Summer of Feminista: Access and Affordability to Higher Education

This week Summer of Feminista welcomes 

Martha Carolina Preciado from, music bloggera from Latin America, as she discusses what she wants to see from the 2012 Presidential Candidates.

As a Latina voter, an issue on President Barack Obama’s political agenda which resonates is access and affordability for underprivileged students to higher education institutions.

Specifically, a long term goal of Latino educational advancement. Latinos remain significantly underrepresented in enrollment and acceptance rates. For many, financing college is a hardship. Yet another major obstacle are social barriers in public education which continue to prevent economically and educationally disadvantaged students from pursuing higher educational opportunities. Limited funding allocation and poorly executed academic preparation programs are misconstruing guidance of students towards college. Question to consider towards President Barack Obama’s political stance on education: How will the federal government distribute funds in order to create, activate and effectively execute academic outreach programs for communities of color?

Transitioning from high school to college is a rocky and most probable, a first experience for many Latino families. Many Latino/a students of low-income backgrounds will become the first in their families to earn college degrees. However, many educationally and economically disadvantaged students in low performing schools are less likely to receive college preparation resources than more affluent students in the same scenario. Financial aid is an instrumental role in Latino/a youth and families. Socio-economic constraints within the Latino community serve as a determining factor towards college consideration. Students lack the preparation and information yet most important, financial aid. President Obama’s administration needs continuous and adequate sources of funding to programs which correlate the Latino/a community and the higher education system.

Several years ago, I attended a Latina symposium in Washington D.C where a very curious (to refrain from using “ignorant”) attendee asked: Why many Latinas contributed to a high rate of high school dropout and teen pregnancy? The answer to such question permeates the social and cultural fabric of Latino communities throughout the country who have been marginalized and disenfranchised. Latino students, specifically Mujeres; How are they given information about educational resources and opportunities if these are vaguely provided in our communities? It is a difficult matter for Latinas to aspire about college with limited information, lack of motivation and limited financial access. The federal government needs an action call to distribute funds to K-12 academic college preparation programs to undeserved communities throughout the United States to promote a quality life and the full potential of each student.

My main concerns are the opportunities, possibilities and resources my community will be able to access in order to pursue a higher education; thus improve a student’s academic endeavors. College is heavily promoted, yet, the consideration of such decision is indisposed when students and families do not have access nor college affordability.

How does all the aforementioned become enacted in legislative action? Electoral power. The power for those who have the privilege to vote, to do so. To keep my aspirations, desires yet most importantly my community in mind when voting. Outreach to Latino/as in the community to voice and use their electoral power. Exercise your vote to empower our communities; make our government accountable and make our voice heard.

Summer of Feminista 2012 is a project where Latinas are sharing their thoughts about Election 2012. Viewpoints can be liberal, moderate or conservative. Academic statements. Personal stories. Learn more or how you can join the Summer of Feminista. This is a project of Viva la Feminista. Link and quote, but do not repost without written permission.

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