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Yes. To qualify for this program, students must be at least one-quarter Hispanic/Latino. Hispanic/Latino is an ethnic category, not a racial category; students may be of any race. For purposes of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, students must be from a family whose ancestors came from at least one of these countries:  Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Spain, Uruguay, or Venezuela.

No. However, all students must be Santa Paula High School (Santa Paula, CA) graduates. 

No.  The Albino R. Pineda Scholarship Program is open to graduating high school seniors and all undergraduate/graduate class levels. 

Yes.  High school students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00, based on a 4.00 scale (or equivalent). Undergraduate and graduate students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 (or equivalent). 

No. Students must be graduates of Santa Paula High School.  Santa Paula High School awards a California high school degree. 

No. An applicant must be a US citizen, permanent legal resident, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA), or an eligible non-citizen (as defined by Federal Student Aid). For more information, click here.

Yes. Students with refugee or asylum status must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to qualify for an Albino R. Pineda Scholarship. For more information about FAFSA eligibility, click here.

No. At this moment, students with an International Student Visa are not eligible for Albino R. Pineda Scholarships.

Yes. DACA students with a valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD) are currently eligible for Albino R. Pineda Scholarships. Please make sure to upload your EAD into your scholarship portal, when requested. 

Students can apply for Albino R. Pineda Scholarships beginning January 1st of every year. 

No. Albino R. Pineda requires all recipients to be enrolled full-time in the year in which they are awarded. Please note, official institution deferments, documented leaves of absence, and gap year programs in the fall will not be considered.

No. The application is only available in English.

To apply, please visit the 'Scholarship' tab. 

Yes. Please be sure to periodically check your spam and/or junk email*. All communication regarding students’ status is done electronically; therefore, students are responsible for checking email regularly.


*Please note, that each applicant must use his/her own personal email address – not a family member’s email address.

No. Applicants must submit scholarship applications using the online application system. Click here  to be redirected to our student application site to begin your application.

No. Scholarship applications should never require a fee.

No. Once the deadline for the application passes, the application will close and will no longer be available for that academic year.

Upload them, per your application instructions. Only documents uploaded into the scholarship portal will be reviewed. Documents sent by US Mail or fax will not be accepted. 

No. Our online system is completely secure. Encrypted documents usually lead to disruptions in the scholarship application review process. Often times, the Scholarships Team is unable to read and verify the receipt of documents if they are encrypted

No.  Documents sent by fax will not be accepted.  Documents sent by mail will not be accepted. Only documents uploaded electronically into the applicant’s portal will be accepted.  

You are required to upload your official or unofficial academic transcript(s) only when requested to do so. If requested, scan and upload a PDF copy of your transcript(s) to your scholarship portal. You may also submit a screen shot of your transcripts from your college student portal. Handwritten transcripts will not be accepted.


Your transcript(s) must clearly indicate your name and institution.  You may click ‘View’ after uploading your transcript(s) to verify the document is legible.


If a particular transcript runs more than one page, you must scan all pages and merge into ONE file, then upload the entire transcript in PDF format to your Document Bank. The same procedure is required for any additional, multi-page documents you wish to upload. Each document must be under 5 mb.


If your question is not answered and you require additional assistance, please contact us via the Message Center in your application.

Transcripts from different institutions must be uploaded into your scholarship portal separately, each one as a separate file in PDF format. Each document must be under 5 mb.

The Albino R. Pineda Scholarship processes citizenship verification through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Student Aid Report (SAR). Therefore, it is not necessary to submit additional proof of residency to Albino R. Pineda.


Please note that all US citizens, permanent residents, and eligible non-US citizens must submit a FAFSA, in order to be able to provide Albino R. Pineda with a SAR, regardless of class level. If you meet the residency criteria previously mentioned and do not file a FAFSA, you are ineligible for Albino R. Pineda Scholarships.

Yes. Students with DACA status will be required to upload a copy of their valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD) into their scholarship portal. Expired EADs will not be accepted. For an example of an EAD, click here. 

Applicants will be prompted to list recommenders’ contact information on the application. Albino R. Pineda will release recommender emails on January 15th.  After January 15th, recommenders will be emailed their link within 24 hours. 


Recommenders must complete the electronic Recommendation Form online. Please note that one recommendation must be from an academic reference; the second is optional and can be submitted by anyone who is not a family member or friend. All online Recommendation Forms must be submitted by March 19th 11:59 pm PST


Please note, some email security systems block emails from Albino R. Pineda. Therefore, we recommend that you ask your recommenders to check their spam folders. 

Recommenders are persons whom you have asked to complete an online Recommendation Form on your behalf, as part of your scholarship application.  In order for your application to be considered complete, you must submit 1 completed academic recommendation. Your academic recommender must be an instructor, an advisor/counselor, or someone who is able to evaluate you academically (e.g., academic performance, motivation, plans and goals).


