Examining the Association of Financial Aid Factors on the Persistence of Latina/o College Students at a Hispanic-Serving Institution: A Discrete-Time Hazard Model




Sansone, Vanessa A.

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Financial aid is found to be associated with student persistence outcomes in higher education, yet few studies have attempted to understand the relationship financial aid has on Latina/o college student degree attainment at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship across time between financial aid and persistence, and whether the effects of the relationship differed for Latina/o students compared to their racial/ethnic peers. The study uses a twelve term person-period institutional dataset from a large public four-year HSI in Texas. This study draws on Nora's (2003) Student Institution/Engagement model and uses discrete-time hazard modeling to examine the longitudinal association of financial aid factors on the degree attainment for first-time Latina/o students enrolled at a HSI.

Results indicate that for Latina/o students at this HSI financial aid is related to their ability to graduate, and these effects are experienced differently when compared to their White counterparts. Latina/o students receiving state grant aid had a higher likelihood of graduating than their White peers. The results show that a Latina/o student's odds of graduating increases 35% for each additional $1,000 of state grant aid that is awarded. To increase Latina/o degree attainment, these findings make a strong case for the state of Texas to increase state aid for Latina/o college students at HSIs. These findings also highlight the role of external environmental factors on Latina/o student outcomes that tends to get overlooked, but are used to assess how HSIs are "serving" Latina/o students.


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discrete-time, event history analysis, financial aid, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Latinas/os, persistence



Educational Leadership and Policy Studies