Excelencia Policy Agenda-Affordability

Excelencia’s Policy Agenda: Affordability

Excelencia in Education
November 2020


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As Excelencia has worked to meet its mission of accelerating Latino student success, we have heard college is not affordable. Many Latino students adjust their attendance patterns to fit into a financial aid system not built for them. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionally impacted Latinos’ incomes, making it harder to afford a postsecondary education. As the pandemic has made clearer students’ financial needs, policymakers have an opportunity to address affordability by making it easier for students to navigate financial aid systems and providing additional funding to programs that support Latino student success.


  How can policy help Latinos afford a degree?

Many Latino students adjust their attendance patterns to fit into a financial aid system not built for them. Now, the pandemic has resulted in decreased incomes, making it harder to pay for college. The following would serve students broadly and would disproportionately benefit Latino students:

  • Strengthen the Pell Grant by doubling the Pell Grant and making it a mandatory program.
  • Simplify the financial aid system, including the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), student loan repayment, and emergency aid applications.
  • Improve Federal Work-Study by revising the federal campus-based aid distribution formula to more strategically support needy students nationally, and reducing administrative burdens to program participation, and increasing funding.
  • Allow DREAMers to access federal aid, including financial aid and emergency aid funding distributed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Related Publications

How do Latinos pay for college?

Read Latinos in Higher Education: Compilation of Fast Facts

How can the student aid system be redesigned to support Latino student success?

Read The Reimagining Aid Design and Delivery (RADD) Consortium for the Reform of Federal Student Aid Grants and Work-Study

How can communities work to eliminate barriers to financial aid?

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

What are Latino students’ borrowing patterns?

Read Student Aversion to Borrow: Who Borrows and Who Doesn’t