"I Knew It Was Gonna Be Hard, but I Always Knew I Had Support From My Parents": The Role of Family on Undocumented Students' College Aspirations and Persistence Academic Article uri icon


  • Literature shows that undocumented students in the United States experience significant challenges to and through higher education. Only a few studies have uncovered the mechanisms that undocumented students use to persist in college; in particular, the role that family plays on their postsecondary success is understudied. In this qualitative study, I examine the role that family plays on undocumented students college aspirations and persistence. Findings from a sample of 16 undocumented students attending a four-year public university show that their families are the stimulus motivating them to pursue higher education, as well as the support system they can rely on to manage college barriers. However, the data also revealed that for a few participants, their families are a source of stress, resulting in additional challenges they must manage as they navigate higher education. I present these findings using participants vignettes and conclude with implications for higher education research and practice.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Salazar, C.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Salazar, Cinthya

publication date

  • May 2021