First-generation, low-income, community college students of color represent one of the fastest growing segments of the undergraduate student population in the United States. With college costs continuing to rise, student debt levels at record highs, and socioeconomic disparities that include growing income and wealth gaps, it is particularly important to understand the development of financial literacy for these students. This qualitative research is a critical phenomenology and is rooted in critical race theory. Employing a semi-structured long-interview protocol, textural-structural themes and invariant constituents gleaned from the coded responses in 22 interviews were used to create 22 sub-thematic categories that organized the findings. A portion of these data are presented as ten counterstories, organized in four main themes that address the three questions presented in this research. The first theme that emerged from the data is that first-generation, low-income, community college students of color demonstrate tremendous resilience from early socioeconomic challenges in the development of their financial literacy. Second, first-generation, low-income, community college students of color expand understanding of students who attend community college by challenging flawed sociocultural assumptions of deficit. Third, a focus on financial assets versus financial deficits is key to development of financial literacy for these students. Finally, in the development of financial literacy for first-generation, low-income, community college students of color, structural racism originates and harms from inside as well as outside communities of color. This dissertation concludes with a discussion of theoretical implications for the development of critical race method as well as practical implications for financial aid and student services professionals, faculty, and other institutional administrators.
University of Minnesota PhD dissertation. February 2018. Major: Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development. Advisor: Rebecca Ropers-Huilman. 1 computer file (PDF): x, 263 pages.
Wallace, Nicholas Lester.
Cost of Attendance: The Development of Financial Literacy for First-Generation, Low-Income, Community College Students of Color.
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