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Latinx Community College Students Experiencing Financial Aid Income Verification: A Critical Race Analysis

Every year millions of students seeking access to federal financial aid complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application which grants an estimated $234 billion in federal aid in the 2020-21 academic year. Upon receiving students’ FAFSA, the U.S. Department of Education selects some students for income verification, a process in which educational institutions check the accuracy of the information students filled out on the FAFSA. I conducted semi-structured interviews with 17 Latinx community college students to identify barriers in the verification process. Using Critical Race Theory, I contend the verification process reflects and upholds institutional racism within the financial aid process through three barriers. Latinx students experience concern and confusion upon receiving notification of verification selection, difficulty locating requested documentation and acquiring parents’ signature, and undergo a lengthy review of their verification forms which delays receipt of their financial aid.

Keywords
Latinx Students, Financial Aid, Critical Race Theory, Qualitative
Education level
Document Object Identifier (DOI)
10.26300/e1sv-2k92

EdWorkingPaper suggested citation:

Graves, Devon L. . (). Latinx Community College Students Experiencing Financial Aid Income Verification: A Critical Race Analysis. (EdWorkingPaper: 22-599). Retrieved from Annenberg Institute at Brown University: https://doi.org/10.26300/e1sv-2k92

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