bioengineering programs, or when they ask me questions on what it was like when I went to college. I love it best when I hear them say things like, "After I get out of college, I'm going to..."

If we talk about our kids going to college starting when they are small, then it becomes a part of their future - they take it for granted that they'll be going to college and will work toward that goal. And as they get closer to it, they'll actively look for other resources to help them with the financial side of things.

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund is one of the companies that is making it possible for Hispanic students to attend community colleges or large universities. 

Students and parents can visit the The Hispanic Scholarship Fund website to find the latest information and to apply for scholarships. You'll also find the HSFinder, an online tool  to share and find great information about scholarships, financial aid, careers, internships and more. They even have resources for DREAMers.

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund is supported by many companies across the country, including Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. who is now an official partner. All these companies are showing their support of Hispanic students by financially backing the Hispanic Scholarship Fund so that it can make so many scholarships available.

How much does the Hispanic Scholarship Fund give?

For the last 40 years, they've provided merit-based scholarships to undergrads and graduate students ranging from $500 - $5,000. This type of funding helps pay for tuition costs, living expenses, books, etc.

Please share this with any family and friends who have teenage children that are thinking about going to college! This program could make the difference in whether or not they apply and/or attend.

Here are some important dates for you to remember:
  • Scholarship Application opens: January 1
  • Recommender Portal opens: January 15
  • Recommender Online Form due: March 30
  • Scholarship Application closes: March 30
  • Notification for Scholarships: June- July
  • Scholar/Waitlist Documents due: August- October
  • Scholarship Awards disbursed (pending receipt of all required documents): November-December
So what are you waiting for? It's never too early to starting thinking about college! Get over to the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and explore all that they have to offer.

And if you are the parent of a college-bound teen, check out all of my posts with resources for you here.

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