College sabiduria: How Latina/o Families from South Texas Financially Prepare and Pay for College




Perez, Eyra Alicia

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This qualitative study centers, examines and tells the stories of five South Texas Latina/o families as they financially prepare and pay for college through the culturally relevant theoretical frameworks of Community Cultural Wealth Model (Yosso, 2005) and Familismo (Moore, 1970). The researcher uses a hybrid platica-testimonio methodology where platicas are used to collect the familias' testimonios. Through the analysis of the testimonios, the familias are found to have four central perceptions about paying for college: •Financial aid is complex and rigid. •Financial aid system is limited and unfair. •Loans to help pay for college are typical but dreadful. •College is not affordable. The stories of how the Latina/o families deliberated college-going for their students revealed three universal values that guided those deliberations: •Familias believe in access to opportunities and resources. •Familias are committed to their familias. •Familias prioritize college. The familias discussed how to pay for college prior to their students' senior year and they wanted and needed information and guidance on determining their real college costs. The testimonios also revealed that college costs influenced and impacted the students' final college choice. Furthermore, the familias were intentional in preparing for, selecting, and paying for college, leading the researcher to offer the college sabiduria model. The college sabiduria model brings together the culturally relevant models and theories of cultural intuition (Delgado Bernal, 1998) and cultural wealth (Yosso, 2005), and extends them with familial values and perceptions to center the experiences of Latina/o familias with financial aid, college affordability, and college choice.


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Education Finance, College Affordability, Community Cultural Wealth, Familismo, Financial Aid, Latinx Families, Paying for College



Educational Leadership and Policy Studies