Hispanics’ college enrollment surges

Hispanics’ college enrollment is surging, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.  Forty-six percent of Hispanic high school graduates 18 to 24 years old enrolled in college — usually community college.  That equals black enrollment and is closing in on young whites at 51 percent. Asian-Americans, with 67 percent in college, lead the pack.

Hispanic students also are much more likely to complete high school.

In the 1990s, fewer than 60 percent of Hispanics 18 to 24 had a high school diploma, but that figure hit 70 percent for the first time in 2009, and 76 percent last year.

That high school completion rate, however, still remains below the national rate of 85 percent (81 percent for blacks), limiting the number of Hispanics who are eligible for college.

Hispanics make up about 16.5 percent of all college students, but 25.2 percent of community college students.  Graduation rates are low:  In 2010, Hispanics made up 13.2 percent of those earning an associate degree and 8.5 percent of those earning a bachelor’s degree.