Additional recommenders can be academic or nonacademic. Secondary recommenders must be able to evaluate your community service and extracurricular activities (e.g. leadership, work ethic, and commitment).


If you have been out of school for two or more years, your academic recommendation may come from a non-academic recommender who is familiar with the work you do and holds a position that is greater than your title. The recommendation should evaluate your intellectual capabilities, as well as your work ethic. Non-academic recommenders can be colleagues in your field of work and or anyone in a managerial position that has worked closely with you (such as a boss, a coach, a volunteer coordinator – or a pastor or priest, if you are active in your church and your pastor or priest is able to comment on your intellectual capabilities and work ethic).


Please note, recommendations from family members, family friends, and other close friends are discouraged.


Please be sure to ask your recommenders’ permission prior to submitting their names and email addresses to us.  Be sure they have agreed to complete the online Recommendation Form for you, and let them know that they will receive an email from us on how to proceed, within 24 hours after you have submitted your scholarship application.


The Albino R Pineda Scholarship team suggests you provide your recommenders with an updated resume to assist them in filling out their forms.


Please note, some email security systems block emails from Albino R. Pineda. Therefore, we recommend that you ask your recommenders to check their spam folders.    

Recommenders will be able to access the Recommendation Form by setting up and logging into their account.  Albino R. Pineda will release recommender emails on January 15th.  After January 15th, recommenders will be emailed their link within 24 hours.  Hence, we require the contact information you provide on your application form to include an email address for each recommender.


Please note, some email security systems block emails from Albino R. Pineda. Therefore, we recommend that you ask your recommenders to check their spam folders.   


Early submission allows the Scholarships Team to process the application quicker. However, all online Recommendation Forms must be submitted by March 19th 11:59 pm PST.  

On their home page, recommenders have the option to click on  ‘Forgot Password?’ in order to retrieve their login information. If the issue continues, ask your recommender to contact us via their Message Center immediately, using the email address that you provided for that individual, in your application. Don’t delay! Ask the recommender to provide us with your name and the technical issue encountered. 

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (known as the FAFSA) is a form that can be submitted annually by current and prospective college students in the US to determine their eligibility for federal student financial aid (including Pell Grants, work-study programs, and loans).  All US citizens, permanent residents, and eligible non-US citizens must submit a FAFSA, in order to be able to provide HSF with a Student Aid Report. If you meet the residency criteria previously mentioned and do not file a FAFSA, you are ineligible for HSF Scholarships.

The US Department of Education starts accepting FAFSA applications October 1st of each year, for the upcoming academic year.  


Please note that you can apply for financial aid before you file your taxes.  Corrections to your (FAFSA) application can always be submitted after you and/or your parents have filed for taxes and/or after the FAFSA has been submitted.

The Student Aid Report (SAR) is a report of your responses on the FAFSA by the US Department of Education, once the FAFSA application has been processed.  The SAR contains information the student provided on the FAFSA as well as the resulting federally calculated Expected Family Contribution (EFC).  The financial aid office of the student’s institution will use the information contained in the SAR in order to determine the student's eligibility for federal student aid programs.  

When requested, please upload your Student Aid Report (SAR) in PDF format to your scholarship portal.

After you submit your application for financial aid, you will receive a Financial Aid Award Letter (FAAL) from the college(s) that you were admitted to and that you listed on your financial aid application, typically in early to mid-April. This letter outlines the details of your financial aid at that institution. Note, your FAAL may also be contained within your college/institutional portal.  A financial aid package is a collection of different types of financial assistance from multiple sources (federal, state and from the institution) and different types (grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study). It is intended to help you pay for college costs, or the cost of attendance (COA). For more information about financial aid award letters click here. An example of a financial aid award letter can be found by clicking here.

If this is the first year you will be attending your institution, you will have received a FAAL from your college either in the mail or via your online student portal.  If you are a returning student, you will typically be able to find your FAAL via your online student portal.  If you are having trouble locating your FAAL, please consult with your financial aid department at your college/university. 

If selected as a scholarship recipient you’ll be prompted to submit an Enrollment Verification. Enrollment Verifications are due between August to November. 

Yes, there are several options for submitting an official Enrollment Verification form. You can go directly to your institutions registrar’s office and request an official Enrollment Verification form.


Quickest method: You can submit an official Enrollment Verification from the National Student Clearinghouse.  This is an organization with whom most US institutions register, and which offers a verification form as an expedited service.  You can go to their website at and for a nominal fee, they will send you a PDF version of your Enrollment Verification instantly.



You can download the Albino R. Pineda Enrollment Verification form which will be emailed to you. You can take this form to your registrar’s office for completion. Please be sure to complete the student portion of the form and that the registrar’s office has completed all questions on its portion.


Your Enrollment Verification form must be dated at least one day after your first day of class.  

You are responsible for following up with your recommenders to verify that they have received an email from us, as we are not able to determine that. You are also responsible for confirming that they intend to/have completed their recommendations by the application deadline. You may check the submission status of your recommendations and send reminder notifications via your scholarship application.


