Skip to Main Content Skip to Main Navigation

Search This Website Click Here

Lehman College Logo Click Here to go back to Homepage


Congratulations to the 55 selected recipients for 2018! (click to download promotional flyer)

CUNY BECAS Scholarship Program 2019

Program Overview

The Mexican Studies Scholarship Fund awards scholarships to highly motivated students. The scholarship program is intended to help current and future community leaders to advance their educational goals. Recipients will work closely with the Institute staff and community-based organizations to advance the Mexican and/or immigrant community. Criteria for selection are academic excellence, financial need, and commitment to service in the immigrant and/or Mexican community in New York, without consideration of immigration status.

Award Amount

Up to $6730 to current and prospective CUNY students.

Application Materials- Applicants:

  • Completed application form

  • Most recent transcript, can be an unofficial student copy

  • Two essays, 750-word max each

  • Resume

  • One recommendation letter

Eligibility Requirements

  • Have graduated or will graduate from high school or have earned or will earn a high school equivalency diploma by the end of the 2018-2019 academic year

  • Intend to enroll full time in an associate or baccalaureate program at a CUNY Campus in Fall 2019 AND Spring 2020

  • OR If a Graduate Student, must intend to enroll full time in a master’s degree program either Fall 2019 OR Spring 2020

  • Must demonstrate significant financial need

  • Willingness to be a lifelong learner

  • Openness to share experiences and accomplishments to inspire other students

Conditions of the scholarship for Applicants

Failure to comply with the following conditions may result in the suspension or revocation of scholarship award and future eligibility.

  • Undergraduate students are expected to enroll full time (more than 12 credits per term).

  • Graduate students are expected to enroll full time for one semester (Fall or Spring).

  • Remain in good academic standing and maintain a GPA of 3.0.

  • Must take a course in either Mexican Migration and or Spanish Language at their home campus (course may have been taken in previous semesters prior to receiving scholarship)

  • Complete 200-hour internship in an affiliated nonprofit institution;

Special Features: The Mexican Studies Scholarship Fund offers several special features:

  • A series of professional workshops;

  • A series of leadership workshops;

  • 3-day team building retreat in the Catskill Mountains;

  • Opportunity to participate in a 200-hour internship in an affiliated nonprofit institution;

  • Special invitations to exclusive events throughout the year;

  • Assigned Mentor, who will advise students in the areas of program planning and academic and career goals;

  • Pay it forward by hosting one CUNY Becas promotional workshop;

  • Opportunity to write a blog post about their CUNY Becas experience, to be featured on the Institute website and in monthly newsletter;

  • Access to prominent CUNY alumni, faculty, and staff;

  • Opportunity to become an Institute fellow, limited scholarship that cover remaining years until graduation.

How to Apply

This application is for NEW CUNY BECAS Applicants. New applicants and current BECAS recipients have different applications. Make sure you are using the correct application.

  • Application must be submitted online. You will provide us with your demographic, academic, and financial information.

  • You will be prompted to provide your information as well as the name and email address of one recommender. We encourage you to start your online application as soon as possible. You will be able to save your application and continue later.

  • Please note that only complete applications submitted through the online system will be accepted. Late applications will not be considered. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Important Dates

  • November 16, 2018- Application Opens

  • January 31, 2019, 11:59PM. EST- Application Closes

  • March - Semifinalist Group Interview

  • Late April- Awardees Notified

  • Late May- Award Ceremony, recipients must attend


Application form

Recommendation letter form

The recommender must complete this form. Make sure you share this link with your recommender.

Current or Past Becari@s


The Mexican Studies Scholarship Fund awards scholarship renewals of up to $6730 to current scholarship recipients. This application allows past recipients to reapply for additional year of funding. The selection criteria is the same as for new applicants. This is a closed and separate application process from new students applying to CUNY BECAS for the first time. Please note that students are not guaranteed funding. All students including current fellows must reapply.

Returning Application form

Recommendation letter form

The recommender must complete this form. Make sure you share this link with your recommender.

