finance

These Government Aid Programs Exist For You To Use Because Your Tax Dollars Pay For Them

@PDHScounseling / Twitter

There is a multitude of government aid programs that are part of what makes America great. We pay taxes specifically to create government (one that provides equity for all).

Before we dive into the programs, you should know that receiving government aid is far more common than you think. In 2012, more than 1 in 4 Americans benefitted from some kind of government assistance. When you look at the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 analysis of Latinos specifically, you’ll find that about 36 percent of Latinos participate in government aid. Now, here are some programs you might be unaware of but pay taxes to keep them going.

These programs are here for you, paid by you.

CREDIT: @TimGurung / Twitter

While President Trump claims that reliance on welfare “is out of control,” it has actually drastically declined since 1996, and the vast majority of recipients are children. If you’re reading this, we know you’re not a child and that you’re entitled to programs that make life more equitable.

1. American Music Abroad Program

CREDIT: @IndieWire / Twitter

That’s right. Your music group could be eligible to “foster cross-cultural communication with global audiences.” You’ll never know if you don’t find out.

2. Cell Biology and Biophysics Research and Research Training

CREDIT: @CamBiochem / Twitter

If you’re one of those brainy, bioscience people, then The Division of Cell Biology and Biophysics might sponsor you to conduct research to prevent, treat and cure diseases that come about from disturbed or abnormal cellular activity. Serve your country with sicence.

3. The Lifeline Program

CREDIT: @onthehoneyy / Twitter

Lifeline is an income-based program, so if you’re stretched thin, you might be eligible for discounted landline or cell phone services. Take what’s yours. The world is vastly connected through technology and lacking technology is the fastest way to be left behind.

4. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

CREDIT: @heating_guide / Twitter

There is simply no reason to go cold during cold snaps or sweat your physical energy away during heat waves because of costs. This program issues grants from the Department of Health and Human Services to help heat or cool your home.

5. Unclaimed.org

CREDIT: @BirchwoodInvest / Twitter

Don’t think of this as free money. It’s money that’s literally owed to you, that is turned over to the state when you can’t be found. Moved recently? You might have a forgotten deposit paid to a utility company or uncashed paycheck waiting for you to claim it at unclaimed.org

6. American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL) Leadership Development Programs

CREDIT: @thehill / Twitter

Ok, I’m not saying that ACYPL put Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the map, but you could be the next AOC thanks to ACYPL. Participants are offered leadership training, international relations education, and the connections you need to become an up-and-coming global leader and policy maker.

7. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

CREDIT: @LouisianaDCFS / Twitter

SNAP is the largest federal nutrition assistance program and provides benefits to low-income folks with something that functions as an actual debit card. Whether you’re in the Los Angeles living struggle bus to pay rent, work at an underpaying non-profit or just have found yourself in a pinch, don’t pinch pennies around your health and nutrition. SNAP is here for you.

8. Identity Protection

CREDIT: @hurlinspiel / Twitter

Dwight’s right, which is why the U.S. government created the Identity Protection Program. When your name, Social Security Number is stolen, the IPP will resolve the crime and case for you.

9. The Child Care and Development Fund

CREDIT: @HoneyTWilton / Twitter

Child care is a growing, crippling cost for dual-income households. This fund gives states, territories and tribes money to distribute to low-income families to help pay for the child care of your choice. Just find the Child Care and Development Fund contact for your state.

10. Disaster Legal Services

CREDIT: @LucyWicken / Twitter

DLS offers legal assistance to low-income individuals who have been affected by a presidentially declared major disaster. Boricuas, this is for you.

This legal advice can help with insurance claims for doctor and hospital bills, property loss, home repair, and beef with your landlord.

11. Crisis Counseling Assistance and Training Program

CREDIT: SUPER BOWL WHATEVER GIF BY AMAZON / GIPHY

At the same time, communities affected by disaster desperately need crisis counseling. Puerto Rico, I see you. The CCP can train you to become a crisis counselor or offer access to one. Just call 1-800-621-FEMA.

12. Education Grants

CREDIT: @insidehighered / Twitter

College grants are goldmines for access to higher education, and an obvious choice for anyone without half a million dollars to drop on an education. Some major grants include:

  • The Pell Grant
  • The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  • The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant
  • The Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

Here’s how to get those grants.

13. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

CREDIT: @PDHScounseling / Twitter

We all know what FAFSA is, and there is no shame in using the federal student aid program to be able to afford outrageously expensive college tuition. Why let there be shame in any other aid program usage?

