March 2014

The success of the financial aid initiative is founded on the premise that the truest impact occurs when the greater community owns and develops solutions to issues that impede student progress.

Co-authored by two community leaders, Noé Ortiz and Eyra Pérez, the San Antonio experience demonstrates how a community can partner across different sectors and institutions to remove financial aid as a barrier for students to access postsecondary education.



The San Antonio case study shares successes, challenges and lessons learned in creating and implementing three strategic components:

1. Student Aid Saturdays San Antonio

2. Financial Aid Curriculum for High School Students

3. Financial Aid Council of San Antonio

San Antonio’s growth, diversity, and leadership in strengthening the opportunity for success of its community, provides a useful case study for other communities throughout the United States. In this context, we draw three lessons relevant to communities across America:

  • Partnership development was, and continues to be, a key factor—and challenge—in successful efforts.
  • It is critical to determine how to most effectively empower Latino students and their families to navigate the complex financial aid system in a community context.
  • A robust data collection system is needed to quantify a community’s needs, verify what works, and translate best efforts into best results.
  • Policy Briefs
  • National
  • State
  • Issues for Latino Student Success
  • Financial Aid
  • General Research


The Impact of Financial Aid on Student College Access and Success: The San Antonio Experience

Research File

Press Release - Excelencia in Education highlights San Antonio’s experience with removing financial aid barriers for students to inform national efforts

Research File