I. Overview A record seven-in-ten (69%) Hispanic high school graduates in the class of 2012 enrolled in college that fall, two percentage points higher than the rate (67%) among their white counterparts,1 according to a Pew Research Center analysis of new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.2 This milestone is the result of a long-term […]
Driven by a single-year surge of 24% in Hispanic enrollment, the number of 18- to 24-year-olds attending college in the United States hit an all-time high of 12.2 million in October 2010.
In addition to longstanding concerns over high school completion, policymakers are increasingly focused on disparities in outcomes between Hispanic and white college students.
The places Latinos live, the jobs they hold, the schooling they complete, the languages they speak, even their attitudes on key political and social issues, are all in flux.
This new study from the Pew Hispanic Center that finds that the white/Latino gap in finishing college is larger than the high school completion gap. The study reveals that Latino undergraduates are at a disadvantage in competing for college degrees because of two important factors: many Hispanic undergraduates disproportionately enroll on campuses that have low bachelor's degree completion rates, and they have different experiences than white students even when they enroll on the same campuses.
This study was conducted by the Educational Policy Institute through a grant from the Pew Hispanic Center to provide the most up-to-date analysis of Latino achievement through postsecondary education. The study analyses the latest installment of the National Educational Longitudinal Study (NELS), begun in 1988 with eighth grade students and followed up several times, with the last follow-up survey in 2000: eight years after scheduled high school graduation.
The purpose of this study is to describe federal legislation and programs that support higher education and to assess Latino participation in these programs. While there are many programs at the state, institutional, and community levels that facilitate access to higher education for Latinos, the Higher Education Act (HEA), due for reauthorization this year, is the main policy vehicle at the federal level for postsecondary education programs. These programs provide concrete examples of educational activities that can inform--and be informed by--local activities and programs to facilitate Latino student access, persistence, and completion of higher education. A series of developments in the costs and financing of colleges and universities set the context for HEA reauthorization.
This report shows that by some measures a greater share of Latinos are attending college classes than non-Hispanic whites, and yet they lag every other population group in attaining college degrees, especially bachelor's degrees. A detailed examination of data for enrollment shows a high propensity among Latino high school graduates to pursue post-secondary studies. However, most are pursuing paths associated with lower chances of attaining a bachelor's degree. Many are enrolled in community colleges, many also only attend school part-time and others delay or prolong their college education into their mid-20s and beyond. These findings clearly show that large numbers of Latinos finish their secondary schooling and try to extend their education but fail to earn a degree.
The “New Economy” of the past decade lifted the prospects of all Hispanics. Still, on average Hispanics lagged behind non-Hispanic whites, mainly due to large-scale immigration and poor levels of education.