Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



International Migration Studies


Jamie Longazel

Subject Categories

Family, Life Course, and Society | Migration Studies | Race and Ethnicity | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Familismo, financial aid, migration, second-generation, Latino, Latinx, Hispanic


As college expenses continue to skyrocket, borrowing thousands of dollars to pay for college has become a rite of passage towards achieving the American Dream. Very little has explored the problem of rising student loan debt thorough a sociologically-oriented lens, and even less work has examined the variations in the lived experiences of underrepresented student borrowers. This study focuses on second-generation Latinx students who have used student loans to pay for college. As American citizens with Latin American roots, this generation lives in a precarious situation, often straddling the lines between their traditional family-oriented values, and the more individualistic values of American culture. By examining the influence of Latinx family culture, or familismo, manifests itself on second-generation students’ decisions to take on student loan debt, we can better understand the balancing acts these students must perform. It is also important to understand the varying tenets of the “American Dream” and how parents pass these on to their children, who in turn reinterpret them to better suit both familial expectations and their own ambitions within the larger societal power structure.