Posted on August 1, 2023

The Latino College Completion Gap Is Widening Compared to White Students

Nicole Acevedo, NBC, July 19, 2023

Challenges around the higher education landscape and concerns over college affordability are making it harder for more Latinos to get a degree.

An analysis published Wednesday by Excelencia in Education, one of the nation’s leading education think tanks focused on Latino college completion, found that the gap in college degree completion between Latinos and their white peers has increased since 2018.

While graduation rates for Latino students have remained relatively unchanged for nearly five years, the graduation rates of white students increased over the same period, effectively widening the gap in college degree completion.

Graduation rates for Latinos at two-year institutions have remained at around 33% since 2018, and for those at four-year institutions it stayed at around 52%. In contrast, graduation rates for non-Latino white students at two-year institutions reached 38%, and for those in four-year institutions it jumped to 65%, according to the analysis.

At two-year institutions, the graduation rate for Latino students was 5 percentage points lower than that of their white non-Hispanic peers. At four-year institutions, it was 13 points lower.

To close the gap, Latinos will need to earn at least 6.2 million degrees by 2030, the analysis shows.