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U.S. Latinos and Higher Education.

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Over the last 20 years, the college enrollment rate of Latino high school graduates has dropped dramatically in comparison to that of non-Latino Whites. Among college graduates, the only category in which Latinos earned a degree at a higher rate than non-Latino Whites was at the associate's degree level. Latinos have nearly reached parity with non-Latino Whites in the earning of bachelor's degrees, but Latinos have lost ground in the rate of master's degrees they earn. At the doctoral level, despite some earlier gains, Latinos have again lost ground to non-Latino White men. Finally, the overall educational attainment rate for Latinos has remained low. In fact, relative to non-Latino White men, Latinos have lost ground in their overall educational attainment over the last 20 years. California and Texas, where the two largest Latino populations live, have effectively eliminated affirmative action programs through Proposition 209 and Hopwood v. University of Texas, thereby restricting Latino access to higher education. The decline in student financial aid since the early 1980s has also negatively affected access to higher education. Latinos have difficulty adjusting to college because of their relatively lower representation among college student populations, discrimination, lack of university social networks, and lack of validation of their educational worth from faculty and family. Recommendations include facilitating Latino transfers from 2-year to 4-year institutions, improving Latinos' adjustment to college through mentors, and increasing financial aid. (Contains 30 references.) (TD)

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Author:Moreno, Susan E.
Publication:ERIC: Reports
Date:Dec 1, 1998
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