14. American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC)

CREDIT: @KTLA / Twitter

The AOTC will help reduce your tax obligations on expenses paid for the first four years of education post-high school. You can get an annual credit of $2,500 and even $1,000 refunded by the IRS if you owe no taxes. 👍

15. Job Accommodation Network (JAN)

CREDIT: @agentyoo / Twitter

You’re done with school and in the workforce, congrats. JAN offers free expert assistance to employees and employers who require workplace accommodations for a disability or health-related issues.

Got terrible endometriosis coupled with debilitating cramps? I feel you, and JAN can tell you what you need to be acknowledged fairly by your employer for sick time.

16. Housing Counseling Assistance Program

CREDIT: @JonathanREdwar1 / Twitter

Most millennials aren’t even financially able to own a home, let alone pay an accountant for their expensive services. the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds housing counseling agencies across the country that will offer up advice on buying, renting, foreclosing, and more…for free.

17. Property Improvement Loan Insurance

CREDIT: @ArgoDevelopment / Twitter

According to our government, “The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) makes it easier for consumers to obtain affordable home improvement loans by insuring loans made by private lenders to improve properties that meet certain requirements. Lending institutions make loans from their own funds to eligible borrowers to finance these improvements.”

18. Health Insurance

CREDIT: @BoostHLTH / Twitter

Last but certainly not least is Obama’s parting gift to Americans: health insurance. Healthcare.gov will guide you on how to find affordable coverage that’s right for you.

You can find out what other benefits you’re eligible for at benefits.gov.

CREDIT: @OaklandResearch / Twitter

There, you can fill out a questionnaire that will generate a list of federal programs that you may be eligible for. I filled it out myself and found out I was eligible for 20+ programs.


READ: DREAMer Gets Hate After Telling The Internet ‘Undocumented Immigrants Pay Taxes Too’

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If Aunt Becky Isn't Paying For You To Be Admitted Into College, Try These Latino-Specific Scholarships And Studying For Your SATs

finance

If Aunt Becky Isn’t Paying For You To Be Admitted Into College, Try These Latino-Specific Scholarships And Studying For Your SATs

@NBC / Twitter

You’ve probably heard about all of the rich and famous people facing serious legal consequences for bribing college officials to get their kids into top colleges. While most of us don’t have it like that, we need to fight even harder to take the spots we deserve in those universities. As you apply for colleges, don’t forget about these important scholarships to help you outdo anyone who paid for their place in college.

According to the Pew Research Center, there are fewer and fewer Latino students are going to college. In fact, despite how rapidly the Latino community is growing in the U.S., a widening education gap lands us at half as likely to hold a college degree as non-Latino white adults according to The Education Trust. Why?

Hechinger reports that immigration is the likely factor that’s limiting Latinos.

CREDIT: @scholdotcom / Twitter

While U.S.-born Latinos are on par with non-Latino black Americans’ college attainment (about 30 percent), that drops to just 17 percent when we look at Latino adults born abroad. That gap is likely explained by documentation, which prevents students from qualifying for in-state tuition.

Here are a few scholarships that can make higher education more possible for Latinos.

1. The Hispanic Scholarship Fund

CREDIT: @hsfphotos / Twitter

You don’t have to be a high school student to apply. This scholarship is for graduate students as well, with a focus on STEM majors.

GPA Requirement: 3.0 (high school) and 2.5 (college)

Award: This merit-based scholarship ranges from $500 to $5,000 based on relative need.

2. ¡Adelante! Fund

CREDIT: @smcadelanteclub / Instagram

If you go to scholarships.com, you’ll find a variety of ¡Adelante! scholarships with a range of eligibility requirements. Some require attendance to Leadership Institutes, banquets and all require community service commitments.

GPA Requirement: 2.75

Award: $1,000-$3,000

3. Ann Seki Memorial Scholarship

CREDIT: @coneval_mx / Twitter

With Chevron as a sponsor, you can expect a big chunk of change. Named after the original member of its Hispanic recruiting team, Ann Seki, who worked for three decades to hire Latinxs and diverse employees, this is for you if you’re into almost any kind of engineering.

GPA Requirement: 3.3

Award: $500 to $10,000

4. Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Scholarships

CREDIT: @cxm1k / Twitter

The SHPE offers nine different scholarship opportunities for a variety of differently-aged students with an obvious focus in engineering.

GPA Requirement: 2.75

Award: $2,000-$5,000.

