More Hispanic students are completing high school, according to Census data. The number attending community college has nearly doubled in a decade.
The percentage of Hispanic 18- to 24-year-olds who are not enrolled in high school and don’t have an equivalent degree was 22 percent in 2008, down from 34 percent in 1998.
Meanwhile, the number attending a 2-year college increased 85 percent, from 540,000 in 2000 to 1 million in 2008.
More Hispanic students were born and educated in the U.S.
A majority of Hispanics aspire to bachelor’s degrees, but most choose community colleges, which have low completion rates, said Jose Cruz, an Education Trust vice president.
Frank Alvarez, president of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, himself a community college graduate, said that many students fail to finish an associate’s degree because they find themselves inadequately prepared and lacking guidance once they make their way into the system.
“What this does is create an opportunity to think about the population even more clearly as a college-going community, as a community that does have educational success,” said Deborah Santiago, vice president for policy and research at Excelencia in Education.