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Student Ingrid Zabala receives her scholarship from Dr. Braulio Alonso at the Annual Awards Ceremony.

For contributions to the
program contact:
Gigi Laird

For scholarship eligibility:
Sharon Hamisak

Current Latino Scholarship
Joseph Anastasio

Patsy Feliciano

USF Latino Scholarship

The Challenge

  • Hispanics are the largest minority group in the United States. The population of Hispanic youth between the ages of 16 and 24 is the fastest growing segment of our nation's population.
  • Participation of Latino students in all levels of education continues to be low, while dropout and retention rates are still high. Hispanics lag behind their non-Hispanic peers in college enrollment.
  • Under representation in key federal education programs, inadequate access to academically rigorous courses and educational resources an insufficient financial aid are the key barriers to improving the educational status of Latinos. The average amount of Financial Aid received by Hispanic undergraduates is lower than that received by non-Hispanic students.
  • Latino students need role models and mentors.

The Opportunities

  • Workplace diversity is a business imperative.
  • Many area economic interests are turning increasingly to Latin American & Caribbean markets.
  • Investments in bi-lingual students are a wise investment in our future.
  • The University of South Florida is an area resource committed to serving the educational needs of its diverse communities.

The Mission

The USF Latino Scholarship is a university-wide financial need based scholarship designed to assist USF in achieving and sustaining the education benefits of diversity and increasing the number of USF students interested in issues affecting the Latino community and/or likely to give back to the Latino community after graduation.  Students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA as calculated by USF; graduate from an accredited high school in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk, Manatee, Pasco, Hernando, or Sarasota; and demonstrate financial need as documented by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Strong consideration will be given to students who are: fluent in Spanish; first generation in their family to attend college; from diverse ethnic background. 

The Goal

To seek partnerships with businesses, organizations and individuals in providing renewable scholarships and mentoring experiences to deserving Hispanic students with financial aid need, graduating from Tampa Bay area schools.

The Objectives

  • To offer scholarships to Hispanic achievers in need of financial help.
  • To provide scholarship recipients with role models and exposure to professional settings.
  • To increase the number of businesses, organizations and individuals who provide financial and moral support throughout a student's college career.
  • To build endowments to ensure the fulfillment of dreams in perpetuity.

According to U.S. Department of Education Data, for every 1000 Hispanic children who enter the educational system in grade 1, only 70 go on to attain college degrees. Yet, increasingly, U.S. businesses are seeking the best and the brightest bilinguals to lead in broadening Latin American and Caribbean markets, as well as Spanish-speaking domestic markets. Other sectors like Health Sciences and Education, for example, also need educated bilingual professionals to serve increasing Spanish-speaking populations in our state and nation. To address these opportunities, the USF Latin Community Advisory Committee, a group of community leaders who assist the President on Hispanic issues, began a privately-funded USF Latino Scholarship program in 1992. The scholarships are based on academic talent and financial need. Through private donations, the program provides renewable scholarships and mentoring experiences to Tampa Bay area Hispanic youth attending USF. Since 1992, the program has awarded almost $1,000,000 to deserving students.

Student Eligibility and Application Process

To learn about the scholarship’s criteria, application process and deadline, please visit:

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