5. Anhelo Project Dream Scholarship Application

CREDIT: @bgcgreatersandiego / Instagram

The Anhelo Project is for Illinois students who are undocumented and don’t have to be registered under DACA. Since 2011, they’ve awarded over $100,000 to more than 50 recipients.

GPA Requirement: 2.50

6. AMS Minority Scholarships

CREDIT: @REMEZCLA / Twitter

This scholarship is for every underrepresented minority, with a specific interest in “atmospheric or related oceanic and hydrologic sciences.”

GPA Requirement: NONE

Award: $6,000 in two installments

7. The Randy Falco Scholarship

CREDIT: @TheEmmys / Twitter

Yep, this comes from the actual Academy, and this scholarship is meant for Latinos pursuing careers in journalism or television only.

Award: $10,000

8. ACS Scholars Program

CREDIT: @LULFOUNDATION / Twitter

This FAFSA-based scholarship is for any graduating high school senior or college student with a major in chemistry, biochemistry, chemical engineering, chemical technology, or another chemistry-related science.

GPA Requirement: 3.0

Award: $2,500-$5,000 depending on college grade level.

9. La Unidad Latina DREAM Scholarship

CREDIT: @LULFOUNDATION / Twitter

This scholarship es solamente por los Dreamers. That means you must be registered under DACA, and have already completed one year of undergrad.

GPA Requirement: 2.8

Grant: $500 to $3,000

10. Puerto Rican Relief Scholarship

CREDIT: @LULFoundation / Twitter

The LUL Foundation has also created a scholarship for those Boricuas enrolled on the island. It should help those who have been displaced or affected by Hurricane Maria.

Check out www.lulf.org for more info.

11. Haz La U Program

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Colgate Palm Olive. 21 January 2019.

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation partnered with monopoly Colgate-Palmolive to offer 31 scholarships ranging from $2,000 to $15,000 for Hispanic youth.

GPA Requirement: 3.0

12. National Association of Hispanic Journalists

CREDIT: officialnahj / Instagram

NAHJ describes its scholarship opportunities as “open to college-bound high school seniors, college undergraduates, and graduate students pursuing careers in English or Spanish-language print, broadcast, digital, or photojournalism.”

GPA Requirement:

Award: $1,500 to $5,000

13. Liberty Power Bright Horizons Scholarship

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Liberty Power Corp. 21 January 2019.

Did you know that Liberty Power is Latino-owned? That’s why it’s offering major scholarships to any student majoring in STEM programs, who are interested in energy and the environment.

GPA Requirement:

Awards: $4,000 to $10,000

14. Actuarial Diversity Scholarship

CREDIT: @ebalexan / Twitter

This scholarship isn’t just for Black, Latino, Pacific Islander and Indigenous Peoples’ who are into books. They want to become actuaries, one of the highest paying accounting professions.

GPA Requirement: 3.0

Award: $1,000-$4,000

15. NBC Universal/LNESC Scholarship

CREDIT: @NBC / Instagram

If you’re already a sophomore or junior college student with an interest in media and entertainment, then you might be eligible!

GPA Requirement: 3.0

Award: $5,000 for ten winners

16. The Carlos M. Casteñeda Journalism Scholarship

CREDIT: @alocuba / Instagram

This scholarship is for Spanish-speaking college graduates looking to get a Masters in journalism. We need you to apply and get out there.

GPA Requirement: 3.0

Award: $7,000

17. CUNY Becas Scholarship Program

CREDIT: @ieltscoach911 / Twitter

The City University of New York Jaime Lucero Mexican Studies Institute offers scholarships to its students who are registered DACA recipients. You have to be committed to serving the Mexican community. Facil, no?

GPA Requirement: NONE

Award: $6,730

18. MALDEF Law School Scholarship Program

CREDIT: @meformagrupo / Instagram

If you’re here for the long civil rights overhaul for Latino-Americans, keep your eyes on this prize. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund is offering 15 awards of $5,000 to Latinos in law school who are committed to advancing Latino civil rights as a career.

Plus, so many more!

CREDIT: @van_hyundai / Twitter

It’s easy to find the dozens of scholarships that are geared towards Latinos an other minorities, and every step you take toward closing the education gap for Latinos can only help other Latinos (namely, you to start with). Have you benefitted from one of these scholarships? Share this article and encourage your friends to dream big!


READ: College Is An Incredible Experience If You Do It Right. Here Are 21 Tips To Make The Most Of It

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