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TRPI publishes expanded online Latino college scholarship directory

Posted by Elena del Valle on October 5, 2007


Latino College Dollars Scholarship Directory

Photo: Tomas Rivera Policy Institute

The Tomas Rivera Policy Institute (TRPI) recently expanded its Latino College Dollars Scholarship Directory, available online and in print, with national scholarship information for students. Response to the organization’s first Latino scholarship published last year prompted the Institute to produce a national guide in 2007. Last year’s directory of California scholarships was viewed online an average of 7,000 times a month.

The 2007 directory contains 84 pages of information including 62 pages on 329 scholarships available to Latino high school, undergraduate, and graduate students in the United States. The Directory can be downloaded free of charge at Hard copies of the guide are available for a postage and handling fee of $5.

The directory, made possible with grants from the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation, The Sallie Mae Fund and The Walt Disney Company, follows recommendations from a TRPI study that showed Latino students often are misinformed or unaware of scholarship opportunities.

“Our research has shown that Latino families aspire to send their children to college but are critically lacking in awareness of how to pay for it. We’re working to be sure Hispanic parents and students are not caught in a financial aid information divide,” said Kathleen deLaski, president of The Sallie Mae Fund, which last year awarded $2.6 million in scholarships to more than 1,000 students nationwide. The directory is aligned with the charitable organization’s mission of increasing access to higher education for America’s students.

“Latino Family Dynamics” audio recording

Brenda Hurley Liria Barbosa

 Brenda Hurley and Liria Barbosa


  • Latino purchasing habits and products they favor
  • Latino family characteristics
  • Latinos and extended families
  • Division of duties, responsibilities within the family
  • Who is the decision maker in the Latino family
  • Who is the information provider in the Latino family

Click here to find out about Latino purchasing habits and “Latino Family Dynamics”

Scholarship listings are categorized by education level, deadline, minimum grade point average, citizenship requirements and region. In addition to information on 329 scholarships, the 2007-2008 directory includes a guide to applying for scholarships, in English and Spanish, “Get the Money You Need!” and “Padres: ¡Ayuden a sus hijos a obtener el dinero que necesitan para asistir la universidad!

“We can think of no better investment to make than in future talent,” said Efrain Garza Fuentes, director of Multicultural Programs for The Walt Disney Company. “The Latino college community is very important to The Walt Disney Company, and since we had such great success with the directory at the local level, the next logical step was a national effort.”

The online directory is searchable by grade level, grade point average (GPA) and citizenship requirements. Organizers hope the search functionality makes the online directory user-friendly.

According to a study conducted by the Institute and commissioned by The Sallie Mae Fund in 2006, the directory is a much needed resource for the Latino community. The study also found that often scholarship information is conflicting, out-of- date and not actively disseminated to people who need it. The study also indicated 94 percent of Latino parents believe college education is an important part of success in life, but more than half could not name a single source of financial aid.


Harry Pachon, president and chief executive officer, Tomas Rivera Policy Institute

“This project has been very valuable to Latino students and their parents in California, and now the positive impact will be nationwide,” said Harry Pachon, president and chief executive officer of the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute. “We are very excited about encouraging the pursuit of a higher education, about giving Latino students the information they need to help start and finish college by making it more affordable. We expect demand this year to surpass the pace set last year.”

As part of the project the Institute will mail 6,000 scholarship guides to guidance counselors at low-income schools in the five states with the largest Latino populations in the country, California, Florida, Illinois, New York, and Texas. Another 2,500 scholarship guides will be distributed to Latino students during The Sallie Mae Fund Paying for College Bus Tour. An additional 1,500 guides will be distributed to community based and direct service organizations such as The Mexican American Legal Defense Fund, Parent Institute for Quality Education, and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. 

Founded in 1985, the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute (TRPI) advances informed policy on key issues affecting Latino communities through research contributing to the betterment of the nation. TRPI is an affiliated research unit of the University of Southern California School of Policy, Planning, and Development and is associated with the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy at Columbia University.