Skip to Main Content Skip to Main Navigation

Give to Lehman

Lehman College

CUNY BECAS Scholarship Program 2018


CUNY BECAS is possible thanks to the generous donations and support from APEM, private donations, and The Institute for Mexicans Abroad.

The Jaime Lucero Mexican Studies Institute at CUNY is proud to offer scholarships of up to $6530 to current and prospective CUNY undergraduate and graduate students. Past recipients may reapply for additional funding (use “Returning applicant” form). Scholarship winners are selected based on academic achievement, financial need, and commitment to service in the Mexican and/or immigrant community. CUNY BECAS scholarship primarily aids students with little or no access to financial aid. The selection committee does not discriminate based on immigration status, race, gender, age, ethnicity, or national origin. All are welcome to apply.

New! CUNY BECAS Fellowship

A limited number of undergraduate students will be selected for consideration for the CUNY BECAS Fellowship. The fellowship will cover the student’s tuition for the remaining years left until graduation. Students being considered for the fellowship will be required to participate in an interview. Notification of a scheduled interview is not a guarantee of the fellowship. You will not need to submit any additional applications to be considered for this opportunity. Your regular application will be used to determine your eligibility.

How to Apply

Application must be submitted online (see link to apply below). 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.

Deadline to apply is March 1, 2018 11:59PM. EST

Important Dates

  • December 6, 2017 - Application Opens
  • March 1, 2018, 11:59PM. EST- Application Closes
  • Late April - Awardees Notified
  • Late May - Award Ceremony, recipients must attend

Eligibility Requirements

NEW CUNY Becas Applicants

  • Have graduated or will graduate from high school or have earned or will earn a high school equivalency diploma by the end of the 2017-2018 academic year
  • Intend to enroll full time in an associate or baccalaureate program at a CUNY Campus in Fall 2018 AND Spring 2019
  • OR If a Graduate Student, must intend to enroll full time in a master’s degree program either Fall 2018 OR Spring 2019
  • Must demonstrate significant financial need

Application Materials - NEW Applicants:  

  • Completed application form
  • Most recent transcript, can be an unofficial student copy
  • Two essays, 750 - word max each
  • Resume
  • One recommendation letter

Conditions of the scholarship for NEW Applicants

Currently, the scholarship can only be used for tuition. It covers a maximum of $6530 for one academic year at any CUNY campus. The award varies depending on the student’s level of study. Past recipients may reapply for additional funding, but are not guaranteed to receive additional funding. Scholarship recipients, who we call Becari@s, join a network of past and current CUNY BECAS recipients.
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 standing and maintain a GPA of 3.0.
  • Attend a series of professional and leadership workshops.
  • Complete a 200-hour internship in an affiliated nonprofit institution.
  • Participate in community events throughout the year.
  • Host one CUNY BECAS Promotional Workshop
  • Write one blog post about CUNY BECAS Experience

Application for New Applicants

Application for Current and Past Becari@s

Recommendation Form

Provide to recommender. Must be completed by recommender, not applicant.

Application Materials More Information:



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 of the most significant challenges you have had to overcome to pursue a college degree and how will obtaining this degree help you to contribute to the Mexican and or immigrant community?

Financial Need

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

Current/Past Becari@s:

  • One essay of 1000 - word max each

Professional Goals

Identify an issue the Mexican Community is currently facing and what you are doing to help address it. How has the CUNY BECAS helped you to tackle this issue and/or become aware of it?


How has CUNY BECAS strengthened your relationship with your community and helped you to reach your educational and professional goals? Identify a specific opportunity that you have been able to have thanks to the CUNY BECAS Scholarship Program.

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 March 1, 2018, 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, check out the Writing Resumes for Scholarship/Admission Applications information.


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 assigning 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 2018 and Spring 2019 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 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.

Meet our Becari@s!

Congratulations to our 2016 Graduates!

This year, we celebrated the graduation of fourteen Becari@s. We are so proud of them!

Meet our Becari@s!

2016 Graduates

  • Luz Aguirre, LaGuardia Community College
  • Antonio Alacron, LaGuardia Community College
  • Jesus A. Benitez, LaGuardia Community College
  • Lorena Carino, Queens College
  • Irma Cruz, College of Staten Island
  • Zuleima Dominguez, BMCC
  • David Garcia, Baruch College
  • Brenda Hernandez, LaGuardia>Community College
  • Mary Linn Hernandez, BMCC
  • Juan Carlos Mejia, College of Staten Island
  • Angy Paola Rivera, John Jay
  • Amalia Rojas, Lehman College
  • Vanessa Tlachi, City College
  • Maria Xique, Baruch College

We paid tribute to them and presented them with sarape sashes embroidered with the Institute logo at our May 20 Sobremesa event.

Several of them are also part of our incoming 2016 CUNY Becas Cohort because they are continuing their education.


Graduating Class of 2016