Taco Bell’s Live Más Scholarship isn’t your traditional scholarship. 

That’s because unlike a lot of popular scholarships that award money to students based on grades or athletic ability, the Taco Bell Foundation awards Live Más Scholarships worth up to $25,000 each to hundreds of students every year based on their passion and drive!

If that sounds like you, keep reading. Because, in this post, you’re going to learn everything you need to know to win one of the Live Más Scholarships and get closer to that not-so-secret goal of paying as close to $0 as possible for your college education! 

Let’s dive right in with a quick overview of the Live Más Scholarship.

What is the Live Más Scholarship? 

The Taco Bell Live Más Scholarship is a passion-based scholarship for students aged 16-24. 

The Taco Bell Foundation awards this scholarship to students who are what they call “Passioneers” — young innovators, creators, and dreamers who want to share and pursue their passion through higher education.

Is the Live Más Scholarship Only for Taco Bell Employees? 

Nope! You don’t need to be a Taco Bell employee to apply for the Live Más Scholarship. They are available for both Non-Taco Bell Employees and Taco Bell Employees.

In fact, the Taco Bell Foundation offers three different programs to apply for and win Live Más Scholarships:

  1. The Live Más Scholarship Program (For Non-Taco Bell Employees)
  2. The Live Más Scholarship for Restaurant Employees Program (For Taco Bell Employees Only)
  3. The Live Más Scholarship Renewal Program (For Previous Winners of a Live Más Scholarship)

You only have to compete with students who apply for the Live Más Scholarship under the same program as you. The Taco Bell Foundation chooses approximately 100 winners from each program.

How Much is the Live Más Scholarship Worth? 

For each of the three application tracks listed above, the Taco Bell Foundation awards up to $1 million worth of Live Más Scholarships in varying amounts:

  • Up to $5,000 per recipient for up to 30 recipients
  • Up to $10,000 per recipient for up to 60 recipients
  • Up to $25,000 per recipient for up to 10 recipients

Remember that you only have to compete with students applying under the same Live Más Scholarship Program as you. So, there could be up to 10 Non-Taco Bell employees who win up to $25,000, 10 Taco Bell employees who win up to $25,000, and 10 renewal applicants who win up to $25,000.

However, according to the Taco Bell Foundation, the number of recipients for each of the Live Más Scholarships isn’t set in stone. There could be more or fewer winners for each scholarship bracket depending on a variety of factors.

Eligibility Requirements for the Live Más Scholarship

According to the Taco Bell Foundation, you must fit the following requirements to be eligible to apply for a Live Más Scholarship as a new applicant

  • Be a legal resident of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia (“D.C.”) who is at least 16 years of age and no older than 24 years of age, located in the United States or D.C.  
  • On-track to apply for, pending receipt of a high school diploma or G.E.D. equivalent, or are currently enrolled in an accredited post-high school/post-secondary educational program (including accredited two- and four-year colleges, universities, vocational, technical, and trade schools).  
  • Have not previously received a Live Más Scholarship. 
  • Obtain and submit written permission from a parent or legal guardian if you’re considered a minor in your state of residence 

For the Live Más Scholarship for Restaurant Employees Program, the eligibility requirements are the same as the general eligibility criteria above but also require you to: 

  • Be an employee of Taco Bell of America, LLC, Taco Bell Corp. or any of its franchisees or licensees, with a minimum of three months of continuous employment with such entity in a restaurant position (Team Member, Trainer, Shift Leader, Assistant General Manager, or Restaurant General Manager, etc..) as of the last day of the program period.
  • Work with the Taco Bell Foundation’s Scholarship Management Company throughout the application and award process.
  • Identify the specific post-secondary education program, college, or certificate/degree option you want to get into, or for which you need funds. You may be looking to enroll or already enrolled in this secondary educational program.

And, finally, to be eligible for the Live Más Scholarship Renewal Program, you must fit the following requirements: 

  • Be a legal resident of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia (“D.C.”) and be located in the United States or D.C.
  • Previously have won a Live Más Scholarship through the Live Más Scholarship Program or the Live Más Scholarship Program for Taco Bell Restaurant Employees
  • Currently enrolled in an accredited post-high school/post-secondary educational program located in the United States or D.C. (including accredited two- and four-year colleges, universities, vocational-technical, and trade schools) and in good academic standing
  • Have used or substantially depleted (75% or more) of awarded amounts from a previous Live Más Scholarship prior to the Selection Period
  • Be willing to work with the Taco Bell Foundation’s Scholarship Management Company throughout the application and award process. 

How to Apply for the Live Más Scholarship

Now, because the Live Más Scholarship is different from traditional scholarships, you must have expected that the application would be a bit untraditional as well, right? If so, you’re correct! 

To apply for a Live Más Scholarship, you can ditch the standard scholarship essay. Instead, you’ll be asked to submit a video, ranging anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

A video on what? Well, that’s mostly up to you as long in one way or another it addresses these questions: 

  • What post-secondary education program, college or certificate/degree program are you attending?
  • What impact will following your passion have on your local community or the world?
  • How do you plan to achieve your passion through your educational goals?
  • What is your dream college, school, or next step in your education?

