About Hispanic Scholarship Fund
Founded in 1975, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund believes that the country prospers when all Americans have access to the opportunities a college education can afford. As the nation’s leading Hispanic higher education fund, HSF works to address the barriers that keep many Latinos from earning a college degree. To date, HSF has awarded over $360 million in scholarships and has supported a broad range of outreach and education programs to help students and their families navigate collegiate life, from gaining admission and securing financial aid to finding employment after graduation. HSF envisions a future where every Latino household will have at least one college graduate, creating an enduring impact on the college outlook of Latino families nationwide, and strengthening the American economy for generations to come.
The Challenge We Face
Latinos are America's largest racial/ethnic minority and the fastest-growing demographic of the young work force. As of 2005, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated there were about 42 million Hispanics living in the United States. The Bureau projects that this number will increase to 73 million.
Unfortunately, Latinos have the lowest high school and college completion rates of any racial or ethnic group. Despite recent advances in educational attainment, reports from the U.S. Census Bureau reveal that serious discrepancies remain when Hispanic educational levels are compared to other groups:
- Hispanics registered a 23.8 percent high school dropout rate, the highest of any major racial or ethnic group (ages 16 to 24), compared to 7 percent for non-Hispanic whites.*
- In 2000, 36% percent of Hispanic high-school graduates ages 18 to 24 enrolled in colleges and universities, compared to 44 percent of non-Hispanic whites.*
- About 12 percent of Hispanic adults currently have a bachelor’s degree, compared with 30.5 percent of non-Hispanic whites.*
*National Center for Education Statistics, Status and Trends in the Education of Hispanics.
Back to Top
The Importance of Latino Higher Education
America's long-term economic security and social stability require that we break the cycle of under-education among Hispanic Americans. With the U.S. facing increasingly stiff global competition, the nation needs a strong professional workforce that can contribute innovations essential to keeping America at the forefront of the international economy. With a college education, Hispanics can help the nation meet the challenges it faces.
As the fastest growing segment of the U.S. workforce, increasing college graduation rates among Hispanics will lead to better-paying jobs for more individuals, families and communities. This will produce a sizeable increase in tax revenues, including much-needed support for Social Security and Medicare. It will also create an increase in disposable income for Hispanic consumers, which will help fuel the country's future economic growth. Doubling the rate of Hispanics with a college degree (to only 18 percent) by 2010 would yield a $7.6 billion increase in tax revenue over the lifetime of these college graduates, and would generate at least $14 billion in disposable income for savings, investment and economic stimulus.
Realizing HSF's goal of doubling the rate of Hispanics earning a college degree will also significantly reduce public expenditures on social services, health, law enforcement and other social programs.
Back to Top
HSF’s Impact on Breaking the Cycle of Hispanic Under-Education
HSF has had an impact on the under-education of the Hispanic community by providing clear solutions. HSF provides financial support for Latinos going to college and educates students and families about the resources available for paying for college outside of HSF. The results have been impressive.
A recent study, conducted by MPR Associates, Inc., one of the nation's leading education consulting firms, found that 80 percent of Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF) scholarship recipients graduated within five and a half years—a graduation rate that is almost 30 percent higher than the national average for students of all races and ethnicities during the same period. The six-year national graduation rate for all Hispanics students at four-year institutions is 43.5 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.
The study also concluded that HSF scholarships played a significant role in helping scholars persist in college. Scholars supported by HSF worked less than most students, enabling them to focus more on their academic tasks. On average, they worked 10 hours less per week when compared with students sampled in other studies. Financial hardship is cited as the principal reason many Latinos discontinue their education, according to numerous studies. Researchers concluded that HSF support diminished the fiscal pressures students faced.
The MPR study demonstrates that, for corporations, foundations, philanthropists and individuals who are concerned about that state of the nation’s education, HSF is the most successful education investment they can make.
HSF provides more college financial aid to the Hispanic community than any other organization in the country, with over $334 million in scholarships granted to date. HSF offers financial aid to graduating high-school seniors, community-college students seeking to transfer to four-year universities, continuing university students seeking to complete their degrees and to students in graduate and professional programs. For more information on HSF's scholarship programs visit our scholarships page.
In addition to financial support, Hispanic families often lack experience with the college application and financial-aid processes. HSF's comprehensive Outreach Programs are designed to demystify the admissions and financial-aid processes and provide students and families with the information, support and encouragement they need. Through nationwide programs like “Town Hall Meetings” and “Steps for Success Saturdays,” along with publications and online resources, HSF is striving to make college accessible to all our communities. HSF scholars participating in the MPR study said that such information was essential in making good decisions about attending college. For more information on HSF's Outreach Programs visit Programs page.
Back to Top