Mar. 21, 2023
AUSTIN, Texas — The Hector and Gloria López Foundation (HGLF) announced a more than $2.1 million grant to provide full tuition assistance for 15 first-generation Latino students at St. Edward's University — creating pathways to educational attainment and a pipeline to a successful career.
Beginning in the Fall of 2023 and for the next five years, López Scholars will receive support for tuition and fees, as well as other resources including mentorship, tutoring, housing, study abroad programs, paid internships, leadership development and more.
This investment is informed by the Texas 60X30 plan, which calls for 60% of working-age Texans to receive a degree, certificate, or other postsecondary credential of value by 2030. To reach this goal, at least 285,000 Latino students must complete a degree or certificate each year.
In 2021, only 131,915 Latinos completed a degree or certificate and fewer than half of degrees awarded were bachelor’s. To help close this gap, the Hector and Gloria López Foundation partners with universities that are student-ready and dedicated to supporting Latino students in their dream to obtain a four-year degree.
“Our region has seen tremendous growth. Young Latinos are a part of that growth and need a network of support that gets them across the finish line with a degree that will boost their economic opportunities,” said Sergio Rodríguez, foundation CEO and nephew of Hector and Gloria López. “We’re proud to partner with St. Edward’s because of their comprehensive student support network for Latino students and commitment to developing compassionate, competent leaders.”
St. Edward’s is the only Austin institution — and the first private university in Texas — to receive an HGLF grant. Since becoming a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) in 1992, the university boasts impressive results: nearly 70% of Hispanic and Latino students at St. Edward’s graduate within six years, compared to the statewide average of just 45%. Through this new partnership, the López Scholars grant will solidify St. Edward’s as a destination university for first-generation Latino students.
“First-generation students belong on the hilltop,” said Dr. Montserrat Fuentes, president of St. Edward’s University. “Nearly one-third of our students are the first in their families to attend college, and our faculty and staff are eager to help them succeed in the classroom, on campus and beyond. We are honored that this grant affirms the importance of elevating future Latino leaders from all family backgrounds and life experiences.”
Hector and Gloria López left their estate to the Foundation – now Austin-based – in 2021. Their legacy is represented in the Foundation’s commitment to helping remove traditional barriers to resources and supporting the academic success of first-generation Latino college students in need of financial assistance across Texas.
Scholarship candidates do not have to submit an application or meet a minimum GPA or SAT/ACT score. To become a López Scholar, applicants must be Hispanic, demonstrate a financial need, be the first in their family to attend college and have lived in or graduated from a high school in one of the five focus areas — El Paso, Austin, San Antonio, and communities in South Texas and the Rio Grande Valley.
“The fact that they are admitted is enough for us,” said Rodríguez. “We don’t need to put up another barrier in order to provide support.”
ABOUT HECTOR & GLORIA LÓPEZ FOUNDATION
The Hector and Gloria López Foundation provides post-secondary educational opportunities for Latino students in Texas, specifically students from El Paso, Austin, San Antonio, South Texas, and the Rio Grande Valley. Founded in 2021, the Foundation aims to reduce the financial and systemic barriers that students face on their journey to obtain a college or university degree. The Foundation also focuses on increasing Latino representation in faculty and administration as well as in philanthropy. For more information visit www.hglopezfoundation.org
ABOUT ST. EDWARD’S UNIVERSITY
St. Edward’s University is a private university in the Catholic, Holy Cross tradition with approximately 3,600 students. Located in Austin, Texas, it is one of the top universities in the state and offers more than 55 undergraduate and 8 graduate programs. St. Edward’s delivers a premier, highly personalized education that provides students distinctive academics and extensive internships, research and service-learning opportunities on a vibrant and inclusive hilltop campus in a world-class city. St. Edward’s has been recognized for 20 consecutive years as one of “America’s Best Colleges” by U.S. News & World Report. In the 2022-2023 Best Colleges rankings, St. Edward’s remains in the list of top 10 Best Regional Universities in the West for the 4th consecutive year.