Date Approved

1-12-2021

Embargo Period

1-13-2021

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Department

Educational Services and Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Walpole, MaryBeth

Second Advisor

Sung, Kenzo

Third Advisor

Mateo, Lesley J.

Keywords

Financial Aid, Latina, Latina/o Critical Race Theory, Narrative Inquiry

Subject(s)

Hispanic Americans--Education (Higher); Student aid

Disciplines

Higher Education

Abstract

Latina students face numerous barriers within the financial aid application process that impact the success rates of their higher education attainment. The financial aid application process is initiated through the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Unfortunately, the FAFSA, as it is currently written is not beneficial to students from low socioeconomic backgrounds, students of color, and first generation college students, due to the cultural and linguistic hegemony that is present with the FAFSA application (Kimble, 2012; Taylor, 2019). Such hegemonic dominance within the financial aid application process, perpetuates the systemic racism that is present within the financial aid industry (Delgado Bernal, 2002; Perez Huber, 2010; Perez Huber & Solorzano, 2015; Solorzano, 1998; Solorzano & Delgado Bernal, 2001; Valdes, 1996, 2005; Villalpando, 2004), thus impacting the higher education attainment rates of Latina students. For this study, Latinx Critical Race Theory (LatCrit) provided a lens through which to view the lived experiences and counter-stories that emerged from the narratives of the Latina participants and how those experiences influence their understanding of the financial aid process. The findings of this study support how the participants' experiences were influenced and impacted by racial inequalities.

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