Esperanza Scholarship Overview

Each year, as part of our mission to improve the academic achievement of Hispanics in Greater Cleveland, Esperanza grants scholarships to students entering or continuing their college education.

Since awarding our first college scholarship in 1983, the number of Hispanic students enrolling in college has grown. The number of scholarships granted is based on scholarship dollars raised each year with our most recent scholarship class consisting of 107 deserving and dedicated students. Our scholarship recipients attend a variety of institutions from local schools in Cleveland and southern Ohio to schools in New York, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, and more. All scholarships are provided through generous sponsorships from local businesses, organizations, and private donors.

Over the years, this scholarship celebration has turned into our annual Fiesta of Hope luncheon, which, in addition to presenting the year’s scholarship recipients, serves as an important fundraiser for Esperanza. The event features personal stories from selected scholarship recipients, Esperanza staff and board, and a presentation of the recipients.

For more information or questions, email us at

Eligibility criteria for applicants graduating high school:

  • Student must be a resident of Cuyahoga County.
  • Student must be Hispanic or have at least one parent who is Hispanic.
  • Hispanic student must be American citizens or Permanent Resident.
    DACA Eligible students are also eligible to apply.
  • Student must be graduating high school and be enrolled full-time in college and/or university as an
    undergraduate student for the Fall semester of 2018.
  • Student must have Student Aid Report (SAR) that proves that the FAFSA was filed.
    For DACA eligible students, student must have tax return Form.
  • Student must have a minimum G.P.A. of 2.5 (based on 4.0 scale) at the time of application and
    maintain it for the Fall and Spring Semesters. Transcripts will be required at the time of application.
  • Student must have participated in extracurricular activities and school or community service.
  • Student must take either the SAT or ACT and provide a copy of results.
  • Family Income must not exceed $60,000 per year.
    Applicants whose family income is higher than $60,000 will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Renewing process for current scholarship recipients:
If you received the Esperanza scholarship last year, you are eligible to apply to renew your scholarship for the 2018-2019 academic year.

To be eligible to apply, you MUST meet the following criteria:

  • Continue being a resident of Ohio.
  • Have a minimum overall G.P.A. of 2.5 (based on a 4.0 scale) at the time of application and maintain
    it for the Fall and Spring Semesters. College transcript will be requested.
  • Be enrolled full-time in college and/or university as an Undergraduate Student in the fall semester 2018.
  • Enroll in and actively participate in Esperanza’s College Mentoring Program. (Required)
  • Actively volunteer in Esperanza activities and programs for a minimum of 8 hours in a calendar year.
    Volunteering opportunities will be provided.

** Keep in mind that your scholarship renewal is contingent upon funding and your award amount may differ from last year.

General information for ALL applicants:

  • Applications must be submitted along with all required documents by March 30, 2019.
  • Finalist applicants will be notified and MUST attend the personal interview to be held on Saturday,
    May 4, 2019 OR Saturday, May 11, 2019. Interview scheduling for finalist applicants will start in
    mid-April 2019.
  • If selected to receive an Esperanza scholarship, a recipient MUST attend the Fiesta of Hope
    Scholarship Award Ceremony on Friday, June 21, 2019.
  • Applicants will be evaluated based on their academic achievements, quality of personal statements,
    recommendation letters, individual interviews, volunteerism and family income. Esperanza reserves
    the right to review special cases and circumstances on a case by case basis.

Scholarship Calendar

Application process: Online ONLY at our Scholarships > Apply page.
Deadline - Thursday, February 1, 2018 to Friday, March 23, 2018

Finalists receive confirmation email to schedule personal interview
- Monday, April 9, 2018 to Friday, April 13, 2018

Personal Interviews
- Saturday, May 5, 2018 OR Saturday, May 12, 2018

Final notification email to scholarship winners
- Monday, May 21, 2018 to Friday, May 25, 2018

Fiesta of Hope Luncheon
- Friday, June 22, 2018