DALLAS, April 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV), in conjunction with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), today announced that they are accepting applications for their annual " Lanzate! / Take Off!" education travel award program. Online applications will be accepted through May 15, 2013, at www.hacu.net. The program is geared toward Hispanic college students with economic need who travel away from home to pursue higher education. All applicants must complete an online application including an essay describing their inspiration to pursue a college degree. A panel of judges comprised of college professors and education advocates from across the nation will gather this summer to select the 2013 travel award recipients. To view the criteria for the 2013 award program, please visit: SWAmedia. Each student that receives and award will be eligible for up to four tickets for use by the student and/or a family member traveling to/from the university. "Southwest Airlines is excited to, once again, work with HACU to impact the lives of students throughout the country. In our ninth year of the Lanzate! travel award program, we have heard the inspirational stories of students who are giving it their all to achieve their educational dreams," said Christine Ortega, Southwest Airlines Manager of Community Affairs & Grassroots. "By providing these students the opportunity to stay connected with their families through roundtrip travel on Southwest Airlines, we are breaking down a barrier that could keep them from making those dreams a reality." "HACU is fortunate to partner with Southwest Airlines on the Lanzate! travel award program, which has reached out to many families to support the value of higher education," said HACU President and CEO Dr. Antonio R. Flores. "Student awardees have echoed that the travel awards kept them connected to their families while pursuing their studies. The theme of the program, 'Dandole Alas a Tu Exito/Giving Flight to Your Success,' captures the essence of why it was launched by Southwest Airlines and HACU in 2005." More than 1,000 Southwest Airlines roundtrip tickets have been awarded to students across the nation since the program's inception in 2005. To read more about the program, please visit NUTS About Southwest. ABOUT HACU HACU, which has its national headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, represents approximately 450 colleges and universities, including Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), which collectively serve more than two-thirds of all Hispanic higher education students in the United States and Puerto Rico. HACU's international membership includes leading higher education institutions in Latin America and Europe. ABOUT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO. In its 42 nd year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by nearly 46,000 Employees to more than 100 million Customers annually. Southwest is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded, and including wholly-owned subsidiary, AirTran Airways, operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in the world to serve 97 destinations in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and six near-international countries. Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for its triple bottom line approach that takes into account the carrier's performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities it serves, and its commitment to efficiency and the planet. The 2011 Southwest Airlines One Report™ can be found at www.southwest.com/citizenship.