Hispanics Are Now the Largest Minority in College

Ryan Lytle, US News, August 31, 2012

For the first time in history, enrollments at four-year colleges for Hispanic students between 18 and 24 topped 2 million in 2011. Hispanics are now the largest minority on college campuses, making up roughly 16.5 percent of all U.S. college students, according to a recent study by the Pew Hispanic Center that used newly available U.S. Census Bureau data. Hispanics are also making strides in two-year colleges, according to the study, making up roughly one quarter of all 18-to-24-year-old students.

“The new milestones reflect a number of continuing upward trends,” the study’s authors write. “Between 1972 and 2011, the Latino share of 18- to 24-year-old college students [in four-year colleges] steadily grew—rising from 2.9% to 16.5%.”

This growth in Hispanic college enrollment has also translated to a growth in the number of degrees earned. A record 140,000 Latinos earned a bachelor’s degree in 2010, while 112,000 Latinos earned an associate degree, also a record-setting number, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

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{snip} In 2010, only 9 percent of Hispanics enrolled in a four-year college or university earned a bachelor’s degree, compared to 10 percent of black students and 71 percent of white students who earned their bachelor’s degrees that year.

[Editor’s Note: The above sentence meant to convey that of all bachelor’s degrees conferred in 2010, 71% went to whites, 10% to blacks, and 9% to Hispanics. The data, found here, also relate that 7% of all bachelor’s degrees went to Asians.]

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