For the First Time, More Latino High School Grads Enrolling in College Than Whites
This week, the Pew Research Center released exciting statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau about Latino high school students. A record 69 percent of Latino high school graduates enroll in college right after graduation, two percentage points higher than white students. The high school dropout rate for Latinos has also dropped by half between 2000 and 2011, down to 14 percent from 28 percent.
Researchers found the increase in college enrollment is an extension of the upward trend that started with the recession in 2008. The rate for white students dropped slightly in the same five-year time frame. Hit harder by unemployment (the employment rate for Latinos has increased by 7 percent since 2007 compared to 5 percent for white students), more kids are entering college instead of facing a scary job market. But it’s not just the economy; a 2009 Pew Hispanic Center survey found 88 percent of Latinos 16 and older felt a college education was the key to success.
It’s not all good news, though:
Despite the narrowing of some of these long-standing educational attainment gaps, Hispanics continue to lag whites in a number of key higher education measures. Young Hispanic college students are less likely than their white counterparts to enroll in a four-year college (56% versus 72%), they are less likely to attend a selective college,3 less likely to be enrolled in college full time, and less likely to complete a bachelor’s degree.