Please note, some email security systems block emails from Albino R. Pineda. Therefore, we recommend that you ask your recommenders to check their spam folders.    

Once your scholarship application has been submitted, you will not be allowed to make any changes to it. 

All applicants who complete the application process will receive notification, via email, once the selection process has been completed. To check the status of your application, please refer to your profile.


Note, funds may continue to be available for a period of time after the initial notification. Please check your email regularly in case you are selected at a later date.

Notifications of scholarship awards are emailed in May/June. 

Scholarship awards are disbursed in the fall of the year awarded.  Please note that all scholarship awards are contingent upon proof of full-time enrollment and the student’s total financial aid package.

Successful candidates are selected on the basis of academic achievement, personal strengths, leadership, and commitment to giving back to the community, in addition to meeting all stated requirements.  It is important that the information an applicant provides regarding his/her "intended" school/major be as up to date as possible, prior to our selection process.

The selection process consists of three stages: Submitted, Selection: selected and waitlisted, and disbursement.

An applicant will be categorized into the submitted stage when both the application and recommendation form have been received.

Applications given the highest scores by our readers will be selected as Scholars and must submit additional documents upon request. 

Students who are waitlisted for an award may not receive an initial award, but will continue to be considered for an award if additional funding becomes available during the current award cycle.

Money is disbursed between October and December. 



Unfortunately, every year, the applications we get from deserving students greatly outnumber the awards we have available. Accordingly, selection is highly competitive and not every strong student will make the final cut.


It’s also important to remember that if your application is not complete, you will not be considered for a scholarship. Many bright students miss out on opportunities because they submit incomplete applications.


Take charge of your application process by:

  • Following up with school officials, as well as recommenders, and making sure they have completed the forms they’re responsible for, correctly and on time.
  • Make sure to follow all instructions carefully.
  • Have a teacher, counselor or parent look over your application to make sure you didn’t overlook anything.

Yes. However, documentation between your home institution and host institution will be required. You must submit the following items*:


  • Enrollment Verification forms from each campus you are attending
  • A copy of official documentation from your home institution (i.e. Consortium Agreement; Dual Enrollment; Transient Agreements, etc.).  If you are unsure what a Consortium Agreement is, please visit your academic advisor
  • A brief written explanation as to why you cannot be full-time at one campus that includes a list of the classes and their unit/hour value, in which you are enrolled, per campus
  • *It is important that these documents be uploaded to your scholarship portal. We will need to review this documentation in order to make a final decision.

No. In order to be eligible for a scholarship, students must be enrolled full-time in the fall and spring terms to receive their full scholarship, for the year in which the scholarship is awarded. Please note that scholarship funds cannot be deferred to another academic term or school year.

If you still have a question after reviewing the FAQ’s, please contact us via your Message Center located in your online account.


IMPORTANT NOTE: In order to protect a student’s confidential information, the Albino R. Pineda Scholarship Team cannot disclose student information to third parties (e.g., parents, friends, counselor, teacher, etc.). Applicants must contact our office directly via their Message Center.

The Albino R. Pineda scholarship fund was endowed in 1999 in honor of Mr. Pineda, author of Among the Repatriated: Autobiography of a Mexican American, and an active member of the Santa Paula community.


The endowment was funded privately by Mr. Pineda’s daughter, Patricia Salas Pineda, who grew up in Santa Paula and attended Santa Paula High School. Prior to retiring in 2016, Ms. Pineda was Group Vice President of the Hispanic Business Strategy Group at Toyota Motor North America, Inc. and was the highest-ranking Hispanic executive at Toyota. She served on the board of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund from 1995 to 2000.

The application opens on January 1st of every year.

The application is due on March 5th of every year.

Yes. The scholarship is only open to graduating high school seniors, and graduates, of Santa Paula High School in Santa Paula, CA. 

No. However, all applicants must be graduating seniors, or graduates, of Santa Paula High School in Santa Paula, CA. 

No. Albino R. Pineda Scholarships are awarded to graduates of Santa Paula High School who plan to enroll in an accredited, not-for-profit, public or private college or graduate school. 

The Albino R. Pineda Scholarships are based on merit. The Albino R. Pineda Scholarship Program does not consider financial need for selection. 

The Albino R. Pineda Scholarship award is $2,500. 

Scholarship funds may be used for tuition, fees, books, and other academic related supplies, as well as for room/board and transportation expenses related to school.

No. Albino R. Pineda awards are for the fall of the academic year in which you applied.

Yes, but Albino R. Pineda funds can only be applied to costs associated with study abroad if:

  • You remain enrolled in your home university;
  • The program occurs during the normal academic year; and
  • You will be receiving US college credit towards your degree

To qualify, you must submit an Enrollment Verification form from your (US) home university (after being notified you have been selected to receive an award). Enrollment Verifications from institutions abroad will not be accepted.

No. Albino R. Pineda Scholarships are single-year awards.