Steps to Success
Education is the greatest equalizer with the power to transform lives for generations, and we believe that all students deserve access to higher education that meets their unique potential. Our programs help low-income, first-generation Latino youth overcome systemic barriers and challenges to achieve their college and career dreams.
LUCA increases college enrollment and completion among first-generation Latino youth through programs that:
- Empower students and families to participate fully in the college consideration and application processes
- Increase submission of financial aid applications to make college attainable for more students
- Increase enrollment in 4-year universities that meet students’ academic potential and financial needs
- Increase retention and completion by providing Scholar support throughout the college years
Breaking Down Barriers
Latino youth are culturally-rich, motivated, hardworking, and resourceful. They are determined to honor their families’ sacrifices and create a brighter future for their loved ones. Although encouraged by their parents, Latino students often navigate the college admissions process independently with limited resources. Immigrant parents are committed to supporting their children but face educational, financial, and cultural barriers in a new country.
For many students, the pathway to enrollment and completion is filled with obstacles that make college seem insurmountable.
While confronting the complexities of college admissions, students often unintentionally limit their options – rarely applying to more competitive schools, which can provide increased access to institutional aid and support networks that will help them graduate.
Evaluating the cost of college and researching financial aid options can be overwhelming. Families face significant challenges completing the complicated forms required to determine federal, state, and institutional aid. As a result, 70% of Latino students have unmet financial needs.
Faced with financial, personal, and family challenges students must confront multiple issues that threaten their ability to persist and graduate from college. Limited in resources and without someone to turn to for guidance or support, Latino students drop out of college at five times the rate of their white peers.
First-generation students lack access to an extensive social network that can provide career information and resources. They miss out on the perspectives of college graduates and industry professionals who can prepare them for internships and pathways that lead to job opportunities upon graduating.
To overcome these barriers, Latino students need consistent and trusted support as they pursue their dreams. Our intensive, family-centered, culturally relevant approach has demonstrated incredible success in college access and completion.