For further information please e-mail the scholarship program coordinator

Supporting Documents

Make sure you are writing the essay that corresponds to your application. New applicants and current BECAS recipients have different essay prompts. An application that does not have the correct corresponding essay will be considered incomplete. We advise you to have at least one person look over the essay to provide you with feedback.

New Applicants:

Two essays of 750-word max each

  • Professional Goals

    What is one thing you want to accomplish in college that would help empower the Mexican and or immigrant community?
  • Financial Need

    What economic factors are limiting you from pursuing your educational and professional aspirations? If you were awarded the scholarship what difference would it make in your aspirations to pursue a college education?

One Recommendation letter

Your recommendation letter will be submitted electronically by your recommender. A recommendation letter may be written from someone who knows you well and has served in one of these roles for you: a teacher, counselor, mentor, coach, employer, community leader, or religious leader. Your reference must be at least 21 years of age and must not be related to you. Recommenders will be notified by email by the applicant. Recommendations must submit their letter online on or before January 31st, 2019, 11:59PM EST.

Updated Resume

A scholarship resume is a document that outlines all of your accomplishment in life to date. These accomplishments can be personal, academic, professional or extracurricular.

For additional help consult:


Unofficial transcript are accepted in application.


Have more questions? Send us an email or call us at 347-577-4070, 347-577-4080.

Frequently asked questions: 

Do I have to be currently enrolled in CUNY to apply?

No. As a matter of fact, many of our applicants are high school seniors, GED students or students who are not currently enrolled in college. You MUST enroll in CUNY to receive the scholarship, but not to apply.

Do I have to be Mexican?

No, the scholarship is open to people of any nationality.

Does my immigration status matter? 

No, many of our scholarship recipients are undocumented and many are DACA recipients.  DACA is not required for eligibility. The committee does not discriminate based on immigration status.

Does it matter which CUNY I attend?

No, scholarship winners may enroll in any of the 24 CUNY campuses.

Can I enroll in a SUNY or private school?

No, the scholarship is only able to cover tuition at a CUNY campus.

How will I know if my application has been received?

You will receive a confirmation email that your application has been received and that we have all the supporting materials.

How will I be notified about my application results?

All applicants will be notified via email if they have been awarded a fellowship or are considered part of the regular program. Make sure to provide an email that you consistently check.

How are applicants selected as recipients of CUNY BECAS?

An independent committee of professors from around the country and local community leaders review the applicants and select the recipients based on the scholarship criteria.

Why was I not selected for a CUNY BECAS Fellowship?

The independent selection committee using a ranking system assigns points for each section in the application. Those earning the highest points are considered for the Fellowship. If you did not fall among those ranking the highest you cannot be considered for the Fellowship.

I was called for an Interview for CUNY BECAS Fellowship, now what?

Please schedule the interview as soon as possible. Notification of a scheduled interview is not a guarantee of the fellowship.

What happens if I am put on the waitlist?

If we receive additional funding before August 1, 2018 you will be notified via email that you have been awarded the scholarship. We cannot guarantee a scholarship to everyone who is waitlisted. 

If selected as a winner can I defer my scholarship to another academic year?

The current high demand for the scholarship does not allow for us to hold the scholarship. If you cannot take the scholarship the academic year it is being awarded then you can reapply in the future. We will not hold scholarships for future use.

How will I get the money from the scholarship?

For undergraduate students, the scholarship will be disbursed to the recipient’s CUNY college in two equal installments to cover the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 semesters. For graduate students, the scholarship will be disbursed to the recipient’s CUNY campus in one full installment for the semester they enroll in.

Does the scholarship cover all of my educational expenses?

No, while the scholarship funding will cover most or all of your tuition for one year if you are an undergraduate or one semester if you are a graduate student, it will not cover student fees, transportation, books, or other expenses.

I am a graduate student, why can’t I receive funding for the entire academic year?

Unfortunately, due to limited funding at the moment we are only able to cover one semester for graduate students.  We hope to be able to cover both semesters in the near future.

