Barriers and Supports to College Aspiration Among Latinx High School Students

Harold Manzano-Sanchez, David Matarrita-Cascante, Corliss Outley


This study used a qualitative methodology to identify and describe barriers that Latinx high school students face in their college aspirations and the supports they recognize as pivotal to achieving their goal of attending college. In order to understand barriers and supports for college attendance, 23 Latinx high school students in Southern California participated in 4 focus groups. Students were asked about barriers that most affect the students’ college aspirations and varying supports needed to assist in their goal to go to college. The most common barriers reported by them were: lack of financial resources, family responsibilities, lack of teachers’ support, peer pressure, and systematic discrimination. The most valuable resources mentioned were: support from their parents, siblings, relatives and teachers. Additionally, support from Latino extended families were vital as they provided encouragement, advice, economic support, and a sense of pride concerning students’ achievements. The implications of these findings for social cognitive career theory, practice, policy, and future research are discussed in the paper.


Latinx high school students; college aspirations; barriers; supports; college readiness

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Copyright (c) 2019 Harold Manzano-Sanchez, Corliss Outley, David Matarrita-Cascante

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