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Latino Daily News

Friday February 15, 2013

Gates Funded Research Uses Latino Perspective to Redesign Student Financial Aid

Gates Funded Research Uses Latino Perspective to Redesign Student Financial Aid

Photo: Latinos and Financial Aid

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During a Capitol Hill briefing and panel discussion with congressional leaders, Excelencia in Education today released the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded white paper “Using A Latino Lens To Reimagine Aid Design And Delivery.”

Excelencia in Education is the only Latino-focused organization among the 16 selected by the Gates Foundation to inform their national discussion about redesigning federal financial aid.

“Federal financial aid is currently structured with traditional students in mind, but post-traditional students are a growing proportion of those seeking college degrees,” said Deborah Santiago, Excelencia in Education’s vice president for policy and research, and author of the white paper.  Using the profile of America’s young and growing Latino population as the baseline, rather than the footnote, to define the post-traditional student, we are providing a fresh perspective on financial aid policy for all students.”

Excelencia in Education’s research demonstrates that Latinos are more likely to be post-traditional students who, for example, enroll at a community college, take courses part-time while working, study online and at multiple institutions, live off-campus with family, and take more than four years to complete a degree.  Therefore, by examining financial aid through a Latino lens, policymakers can redesign a federal financial aid system that is more relevant and effective for students of all backgrounds.