Navigating the Financial Aid Process Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Virtual Townhall

This event has already taken place. | Wednesday, June 24th, 2020 | Online

On June 24, UnidosUS hosted a webinar aimed at demystifying the college financial aid process; examining the challenges that students and their families have encountered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; and giving advice to students and families on how they can advocate for themselves in the higher education system.

Moderated by Leticia Hart, Associate Director of Education Programs at UnidosUS, the webinar discussion included Bernadette Astacio, Senior Director of Internal Training, uAspire; Amanda Martinez, Education Policy Analyst, UnidosUS; and JoEllen Soucier, Executive Director of Financial Aid at Houston Community College.

Latino students are graduating high school and enrolling in higher education more than ever before. Now, Latino students make up one in five students in colleges and universities across the country. However, 37% attend school part-time, and nearly half (48%) have an expected family contribution of $0. As a result, cost is a significant issue when it comes to ensuring that Latino students stay enrolled and can finish their degrees.

While 47% of Latino receive Pell Grants, these grants do not cover the majority of tuition, and not all students fill them out for many reasons, including unfamiliarity with the process.

As the COVID-19 pandemic has caused some of the worst job losses since the Great Depression, Latino families have been disproportionately impacted in the process. If Latino students are able to stay enrolled in degree programs and thrive, families must be familiar with the financial aid process and how it has been affected during this crisis.

Got concerns about financial aid in a time of coronavirus? UnidosUS has answers to frequently asked questions. Check out our webinar, blog post, and Q&A.

Visit our blog for latest state and national education issues.

Stay Informed and Take Action


  • Join us at this year’s conference America in Crisis: A Community Ready to Act, Ready to Lead and be part of our virtual experience from July 27 through July 30. Our sessions will focus on pressing issues like racial justice, how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected our community, and making sure Latinos are empowered to lead in the 2020 elections and beyond.

You can watch the complete town hall here:

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