Mexican American Student Veterans: From Military Service to Higher Education

  • Alfredo Gonzalez
Keywords: student veterans, post-9/11, GI Bill, Mexican American, military


This study employs descriptive qualitative analysis to explore the experiences of eight Mexican American veterans utilizing Veterans Affairs education benefits to pursue baccalaureate degrees. Participants were recruited in Southern California at two California Community Colleges and three California State Universities. The findings suggest that Mexican American student veterans navigate college and their education benefits based on their experiences in the military. The study identifies five factors Mexican American student veterans negotiate when transitioning to college: (a) minimization of racism; (b) lack of support; (c) being experiential learners; (d) substitute leadership; and (e) being financially motivated.