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Are you ready to start your journey towards higher education? This is what you might need

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  • In the last two years, the Latino population has made up 5% of all students pursuing higher education
  • A good portion of Latinos who study at universities do so in four-year programs
  • McDonald’s HACER® program offers 30 scholarships for outstanding students. Learn more about it!

Starting your higher education journey for a student is quite an adventure. After all, it is a step that means access to better job opportunities, higher pay and life lessons that will make a difference in your future.

College education, whether in a two-year or a four-year program, is just the beginning of a student’s professional future, and that is why, before choosing a university or an educational program, it is necessary to take certain things into account. Take note!



According to statistics, the average cost of tuition at a four-year private university in the United States is $38,070, while tuition at a public university ranges from $10,000 (for in-state students) to $27,500 (for out-of-state students). These costs may vary depending on factors such as the city where the school is located, its prestige, the educational level, among others.

It is important to consider this requirements to start higher education so you know what your total investment will be, taking into account other expenses such as: purchase of books, food, lodging and extracurricular activities. For this, it is recommended that you put together an annual estimate of the expenses and determine whether the university you’ve chosen is within your budget. However, with programs such as McDonald’s HACER®, which offers annual scholarships and support tools for students belonging to the Hispanic community in the United States, higher education becomes more attainable.

Location and student

A library for a student research

Pursuing higher education often involves moving. This adds transportation, housing and food expenses that must be taken into account when students plan on attending school in another state.

Public universities offer programs that have different tuition costs depending on whether applicants are in-state or out-of-state students. Visiting the place where the university is located beforehand will make it easier for future students to make an informed decision based on their own interests, objectives, budget and lifestyle.

Financial aid for a student


At least 72% of Latinos attending college in the United States apply for some type of financial aid to cover their school expenses. One option for outstanding applicants is the McDonald’s HACER® Scholarship, an initiative that originated in 1985 and has awarded more than $32 million in scholarships to more than 17,000 students. Each year, 30 outstanding students are eligible to receive financial aid ranging from $5,000 to $100,000.

The beneficiaries are divided into three levels — level 1 receives a grant of $100,000; at level 2 the scholarship is $10,000 to $20,000. Finally, level 3 receives $5,000. To determine the applicant’s level, the HACER® program considers the potential scholarship recipient’s  financial need, academic achievements and community involvement. Learn more about this financial aid here.

Housing and food


Among the requirements to start higher education to consider before making a decision regarding the university you want to attend is their room and board plan. On average, food and housing for each academic year costs approximately $12,000 to $13,000, depending on the school and whether it is private or public.

Fortunately, there are room and board plans that fit different student budgets. Some schools allow students to live off campus. This option could save you money and reduce the overall costs of higher education.

Study programs

A student with books

Last, but certainly not least, it is necessary to consider basic aspects of the university you hope to attend. For example, the graduation rate of those in your chosen field of study (i.e., the number of students who completed their education in that program), the prestige of the university, the employment possibilities after graduation, and the level of degrees offered.

All this requirements to start higher education could have a positive impact on future job opportunities for graduates and increase your chances of earning more money in the short term. Knowing about what financial aid is available and what each school requires will help you make a better decision based on your individual needs. Find out more about the McDonald’s HACER® program.

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