Latino Students

Facts and figures related to Latino students in higher education.

In 2012, 21 percent of traditional U.S. college students were Latino; the second largest ethnic group enrolled at the undergraduate level. This demographic is growing quickly, and is projected to increase by 27 percent between 2011 and 2022. While the number of Latino college students is increasing overall, these students continue to be over-represented in open-access and community colleges and under-represented in four-year institutions.

Enrollment/Degree Attainment

  • Over a third of Latinos aged 18-24 enrolled in college in 2013, decreasing the enrollment gap between Latinos and Whites by 10 percentage points.
  • Latino students tend to be concentrated in public institutions: 83 percent of Latino students enrolled in public institutions in 2013; a higher percentage than any other race/ethnicity group for that same year.
    • In 2013, 34 percent of Latino students were enrolled in public four-year institutions and 49 percent were enrolled in public two-year institutions.
  • Completion rates are increasing among Latinos.
    • The percentage of Latinos aged 25-29 with at least an Associate’s degree increased from 13 percent to 26 percent from 1995 to 2015.
      • The increase among White students of the same age who had earned at least an Associate’s degree increased from 38 percent to 54 percent over the same time period, leaving the current attainment gap intact.
    • Latinos aged 25-29 who had attained at least a Bachelor’s degree increased from 9% in 1995 to 16% in 2015.
      • By comparison, the proportion of White students of the same age with at least a Bachelor’s degree increased more, from 29 percent to 43 percent over the same time period.
    • Latino students are over-represented in Associate’s degree programs.
      • 29 percent of Latino students are in Associate’s degree programs, compared to 23 percent of White students, 23 percent of Asian students and 26 percent of African-American students.
    • Latino students are underrepresented in Bachelor’s degree programs.
      • Less than 20 percent of Latino students are enrolled in Bachelor’s degree programs compared to 39 percent of White students, 50 percent of Asian students, and 24 percent of African-American students.
    • Despite increased completion rates for Latinos overall, foreign-born Latinos are less likely to have earned an Associate’s degree or Bachelor’s degree than Latinos born in the United States.
      • As of 2009, 4 percent of the immigrant Latino population had earned Associate’s degrees compared with 8 percent of the U.S. born Latino population.
      • As of 2012, 11 percent of the immigrant Latino population had earned a Bachelor’s degree or higher compared with 18 percent of U.S. born Latinos.

Financial Challenges

  • Latino students often face many financial hurdles.
    • 60 percent of Latino students receive some type of federal aid, compared to 53 percent of White students, 44 percent of Asian students, and 73 percent of African-American students.
    • 40 percent of Latino college students receive a Pell grant. Overall, they make up 20 percent of all Pell grant recipients.
  • 40 percent of Latinos holding at least an Associate’s degree report having student loan debt.
  • The average debt of a Latino graduate in 2012 was $23,441; that number rises to over $36,000 if the student attended a for-profit institution.
  • A significant percentage of Latino students enter college as low-income students.
    • 34 percent of independent Latino students make less than $30,000 per year
    • 50 percent of dependent Latino students make less than $40,000 per year.

Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs)

  • HSIs serve 62 percent of the Latino student population enrolled in higher education and nearly half of full-time students at HSIs are Latino.
  • The number of HSIs has grown from 189 in the 1994-95 school year to 435 in the 2014-15 school year. They represent 13 percent of all institutions of higher education.
    • 68 percent of HSIs are public institutions while 32 percent are private, not-for-profit institutions.
    • The split between two- and four-year institutions is close to even. There are 219 two-year HSIs and 216 four-year HSIs.
  • HSIs are located in 18 different states and Puerto Rico.
    • The majority of all HSIs are located in five states and Puerto Rico: California (152), Texas (78), Puerto Rico (62), Florida (24), New Mexico (23), and New York (21).

 

Sources Used:

Braga, B. (2016, July). Racial and ethnic differences in family student loan debt. Washington, DC: Urban Institute. Retrieved from http://www.urban.org/research/publication/racial-and-ethnic-differences-family-student-loan-debt

Section(s): Challenges

Excelencia in Education. (2015, February). Hispanic-serving institutions (HSIs) fact sheet: 2014-15. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from http://www.edexcelencia.org/research/hsis-2014-15

Section(s): HSI Facts

Kantrowitz, M. (2011, September). The distribution of grants and scholarships by race. FinAid.org. Retrieved from http://www.finaid.org/scholarships/20110902racescholarships.pdf

Sections: Challenges

Kolodner, M. (2016, January). College degree gap grows wider between whites, blacks and Latinos. The Hechinger Report. Retrieved from http://hechingerreport.org/25368-2/

Section(s): Challenges

National Center for Education Statistics. (2016, August). Status and trends in the education of racial and ethnic groups 2016. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2016/2016007.pdf

Section(s): Enrollment/Degree Attainment, Challenges

National Center for Education Statistics. (2016, May). The condition of education. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2016/2016144.pdf

Section(s): Enrollment/Degree Attainment

National Center for Education Statistics. (October 2014). Profile of undergraduate students: 2011-12. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2015/2015167.pdf

Section(s): Challenges

Santiago, D., Calderon Galdeano, E., and Taylor, M. (2015, January). Latinos in higher education. Washington, DC: Excelencia in Education. Retrieved from http://www.edexcelencia.org/research/2015-latinos-higher-education

Section(s): Challenges

Santiago, D., Taylor, M., and Calderon Galdeano, E. (2016, May). From capacity to success: HSIs, Title V, and Latino students. Washington, DC: Excelencia in Education. Retrieved from http://www.edexcelencia.org/research/capacity

Section(s): HSI Facts

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Updated November 2016