Taco Bell’s foundation Wednesday announced it was taking applications for the Irvine company’s fifth annual round of “Live Mas Scholarships.”

The foundation is planning to award about $6 million in scholarships to students, who don’t just influence their classmates, but inspire them, officials said.

“With student debt in America reaching an all-time high, the Taco Bell Foundation is proud to be part of the solution, fulfilling a growing need for accessible scholarship opportunities,” said Tina Nguyen, executive director of the Taco Bell Foundation. “In the last round, we received an unprecedented 13,000 applications to our scholarship, which demonstrates the tremendous amount of students who will likely seek financial assistance from our program this year as well.”

The foundation has given out $17 million in the scholarships with a plan to award $21 million by 2021.

First-time recipients can win $5,000 to $25,000 per students ages 16 to 24. A past winner can apply to renew a scholarship by submitting a two-minute video describing their passion and how they plan to utilize it to make a difference, officials said.

The applications are due Jan. 23. Winners will be announced in the spring.

Additional details can be found at www.livemasscholarship.com.

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