Bienvenido: Financial Aid in Spanish

Julieta Schiffino

System Administration
Associate Director of Financial Aid

Unless you are brand new to Admissions, you are aware of the changing demographics in higher education. According to WICHE, the number of Hispanics graduating from high school is rising and is projected to continue to rise.  Currently, among the public school K-12 population, Latino youth represent 22 percent.  Most speak Spanish at home. Spanish is the second-most spoken language in the United States.  SUNY is committed to access and is among one of the few colleges around the nation offering content in Spanish.   SUNY is offering Spanish Financial Aid Brochures and held SUNY Financial Aid Days in Spanish.  

NYC is home to 2.4 million Hispanics.  In the NYC public schools they represent over 40 percent of the student body. These students may be immigrants themselves but most are first generation, children of immigrants, and they are also first generation college goers. Hispanics are currently, and are projected to continue being, the ethnicity with the greatest number of births in New York City.

With this growing number of students, and as college professionals, we have to try to identify and break down barriers for these students in order for them to apply and enroll on our campuses.  In addition to dealing with language barriers, immigrant parents have a hard time financially and culturally supporting their children’s desire to live on campus. Knocking at the College Door identified this group as the poorest minority group with an average median income of $26,000.  Family is important to Hispanics and they like to stay close to home.  In many Spanish speaking countries students attending college live at home where the whole concept of going away for college is untenable.  Parents need to be informed about the financial aid resources available and the benefits of a campus experience.

By offering materials and events in Spanish, SUNY is breaking down barriers. Parents can now read about the financial resources available for college, they can attend workshops to learn about the financial aid process and receive assistance applying for financial aid in their own language.  With the help of Univision, we held a very successful SUNY Financial Aid day in Spanish at the SUNY Global Center and we look forward to working with Univision again in the future.

To request Spanish Financial Aid Brochures call 1.800.342.3811.  To learn more about the Spanish SUNY Financial Aid Days or if your campus would like to participate in future Financial Aid Days, contact me, Julieta Schiffino, at 212-364-5823.