Jennifer Nazario

Research Fellow
“All students, regardless of their ability to pay, should be able to access higher education if wish to do so”

Jennifer was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She is a first-generation college graduate. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her master’s degree in economics from Cal State LA.

Jennifer is passionate about college affordability and upward mobility, among other social issues due to her lived experiences with navigating higher education. She was first exposed to higher education when she began taking community college courses while she was in high school. Since then, she has taken various community college courses to supplement her personal academic interests.

As a highly-aided student, Jennifer was able to attend college without taking out loans due to her university’s generous financial aid policy. Throughout college, Jennifer took on various work study jobs, often reaching the maximum number of hours she could work to supplement her income. During graduate school, she worked full time while pursuing her degree full time as well. This allowed her to graduate without debt. She realizes that this is not possible for many students and believes that college should be affordable since education is a positive externality and is associated with social mobility. Jennifer strongly believes higher education can improve economic outcomes, especially for low-income students like herself.