According to a recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Hispanic population is on track to become the majority in Texas by 2025. However, fewer than nine percent of Hispanic adults in Texas have a college degree.
What are the reasons for this? According to some studies, two significant factors contribute to this disparity—the lack of awareness in Hispanic communities about the financial resources available to help pay for college; and the need among Hispanic parents and students for information in Spanish.
Texas legislators have taken the issue seriously, adopting an aggressive higher education plan—Closing the Gaps by 2015—that aims to bring more minorities to college campuses. TG is working in step with this plan, reaching out to minorities through the TG Ambassador Program and other initiatives. TG also provides several Spanish resources to inform and encourage potential Hispanic college students and their parents, and to ease their path to a higher education.
Using consistent Spanish language terms
The current glossary is the work of a consortium of organizations, including TG, that banded together to create a standard, industry-wide resource that schools, students, and families could use as a common reference. Previously, various institutions had their own versions of glossaries. But the differences were potentially confusing to students and families.
"TG had its own glossary, and the Department of Education (ED) had its version as well," said Maria Luna-Torres, director of educational finance initiatives for TG Educational Alliances. "There were too many glossaries with similar terminology that were being used by different organizations."
To create the industry-wide glossary, input was gathered from many different higher education industry institutions. Representatives from all these institutions helped to create, shape, and revise the glossary.
"There was a lot of negotiation and compromise that had to take place in order to reach consensus on which terms needed to remain and which ones needed to be eliminated," said Maria. "Spanish terms vary depending on the heritage or nationality of the Spanish speaker you are communicating with. Because of this, negotiation of the terms to be included was a bit difficult at times."
Despite the differences, the group worked up a consensus and produced the first version of the glossary in December of 2004. They met again in spring of this year to revise the material.
The latest edition, released earlier in July, has evolved in its scope and includes an additional 700 entries, many of which relate to changes made to the federal student aid programs under the Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005. The main purpose of the revision was to expand the vocabulary terms to include not only financial aid terms, but other terms related to access to higher education.
"Grouping this information together on TG Online allows our customers to scan it all quickly and easily," said Kristin Boyer of TG Communications. "That way, you can find what you’re looking for and easily link to TG's online ordering system if you need copies for the students and families you work with."
In addition to online resources, TG continues to strengthen its commitment to promoting access to higher education and financial aid by providing awareness tools in Spanish. Such efforts include the FAFSA Made Easy videoconference and many print materials, including brochures and bookmarks.
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