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We surveyed individuals who had matriculated to, but never completed, at least one college program (community college, college, university, trade school, or certificate program). With a survey sample of more than 1,500 respondents, 35 percent of whom self-identified as Latino* (Latino = 522; non-Latino = 985), we gathered critical information about the most salient barriers to college completion, especially those that disproportionately burden Latino students. Based on prior literature and research, we paid particular attention to the relationship between debt, attitudes about debt, and college completion. We organized the barriers to college completion into four categories: precollege, institutional, environmental, and financial. Precollege factors account for one’s experience and environment before entering a higher education program, including high school academic experience, social capital, and motivation and/or fit at college. Institutional factors account for one’s experience and environment with and at the chosen college institution and include academic integration and cultural integration. Environmental factors account for the responsibilities and challenges in one’s life outside of school while in a college program, and include family responsibilities, health concerns, and transportation concerns. Financial factors account for the financial pressures and stressors facing students, including financial crises, need to work, and desire to avoid debt.

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