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Reality Check: Hispanic-Serving Institutions on the Texas Border Strategizing Financial Aid. Deborah A. Santiago Excelencia in Education June 3, 2011. SFARN Philadelphia, PA. Reality Check. Exploratory research with 8 institutions along TX-Mexico border

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reality check hispanic serving institutions on the texas border strategizing financial aid

Reality Check: Hispanic-Serving Institutions on the Texas Border Strategizing Financial Aid

Deborah A. Santiago

Excelencia in Education

June 3, 2011

SFARN

Philadelphia, PA

reality check
Reality Check
  • Exploratory research with 8 institutions along TX-Mexico border
    • (4 community colleges & 4 public universities)
  • Case study approach
    • Site visits, interviews, focus groups, data review
  • Raised research questions for more rigorous analysis with Latino lens
why look at latinos at hsis and financial aid strategies
Why look at Latinos at HSIs and financial aid strategies?
    • HSIs enroll a critical mass of Latinos
  • Latinos in higher education are increasingly nontraditional and representation is growing
  • Look beyond enrollment to completion and what institutions are doing to address this
  • Financial aid is critical for higher education access and a potential tool for institutions to increase retention
  • follow up on acceleration plans
why look at latinos at 8 hsis along the tx mexico border
Why look at Latinos at 8 HSIs along the TX-Mexico border?
  • Very impoverished service areas
  • Very high Latino student concentration
  • Nationally ranked in enrolling and graduating Latinos, but rarely focus of study for what doing well
  • Very overlooked nationally
  • Already serving nontraditional population with need using limited resources
questions
Questions
  • What are institutions with high concentrated enrollment of low-income and Latinos doing to improve college completion?
  • Are there financial aid resources, beyond Pell grants and direct loans, that can be used to increase Latino student retention?
findings
Findings
  • General aversion to borrowing while costs increasing
  • more students work while enrolled (limits persistence and completion rates)
  • Federal financial aid critical (most participation)
  • Limited knowledge of financial aid options
  • Institutions engaged and/ are using financial aid strategies to increase retention
effective aid strategies at 8 hsis
Effective Aid Strategies at 8 HSIs

campus-based work-study programs

Guaranteed need-based scholarships

Early college high schools and dual enrollment

Emergency loans and installment/payment plans

Integration or coordination of outreach activities, program information, and student services

Improved student/customer service and staff training

Increased outreach

campus based work study programs
Campus-based work-study programs

Policymaking: position issues and develop strategies based on more representative profile of Latino students

link between work study and retention
Link between work-study and retention
  • Work and earn income while enrolled for resources to cover expenses beyond tuition and fees
  • Keeps students on campus
  • Added opportunity to be aware and use institutional services
  • Potential for new or increased interaction with faculty, staff, and other students
  • If linked with discipline, can inform academic experience
  • Provides work experience in academic or community setting
  • Stronger sense of belonging on campus
examples of effective strategies
Examples of effective strategies
  • Student Tech Services (El Paso Community College)
    • Use student IT fees to hire students for hands-on support in technology needs
  • Student Employment Initiative (University of Texas at Brownsville
    • Hire students who enroll at least 15 hrs, 2.75 GPA, 12 credits at UTB
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For more information please visit:

www.EdExcelencia.org

To download “Reality Check” please visit:

http://www.edexcelencia.org/research/reality-check-hispanic-serving-institutions-texas-border-strategizing-financial-aid

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