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The road to higher education


Having a clear demographic panel to assess Latino higher education makes it possible to understand why this group continues to face many challenges.

According to data acquired by Excelencia In Education the majority of latino students were Mexican or Puerto Rican descent (50%), 26% other Hispanic descent, 12% Puerto Rican descent, 8% mixed Hispanic descent, and 4% Cuban descent.

What’s impressive is that based on these statistics the majority of Latino students were U.S. citizens (98%).

89% U.S. citizens9% U.S. residents2% internationalExcelencia In Education shows that 58% of Latino students identified as female when compared to other racial/ethnic groups; 62% of African American, 55% of White, and 52% Asian students; comparatively, in 2016,“Latino males represented 52% of the Latino college-age population, but 42% of Latinos enrolled in college that year.”

There seems to be a revolving door when it comes to the collegiate world. As immigrants, 44% of Latinos are more likely to be first-generation college students than other racial/ethnic groups as stated by Excelencia In Education. Many can attribute this percentage to the American dream; the desire to be successful and improve living conditions that in the native country may not have been possible. It is with this desire that many Latinos push the barriers of illiteracy by constructing a road to achieve an education and betterment.

As a result, making 16 % of Latinos less likely to pursue a career in STEM as mentioned by Excelencia In Education in 2015-2016.

Data acquired by Excelencia In Education during 2015-2016 academic year, the majority of Latino students attended public institutions.

41% enrolled in public 2 year institutions28% enrolled in 4 year institutions11% enrolled in private for profit institutions10% enrolled in private 4 year non-profit institutionsLatino students were more likely to enroll part-time or to mix their enrollment between full and part-time, than be enrolled full-time.The socioeconomic pressures Latino students encounter makes it burdensome for Latino students to not seek employment during their higher education studies. Excelencia In Education mentions “75% of Latino students identified primarily as students working to meet expenses” and not as working students or employees, because in changing the verbiage they are also changing the narrative on “intent.” The purpose of being employed while pursuing a higher education degree might seem optional to other ethnic groups, but to Latinos is the only way to finance education and support family.

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