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ERIC Number: ED502062
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Nov
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
College Scholarships for Latino Students: Are Opportunities Being Missed?
Marquez, Amalia
Tomas Rivera Policy Institute
Previous research by The Tomas Rivera Policy Institute (TRPI) has demonstrated that extensive college financial aid opportunities are available in the form of scholarships, grants, and loans; yet many Latino students and their parents are not aware that numerous grants and scholarships are earmarked especially for them. This report provides insight into the reasons that Latino families are unlikely to take advantage of the many free monies that exist, and various recommendations for change. In the spring of 2005, TRPI examined the information dissemination and application procedures of organizations that provide scholarship opportunities to college-bound Southern California Latino students. The team conducted an Internet survey to identify organizations where Southern California Latino students and parents could receive information about, or apply for, college scholarships and grants. Resources were divided into two groups: information-providing organizations and scholarship-granting organizations and interviews were conducted with representatives from each type. Primary findings suggest that organizations offer a variety of financial aid and career information to Latino and other minority students, but information is not provided or disseminated in a manner that most effectively reaches Latino students and parents. Information on websites may be outdated, in English only, and/or not actively disseminated to the communities who need it most. Findings also demonstrate that wide variations in scholarship information and application requirements pose challenges to parents and students who are trying to navigate the application process. Differing deadlines and requirements make the process complex and often overwhelming for both the students who apply, and the scholarship-granting organizations that must process the applications. TRPI posits that if information about financial opportunities for Latino students was centralized, and the application process streamlined, information about available college monies for Latino students would be easier to promote and digest, resulting in more Latino students applying for a greater amount of financial aid. The following recommendations are presented for Information-providing Organizations: (1) Ensure that all online scholarship information is current and verified or updated regularly, and post a "last updated" date on the website; (2) Provide online information in a bilingual format, or develop a summary information sheet in Spanish, so that students may print out information for their parents; (3) Create registration systems whereby students can register to receive "e-alerts," alerting them of upcoming deadlines, reminders, and news; (4) Actively disseminate hard copies of online data to postsecondary institutions of higher education in Southern California that have high Latino student populations; and (5) Actively cultivate relationships with scholarship-granting organizations and high school counselors to facilitate communication between educators, parents, students, and funders. For Scholarship-granting Organizations, the following recommendations are made: (1) Coordinate with other scholarship-granting organizations to post the same basic information on the first page of the scholarship website so that deadlines and requirements can be easily compared and accessed; (2) Coordinate with other scholarship-granting organizations to develop one deadline that is a "universal scholarship deadline" so that students and parents can have a clear understanding of timelines; (3) Provide online information in a bilingual format, or develop a summary information sheet in Spanish, so that students may print out information for their parents.; (4) Create registration systems whereby students can register to receive "e-alerts," alerting them of upcoming deadlines, reminders, and news; (4) Coordinate with other scholarship-granting organizations to develop a standard template for application, eligibility, and documentation requirements; (5) Communicate with other scholarship-granting organizations, recognizing that an applicant who is not well-suited for one award may be an excellent candidate for another; (6) Allow for online applications; and (6) Coordinate with other scholarship-granting organizations to create one website where students can search for scholarships and apply, online, to multiple scholarships with one application. Three appendixes include: (1) Data and Methodology; (2) Information-Providing Organizations; and (3) Scholarship-Awarding Organizations. (Contains 11 footnotes, 1 figure and 1 table.) [Support for this publication was provided by The Walt Disney Company and Efrain Fuentes.]
Tomas Rivera Policy Institute. University of Southern California, School of Policy, Planning, and Development, Ralph and Goldie Lewis Hall, 650 Childs Way Suite 102, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0626. Tel: 213-821-5615; Fax: 213-821-1976; e-mail: info@trpi.org; Web site: http://trpi.org
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Tomas Rivera Policy Institute
Identifiers - Location: California