This quantitative correlational non-experimental study examines some major implications of student loan debt that Hispanics face upon graduation from institutions of higher learning. It provides both descriptive and correlational statistics to help view how Hispanics differ from non-Hispanics graduate students in their plight to live the American dream of social mobility. Hispanics now represent over 50 million and are the fastest growing (43% between the 2000 and 2010 U.S. Census) segment of the U.S. population. The belief that gaining a college degree will enhance social mobility may in fact impede it, or at least, delay it for Hispanics. With the increase in borrowing to gain college access, Hispanic families may face financial constraints impeding social mobility. This study explores the surveys conducted (2008–2012) by the National Center for Education Statistics and consisting of approximately 13,500 students in postsecondary schools across the United States. The statistical analysis suggests that for Hispanic student graduates in higher education there may be a relationship between student loan debt and financial difficulties, including home affordability, getting married, and having children. The analysis explores the differences between Hispanics and non- Hispanics along these four dimensions. Additionally, this study suggests several leadership practices as a way of influencing initiatives that may help address student loan debt for Hispanics. Recommendations for additional research include assessing measures that address the rise in borrowing by Hispanic graduates.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Hispanic American students; Hispanic Americans -- Education (Higher) -- Research; Education, Higher -- Economic conditions

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Valadez, Ray