Latino College Students are Falling Behind


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Here’s an interesting fact: the more education you have, the longer your lifespan can be.

In recent years, Latinos have made tremendous progress in education. High school graduation rates are up while dropout rates are down. Latino students are also enrolling in two- and four-year colleges in greater numbers than ever before.

That is the good news. Now, the not-so-good.

Education: Good News vs. Bad News

Latinos, despite their progress, continue to fall behind their white and black peers.

In 2016, 45% of all Latinos had at least some college education, up from 35% in 1992, according to the new “Latino Education and Economic Progress: Running Faster but Still Behind” report from the Center on Education and the Workforce.

However, the college education gap between Latinos and whites has grown to 29% in 2016, significantly up from 23% in 1992. The gap between blacks has increased from 21% up from 10% during the same timeframe.

The report indicates the gap exists because of where students go to college.

Research found that over two-thirds of first-year Latino students attend “open-access” colleges and universities.

latino graduation rates and earnings chart 2017“These colleges tend to be underfunded and overcrowded,” the report said.

During the time period studied for this report, white student enrollment in open-access colleges has declined by 18% and has increased at the “top selective colleges.” These institutions have shown to have an 80% rate of graduation.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Latina women have higher completion rates compared to Latino men at every level of postsecondary education.
  • Latinos with high SAT/ACT test scores have similar rates of college enrollment as Whites. But 63 percent of these Latinos complete a degree or other credential, compared to 78 percent of Whites.
  • Only 34 percent of foreign-born Latinos have some form of postsecondary education compared to 61 percent of native-born Latinos.
  • Latinos who speak only English earn $41,000 annually on average, which is lower than whites’ earnings ($50,000) but higher than blacks’ earnings ($38,000).
“Perhaps the worst news is that differences in birthplaces, English language abilities, and education do not explain all the differences in earnings between Latinos and Whites,” according to the report. This leaves an “unexplained residual that can most likely be attributed to race and class differences in opportunity rather than merit.”
Learn more about the link between education and health here:

By The Numbers By The Numbers



of Latino parents support public funding for afterschool programs

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