¡Lánzate!/Take Off! Higher Education Travel Award Program

Application Round is now Closed.

HACU will send an email communication to selected students on July 19, 2024 (updated from July 5, 2024) notifying each student of the selection committee awards.

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and Southwest Airlines® have opened applications for the 20th Annual ¡Lánzate!/Take Off! Higher Education Travel Award Program. Online applications will be accepted through April 26, 2024.

Through this national initiative, HACU and Southwest Airlines will award roundtrip flights to undergraduate and graduate students across the country. Eligibility requirements include being enrolled at a college/university located at least 200 miles from a student’s home and the submission of required essays. Selected students receive tickets for use to travel between home and college or university.

A selection committee consisting of national education advocates and community leaders will select the award recipients. Recipients will be awarded four round trip tickets on Southwest Airlines for the student to use when traveling to/from the college/university. The tickets can be used for travel to any of the Southwest Airlines domestic destinations as listed on www.southwest.com.


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Eligibility Criteria:

  • Student must be currently enrolled (this semester) in a college/university at least 200 miles from their designated home at the time they're applying. 
  • Student must be in good academic standing as determined by their college/university.
  • Student must have a minimum 2.5 grade point average (GPA).
  • Student must be 18 years old or older at time of application.
  • All federal government regulations related to air travel and Transportation Security Administration rules must be adhered to, including, but not limited to, producing a valid government-issued photo ID for air travel.
  • One application per student must be submitted online by the specified deadline of April 26, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. CT (Central Time). Incomplete applications and applications not submitted online will be disqualified.
  • Needed travel must be to/from Southwest Airlines domestic destinations.
  • Students will be required to complete and upload an Enrollment Verification Form with their application (the “Required Documentation”). The Enrollment Verification Form must be signed by the college Registrar's Office and must verify your current enrollment this semester and grade point average. 
  • Selected students will be required to complete an IRS Form W-9 with the student’s Social Security Number (SSN) or other Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN).
  • The student must identify direct or parental ties to a specific country to determine Hispanic origin on the application.
  • Common inquiries can be found on our Frequently Asked Questions page.


  • The student must write personal essays addressing questions as outlined in the application. The essays must be between 300- and 500-words demonstrating college level writing and grammar skills. Applications with essays with fewer than 300 words or more than 500 words will be disqualified.
  • In the essays, the student should demonstrate or discuss socio-economic need such as financial need, cultural considerations, etc.
  • The essays may be written in Spanish, provided an English translation is included with the application.

Application Checklist:

  • Online applications deadline is April 26, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. CT (Central Time).
  • Incomplete or late applications will not be considered. 
  • Your Enrollment Verification Form and must be completed, signed, and ready to upload.
  • Please be sure your essays are 300-500 words. Applications not meeting requirements will not be considered. For scholarship essay writing tips, visit academictips.org.


  • A selection committee comprised of national education advocates and HACU leaders will review all qualified applications and essays.
  • Students attending a HACU member institution will receive additional consideration in the individual review phase.
  • The decision of the selection committee is final.
  • The selection committee will determine the 185 students who will receive eight 8 (eight) one-way Southwest flight e-passes.


Southwest flight e-passes & Notification:

¡Lánzate! /Take Off! Travel Award:

  • Student must travel to/from Southwest Airlines destinations on published service only. 
  • NOTE: The application will have drop-down menu for students to select Southwest Airline destinations only.
  • The Southwest flight e-pass is valid for one-way travel on Southwest-operated, published, scheduled service in the United States. The Southwest flight e-pass is not valid on interline or codeshare service. The Southwest Airlines flight e-pass is not valid to/from Puerto Rico or any international destinations.
  • Ground transportation, hotel accommodations, and travel expenses are not provided.  Recipients are responsible for transportation to and from the designated Southwest Airlines destination.
  • The Southwest flight e-pass will bear the date of issue and the date of expiration. Southwest e-passes will be valid from August 1, 2024 – August 1, 2025. Expiration dates will not be extended, and travel must be completed on or before the expiration date.
  • The Southwest flight e-pass is non-refundable and is not redeemable for cash or credit. The Southwest flight e-pass will not be replaced for any reason, including, without limitation, if lost, stolen, or fraudulently used. The Southwest flight e-pass is non-transferrable and cannot be sold to a third party. Sale, auction, or re-tendering of the Southwest flight e-pass for money or otherwise is strictly prohibited. The Southwest flight e-pass may not be used for promotional purposes unless previously approved by Southwest. Any suspected fraud, misrepresentation, misuse, abuse or violation of the Southwest flight e-pass Rules and Regulations may result in cancellation of the Southwest flight e-pass(es).
  • Each individual Southwest flight e-pass is valid for one-way travel. Two Southwest flight e-passes are required to book roundtrip travel.
  • Students must meet all rules of the sponsoring organization.
  • All recipients must comply with the Southwest Airlines Contract of Carriage.


  • HACU will send an auto reply e-mail acknowledging receipt of the application.
  • No notification will be sent as to whether the application is complete or incomplete.
  • By participating, students give permission to HACU to verify enrollment at his or her college.
  • HACU will send an email communication to selected students by July 19, 2024 (updated from July 5, 2024notifying each student of the selection committee awards.
  • Each selected student recipient must acknowledge email communication to accept the award and return the completed IRS W-9 form by email by July 28, 2024 (updated from July 15, 2024). Failure to accept the award and return the completed Form W-9 by July 28, 2024 (updated from July 15, 2024) will result in forfeiture of the travel award.
  • Students will receive the awarded number of flight e-passes from Southwest Airlines by July 31, 2024.


Enrollment Verification Form




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For additional information, contact HACU Student Services at (210) 692-3805 or email scholarship@hacu.net