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Low income minority scholarships...help!

huggcaryhuggcary Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
Hi..I am helping an 18 year old friend find a school for auto mechanics where he can get the best bang for his buck but also not come away without a huge loan burden. He is from Guatemala, came here in 2008 without any English and has mastered the language by his senior year. His GPA is 78, SATs are really low (reflecting his challenges)....neither of which matter much to the schools he is looking at University of NW Ohio, UTI, Wyotech. He will qualify for maximum pell grants but I am trying to locate scholarship opportunities not based on academic achievement but more on his demonstrated potential in overcoming barriers and lots of work and community service. He is a fantastic, bright, open minded kid. Could he qualify for any "native American" scholarship as he has a tribal connection but it is in Central America, not a tribe here in the states?
Any ideas about internships/apprenticeships that might afford him great training and opportunity to take ASE test for mechanics without breaking the bank at the fancy schools if we can't come up with some grant/scholarship money??
Minority scholarships not based on academic performance so much?
Post edited by huggcary on

Replies to: Low income minority scholarships...help!

  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,689 Senior Member
    Does he have a green card or citizenship?

    How much do those schools cost?
  • lerkinlerkin Registered User Posts: 1,445 Senior Member
    If he wants to be a mechanic, there's no reason for him to go to University. He needs to go to community college that has auto repair program. While in school, he needs to find a job at the auto shop that is willing to let him take on more than GS responsibilities. This way by the time he graduates he will have both education and experience.

    I co-own an auto shop. My "junior" mechanic started that way. He now has master tech certificate. He is the only one from his class who is in this category. It is really hard to break-in in this industry to be an auto mechanic, not GS. You need both education and some experience. But you don't need a 4-year degree.

    If he goes to community college in his state, pell grant should be enough to cover his tuition.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 25,863 Senior Member
    The community college route is probably the way to go. It will have the contacts with local auto dealerships and independent mechanics that will lead to employment. The auto dealers in my area were so desperate for qualified help that they paid to upgrade the program, and offer scholarships for the best students. Most of the graduates walk straight into good jobs.
  • entomomentomom Registered User Posts: 23,662 Senior Member
    Since he is Hispanic, check out the scholarships linked to in this thread for possibilities:


    NA is big question for Hispanics, many do have backgrounds that go back to Original Peoples of the Americas, but there are two problems: first that programs/scholarships created for NAs had North American tribes in mind; second, because (usually) Hispanics with NA ancestry don't have formal tribal affiliations like they do in the US & Canada.

    However, it's always worth finding those scholarships and looking at websites or calling organizations to find out what their requirements are.
  • huggcaryhuggcary Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    He is a US citizen
  • huggcaryhuggcary Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    My son is also considering one of these "pricey" programs. They cost around $25000 for about a year of training but he feels that he will be more likely to get the high powered mechanics jobs for the fancy car companies coming out of UTI or WYO Tech or the third he is now looking at University of Northwestern Ohio...
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,689 Senior Member
    Is there hard evidence that most/all of the grads from the pricey programs get good jobs at "fancy car companies", while the grads from CC's don't.....or is your son just assuming that or is that something these pricey schools are kind of claiming. I would be very careful about believing those claims.

    I would really doubt that the pricey schools do a better job than the CCs. And aren't some/all of those pricey schools "for profit"?

    If your son is having to borrow a LOT of that $25k, then that's risky as well. Is it a one year program or more?
  • lerkinlerkin Registered User Posts: 1,445 Senior Member
    I don't have hard evidence, but my anecdotal evidence shows that nobody cares where you graduated from. The only thing we care about is what kind of certification you already have and the experience you have.

    Also keep in mind that in this industry you have to provide your own toolbox, which costs thousands of dollars. Even GSs who do more than oil changes have small toolboxes. Good mechanics continuously invest in their toolboxes. This will be very tough to do, if you have 25k student loan to pay off.
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