POPULATION AND PURCHASING POWER GROWING, EDUCATION LEVELS REMAINING STAGNANT
Latinos are a growing sector of the labor force. Our youth represents the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population.
However, the achievement gap between Anglos and Latinos has increased. Latinos are still falling behind whites with regard to dropout rates, graduation rates, and higher education attainment rates.
In 2001, the Latino high school drop out rate was twice as high as the white drop out rate, respectively, 8% and 4%. In 2003, only 52% of all Latino students graduated from high school on time, compared to 72% white. The lack of a high school diploma can often shut out opportunities for students as they enter the working world. Of those Latino students who do make it to their high school graduation, only 7% attend college compared to 37% of Anglos.
These numbers indicate a harsh reality - Latinos are still facing huge barriers in educational attainment. Only slightly more than half of all Latino college students receive their college degrees. More than 8 in 10 Anglos who enroll in higher education succeed in obtaining a college degree.
Lack of Financial Resources Often Greatest Obstacle for Latino Students
As student progress through the educational pipeline, lack of financial resources seems to be the greatest obstacle preventing Latino students from attending institutions of higher education. Mr. McComb, publisher of Latin Business magazine says, "It's no secret that financial obstacles are what keep many Latinos from fully pursuing a college education." More than 50% of Latino students attend high poverty schools, where at least 50% of the population is considered poor, compared to 28% of white students.
Latinos Less Dependent on Student Loans, For Better or Worse
Studies done on the Latino population demonstrate that 77% of Latinos feel that the greatest obstacles in obtaining a college education are the cost of tuition and the need to work and go to school. Luis Fernandez is a college student who has had to work and go to school. He says, "my parents have always said, If you dont have the money to pay for it, then work for it."
Hispanic National Bar Foundation Closing the Achievement Gap
The Hispanic National Bar Foundation has been established to help close the educational achievement gap by providing students with the financial support and academic guidance they need to succeed. The links that follow, a scholarship list and a student's anecdote of how she will finance her college education, provide students with information in regards to financing their education.
*Data collected from U.S. Decennial Census; Pew Hispanic Center Study Latinos in Higher Education: Many Enroll, Too Few Graduate and National Survey of Latinos: Education; L.A. Times Article Most Latino Students Spurn College Loans; The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University Resegregation in American Schools and Why Segregation Matters: Poverty and Educational Inequality; and Latin Business Magazine article New Scholarship Fund Launched