Brenda Duran-Jimenez

Educational Inequalities for Non-U.S. Citizen Students

Faculty Mentor: La Mont Terry, Education Department

Major: Latina/o & Latin American Studies

Funding: Ford Research Mentor's Endowment


This study examined the political influences on higher education and how non-U.S. citizen (undocumented, DACA, visas, and U.S. residents) students receive institutional support. The researcher questioned eight participants on:

  1. their identity
  2. their economic, social, and academic support system
  3. their general experiences with their status
  4. their school experiences before and after the sudden educational change of COVID in March 2020.

I predicted that each state's overall political environment (California and Kansas) would influence each school's approach and capabilities to helping non-U.S. citizens. California has historically been pushed for reformative education policy while Kansas is traditionally a Republican state with anti-immigrant values. The studies overall showed a correlation between political affiliation, state policy, institution policy, and resources. Students from Los Angeles generally had positive reactions to staff and the resources available. They critiqued that staff needed further training on how to support students (e.g., cultural understanding and status inclusive resources). In comparison, students from Wichita and other institutions in Kansas were more vocal on how faculty/staff must be more accountable to their duties. The lack of resources and scholarships pushed students to organize between themselves. Overall, all students advocated for proactive responses rather than reactive responses.

Watch my research presentation below.

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View the presentation slideshow