Hispanic student enrollment and achievement reached new highs in 2011, says a Pew Hispanic Center study released last week. For the first time, the number of 18- to 24-year-old Hispanics enrolled in college exceeded 2 million and reached a record 16.5% share of all college enrollments. And 140,000 Latinos graduated from college with bachelor’s degrees in 2010—the highest on record.
What’s great about this story is that population growth alone does not explain all the enrollment gains made by Hispanic students. With the high school completion rate among young Hispanics at a new high, more young Hispanics than ever are eligible to attend college. 76.3% of all Hispanics ages 18 to 24 had a high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED) degree in 2011, up from 72.8% in 2010. And among these high school completers, a record share—nearly half (45.6%)—is enrolled in two-year or four-year colleges.
There’s still much work to be done—particularly here in Los Angeles—to ensure all students receive some post-secondary training for the workforce, but fantastic to see more Latinos enrolling and succeeding in colleges and universities across the country.
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