Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Study: Latino Student Success Depends on Financial Aid

A new study examines the strategies used to improve Latino students’ access to financial aid in San Antonio, Texas.

The advocacy group Excelencia in Education conducted the study entitled “The Impact of Financial Aid on Student College Access and Success: The San Antonio Experience.”

The study highlights the importance of financial aid by noting that U.S. Census Bureau data from 2011 showed that only 12 percent of Latino adults in San Antonio have an associate’s degree or higher — in a city that is 72 percent Latino.

It highlights three programs targeted on financial aid that aim to increase college-going numbers in the city.

First, the Student Aid Saturdays San Antonio (SASSA) program offers free guidance to people as they fill out federal and state college financial aid applications. The Saturday sessions were held at sites that had heavily Hispanic populations and low federal student financial aid (FAFSA) form submission rates.

Another program studied was the financial aid curriculum for high school students, which was required by Texas legislation.

In addition, a Financial Aid Council was established in the city. The council is composed of financial aid representations from the city’s colleges and universities and members of community organizations. The council was meant to create a place for collaborating on financial aid initiatives and to share best practices.