Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Who Loses Financial Aid?: A Critical Examination of the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy at a California Community College
by Brochet, Anna, Ed.D., California State University, Long Beach, 2020, 130; 27998515
Abstract (Summary)

Persistent racial and ethnic inequalities have been extensively cited and are known to be problematic in higher education. Yet, the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy requires academic performance standards to be met by all students receiving federal financial aid in order to maintain eligibility. Using Critical Race Theory, Critical Policy Analysis, and QuantCrit as the conceptual framework, the purpose of this quantitative study was to investigate the unintended consequences of the SAP policy by examining whether students at a California community college were differentially impacted by the policy based on race and ethnicity.

This study used a descriptive and correlational design to analyze secondary data of a single community college located in Southern California. Data of one cohort over a six-year period was disaggregated to describe who lost financial aid due to not meeting SAP standards by race/ethnicity and gender. Inferential statistical analyses were done to determine relationships between race/ethnicity, gender, loss of financial aid, and completion.

Results found that SAP policy impacted students differentially with African American and Latinx students losing financial aid in higher proportions than Asian, Filipino, two or more races, and White students. In addition, students who lost financial aid were 51% less likely to complete their degrees, certificates, and/or transfer-related outcomes. These findings suggest SAP policy negatively impacts completion for students of color, countering efforts toward educational equity. Based on the findings, a reexamination of federal, state, and local policies is recommended to mitigate the negative impact of SAP, including ensuring students have a warning period before losing financial aid and permitting students to appeal their loss of financial aid. Appeals should allow for consideration of historical inopportunity, equity gaps, and underrepresentation in higher education. Finally, student support services should be offered to students for the duration of the time they are not meeting SAP standards to aid with the appeals process and support them in an effort to improve their academic performance to eventually meet SAP standards.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Olson, Avery
Commitee: Vega, William, Daniel-DiGregorio, Kristie
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 82/4(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Ethnic studies, Educational administration, Higher education, Education Policy, Public administration, Educational sociology
Keywords: Community college, Critical Race Theory, Financial aid, Academic satisfaction, California, Academic progress, Satisfactory Academic Progress, Latinx students, Asian students, Filipino students, White students, Students of Color, Student support services, African American students, Equity gaps, Historical inopportunities, Underrepresentation in higher education
Publication Number: 27998515
ISBN: 9798684693885
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