On February 1, 2022, the Massachusetts Hispanic Scholarship Fund was formed out of an abundance of need to address the high cost of college for Massachusetts Hispanic students and families and confront the challenges of navigating the complex scholarship process for this student base. As a 501 c3 charitable organization we will do so across the Hispanic and Latino communities in Massachusetts most in need of better information and access to real scholarship dollars for college.
Since 2020, Community Colleges enrollment in Massachusetts and nationwide have declined dramatically. The Boston Globe reports that some community colleges are missing a quarter or more of their students compared to before the pandemic. Cost is a major factor in the decreased enrollment at Community Colleges. Yet, 25% of community college students are Hispanic and Hispanics have seen the most significant increase in the attendance of community colleges, up 10% since 2008.
The number of Hispanic students enrolled in college rose from 3.17 million in 2016 to 3.27 million in 2017, making them the highest increase of all demographic groups in college attendance, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That’s nearly double the 1.4 million Latino students who attended college in 2000. Yet, approximately 70% of Latino undergraduates in higher education come from families in the bottom half of earners, and nearly half of Latino students are the first in their family to go to college. As first generation students, Hispanic and Latino families often struggle to realize the many challenges in navigating the college process from tuition, room and board costs and other expenses to the dizzying array and complex nature of scholarships, grants and loans offered. Further undocumented and DACA-students in the Hispanic community face additional challenges such as requirements to pay International student tuition and difficulty finding eligibility for scholarships.
The Massachusetts Hispanic Scholarship Fund was created to address some of these challenges with the following programs:
- Annual $4,000 scholarship for a 4-year college or $2,000 scholarship for a 2-year college starting with a single applicant, commencing with the 2022-2023 class
- Focus is on Hispanic High School Seniors attending an accredited two or four-year college or university starting in the Fall of the same year as the award
- Rotated across key Massachusetts cities/towns each year via high school awards night working in conjunction with the HS
- Targeting the largest Hispanic communities with the greatest need including but not limited to: Lawrence, Chelsea, Holyoke, Springfield, Lynn, Revere, Southbridge, Methuen, Fitchburg, Everett, Boston and Framingham
- Must be a graduating senior
- Must be at least one-quarter Hispanic/Latino
- Attending an accredited two or four-year college, university or vocational school
- Complete 300-500 word personal statement essay
- Meet GPA requirement
- Demonstrate financial need
- Undocumented or DACA-eligible students accepted
High School Outreach & Education
As part of the above scholarship, outreach to the focused high school on some key scholarships that are often underrepresented or unknown, but are reasonable to complete and valuable to achieve. The idea is to work with guidance counselors and set up information sessions for parents/guardians and students on key Hispanic scholarships to consider including:
- Seniors, Fall: Massachusetts Hispanic Scholarship Fund
- Juniors, September/October: College Board’s National Hispanic Recognition Program
- Juniors & Seniors, Fall & Spring: Hispanic Heritage Foundation, Youth Awards
- Juniors, Seniors & Enrolled College Students: Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF)
- Juniors & Seniors: Other Scholarships
We look forward to working with our first Massachusetts High School in the 2022-2023 school year.