What if I qualify for FASFA and or TAP?

In this case CUNY BECAS Scholarship will only cover the remaining tuition balance on your account. Even if you are awarded a partial scholarship, you will be part of the program and expected to meet all the conditions of the scholarship.

What if I am awarded the DREAM. US?

Congratulations! Due to the high demand for our scholarship program you will have to choose which scholarship program you wish to be a part of. You will not be able to receive extra funding from CUNY BECAS. Our scholarship is classified by CUNY as “last in”. This means that CUNY BECAS will post to your account after only all other scholarships have posted

What If I am awarded another scholarship?

To maximize our funding our scholarship is classified by CUNY as “last in”. This means that CUNY BECAS will post to your account after only all other scholarships have posted. In this case CUNY BECAS Scholarship will only cover the remaining tuition balance on your account. Even if you are awarded a partial scholarship, you will be part of the program and expected to meet the conditions of the scholarship.

I am an international student can I apply for the scholarship?

Yes, you can apply to be considered for the scholarship but, priority will be given to instate students who have limited access to financial aid

I am an international student my tuition is over $6530 will the scholarship cover the full amount?

Students who hold international visas or other status who are considered out of state students by CUNY are charged different, higher rates and the scholarship will not cover all of the tuition. The student will be responsible for covering the remaining balance on the account.

What if I work and cannot commit to an internship program? 

CUNY BECAS seeks to foster the development of future leaders. We will give you a lot of support and a lot of opportunities for growth and professional development along with an internship placement. These elements require time and commitment and the scholarship is intended to enable you to worry less about tuition and have more time/energy for school and your growth as a leader. We require students to commit to these opportunities.

What if I am the head of household and cannot commit to studying full time?

If selected for the scholarship you will have to apply for the CUNY BECAS full time status waiver. The purpose of the waiver is to request consideration to be able to continue with the scholarship CUNY BECAS when the student cannot enroll full-time. There is no guarantee of a waiver and decisions will be made on a case by case basis. Except for those granted a waiver, all CUNY BECAS recipients must maintain full time enrollment status to receive the scholarship.

Can I lose the scholarship after I am selected as a scholarship winner?

Failure to comply with the following conditions may result in the suspension or revocation of scholarship awards and future eligibility: Full-time enrollment at a CUNY school, participation in monthly seminars,

completion of a 200-hour internship in an affiliated nonprofit institution, continuous involvement with the Institute and Becari@s network in events and activities. There is a midyear evaluation in which students’ progress on completion of the requirements is measured.

What if I change my recommender?

Immediately contact us with the updated name of your new recommender. 

What if my recommender declines to write a letter?

If a recommender declines to write a letter on your behalf (it happens for many reasons), do not be disappointed or discouraged. Sit down and consider who would be willing to write a letter for you. You should have two to three people who you can reach out to an ask in the case that your primary one declines. 

Where can my recommender upload my recommendation letter?

Your recommender will have to upload their letter online. You can share this link with them.

If I'm a High school student how can I get my Transcript?


Most recent transcript, can be an unofficial student copy

  • NYC high school students and graduates, more information on how to obtain a copy of your transcript:



Meet our Becari@s!

Congratulations to the 2018 Graduates!

CUNY Becaris

  • Selene A. Brooklyn College
  • Antonio A. Queens College
  • Irving A. Hunter College
  • Belinda B. LaGuardia Community College
  • Luis C. New York City Tech
  • Suleyma C. John Jay College
  • Gloria F. Brooklyn College
  • Arriana F. Brooklyn College
  • Brenda H. John Jay College
  • Jose College of Staten Island
  • Marlon M. Lehman College
  • Areli M. Brooklyn College
  • Yhasmine M. Hunter College
  • Janeth O. Lehman College
  • Mariana O. City College
  • Diana P. City College
  • Julia R. John Jay College
  • Roswell R. John Jay College
  • Flor R. Lehman College
  • Denise V. Lehman College