High school graduation is a huge milestone for students everywhere, including Latino graduates.
“In many Latino homes, the joy is particularly intense because these students have defied dismal statistics: They have graduated high school and are enrolling in college,” according to an opinion piece in NBC Latino by Henry Cisneros and Dr. David P. Lopez.
However, the two wrote that the achievement is not nearly enough. In fact, even officially enrolling in college enrollment doesn’t quite fulfill the potential this generation of Latino students holds.
According to statistics from the most recent federal report on educational attainment, “. . . in 2011 about 32 percent of all 25- to 29-year-olds had completed a bachelor’s degree—but the rate for Latinos was only 13 percent.”
The authors cite the numbers as “dismaying”, because Latino college enrollment only continues to increase. A report from the Pew Hispanic Center in 2011 revealed that while 46 percent of Latino high school students had graduated and enrolled in college, the completion rate is much lower.
However, progress is being made, since in 2008, only 37 percent of Latinos had enrolled in college. Two million Latinos are currently enrolled in higher education.
“This is truly news we should celebrate. However, the low completion rate for all college students is a major problem facing our country,” the article stated.
They continued to say that college campuses need to adjust to the demanding lives of attending Latinos, offer more part-time flexibility, and continue to create a motivational atmosphere to encourage completing coursework.
The authors ended on an optimistic note, saying, “Let’s all look forward to a time when college completion rates for Latinos meet—or exceed— the national average.”
(Photo by the Latino Commencement Celebration The Collegian)