February 08, 2017
Since 1998, our nation has seen a decline in the high school drop out rate for Hispanics. From 35%, the high school drop out rate has almost reached the single digits to 12% and collegiate enrollment has seen a rise in that same span of time.
Now Hispanics are the fastest growing ethnicity for college enrollment amongst those ages 18 to 24. In the 1990’s only one out of every five Hispanics was enrolled in a two or four year college. As of 2014, one out of every three Hispanics is enrolled in collegiate education.
But although we are seeing this positive trend in Hispanic enrollment, are we seeing more Hispanics in the workforce with degrees?
Why Aren’t Hispanics Graduating?
In 2014, NPR released an article that shed some light on why Hispanics may not be graduating as much as non-white Hispanics.
In 2012, after tracking a group of high school sophomores for a decade, the U.S. Department of Education found that those who had enrolled in four-year universities were more than twice as likely to have graduated with a bachelor’s degree, compared with those who enrolled in two-year schools.
Only 16% Of Hispanics Have Bachelor’s Degrees By Their Late Twenties
The article went on to cite the work of senior researcher Richard Fry from the Pew Research Center. His work led him to discover that only 16% of Hispanics had bachelor’s degrees by their late twenties, which was less than half the rate of other ethnicities.
So why are Hispanics choosing two-year schools over four-year schools?
I myself didn’t graduate with my four year degree until I was thirty one years old. Also, like many of the Hispanics mentioned above I also started at a two year school. I made that decision largely, because it was a cheaper option with more flexibility, so that I could continue to work while I pursued my degree. And I believe these are the same factors that affect most Hispanics.
What I found even more interesting, as I walked down my path to higher education, was that I didn’t know how much financial help was available to me. It was practically like a treasure hunt – I had to scour ‘real books’ (because online resources weren’t well developed a decade ago when I started school) and track down ‘real people’ that knew the process.
Now there are a variety of resources available for Hispanics to overcome the financial barriers. And in a new series of blogs we are going to be releasing next month, we will be sharing the free resources and government aide available to all Hispanic students. It’s going to be your playbook, so that you can win in your education.