Southwest, HACU partner to enable Hispanic college students to travel home

Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) and The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) have partnered for the 13th annual “¡Lánzate! / Take Off!” Program, which will provide selected Latino college students with a designated number of trips on Southwest Airlines to travel home to see family, the airline said.

Applicants must show economic need and be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program at least 200 miles from home. Education advocates and HACU leaders from across the country will form a diverse selection panel this summer to choose the 2017 program recipients. Students can submit applications through April 14, 2017.

More than 1,900 roundtrips have been awarded to students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees since the program´s inception in 2005.

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) represents more than 470 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the US, Puerto Rico, Latin America, and Spain. The association´s headquarters are located in San Antonio, Texas, with offices in Washington, DC, and Sacramento, California. HACU is the only national association representing existing and emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs).

Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) operates a network of 101 destinations in the United States and eight additional countries with more than 3,900 departures a day during peak travel season. Its 53,000 employees serve more than 100 million customers annually. As of December 31, 2015, it operated 704 Boeing 737 aircraft.