Just make sure you don’t sit in front of your camera and answer those questions one after another. That’s not what they’re looking for. They want to see some creativity in how you talk about yourself and your passion. (We’ll look at some inspirational examples from past winners soon!)

Once you’ve created your video, visit the Taco Bell Foundation website during the application period and click “Apply.” Then, follow the on-screen instructions to fill out your information and submit your video.

When is the application period? Let’s take a look at that now along with other important dates like the application deadline and winner announcements. 

Live Más Scholarship Application Timeline 

Based on previous application cycles, here are the important dates for the Live Más Scholarship: 

November: The Live Más Scholarship application opens at the beginning of the month 

January: The application closes toward the end of the month 

January – May: The Taco Bell Foundation reviews all of the applications and selects the winners 

Mid-May: 100 winners from each of the 3 application tracks are announced

August-September: The Live Más Scholarship funds are disbursed 

6 Tips to Win the Live Más Scholarship

In 2019, the Executive Director of the Taco Bell Foundation shared that over 13,000 students applied for a Live Más Scholarship! With that level of competition, it’s all the more important to make sure your video application stands out. 

So, here are 6 tips you can follow that are based on the official application terms and conditions as well as a few video submissions from previous winners of the Live Más Scholarship! 

#1 Don’t Just Talk About Your Passion, Show Your Passion

One of the coolest things about the Live Más Scholarship is that you get to create a visual snapshot of something you’re passionate about. So, don’t just sit in front of your camera and talk about your passion. Show the Taco Bell Foundation the moments where your passion brings you the most joy!

Take a look at what we mean by viewing this video submission from 2018 Live Más Scholarship winner, Alexandra Poret: 

What makes that video so great is that Alexandra brings us into her world. From her robotics competitions in school to meeting former president Obama to getting accepted to college, we get a glimpse into Alexandra’s personality, aspirations and, as she says, how she Lives Más!

#2 Share How College Will Help You Pursue Your Passion

It’s also important to remember why you’re making the video — to win a scholarship to help pay for college! So, make sure the Taco Bell Foundation knows how you plan to continue to pursue your passion in college. 

Notice, in the video just shared, Alexandra mentions how she’s discovered that her passion for robotics can be used for something more than just fun. It can also be used to create innovations in the field of bioengineering, which she wants to learn more about in college. 

Your connection between your passion and higher education may take a different form. But the important thing is that you use your video to help the Taco Bell Foundation see how college will help you to take what you can do with your passion to the next level. 

#3 Communicate How Your Passion is Related to Your Long-Term Goals 

When you’re passionate about something, it tends to stick with you for the long-term while also shaping your hopes and dreams. The Taco Bell Foundation wants you to show them that in your video! 

Here’s a video from 2019 Live Más Scholarship winner, Rafael Bitanga, that’s a good example of what we mean: 

In the video, Rafael discusses how his passion for food and culinary arts inspires his long-term goals to bring people together to discuss important issues over food, confront global food insecurity, and help improve the lives of his family members in the Philippines. 

#4 Talk about What Originally Inspired Your Passion 

As you may have also noticed in the previous video, it’s important to give the Taco Bell Foundation context on what originally inspired your passion. In Rafael’s video, we get to see how his family’s immigrant background has inspired his future goals. 

You can do this not only through words but by sharing photos or video footage from your life. Of course, you may even come up with other ways to show your inspiration. What’s most important is that you demonstrate that your passion has been built over time and will continue to grow as you begin the next stage of your life in college!

#5 Tell Your Story in an Emotionally Inspiring and Authentic Way 

You most likely won’t be the only person applying for the Live Más Scholarship with your passion. For example, many students may be passionate about film or the arts. But what will always be unique is your perspective. So, use that perspective to communicate your passion in a way that’s authentic to you! 

Here’s a video application from 2019 Live Más Scholarship winner, Daisy Cornejo, that does just that: 

What’s great about this video submission is that Daisy didn’t just talk about why she likes filmmaking. Instead, she uses her talent to create a narrative that incorporates scenes of herself and others. By doing so, she evokes emotion and makes her unique background and goals memorable.  

#6 Show How Pursuing Your Passion Will Help You Make An Impact on the World 

Remember, the Taco Bell Foundation wants to award the Live Más Scholarships to students who are young innovators, creators, and dreamers who want to share and pursue their passion. In other words, they want to award students who have the potential to use their passion to make an impact on the world. So, make sure you spend some time in your video making that point clear! 

All of the videos we just shared spend the last few moments of their video talking about the impact they hope to have on the world. In the last video, Daisy closes her video by talking about how she wants to pursue degrees in Film and Chicano/a Studies to “educate, uplift and inspire communities”.

Where to Find More Scholarships

We hope this post has you feeling inspired to share your passion and apply for the Live Más Scholarship. But we also hope you don’t stop there. Because there are many more scholarships just like this one that can help you pay for college!

To easily find them, download Scholly Search, the #1 scholarship app in the world that instantly matches you with hundreds-of-thousands of dollars scholarships based on your interests, accomplishments, and traits! 

You can also check out the rest of our blog where we share tips and strategies on how you can find ways to pay for college and win other scholarships like the Coca-Cola Scholarship and the NY Excelsior Scholarship.

Good luck!