In this article, Daysi Ximena Diaz-Strong draws on interviews with Mexican and Central American 1.25 generation undocumented young adults to examine what shaped their access to financial resources in their college-going transitions. Although scholars have demonstrated that school agents and peers are critical to accessing resources and that stratified schools create unequal access to resources, this knowledge derives from the experiences of the 1.5 generation, and little is known about the college pathways of the undocumented 1.25 generation. Through a social capital lens, Diaz-Strong shows how undocumented 1.25 generation immigrants encounter structural disadvantages in accessing resources and how, arriving in adolescence, they experience below-level course placement and have little time to learn the US system. This article extends our understanding of the factors shaping the college pathways of undocumented youth and shows how immigrants’ life stage on arrival interacts with school sorting mechanisms to create differential access to financial resources.

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